Edition of Cuneiform Literary Texts from Assur
In the early 20th century German archaeologists conducted excavations in Assur, the capital of the Assyrian Empire. This city, now situated in northern Iraq, was completely destroyed in 614 BC. They found over 4,500 clay tablets and clay tablet fragments containing cuneiform texts of a literary nature (in the broadest sense of the term). These texts are of major culture-historical significance. Alongside epics, mythic narratives, fables, proverbs and wisdom texts, a number of historical inscriptions were also preserved. In the ruins of the main temple of the city the archaeologists found extensive collections of omens, religious texts and descriptions of festivities. In addition, the discovery of the library of a scholar from the 7th century BC comprising over 1,000 clay tablets provides profound insights into the healing arts of the ancient Orient.
The aim of the research project is to encompass the largely unknown corpus of literary texts from Assur in their entirety, to piece together the fragmented clay tablets and thus to reconstruct the texts. They will be deciphered, translated, annotated and presented in facsimile form.