Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Hazor Sphinx Inscription Photos

Because I can find no networked version of this press release I am taking the liberty of posting it in its entirety here:
Jerusalem, July 9, 2013 — At a site in Tel Hazor National Park, north of the Sea of Galilee, archeologists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have unearthed part of a unique Sphinx belonging to one of the ancient pyramid-building pharaohs.

Two views of a Sphinx statue fragment found by Hebrew University of Jerusalem archaeologists at the Tel Hazor excavations north of the Sea of Galilee in Israel. An inscription ties the Sphinx to Mycerinus, an Egyptian king and pyramid  builder, circa 2500 BCE. This is the only known statue bearing this pharaoh's name. (Photo courtesy archaeologists Prof. Amnon Ben-Tor and Dr. Sharon Zuckerman)

The Hazor Excavations are headed by Prof. Amnon Ben-Tor, the Yigael Yadin Professor in the Archaeology of Eretz Israel at the Hebrew University’s Institute of Archaeology, and Dr. Sharon Zuckerman, a lecturer at the Hebrew University’s Institute of Archaeology.

Prof. Amnon Ben-Tor and Dr. Sharon Zuckerman of the Hebrew University’s Institute of Archaeology, who are leading the Hazor Excavations (Photo courtesy archaeologists Prof. Amnon Ben-Tor and Dr. Sharon Zuckerman)

Reporters can reach the archaeologists for comment at 054-5928111 (Dr. Zuckerman) or 054-4643180 (Prof. Ben-Tor). Please note that Israel time is currently UTC/GMT +3 hours (7 hours ahead of New York). For international calls to Israel, replace the first 0 with +972-.

As the only known Sphinx of the king Mycerinus discovered anywhere in the world — including in Egypt — the find at Hazor is an unexpected and important discovery. Moreover, it is only piece of a royal Sphinx sculpture discovered in the entire Levant area (the eastern part of the Mediterranean).

Along with the king’s name, the hieroglyphic inscription includes the descriptor “Beloved by the divine manifestation… that gave him eternal life.” According to Prof. Ben-Tor and Dr. Zuckerman, this text indicates that the Sphinx probably originated in the ancient city of Heliopolis (the city of 'On' in the Bible), north of modern Cairo.

or more information: 

Dov Smith
Hebrew University Foreign Press Liaison
02-5882844 / 054-8820860 (+972-54-8820860)

Friday, June 28, 2013

Journal of Cuneiform Studies, Volume 65 (2013): Special Issue

 Journal of Cuneiform Studies, Volume 65 (2013)

From the Editor, Piotr Michalowski
In 1947 Albrecht Goetze, in the company of Thorkild Jacobsen and Abraham Sachs founded the Journal of Cuneiform Studies “with the firm conviction that the progress of knowledge is primarily the reflection of numerous detailed studies,” aided by “a generous grant from the American Schools of Oriental Research on behalf of the Baghdad School.” Originally composed on a manual typewriter in the Yale Babylonian Collection (see photo below) and possibly retyped by a professional, the journal was edited by Goetze until his death on August 15, 1971. Erle Leichty took his place, working with a new editorial board consisting of Hans G. Güterbock and Jerrold S. Cooper, as well as Maria deJ. Ellis (added to the masthead in 1974). For almost two decades, Leichty, aided by the scholarly and technical skills of Ellis, worked hard to maintain the high intellectual standards set by his predecessor, but also faced unprecedented technical and organizational problems and on more than one occasion saved the Journal from extinction.

In 1991 the present editor was appointed, together with a new editorial committee consisting of Gary Beckman, Elisabeth Carter, Piotr Steinkeller, and Matthew W. Stolper; in 2012 Geoffrey Emberling took over Carter’s duties and Niek Veldhuis as well as Eckart Frahm came on board. Eventually Billie Jean Collins took on the duties of Managing Editor and it is fair to say that without her scholarly and technical expertise the Journal may not have survived.

In current custom, Assyriologists who reach the age of sixty-five usually receive an anniversary volume, and so this sixty-fifth volume serves as a tribute to all these wonderful scholars who have given of their time and expertise to assure the highest standards of the Journal. I am particularly indebted to those who have served with me since 1991. This volume honors Albrecht Goetze and Erle Leichty, the two great editors who produced the Journal of Cuneiform Studies for four and a half decades.
[JCS 56, p. 2]  
Table of Contents
[Linked to the version online at JSTOR]

Thursday, May 30, 2013

MUSINT, Aegean & Cypriot Collections in Tuscany

| | Join the Yahoo! Contributor Network
Kindly note that the site of MUSINT, the interactive site for the 
Aegean and Cypriot collections in Tuscany, has moved to 

The single, virtual museum site can also be accessed through 
dbas.sciant.unifi.it or aegean.sns.it

MUSINT is a joint project carried out by the University of Florence 
(Dipartimento SAMERL; Dipartimento di Costruzioni e Restauro - GeCo 
Lab., Geomatics for Conservation & Communication of Cultural Heritage 
Laboratory), Magenta Software Lab and Menci Software, supported by the 
Regione Toscana (POR CREO, FESR 2007-2013).

All good wishes,
Judith W. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Expert Contributors Needed

At Past Preservers, we are always seeking to expand our network of experts and specialists who can energetically share their knowledge and enthusiasm for their subjects with the viewing public. 

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 “Our experts share a common thread in that their inspiration comes from a fascination with the historical world along with a talent for piecing together the wonderments of the past" says the CEO and founder of Past Preservers Nigel J. Hetherington.

Our experts include archaeologists, scientists, theologians, historians, curators, anthropologists, adventurers and more. They all have great passion for their careers and want to share that enthusiasm with others. If you want to be a part of our expert database, register today

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Bookplates of Scholars in Ancient Studies

This posting originated on The Oriental Institute: Fragments for a History of an Institution: A collaborative project intended to focus ideas and thoughts on the history of the Oriental Institute of The University of Chicago, and was first posted there on 2/14/08, and was updated on 2/28/08 and 3/14/08. Since it has now gone beyond the mission of that blog, starting August 13, 2008, I'll maintain it here in more neutral territory. It was updated on September 22, 2008 with the addition of twenty bookplates collected by Peter Pamminger and Kirsten Konrad. It was updated again on March 24, 2009 with the addition of the ISAW Vermeule bookplate. Updated September 28, 2009 with the addition of van der Meulen, Yoshida and Dorman. April 30, 2010: Konrad and Pamminger's monograph Exlibris von Ägyptologen is now available. As of 4/4/2013, a second edition is in preparation.  Updated 9/7/10 with the addition of Gurney and Evans. Updated 9/17/10 with the addition of Nilsson. Updated 4/4/2013]

When I was Research Archivist- Bibliographer at the Oriental Institute (1983-2005) I began, in a vague and undirected way, to collect scans of bookplates of scholars of ancient Near Eastern Studies. The primary focus was on those which appeared in volumes in the collections of the Oriental Institute. When the OI History blog began in the winter of 2008, it seemed an appropriate place to illustrate this small collection. When that blog entry appeared, correspondents began to send me information on other bookplates and copies of their own, when they had them. I hope this trend will continue, and I urge those of you who have a personal bookplate, or who have examples of scholar's bookplates in your own books or in books accessible to you will send them along for inclusion in this collection.

The study of the Bookplate, or Exlibris, is an interesting topic. See here, and here, and here, for instance. I suggest in particular, that those of you interested in the subject might like to consult Antike im Exlibris 2 Griechenland im Exlibris, and, Antike im Exlibris. Teil 1, Aegypten im Exlibris. A copy of the latter is in the Research Archives. See also the Egyptological (or Egyptomaniacal) bookplates in the collection of Lewis Jaffe at Confessions of a Bookplate Junkie


This is the very plain bookplate of the collection known as the Director's Library. Traditionally this was the collection housed in the Director's Study. The core of the Director's Library was the collection of James Henry Breasted (see the bookplate below). Much of the Director's Library was absorbed and integrated into the Research Archives in the early 1970's. Almost all of the remainder of it (with the exception of the Director's Study collection of publications of the Oriental Institute) was absorbed by the Research Archives during the directorship of William Sumner when the Study was renovated and restored.

This is the personal bookplate of James Henry Breasted. The design used on the bookplate is the same as that used on Ulric Henry Ellerhusen's tympanum over the doorway to the Oriental Institute (and seen also here and here in architect's models, with a variant design here). I am not sure whether the bookplate or the tympanum design were the original iteration of the idea, but the existence of variants of the tympanum rather suggests that the architectural version was first.

See also
The Tympanum within the Arch on the Doorway to the Oriental Institute at The Oriental Institute: Fragments for a History of an Institution.

The bookplates illustrated below are from book in the collections of the Research Archives. Some were acquired through purchase, others by bequest.

Hans Bernhard Ambrosius Abel

Sidney Edward Bouverie Bouverie-Pusey

S. R. Driver and Godfrey Rolles Driver

Ernst Herzfeld
Biographical Sketch of Ernst Emil Herzfeld

Gustave Jéquier
Gustave Jéquier, 1868-1946

Georg [Christian Julius] Möller

Charles Francis Nims

Keith Cedric Seele

Wilhelm Spiegelberg
Wilhelm Spiegelberg (* 25. Juni 1870 in Hannover; † 23. Dezember 1930 in München) war ein deutscher Ägyptologe. Er trat durch seine maßgeblichen Forschungen über demotische Papyri hervor

Walter Wreszinski

and finally...

This bookplate was presented to me when I left the Oriental Institute in June 2005. It was (I think) thought up and designed by Tom Urban, using Mark Garrison's drawing of Persepolis Fortification Seal 1, (Cat.No. 182, pp. 272-274, Pl. 100c-e in Seals on the Persepolis Fortification Tablets, Volume I: Images of Heroic Encounter, by Mark B. Garrison and Margaret Cool Root).

This bookplate doesn't strictly speaking belong in this compilation, because no book in the Research Archives carries it. I guess this means I'll need to make a donation to become legitimate.


Since the initial posting, I have had several interesting responses, both in the comments on the blog, and offline. The following bookplates have been brought to our attention by correspondents [February 28th 2008]:

James Henry Breasted's bookplate altered to identify books in the collection donated to the Research Archives by Gregory Areshian [Courtesy of Foy Scalf]

Armas Salonen [Courtesy of Bob Whiting]

Silvin Kosak Created by the Slovene painter and sculptor Andrej Ajdic [Courtesy of Silvin Kosak]

Edda Bresciani Scanned from: La tradizione degli ex libris nella provincia di Lucca. 103 esemplari stampati dalla tipografia Biagini di Lucca. Forte dei Marmi 29-30-31 luglio 1994, printed by: Tipografia Biagini, Lucca 1994. [Courtesy of Giuseppe Del Monte]


Since the revised posting, I have had additional interesting responses. The following have been brought to our attention by correspondents [March 14th 2008]:

Louis Herbert Gray [From a book in the Research Archives. Courtesy of Foy Scalf]

Peter Lacovara [Courtesy of Peter Lacovara]

Herbert Lockwood Willett (1864-1944) [From a book in the Research Archives. Courtesy of Foy Scalf]

[Alan M. May - whose collection is now in the Library of the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University]

[Dows Dunham - some of whose book were in the collection of Emily and Cornelius Vermeule, now in the Library of the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University]

Emily Dickinson Townsend Vermeule, Cornelius Clarkson Vermeule III


The following set of bookplates was collected by Peter Pamminger and Kirsten Konrad, with whose very kind permission they appear here. They have been studying Egyptological bookplates for a number of years. They presented a talk on a small collection of 11 examples at the 2004 Egyptological meeting in Mainz. They are planning a 2009 exhibition at the Gutenberg Museum at Mainz.

Henri Asselberghs

Friedrich Wilhelm Bissing

Fernand Bisson de la Roque

Hans Bonnet

Warren Royal Dawson

Philippe Derchain

Adolf Erman

Prinz Johann Georg von Sachsen

Fritz Hintze

Jozef Marie Antoon Janssen

H. O. Lange

Maria Pouline Mogensen

Siegfried Morenz

Oliver Humphrys Myers

Herbert Oster

Eugène Revillout

Joachim Spiegel

Břetislav Vachala

Alexandre Varille

Walter Wreszinski


Each of the following trio of bookplates appears in books in the Oriental Institute Research Archives

Peter Dorman


The following pair of bookplates were scanned courtesy of Diane Bergman Griffith Librarian, Sackler Library.

John Evans

The following bookplate was scanned and provided by Christophe Hugot from the collections of the Bibliothèque des sciences de l’Antiquité, Lille.  He has written a very nice description of the bookplate and its owner.


This bookplate was supplied to me by Christine Lilyquist. It appears in books in the Egyptian Department library at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Caroline Ransom Williams