How to Build a Long-Term Text in the Ancient Near East

I am happy to report that the American Oriental Society session I organized on March 14, 2015 was well-attended and produced intense, substantive discussion. Every presentation I heard broke new ground and worked toward setting a new standard in how we understand the creation and life of the world’s earliest and best-documented literatures.
A selection of the papers will constitute a special issue of the Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions and each, along with key additions including “On Lies, Rumors and Rejected Traditions” by Ronnie Goldstein of Hebrew University, are planned for a book.

Ably chaired by Richard Averbeck, the presentations were:

1. Jay Crisostomo, University of California, Berkeley
“The Lexical and the Literary: Intertextuality and Composition in the Old Babylonian Curriculum”

2. Paul-Alain Beaulieu, University of Toronto
”Babylonian Chronicles and the Stream of Tradition”

3. John Wee, University of Chicago
“Straight from the Ummânu’s Mouth: Serialization, Classification, and Cuneiform Text Commentary”

4. Hannah Marcuson, University of Chicago
“Ritual Transmission in Hittite Anatolia”

5. Antonio J. Morales, Freie Universität Berlin
“Text-building and transmission of Pyramid Texts in the Third Millennium BCE: Iteration, Objectification, and Change”

6. Foy Scalf, University of Chicago
”From Beginning to End: Funerary Text Creation in Greco-Roman Egypt”

7. Aaron Tugendhaft, University of Chicago
”Were Alphabetic Cuneiform Texts Transmitted and Why Might it Matter?”

8. Seth Sanders, Trinity College
”Joseph, Ahikar and Enoch: Towards a History of Hebrew and Aramaic Narrative Technique in the First Millennium BCE”

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