mesopotamia

"Egypt's Origins: The View from Mesopotamia and Iran" Paul Collins (EEG Meeting Talk)

At the beginning of September Paul Collins came to the Essex Egyptology Group to talk to us about the influences that Uruk culture (in Mesopotamia) and Proto-Elamite culture (in Iran) had on Predynastic & Early Dynastic Egypt. He's not an egyptologist - his research interests include the material culture of ancient Iraq & Iran in the late 4th Millennium BCE, and the transmission of artistic forms across the Near East and Egypt.

"The Ark Tablet: How the Life of an Assyriologist Could be Transformed by a Single Tablet with Sixty Lines of Writing" Irving Finkel (Part 4 of BSS Study Day)

The last talk in the Bloomsbury Summer School's Cuneiform Study Day was about the ark tablet that Irving Finkel has recently published a book about. There was also a TV documentary about the discovery of the tablet, and the building of a boat using the information in the tablet as a starting point (which I've written about before).

"The Royal Game of Ur: From Ancient Grave to Modern Rebirth" Irving Finkel (Part 3 of BSS Study Day)

The third talk of the Bloomsbury Summer School Study Day about cuneiform was all about the Royal Game of Ur. Irving Finkel is interested in board games as well as being an expert on ancient Mesopotamian cultures and so this game is of particular interest to him. There were six boards for it found the Royal Cemetery of Ur (in southern Iraq) by Leonard Woolley. The photo below is one that I took of the board on display in the British Museum. These boards date from around 2600BC and for a long time they were the only game boards of this sort to be found.

"Cuneiform: The World's Oldest and Most Marvellous Writing System" Irving Finkel (Part 1 of BSS Study Day)

At the end of February the Bloomsbury Summer School had a study day on cuneiform, presented by Irving Finkel called "The Wonder of Cuneiform: A Passionate Exploration of Some of Mesopotamia's Most Important Ancient Records".

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