The Nuzi Workshop at the 55th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale.

Author:Maidman, Maynard P.
Position::Book review

The Nuzi Workshop at the 55th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale. Edited by P. ABRAHAMI and B. LION. Studies on the Civilization and Culture of Nuzi and the Hurrians, vol. 19. Bethesda: CDL Press, 2012. Pp. xi + 292, illus. $70.

This volume, dedicated to the memory of Elena Cassin, France's first Assyriologist to devote her studies to the Nuzi texts, contains seven major articles, ten shorter "Nuzi notes" devoted to joins and other contributions to individual texts, and a short lexical index. The articles, all dealing directly with Nuzi, study individual archives, issues of family, geography, and domestic architecture.

The first article of part I, "L'archive de Tulpun-naya" by Philippe Abrahami and Brigitte Lion (pp. 3-86), is both the longest article in the volume--it includes extensive indices--and the most valuable. The authors analyze a corpus of thirty-seven texts pertaining to Tulpun-naya daughter of Seltun-naya. The study of this eccentric, and therefore especially important, archive, first treated by Pfeiffer and Speiser 1936, is based on fresh collation of the relevant Harvard tablets. It is a significant addition to the already sizeable body of studies focusing on private archives, such as those of the Tehip-tilla family and Silwa-tesup.

Abrahami and Lion are to be commended for a methodical and meticulously careful exposition, giving full expression to assorted problems. For example, they demonstrate that the texts in fact deal with a single Tulpun-naya, the daughter of Seltun-naya and of Meliya, and wife of Hasuar. "Tulpunnaya daughter of Erwi-sarri"--whatever the reason for the statement of that affiliation--is the same Tulpun-naya. A suggestion vetted on p. II n. 22 is therefore to be rejected. It is also a chronological improbability. Despite this exemplary treatment, Tulpun-naya and her texts remain problematic. The circumstances of female power in her case remain unclear, and the enigma remains as to why her private archive (and it is private) was stored in Nuzi's government house. These two issues may be related.

The second article is by Laura Battini, "Tradition et innovation dans l'architecture domestique de Nuzi: ... La maison de Surki-Tilla" (pp. 87-117). See already her treatment of a related topic in an earlier contribution to this series (Battini 2009). The thrust of this study is that elements of Nuzi domestic architecture are reminiscent of southern Old Babylonian patterns and, in other ways, are identifiable...

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