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Volume 47, Number 2
Summer 1997


Chairman MacAllister Provides Major Gift for Centers Support

In spring meetings of the ASOR Board on April 12 in Boston, a major gift of $300,000 from Board Chairman P.E. MacAllister, designated for use in supporting the work of ASOR's three affiliated overseas centers, CAARI, ACOR, and AIAR, was announced. Each center is to receive $100,000, half in immediate outright funds, and half after July 1, 1997. The second $50,000 is to be used to provide incentive for fund raising by the centers themselves, and will be provided by ASOR on a $1 for $2 basis as a match for funds otherwise raised by the centers for their own support.

The Boards of each of the three centers have, in their turn, expressed warm thanks to P.E. and ASOR for this special help! For ASOR this gift provides a significant opportunity by instituting a new means of "no strings attached" support for its center affiliates. Hopefully, the budget lines established within ASOR for holding and processing the matching portion of the gifts for 1997-98 will form a pattern for continuation of this support practice into future years. ASOR's challenge will be to develop resources to be able to continue this type of incentive support program.

ASOR Awards Committee Solicits Nominations for 1997

As the old reel goes "Honor your partners!" For many years ASOR has enjoyed a practice of honoring those members who in various ways made outstanding contributions to the organization. The Board of Trustees has recently approved the formation of a Committee on Honors and Awards to maintain and enhance this tradition. This committee's mandate is to establish award categories and to solicit nominations from the entire ASOR membership. The present awards are:

The Richard J. Scheuer Medal - This is the most prestigious award which honors an individual who has provided truly outstanding , long term support and service contributions to ASOR. (given only as appropriate)

The Charles U. Harris Service Award - This award is given in recognition of long term and/or special service as an ASOR officer or Trustee. (one annual award)

The P.E. MacAllister Field Archaeology Award - This award honors an archaeologist who, during his/her career, has made outstanding contributions to ancient Near Eastern and eastern Mediterranean archaeology. (one annual award)

The G. Ernest Wright Award - This award is given to the editor/author of the most substantial volume(s) dealing with archaeological excavations and/or material culture from the ancient Near East and eastern Mediterranean published within the past two years. (one annual award)

The Frank Moore Cross Award - This award is presented to the editor/author of the most substantial volume(s) related to ancient Near Eastern and Eastern Mediterranean epigraphy, text and/ or tradition published during the past two years. (one annual award)

The W. F. Albright Award - This award honors an individual who has shown special support or made outstanding service contributions to one of the overseas centers ACOR, AIAR, CAARI, or to one of the overseas committees-the Baghdad committee and the Damascus committee. (given as appropriate)

ASOR Membership Service Award - This award recognizes individuals who have made special contributions on behalf of the ASOR membership through committee, editorial, or office services. (three annual awards)

The ASOR Committee on Honors and Awards invites all ASOR members to submit nominations for candidates who they believe would be deserving of one of these awards. Nominations should made in writing. In addition to a letter in support of the candidate and specifying the award category, please include complete contact information such as postal address, phone, fax, and e-mail for both the sponsor and nominee. Send all completed nominations on or before October 1st, 1997 to the Committee Chair, Lydie Shufro, 885 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10021-0325; Fax: 212-737-4984; e-mail

The Hasmonean Skunk at the End of Hezekiah's Tunnel

In a previous Newsletter (Winter 1996) David Hopkins, editor of the soon-to-be-defunct Biblical Archaeologist, took me to task for my "forceful statement" at the autumn ASOR business meeting (November 1996). There I remarked that BA had reached its nadir with the publication of John Rogerson and Philip R. Davies' unintended parody of scholarship: their attept to downdate the Siloam Tunnel inscription, a fundament of Hebrew epigraphic research, to the Hasmonean era, some 500 years later than its well-established date of ca. 700 BCE.

I suggested at the November meeting that one of two things should happen: if certain members of the BA editorial board, claiming epigraphic expertise, recommended publishing this "skunk" of an article, then they should be dismissed for incompetence. If the Editor was advised by competent epigraphers against its publication (as I later learned he was), then he should resign for lack of good judgment.

In his defence, Editor Hopkins says that he "solicited a response to the authors' (Rogerson and Davies') epigraphic presentation-the most significant bone of contention-and scheduled the response for the very next issue (December, now out)." And, indeed, one of the BA editorial board members, Prof. Ron Hendel pulls the Hasmonean skunk out of the tunnel and gives it a few whacks with his epigraphic club. But it is difficult to believe that the Editor had planned to publish Hendel's piece in advance of the furor in October and November. If this were not a case of post hoc propter hoc, then surely Editor Hopkins would have mentioned the controversy and the rebuttals to follow either in the same or the next issue of BA. Instead, the Editor gave his readers a thoroughly adulatory introduction to Rogerson and Davies' "pet," apparently unaware of the stench to come.

Hershel Shanks, who had the good sense to reject the Rogerson and Davies' article for Biblical Archaeology Review, waited for it to appear in BA and then called in an international team of exterminators: Jo Ann Hackett, Frank Moore Cross, P. Kyle McCarter, Jr., Ada Yardeni, Andre Lemaire, Esther Eshel, and Avi Hurvitz. Under the title "Defusing Pseudo-Scholarship: The Siloam Inscription Ain't Hasmonean" (BAR March/April 1997), this juggernaut turned the Hasmonean skunk into flattened fauna.

If any good at all could come out of this eipsode of "pseudo-scholarship," it would be that Professor Rogerson reconsider his plans for a future monograph on the Siloam inscription, as announced at the end of the BA article.

Lawrence E. Stager
Harvard University


During the summer, with excavation teams engaged in field work abroad and others focusing on publication research, doing summer teaching or enjoying vacations, ASOR officers and its office staff normally enjoy a slight respite from the pressures involved in keeping pace with the many facets of the organization's programs and initiatives. This is less true in 1997 as ASOR's work continues to move ahead vigorously on many fronts.

There is much good news! It begins with the report of the munificent special gift of $300,000 from Board Chairman P.E. MacAllister designated to provide $100,000 in support for the work of each of our three affiliated overseas centers. Half of the money has already been provided outright to the centers. The remainder will be available after July 1 on a matching basis providing $1 for each $2 otherwise raised by the respective centers for their own support purposes. This initiates a new "no-strings-attached" era in ASOR support funding for its center affiliates and provides a challenge for ASOR to develop resources to enable it to budget additional funds for similar matching incentives in future years.

Also most positive is the early report on registration for the November Annual Meeting in Napa. In projecting costs for the meeting a total of 250 registrants was projected by CAMP as a "break even" figure and current numbers have already reached more than half of that total. As indicated in the preliminary schedule published here, a very full and exciting program is planned. The CAMP deserves special thanks for its energetic and pioneering work.

In this same connection a new committee, charged with overseeing the selection of students for receipt of Dorot and Lindstrom Annual Meeting travel and participation scholarships, has been appointed, with Fred Winter as chairman and including Oded Borowski and Andy Dearman as members, and with Rudy Dornemann and Billie Jean Collins ex officio. The committee has already announced early awards to Glenda Friend (Dorot) and Jennie Ebeling, Elizabeth Willett, Jonathan Lawrence, and Alice Hudiburg (Lindstrom). Funds for additional awards are still available and applications for both will be accepted until September 15.

Among other initiatives now underway and continuing are the following:

Awards and Honors Committee Chair Lydie Shufro has organized a schedule of award categories to provide special recognition due to ASOR members for special service and support contributions. This newsletter includes a special solicitation for nominations and it is hoped that everyone will seize this opportunity to promote those within ASOR who deserve special recognition.

The Development Committee, chaired by Holly Hendrix, has continued to meet regularly and is currently engaged in planning a 1997 Annual Fund Campaign to be launched by early fall. Among the features of the campaign will be a special Fund Raising Dinner to be held in connection with the Annual Meeting. Further information and invitations will be forthcoming later in the summer.

The Centennial Committee is likewise continuing work on the several facets of its program plans, including a special exhibition, preparation of a TV series, and various academic sessions and gala events. In this regard, the initiatives of the Albright Institute and its Trustees is already setting firm plans for a major symposium program in Jerusalem in centennial year 2000 bears special notice. Also in connection with the centennial, and in order to make sure that every possible member of ASOR's extended family will receive centennial news and other ASOR communications, the committee is also continuing and extending its "Longlist" initiative through the end of 1997.

All of this above is of course in addition to the regular and ongoing work of COP and its editors and staff, and of CAP, as well of the standing committees on Finance, Nominations, and Agenda, and of the many others who work to promote and enhance our organization. So as we labor to keep pace with routine business of ASOR and with the demands of its new initiatives through the summer, how thankful we are for the abundant energies that continue to be poured out by so many in support of our efforts! Keep up the good work ASOR! Joe D. Seger
ASOR President


The decision to change the name of ASOR's Biblical Archaeologist magazine to Near Eastern Archaeology, was taken at the April 12, 1997 meeting of the Board of Trustees in Boston. It is a decision as momentous as it was perhaps inevitable, but the action was not at all precipitous. The widening of the scope of the Middle Eastern archaeological enterprise in the second half of the twentieth century, along with the increasing circumscription of the meaning of the adjective "biblical" as related to archaeology within the region, served to raise the question whether a title like Biblical Archaeologist was still suited to the magazine's contents and if it appropriately represented ASOR's widening focus of interest and scholarship. Already in the early 1980s, then president, Jim Sauer proposed to change the magazine's title to one somewhat similar to the one now chosen. Since that time the name change issue reemerged regularly within COP as the committee struggled to cope with BA's stagnating circulation base. Several marketing initiatives designed to increase the BA readership were taken during this interim, but these met with little success. This circumstance was at the heart of the recent round of discussions on the matter. A decision to make a change in name was voted by the Board at its November 23, 1996 meeting in New Orleans, but at that time action on the choice of a new name was deferred.

The agenda for the April 1997 Board Meeting in Boston was thus to focus more narrowly on the choice of a new magazine title, but a broad review of the change question was also again undertaken. Speaking at the Board session, BA editor, David Hopkins, reported that a marketing test for the new title, Near Eastern Archaeology, (as authorized by November Trustee action), produced a very positive 20% response return. At the same time he noted that, while the recent survey among BA subscribers showed that well over 80% favored keeping Biblical Archaeologist as the title, a similarly high percentage likewise indicated that they would continue their subscription even if there were a name change. Given this marketing data, Hopkins urged that the proposed new title be accepted. He emphasized that these data showed opportunity for enlarging the magazine's readership. At the same time he noted that the new title suggests a wider scope of content, more in line with ASOR's current broad interests in Near Eastern antiquity and culture, and that it should prove more attractive to a larger pool of contributors.

Discussions in the Spring Board meeting had been preceded by earlier and very lively consideration of the issue in an Executive Committee session. At that meeting Chairman MacAllister introduced the topic by referring to the November decision to make the name change and Al Leonard, COP Chairman, put forward the nomination of the title Near Eastern Archaeology on behalf of the committee. The 20% return rate success of the marketing test for the new name was reported by Billie Jean Collins. A formative discussion followed in which a number of significant points were articulated. Central to all was a concern that the magazine reflect both the continuity of ASOR's strengths and traditions as well as its newer directions and opportunities. Dick Scheuer reflected on the fact that W. F. Albright's vision for ASOR's work was very broad, stretching geographically from Gibraltar to Mesopotamia, and from prehistory to the Middle Ages and beyond, and he noted that it also encompassed a strong sense of moral purpose. He voiced worries that changing the magazine name would have erosive effect on relations with biblical studies colleagues. Eric Meyers noted that this might especially be so as it comes fast in the wake of the decision to disengage from long standing arrangements for meeting jointly with SBL and AAR. Holly Hendrix questioned the reliability of the sample used for the test marketing of the proposed new name, and Charles Harris queried the assumption that the new title would necessarily produce circulation growth. As time for discussion drew to a close the focus of consideration was narrowed to matters of purpose and content. The breadth and general excellence of the scholarship represented in BA was well-acknowledged, but a question about its clear identification with ASOR and its service as a vehicle for ASOR' wider programs and PR was raised. After more than an hour's discussion the Executive Committee session concluded with a motion recognizing that the various issues would require further evaluation and needed more complete reporting from BA editor Hopkins. The motion was voted and the new title recommendation was passed on to the full Board meeting without opinion.

After hearing from Editor Hopkins, and following further discussion, the Board voted to accept and approve the new name. It was recognized that for many years the contents of BA had included materials well beyond even a generous definition of any exclusively biblical interest, and it was generally agreed that under whatever name, the magazine's editor should be encouraged to continue to feature ASOR's best and broadest research efforts. At the same time, the importance of maintaining the tradition of an open and active dialogue between archaeology and biblical scholarship in the magazine and within ASOR was emphasized. Suggestions advanced to implement such continuity included the idea of running a special BA feature in each issue and of periodically collecting these in a special supplement or in a separate "BA Reader" edition. These ideas were left in trust with the editor and his board.

What's in a name? We can all look forward to the answer when the first issue of Near Eastern Archaeology appears in early 1998. But don't expect a revolution! The magazine's already established patterns of quality, scope and substance will be continued, and, while in a more open way, acknowledgment of the wider interests of ASOR scholarship in the Middle East will be represented, the special concern with biblical traditions and cultures will remain, as it should, as a most appropriate and important feature.
Joe D. Seger
ASOR President


ASOR Grant and Fellowship Announcements


The Shelby White-Leon Levy Program for Archaeological Publications announces the establishment of grants to support research on significant archaeological field work, terminated sometime ago and still unpublished, in the Levant and the Aegean. Preference is to be given to projects from the Neolithic to the Medieval. The funded research must result in a publishable final report.

Grants are to be awarded for one, two, or three years on a contractual basis. Progress reports are to be submitted regularly to the Committee for review and annual renewal of the grant.

Application is open to archaeologists holding the doctorate, or doctoral candidates conducting research on unpublished field work as a dissertation topic, provided they can devote full time to the publication project. Grants are conditional on applicants securing the legal right to prepare such materials for publication. For further information contact: The Shelby White - Leon Levy Program for Archaeological Publications, Harvard University, The Semitic Museum, 6 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138. Tel. (617) 495-9317; Fax: (617) 496-8904. Email: amappa@FAS.HARVARD. EDU

APPLICATION INFORMATIONFor those who wish to apply for the Program's grants, please submit the following materials to the Program office. Please post or fax your materials to the address below. If you email them, please attach the documents so that they can be opened in Macintosh Microsoft Word (v. 6. 0. 1). All applications must include: your name (including address(s), telephone, fax, and, email numbers), a brief abstract of your proposal (including the precise name and location of the site), a statement of purpose for your project, an outline of your research methodology, a detailed schedule of your timetable toward publication (i.e. when you will have in hand a camera-ready document to present to the Board of Trustees), documentation of your legal right to access the materials and to publish them, a proposed budget for the number of years you believe the project will last, and, an academic rÚsumÚ. Final approval of the application will be determined by the Program Committee. Applications are due in the Program office on February 14, 1998. Contact the Program office for specific details.

Grants are awarded on a contractual basis allocated over a maximum of three years, with annual re-evaluation and renewal by the Committee. Semiannual and annual reports of progress towards publication must be submitted in writing to the Committee prior to renewal of the grant.

SPECIFIC INFORMATION FOR THE APPLICANT (READ CAREFULLY)1. The Program's geographical range includes: the Aegean (islands, Crete, mainland Greece), Cyprus, and the Levant (Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel). Egypt, Turkey, and Mesopotamia are not included.

2. Please arrange your application materials in the following order:

´ Place a title header on the top of the Abstract page with your name, social security number or passport/visa number, legal address(s), telephone(O/H), fax(O/H) and email. All applications must be in English.

´ Abstract: 1/2 to 1 page describing your project. Include the precise name and location of your site(s).

´ Statement of Purpose and significance for your project.

´ Outline of your Research Methodology: Explain in detail how you will organize and formulate your project.

´ Detailed schedule toward publication. When will the document be camera-ready and in the hands of the Board for peer review?

´ Documentation of your legal right to access and to publish the material(s). This may be in the form of a permit, confirming that the researcher is conforming to all laws and statutes of the country or institution. Applicants are responsible for obtaining appropriate documents.

´ Detailed budget (in US dollars) itemizing costs, directly related to the completion of the project, for its duration (1 - 3 years). You may include: purchases or rentals of equipment and/or office space, your salary (and the salary of support staff), and computer software/hardware. All applicants are responsible for purchasing equipment and paying their own staff. All budget items must be essential to the project.

´ Academic resumÚ (1 - 2 pages) of applicant and rÚsumÚs of any other persons directly involved in the project.

3. Applications may be submitted on paper, disc, by fax, or by email.

4. The Program accepts applications only for "field work terminated sometime ago." Current and recent excavations are excluded.

5. Do not send bibliographies, journals, articles, offprints, or texts.

6. Photographic prints (black and white or color) are acceptable. But it must be understood that the Board will see only photocopies of them. Do not send slides, transparencies, video tape, etc.

7. Maps, graphs and charts in black and white may be submitted.

8. All acceptable applications must be postmarked, or otherwise dated, no later than the annual deadline (February 14, 1998). Applications postmarked, or otherwise dated, after the deadline will not be considered.

9. Final decisions by the Board will be made annually in early April.

10. Distribution of grants will be made annually in early May.

11. Doctoral candidates who are in the dissertation stage may apply upon approval of their academic advisor/committee, and, if the research will form the basis for their dissertation. Doctoral candidates must supply two letters of recommendation in addition to the application material.

12. All application materials will become the property of the Program and will remain confidential and private.

13. Selected applicants will be requested to sign a legal contract before reception of funds.

14. Applicants are responsible for checking whether the reception of a White-Levy Grant conflicts with holding other grants that they have/will have received.

15. It is the wish of the donors that Program awards be given only to individuals. Therefore, Program funds will not be given to institutions, third parties, or used for position replacements.

16. United States citizens are responsible for all taxes, Federal and state, and must file a 1099 form annually. Non-United States citizens must file appropriate tax forms in their country. Please send the Program a copy of your tax forms.

17. Grantees will report to the Board of Trustees annually (or semi-annually at the request of the Board), regarding the progress of their research, and, their use of Program funds. This may be done either in person or in writing. Successful reporting will lead to the renewal of the grant for another year. Reports are due February 1, 1998 unless otherwise specified.

18. Grants will be awarded for 1 to 3 years. The number of grants will be determined by the Board.

19. The Program will arrange for final publishing of the finished document if the grantee has not made previous arrangements with an academic institution, organization, or press. Acceptance as a grantee to receive funding is not contingent upon having a prearranged publishing contract. The actual printing of the final document may be financed and done by an institution, private press, or any other printing facility. The arrangements will be worked out in advance between the applicant and the printing agent. If the applicant has no agent to print the work, then the Program will provide assistance. The Program may publish the grantee's final document provided that the document is completed and in camera-ready format, without editing, before it is submitted to the Board for evaluation.

20. Manuscript style may be determined by the previous publications related to the applicant's project.

21. Grantees are responsible for all supporting materials (i.e. illustrations, plans, maps, etc.) for the final document.

22. Final documents may be submitted in hard copy or in electronic form (disc or CD-Rom).

Announcement of the 1996-1997 Shelby White-Leon Levy Grant Recipients

Berlin, Andrea M. The Hellenistic and Roman Pottery from Gamla

Bienkowski,Piotr Excavations at Buselrah in Southern Jordan

Brody, Aaron J. Bronze and Iron Age Material from Tel Akko, Areas A, AB, and P

Campbell, Jr., Edward F. Late Bronze Age Pottery of Tell Bulatah (Shechem) (with L. E. Toombs and E. Rachman)

Harrison, Timothy P. Megiddo Stratum VI Excavated by the Oriental Institute Between 1925 and 1939

Hatzaki, Eleni M. The Late Bronze Age Temple Tomb at Knossos

Herzog, Ze'ev Iron Age II Material From Tel Beersheba (with Itzhaq Beit Arieh and Anson F. Rainey)

London, Gloria A. Tell Hesban Pottery (with Larry G. Herr)

Development Committee Lays Plans for Fund Raising Dinner

Hold the evening of Tuesday November 18 at the Annual Meeting in Napa for a special Fund Raising Dinner.

The event is being planned by the ASOR Development Committee as part of the 1997 Annual Fund campaign. The featured speaker for the evening will be Dr. Avraham Biran, Archaeological Director at the Nelson Glueck School of Biblical Archaeology in Jerusalem and former Director of the Israel Department of Antiquities. A student of W. F. Albright, Biran was Thayer Fellow at the AIAR (then the ASOR Jerusalem School) in the 1930s and is one of the ASOR's most distinguished senior members. Watch for the distribution of invitations with further details and reservation information in September.

ARIT/USIA, NEH/ARIT, Kress/ARIT, and ARIT/Mellon Fellowship Competitions

1 The American Research Institute in Turkey announces the National Endowment for the Humanities/ARIT Post-doctoral Fellowships for Research in Turkey, 1998-1999.
ARIT/NEH Fellowships cover all fields of the humanities, including prehistory, history, art, archaeology, literature, and linguistics as well as interdisciplinary aspects of cultural history. The fellowships may be held for terms ranging from four months to a full year. Stipends range from $10,000 to 30,000.

2. ARIT announces the ARIT Fellowships for Research in Turkey, 1998-1999.
ARIT Fellowships are offered for research in ancient, medieval, or modern times, in any field of the humanities and social sciences. Post-doctoral and doctoral fellowships may be held for various terms, from two to three months up to terms of a year. Stipends generally range from $3,000 to $10,000.

3. Pending funding, ARIT will continue the Kress/ARIT Fellowship for Research in Archaeology and Art History in 1998-1999.
Graduate level fellowships of up to $13,500 and tenures of up to one year will be offered for graduate students matriculated at U.S. institutions.

4. The Mellon Fellowship for Research in Turkey by East European Scholars will continue for the coming year.
Post-doctoral fellowships up to $10,500 for two to three months periods for research in any field of the social sciences or humanities, to be carried out in Turkey by scholars from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, or Slovakia. Fellowship deadline March 5th.

5. Intensive Advanced Turkish Language Study will again be offered at Bosphorus University, pending funding. Scholarship, travel, and stipend to support eight weeks of Turkish language study. Application deadline February 15.

Contact: Sheila Andrew, phone: (314) 935-5166, fax: (314) 935-7462, email: sandrew@artsci. wustl. edu. Write to: ARIT Summer Fellowship Program, Center for the Study of Islamic Sodieties and Civilizations, Washington University, Campus Box 1230, One Brookings Drive, Saint Louis MO 63130-4899.

Applications for ARIT fellowships (except the Mellon and Bosphorus University Language Program) must be submitted to ARIT before November 15, 1997. The fellowship committee will notify applicants by late January, 1998. For further information please contact: American Research Institute in Turkey, University of Pennsylvania Museum, 33rd and Spruce Streets, Philadelphia PA 19104-6324; phone: (215) 898-3474; fax: (215) 898-0657; e-mail:

News & Notices

Marvin Pope, 80, Professor and Authority on Ancient Ugarit

(The New york Times Saturday, June 21, 1997)

Marvin H. Pope, a retired Yale professor who was one of the world's leading authorities on Ugarit, the ancient city in Syria where excavations shed important light on the ancient Scriptures, died on Sunday at First Church of Round Hill in Greenwich, Conn. He was 80.

He and his wife had just finished reading passages from the Bible to the congregation and returned to their pew when he collapsed.

Mr. Pope was a professor of Near Eastern languages and civilizations from 1949 to 1986 and taught at the Yale Divinity School and in the religious studies department.

In addition, he helped prepare the first major revision of the King James Version of the Bible, the Revised Standard Version, in the 1940s. In the 1980s he worked with others advising the National Council of Churches on the New Revised Standard Version, which removed some traditional language regarded as sexist. These are the two versions used in most Protestant churches.

Many of Mr. Pope's contributions to the study of the Hebrew text of the Bible and to modern English translations stemmed from a day in 1928 when a farmer'plowing a field in northern Syria struck what he thought was a stone. it emerged, instead, as part of the extensive remains, uncovered by archeologists over the next year, of a cosmopolitan city on the Mediterranean that had thrived in 2,000 B.C. but had been ransacked and burned in about 1200 B.C.

Among the discoveries were Ugaritic art and clay tablets whose language was similar to biblical Hebrew, of which Mr. Pope, over the years, became a major translator. They added significant new meanings, nuances and detail to the early writings of the Old Testament and the culture of their time. The tablets were traced to a period from 1,500 B.C to 1180 B.C.

Mr. Pope's work on the tablets resulted in his retranslations from the ancient Hebrew of the entire books of Job and the Song of Songs, and a lengthy commentary about them both, published in 1973 and 1977 by the Anchor Bible Series. Robert R. Wilson, a professor of religious studies at Yale, said those two translations were "the brilliant works of a master scholar" and added to the general understanding of an age and its poetry.

Scholars said that one of the difficulties in translating the early tablets was that the words had been crammed onto the surfaces wi ' th less regard for their legibility than whether they would fit. It was often difficult to determine, as a result, which line of poetry followed which. Mr, Pope was able to arrange the lines in proper sequence and poetic form.

Another difficulty was that the meanings of the first lines of the verses tended to echoed in the second lines but with rarer language. Mr. Pope was one of the few able to capture the meaning of the rarer passages.

He visited the site of the 1929 excavations, near the modern town of Latakia, north of Damascus, though most of his studies took place in Paris, where the hundreds of tablets were put on display.

A man whose wit made him popular among generations of Yale students, he said that one of his findings was that Baal, chief god of the Ugarits, was not always chief, as scholars had thought, but had maneuvered to take over from the god El, whom he kicked further upstairs.

Marvin Hoyle Pope was born on June 23, 1916, in Durham, N.C., the son of Charles and Bessie Cleveland Sorrell Pope. He earned a bachelor's degree in 1938 at Duke University, where he was signed up by mistake for a course in Hebrew. He remained in the course, which led him to a master's degree in Semitic languages and literature in 1939. He received a doctorate from Yale in 1949.

assemblage: a new electronic journal

The editors of *assemblage* are now considering material for our third issue, due out in October 1997. (Our first and second issues are live on the Web, and to date, have received over 4800 hits and many warm reviews!) Contributions from both students and professionals are welcome.

As a highly varied electronic publication, we're keen to have papers on original archaeological ideas and research, short notes from the field, interviews, artwork, opinion essays, humour, reviews of books, games, museums, CD-ROMs, and just about anything else you can think of. So if you have a conference paper, thesis chapter, cool photograph, cartoons, a great essay, amusing archaeological anecdotes, or advice for graduate students... submit it! Want to know more about the sorts of things we're looking for? Please check out our Web site at and read through our Mission Statement/Call for Papers, and our Submissions Manifesto. (Or if you don't have WWW access, write to us and we'll mail you a copy.)

Deadline for material requiring peer review (formal scholarly articles): July 20, 1997. Deadline for all other material: August 20, 1997. Material received later will be considered for the subsequent issue. Please contact the editors with a proposal or abstract as soon as possible.

assemblage is based at the Research School of Archaeology and Archaeological Science, University of Sheffield, 2 Mappin St., Sheffield, England, S1 4DT. e-mail: tel: (0114) 2825109/2 WWW: http://www.


In Revealing an Ancient Message: A Synagogu e Mosaic from Sepphoris, The Jewish Museum will present the first United States exhibition of a magnificent, recently excavated mosaic floor from a 5th-century synagogue in Sepphoris. Sepphoris was a city in the Galilee (in Israel) important in Jewish history as the site where the Mishnah (an anthology of rabbinical and legal texts that forms the basis of Jewish law) was codified in the 3rd century. This rare archaeological find, measuring 44.5 by 14.5 feet, was discovered by chance in 1993 by archaeologists from Hebrew University during preparations for Sepphoris' opening as a national park. Revealing an Ancient Message: A Synagogue Mosaic from Sepphoris will be on view at The Jewish Museum from June 29 through October 12, 1997.

Although ancient texts referred to a large number of synagogues in Sepphoris, a mostly Jewish city, the mosaic floor is from the first complete synagogue to actually have been uncovered at the site. The rich and complex imagery of the Sepphoris mosaic illustrates three major subjects: the Hebrew patriarch Abraham and his son, Isaac; the Tabernacle and Jerusalem Temple; and a zodiac circle. The floor is one of only six extant mosaic depictions of the zodiac from ancient Israel.

The floor's themes have been represented in several other ancient synagogue mosaics, but their symbolism has never been clear. The much more elaborate versions of the scenes in the Sepphoris mosaic have led to the realization that the three themes together may have conveyed a single message to the Jews of ancient Israel. The Sepphoris synagogue mosaic floor consists of eight sections, seven of them from the main hall. Two sections represent God's promise to Abraham to protect his descendants: the announcement to Abraham and his wife Sarah that they will have a son, Isaac, and the Binding of Isaac. The zodiac circle at the center depicts the chariot of Helios and the sun, and may symbolize the centrality and power of God. Three sections illustrate the significance in Jewish life of the Tabernacle (a portable structure used as a house of worship during the Jews' wanderings following the Exodus from Egypt) and the Temple. At the head of the mosaic, two lions seem to protect the synagogue and the community. The artist based the scenes on the texts of the Bible, Mishnah and Talmud, as well as on artistic conventions and symbols of Roman and Christian art. The eighth section, from the side aisle, is ornamented by a geometric pattern and inscribed in Aramaic with the names of donors to the synagogue construction and decoration. Dedicatory inscriptions in Greek are also found in the mosaic.

The discovery of the synagogue mosaic represents an important contribution to the study of Jewish society at a time when paganism was on the wane, and Christianity was on the rise. Elements unique to this mosaic, such as the depiction of the sun at the center of the zodiac rather than the Greek god Helios, help viewers understand the complexity of Jewish attitudes towards Hellenism in Sepphoris. Other details in the floor, such as a pair of birds hanging over the side of an offering basket, refer to rabbinic texts of the era and reveal the artist's knowledge of Jewish law. Archaeologists believe that the themes of the mosaic illustrate a single point: that God will remember his promise to Abraham and redeem his children in the future. This message expresses the hope for redemption, the rebuilding of the Temple, and the return of goodness and plenitude to the land. Interpretive text panels in the exhibition will explain how the symbolic elements in the mosaic reveal this message, as well as the process of removing and restoring the mosaic for display.

Sepphoris was a primarily Jewish city whose population also included pagans and Christians. During various times it was the administrative center of Jewish rulers and Roman emperors as well as the seat of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish legislative authority. Sepphoris was also a great center of Jewish learning, where many prominent rabbis lived and taught.

At the time of the Sepphoris synagogue's construction in the early 5th century, the Temple in Jerusalem, which was the center of the Jewish sacrificial cult, had lain in ruins for over 300 years. Synagogues, which were local community-based institutions, had replaced the Temple as centers of Jewish worship, learning and communal life. Although Jewish life appeared to be thriving at Sepphoris, Jews never ceased to feel the loss of their sovereignty and of the Temple, and longed for their restoration.

The Sepphoris synagogue mosaic floor was excavated by Dr. Ze'ev Weiss and Professor Ehud Netzer of the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. The exhibition was organized by Yael Israeli and David Mevorah of The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, together with the Institute of Archaeology at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, by courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority. Transportation assistance has been provided by El Al Israel Airlines. The exhibition at The Jewish Museum was coordinated by Susan Braunstein, Curator of Archaeology and Judaica.

Revealing an Ancient Message: A Synagogue Mosaic from Sepphoris is supported in part by The Dorot Foundation, with additional funding from Mr. and Mrs. Dietrich Weismann and the Estate of Selig J. Silverman.

New Organization Devoted to the ANE

We are happy to announce the establishment of the "Israel Society for Assyriology and Ancient Near Eastern Studies" (ISAANES). The founding meeting was held 18 June, 1997 at Bar-Ilan University, hosted by the Samuel Noah Kramer Institute of Assyriology. The meeting was chaired by Jacob Klein. Pinhas Artzi offered opening remarks concerning the goals of the organization. He was followed by Hayim Tadmor who presented some personal reflections of the development of Assyrio-logy in Israel and then read a paper on "Assyrian and Babylonian Royal Inscriptions- An Interim Assessment." The lecture was followed by a discussion of the goals and organization of the new society.

The goals of the society are "To develop and promote the scientific study and academic instruction in Israel of assyriology and ancient near eastern studies on the basis of primary epigraphic sources; to encourage cooperation between assyrio-logists and scholars in other areas of ancient near eastern studies both in Israel and abroad; to hold scientific conferences; to encourage cooperation with parallel organizations outside Israel; to foster public knowledge of the ancient near east."

For further information contact: The Israel Society for Assyriology, c/o S. N. Kramer Institute of Assyriology, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan 52900, ISRAEL.

ASOR By-Law Amendment

In the April Board of Trustees meeting in Boston, the ASOR Board voted to amend By-Laws Article II, Section 5, which describes procedures for electing members to the Agenda Committee for the annual Membership Meeting to read as follows:

"Membership on the agenda committee will consist of the president of ASOR, the Secretary of the Corporation, and four (4) members of ASOR, two (2) each representing respectively the institutional members and the individual voting members, elected for two year terms (arranged so that one new member representing each Member group is elected each year). Separate ballots will be used for the vote by institutional members (Founding, Consortium, Advisory and Overseas Centers) (Article II, Section I, A-D) and for the vote by the individual voting members (Article II, Section 1.E)."

The purpose of the revision was to provide for the orderly succession of membership on the Agenda Committee and to bring it's representation, including both institutional and individual voting members, in line with other elected committees. In addition to the President and Secretary, committee membership will thus regularly involve four individuals. The present Committee includes Bruce Dahlberg (Inst-1998); Martha Risser (Ind-1998), and Bruce Cresson (Inst-1999), with Victor Matthews (Ind-1999) as Chair. R. Thomas Schaub (Inst-1997) and Jeff Zorn (Ind-1997) will remain active on the committee through the 1997 Annual Meeting.

The committee is charged with establishing the agenda for the Membership Meeting at the ASOR Annual Meeting. Agenda items for the meeting may be proposed by any ASOR member! Items may be submitted to Chairman Victor Matthews ( % Religious Studies Department, Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield, MO 65804; Fax 417-836-8472; e- mail, to any other committee member, or to the ASOR office c/o Rudy Dornemann. A rationale for including items should accompany submissions.

"The Aegean and the Orient in the Second Millennium"
A Conference Sponsored by
The Classics Department of the University of Cincinnati April 1997

Twenty-nine papers presented by thirty scholars over the course of three days honored the memories of Helene Kantor, Carl Blegen, and Marion Rawson.

The conference marked the seventieth anniversary of the arrival at UC of Carl W. Blegen, the late archaeologist made famous for his findings at the fabled site of Troy, and his assistant, Marion Rawson. Blegen (1887-1971) was recognized as the world's outstanding authority on ancient Troy and became one of the foremost scholars in Greek archaeology. He joined the faculty of the University of Cincinnati in 1927 as professor of classical archaeology and retired in 1957. His discoveries at Troy and the Palace of Nestor at Pylos stand among the 20th century's most significant archaeological achievements in Greek prehistory.

The conference also marked the fiftieth anniversary of of the publication of the influential AIA monograph The Aegean and the Orient in the Second Millennium B.C. (1947) by Helene Kantor of the University of Chicago, who was among the first American archaeologists to cite evidence of the often controversial theory that ancient Greece was not an isolated culture, but one that borrowed from and interacted with its neighbors in the eastern Mediterranean, including the Near East and Egypt. The American Institute of Archaeology reprinted the volume for the Conference with a new forward written by Eric H. Cline and James D. Muhly.

Participants in the conference included graduate students as well as such established leaders in the field as George Bass, the "Father of Underwater Archaeology," and James D. Muhly (keynote speaker), who in July will retire from the University of Pennsylvania to become the new director fo the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, and Katie Demakopoulou, director of the national Archaeological Museum in Athens.

The 165 attendees to the conference came from fourteen countries and four continents. A list of the papers presented follows:

"Middle Minoan Objects in the Near East" Philip P. Betancourt, Temple University

"Aegean Oranments and Designs in Egypt" Elizabeth J. W. Barber, Occidental College

"Egypt and Crete in the Early Middle Bronze Age: A Case of Trade and Cultural Diffusion" L. Vance Warrous, SUNY Buffalo

"Aegean LB I and II Pottery in the East: 'Who is the potter, pray, and who the pot?'" Vronwy Hankey, University College London and Al Leonard, Jr., University of Arizona

"Aegean Natives in the Theban Tomb Paintings: The Keftiu Revisited" Paul Rehak, Duke University

"From West to East: The Aegean and Egypt in the early Late Bronze Age" Robert Laffineur, Univeristy of LiÚge

"Minoan Frescoes in the Eastern Medierranean" Wolf-Dietrich Nie-meier, UniversitÉt Heidelberg

"Trade During the Late Helladic III Period" Al Leonard, Jr., University of Arizona

"Priest-kings and Keftiu: Knossos and Thebes in the Eighteenth Dynasty" J. Alexander MacGillivray, Columbia University

"'International Style' in the Aegean and the Levant" Annie Caubet, MusÚe de Louvre

"Mycenaean Defensive Outposts in the Aegean and Cyprus: Some Comparisons" Vassos Karageorghis, University of Cyprus

"Anatolia and the Aegean in the Late Bronze Age" Christopher Mee, University of Liverpool

"Egypt and the Aegean" Robert S. Merrillees, Australian Ambassador to Greece

"Aegean and Aegean-Style material Culture in Canaan During the 14th-12th Centuries BC: Trade, Colonization, Diffusion or Migration?" Ann E. Killebrew, Hebrew Univ. of Jerusalem

"Iconography and Interconnections" Janice L. Crowley, University of Tasmania

"Sailing Between the Aegean and the Orient in the Second Millennium BC" George F. Bass, Texas A&M University

"Mediterranean Bronze Age Trade: Distance, Power and Place" A.Bernard Knapp, University of Glasgow

"On Re-reading Helene Kantor" James D. Muhly, University of Pennsylvania

"Stone Vases from Midea" Katie Demakopoulou, National Museum at Athens

"International Styles in Ivory Carving in the Bronze Age: The Aegean and the East" Paul Rehak and John Younger, Duke University

"Ceramics: Influences East and West" Paul Astrûm, University of Gûteborg "Bronze Age Writing: Contacts between East and West" Margalit Finkelberg, Tel Aviv University

"A View from the Amuq in south-central Turkey: Societies in Transformation in the Second Millennium B.C."Aslihan Yener, The Oriental Institute

"Daidalos and Kothar: The Future of their Relationship?" Sarah P. Morris, UCLA

"Where Do We Go from Here? And How Can the Linear B. Tablets Help us Get There?" Cynthia W. Shel-merdine, UT at Austin

"The Aegean and the Orient: The Evidence of Stamp and Cylinder Seals" Joan Aruz, Metrpolitan Museum of Art

"From Process to People: longue durÚe to history" Sturt W. Manning, University of Reading

"Small Worlds: Interaction and Identity in the Ancient Mediterranean" Andrew and Susan Sherratt, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

Plans to publish the entire proceedings in the series Aegaeum (no. 17 [1998], series ed. Robert Laffineur), are underway.

Conference Announcements

Urla-Izmir, 13. - 19. October 1997 THE AEGEAN
in the Neolithic, Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age

The cultural relationships, general developments and regional differences within the Aegean region based on results from new excavations, form the main subject areas of this symposium.

The symposium will be held between 13.-19. October. 1997 at Urla, 30 km to the west of Izmir. The arrival date is 12. October.1997. The participants will be accommodated at the Nebioglu Holiday Village by the Municipality of Urla. Papers to be delivered at the symposium should not exceed 20 minutes. Facilities have also been made available for poster presentations (consisting of both text and pictures/illustrations) of excavation and research results.

Visits to Liman Tepe (Prehistoric Klazomenai), Bakla Tepe, Panaztepe, Troia, Miletus, and Izmir Archaeological Museum are planned during the symposium period. There will also be a special exhibition of the Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age finds from Liman Tepe and Bakla Tepe in Izmir.


Web Site:

Fifteenth Annual
CAARI Archaeological Symposium

On July 26th, CAARI will be holding its annual archaeological symposium. This year's event will be the fifteenth in the long established series where archaeologists (foreign missions working on the island as well as excavators associated with the Department of Antiquities) present their latest findings to an audience composed of fellow excavators and an informed lay audience. Traditionally, the event attracts an audience of upwards of 200 people and it is hailed as an occasion at which archaeologists and the public can interact, exchange valuable information, and communicate on common concerns treating the cultural heritage of the island. As is custom, in the evening, CAARI will host a reception in the institute garden.



Department of Archaeology, University of Edinburgh
Friday 20th - Sunday 22nd February 1998


SOMA will be a gathering of Postgraduate and Post-doctoral research students working on aspects of the archaeology of the eastern and western Mediterranean. Its aims are to allow students to present their work, to promote discussion and interaction between fellow researchers and, to meet future colleagues in an informal setting. Presentations will be in the form of 10 and 20 minute papers, and/or posters.

The conference parameters are flexible to accommodate all multidisci-plinary aspects of Ph.D and post-doctoral archaeological research in the Mediterranean basin. All related avenues of archaeological research, regardless of temporal affiliations, are encouraged. All contributions are welcome and no differentiation is made between levels of Post-graduate or Post-doctoral research.

The thematic range for SOMA papers encompasses the following: Landscape studies (including survey, aerial photography, GIS etc.) - Environmental studies - Socio-Political-Economic Studies - Trade and Exchange . Ethnoarchaeological studies - Artifact analysis (lithics, pottery etc.) - Gender studies

For further information: (an application form is available on the WWW-in preparation) or contact: Email: soma@ Address: SOMA'98 Administration, Dept. of Archaeology, University of Edinburgh, Old High School, Infirmary St., EDINBURGH, EH1 1LT, UK. Tel: 0131-650-2560 Fax: 0131-662-4094