S. Gaspa, M. Vigo (eds.), Textiles in Ritual and Cultic Practices in
the Ancient Near East from the Third to the First Millennium BC (Alter
Orient und Altes Testament 431), Münster: Ugarit-Verlag 2019, VIII+268
pp., ISBN 978-3-86835-187-3.
The anthology is the outcome of a research project leaded by Salvatore
Gaspa and funded by the Carlsberg Foundation (Denmark). It mostly
includes papers presented at an international conference organized by
Salvatore Gaspa (University of Padua) and Matteo Vigo (Akademie der
Wissenschaften und der Literatur Mainz, Hethitologie-Archiv) at the
Saxo Institute, University of Copenhagen in 2015. Through the analysis
of textual and visual art evidence from various regions of the ancient
Near East (Egypt, Mesopotamia, Syria, Anatolia, Iran) from the 3rd to
the 1st millennium BCE different international scholars offer for the
first time an in-depth investigation of the use of textiles in various
types of ritual practices and the symbolic meaning attached to these
products. Numerous texts witness to the ritual use of textiles or
textile-related tools in the Near East, from the Ebla texts of the 3rd
millennium BCE to the Hittite texts of the 2nd millennium to the
Assyrian and Babylonian written evidence of the 1st millennium BCE.
Thus, the book represents a collective multidisciplinary effort to
combine the current historical research on ancient Near Eastern
epigraphical, linguistic and material evidence with textile-related
analysis and recent trends in ritual studies.