Politics and Scribal Traditions in Late Bronze Age Syria


ACLS Fellowship Program


Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies


During the Late Bronze Age of the Ancient Near East (ca. 1550-1180 BCE), cuneiform writing and the Akkadian language provided the primary mode of transregional communication across Mesopotamia, Syria, Anatolia, and as far as Egypt. By the Late Bronze Age, the interplay of empires with local centers had produced a tangle of divergent scribal practices that offers a vehicle for tracing cultural and political influences through the second millennium, especially in Syria. The goal of this project is to trace the currents of political power through Late Bronze Syria by following the evidence of scribal norms. By this means, it is possible to observe the effective impact of outside power on local life, beyond the mere geographical definition of conquered territory.