Post-doctoral Fellows are selected from an international pool of applicants, based on their proposals to organize a two day conference at the Oriental Institute. The conferences address important theoretical or methodological issues in the field of ancient studies—archaeological, text-based, and/or art historical avenues of research. We encourage cross disciplinary proposals that deal with the ancient Near East (including Egypt) or that compare the Near East with other cultural areas. The conferences generally have 10–15 participants, and take place in mid-February each year. After the conference, the Fellow assembles and edits the proceedings for publication in the new series “Oriental Institute Seminars”. The Fellow is also encouraged to pursue his or her own research and may, if they wish, teach a course while in residence and to interact with the Oriental Institute community.
The Fifth Annual University of Chicago Oriental Institute Symposium was announced today, November 12, 2008.
Science and Superstition: Interpretation of Signs in the Ancient World
Organized By Amar Annus, Post-Doctoral Fellow
March 6-7, 2009
The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago
1155 East 58th Street
The concept of sign, a portent observed in the physical world, which indicates future events, is found in all ancient cultures, but was first developed in ancient Mesopotamian texts. This branch of Babylonian scientific knowledge extensively influenced other parts of the world, and similar texts written in Aramaic, Sanscrit, Sogdian, and other languages. The seminar will investigate how much do we know about the Babylonian theory and hermeneutics of omens, and the scope of their possible influences on other cultures and regions.
Time: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Past Symposia include
2008 Symposium—Nomads, Tribes, and the State in the Ancient Near East: Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives [Audio files of many of the presentations]
2007 Symposium—Religion and Power: Divine Kingship in the Ancient World and Beyond [Published in print and on-line as: Religion and Power: Divine Kingship in the Ancient World and Beyond
2006 Symposium—Performing Death: Social Analyses of Funerary Traditions In The Ancient Mediterranean [Published in print and on-line as: Performing Death: Social Analyses of Funerary Traditions in the Ancient Near East and Mediterranean]
2005 Symposium—Margins of writing, origins of cultures: Unofficial writing in the ancient Near East and beyond [Published in print and on-line as: Margins of Writing, Origins of Cultures]