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Individual Scholarship


Walter Farber

Walter Farber had been on sabbatical in 1994/95, supported by a National Endowment for the Humanities grant for work on his planned edition of the Lamaåtu series of incantations. In 1995, after spending some time on final collations of pertinent texts in London, he used the remainder of the summer to finish the main draft of the commentary for the planned edition of the Lamaåtu series. In November, he had a long-awaited opportunity to collate and copy the Lamaåtu material from Ugarit, now housed in Damascus, Syria. Never before having been there, and with the museum work accomplished faster than expected, he was happy to find the time for some traveling, including visits to Aleppo, Ain Dara, Ebla, Palmyra, and many other ancient sites. On his way back to Chicago, he had a brief stopover in Munich, to attend a symposium honoring D. O. Edzard on the occasion of his sixty-fifth birthday.

Back to his teaching and administrative duties in Chicago, while trying hard to get ahead with the Lamaåtu work, he still found time to finish articles for two Festschriften he had been asked to contribute, one article on an exceptionally beautiful Neo-Babylonian amulet, and the other on two Late Babylonian legal texts.

He also got interested in a new (at least for him) computer technique to enhance the reproducibility of his pencil hand copies of cuneiform texts by using a scanner and a graphics program to clean up any imperfections of the original drawings. After some initial problems, delays, and a trial-and-error period, he can now often be seen in the computer laboratory, happily slaving along to edit all the approximately fifty plates for the Lamaåtu book in this way.

Revised: February 7, 2007

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