The transmissional and functional context of the lexical lists from...


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Title The transmissional and functional context of the lexical lists from Hattusha and from the contemporaneous traditions in Late-Bronze-Age
Period 04 / 2006 - 10 / 2012
Status Completed
Dissertation Yes
Research number OND1327892
Data Supplier Website CNWS


In my PhD project I am mainly concerned with the lexical lists which stem from the ancient sites of Hattusha, the capital of the Hittite empire, and of Ugarit, which functioned as a local centre at the Mediterranean in today s northern Syria. Lexical lists are listings of words, organized in columns and rows and often giving an item in different languages. The tablets from Hattusha for example are trlingual, with columns in Sumerian, Akkadian and Hittite (from Ugarit we even know individual instances of a quadrlingual format comprising Sumerian, Akkadian, Hurrian and Ugaritic). One may principally term the lexical lists forerunners of the modern dictionaries, thus The archival context of the lexical lists will as well be studied as the textual structure and organization of the lists themselves. On the one hand, I will try to reconstruct the functional background of the texts, which generally is to be considered the scribal school for the time period under consideration (with regard to Hattusha, the situation is, however, more complicated to the almost complete loss of the archaeological context). Differently organized texts e.g. must have served different purposes in the school curriculum, which may in their turn be extracted from the organization. On the other hand, I will try to give at least a partial answer to the question, how the texts, which actually originate in southern Mesopotamia, were transmitted to the (North-)West, i.e. to western Syria and to Anatolia; and this is mainly a question about oral vs. literate transmission. Many arguments in this discussion draw on textual-inherent criteria; therefore it is important to provide a reliable philological basis, which mainly involves the (re-)edition of the textual sources with translations and detailed commentaries and a thorough study of the relevant textual features (such as structural organization, relations between the sub-columns, error analysis, etc.).

Abstract (NL)

Het project zal zich bezighouden met de receptie van Mesopotamisch studiemateriaal in vooral Syrië en Anatolië in de Late Bronstijd, het daarbij behorende schoolcurriculum en de invloed die de invoering van het spijkerschrift op de lokale culturen heeft gehad. Belangrijke vragen hierbij zijn de herkomst van het studiemateriaal, de leraren die het brachten en de invloed van de eigen talen van leraren en leerlingen op de leerstof. Binnen dit project zal ook veel aandacht besteed worden aan de vraag naar de verschriftelijking van de maatschappij waar het schrift werd ingevoerd. Een dergelijke invoering kwam vaak tot stand doordat een rijk zijn machtsgebied tot onafhankelijk stadstaatjed had uitgebreid. Dit heeft in bijv. de stad Ugarit geleid tot het vervaardigen van een alfabet voor de eigen taal en hiermee mogelijk ook de weg geopend naar een breder gebruik van het schrift buiten de kring van professionele schrijvers. De conclusies kunnen vervolgens getoetst worden aan de heersende theorieën op het terrein van oraliteit en verschriftelijking.

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Supervisor Prof.dr. W.H. van Soldt
Doctoral/PhD student Dr. T.S. Scheucher


D34100 Antiquity
D36900 Language and literature studies of other language groups

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