Monday, February 10, 2014

Lecture in Toronto for the Canadian Society for Mesopotamian Studies

On Wednesday, 19 February, Matthew W. Stolper, John A. Wilson Professor of Oriental Studies at the Oriental Institute, University of Chicago, will give a lecture for the Canadian Society for Mesopotamian Studies:

PERSIAN RECORDS IN CRISIS:  RESCUING THE PERSEPOLIS FORTIFICATION ARCHIVE

The Persepolis Fortification Archive (PFA) is the richest, densest, most complex and most consequential source of information about languages, art, institutions, religion, and society in the heart of the Achaemenid Persian Empire at its zenith, about 500 BC.  Since 2006, in the face of a legal threat to the future of the Archive, the PFA Project at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago has been working to open this source by recording and analyzing the tens of thousands of clay tablets and fragments, their texts and seals, that make up the Archive, and by reconnecting them in meaningful systems of information.  This presentation will discuss what the PFA Project is, why it matters, what the PFA Project does and what it seeks.

This free public lecture is at 8:00 pm in Earth Sciences Auditorium B142, 5 Bancroft Avenue, University of Toronto, St. George Campus.

Friday, February 07, 2014

Persepolis Fortification Archive (PFA) Project 2012-2013 Annual Report


Persepolis Fortification Archive (PFA) Project 
By Matthew W. Stolper 
From The Oriental Institute 2012-2013 Annual Report
In mid-May 2013, Persepolis Fortification Archive Project editors Mark Garrison and Wouter Henkelman were crossing Germany on an intercity train after delivering a joint presentation at the Free University of Berlin. Their lecture, a survey of the religious landscape of early Achaemenid Persia, drew on their years of collaborative work on texts and images preserved in the Persepolis Fortification Archive. They were bound for Castelen, near Basel, Switzerland, to discuss the administration of the Achaemenid Persian empire at a conference co-sponsored by the University of Basel and the Oriental Institute. The conference would commemorate the eightieth anniversary of the discovery of the PFA by Ernst Herzfeld (1879–1948), who is buried nearby. The proceedings were to focus on the PFA as the most detailed known manifestation of an “imperial signature” that is traceable across the breadth of the continent that the Achaemenid empire once governed...
Read the rest here. A full version will make it to this blog as time permits.