About 30% of the Linear B tablets from Pylos contain lists of lands and tax or work obligations related to the possession of land. The seminar will address some issues concerning the structure and content of the texts and the relationships between the various types of documents
In this seminar the main characteristics of two writing systems formed in Anatolia during the II millennium B.C, the Hittite cuneiform and the Luwian hieroglyphic, are presented. Particular importance is given to their chronological development. These two writings systems, although different in their external features and function, were both elaborated and used - partly in different periods - by the ruling class of the Hittite Empire (16th - 12th cent.). Documents in cuneiform script disappear with the fall of the Hittite kingdom. Hieroglyphic script becomes the monumental writing system of the New-Hittite states during the I millennium B.C.
The pdf version of the slides can be downloaded here.
The ostrakon from Khirbet Qeiyafa was found in July 2008 and it was dated back to the beginning of the 10th century B.C. The news hit the headlines since it was considered the first possible Hebrew inscription. Notwithstanding the diggings still in progress on the archaeological site, its decipherment and translation are producing the first results coming from more or less arbitrary reconstructions. The debate naturally involved not only the exact reading of the text but also the identification of the language used by those who wrote on the fragment of pottery and the historical meaning of this identification. After going back over the steps that led to the alleged decipherment of the ostrakon and explaining the hypotheses of reconstruction, the seminar will try to give a critical account of the real interest aroused by this recent discovering.
The bibliography can be downloaded here. The pdf version of the slides can be downloaded here.