General Meeting Münster 2006

Minutes of the General Meeting in Münster (2006)

 

General Meeting of Members of the IAA
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
52nd Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale (RAI)
Aula, Schloß, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
Those present are the members of the IAA board and ca. 150 Rencontre participants, half of whom are IAA members.

1. Opening.
At 16.08 hours the President Jack M. Sasson welcomed the members of the IAA as well as other colleagues who attended this meeting. Anyone may participate in the discussion, but only members can vote.
The invitation for this general meeting together with the agenda and relevant documentation having been sent to the members on the April 3, 2006 in accordance with the requirements of the Constitution of the IAA, decisions taken at this meeting are binding.
Since the Rencontre in Chicago (2005) the following colleagues have passed away: Jin Jie, Paolo Emilio Pecorella, Henry William Frederick Saggs, Stanislav Segert, Tahsin Özgüç, David Pingree, Hayim Tadmor, Erica Reiner, T. Cuyler Young, Machteld Mellink, Emanuel Bouzon, Simon Parker, Jésus-Luis Cunchillos, Paul Garelli. Commemoration took place at the opening session of the Rencontre, Monday, July 17, 2006.

2. Report of the Secretary.
The last meeting took place at the 52st Rencontre in Chicago on July 18, 2005 and the minutes of this meeting have been communicated electronically to the members, with no objections posted back.
The secretary reports that the number of members of the IAA has risen from 95 at the end of 2004, to 141 at the end of 2005, an increase of nearly 50%. Just before this RAI (July 2006) the number stood at 168. During the Rencontre a special desk is available to apply for new membership.
Because the office uses email to communicate with IAA members, members are urged to report any change in address to the office. The office will not be able to send messages through regular mail.
For this Rencontre, membership identity cards have been prepared to distribute at the IAA desk. On presentation, publishers offer special discounts to IAA members in good standing. The use of such identity cards is a temporary solution, next year a system of membership numbers will be introduced.

3. Financial matters.
Report of the treasurer. On behalf of the treasurer Klaas R. Veenhof the Secretary presented the financial report over the year 2005. In the financial year that ended December 31, 2005, the balance was EUR 3,135.93, with as main revenues membership dues amounting to EUR 1474.71.
At the beginning of 2006, a few members had not yet paid for 2005 and 2006. When several reminders were ignored, the membership of nine members was cancelled. The Board urges members to pay their dues for at least two years at a time.
Recommendations by the controlling committee. The written conclusion and recommendation by the Controlling Committee, signed by its three members -D. Katz, N.J.C. Kouwenberg and Th.J.H. Krispijn- was read by the secretary. The financial statements were duly examined and found to be in order. The Controlling Committee recommended that members accept and approve the financial statements and reports. The General Membership voted to renew for 2007 the membership of the Controlling Committee.
Vote of acceptance and discharge. With no resolutions submitted, the General membership voted unanimously to accept the annual and financial reports. Discharge was granted to the Board and the Controlling Committee for their management of the finances of the Association.
RAI Registration Deadline. On April 1, the registration fee for the Rencontre rose by EUR 10, causing a stampede to gain the maximum discount of EUR 20 for IAA members plus EUR 10 for early application. Such rushes create difficulties for the main office, so the board has set a March 1 deadline for these applications, a month before the Rencontre deadline. Next year the membership will be asked to approve a change of the By-laws in accordance with this decision.
Automatic renewal of Membership. To reduce the amount of work for the office a new line will be added to the application form on the website which will give the option of automatic renewal to those who pay by credit card.
Office Expenses. The total amount reserved for office costs and travel expenses will be raised from EUR 600 to EUR 700, beginning this year. At the same time, the professional nature of the office will be enhanced.
Payments by Credit Card. Since the RAI in Münster was unable to accept credit cards the office in Leiden collected and forwarded to Münster card payments. Next year a similar arrangement will be put in place for the RAI in Moscow & St. Petersburg. The office will open a dedicated account on which Rencontre fee payments will be deposited. These payments will be regularly transferred to an account the Russian RAI organizers will create.
Life Membership. A proposal will be formulated during the coming year and a decision will be taken during the meeting in 2007.

4. The Board.
a. Composition of the Board
According to the By-laws, the Board may have up to 15 members drawn from three categories: 5 administrators (President, Secretary, Treasurer, and 2 elected members); 5 from past, present, and future RAIs; 5 from related scholarly associations.
At present, the board consists of the following members:
– Three officers and two appointed members: J.M. Sasson (president), W.H. van Soldt (secretary), K.R. Veenhof (treasurer), J. Cooper (appointed member), and B.E.A. Ottervanger (legal adviser).
– Five chairs of RAI organizing committees: P.S. Vermaak (2004), M.T. Roth (2005), H. Neumann (2006), N. Koslova [+ L. Kogan] (2007), and G. Wilhelm (2008).
– Five members of related scholarly associations: D. Charpin (Groupe François Thureau-Dangin), G. Frame (Canadian Society for Mesopotamian Studies), R. Mattila (Finnish Institute of the Middle East and Scandinavia at large), D.I. Owen (AOS), and G. Wilhelm (DOG).
b. Resigning members and new candidates
Shifts in Membership. Two members of the Board are resigning, J. Cooper and K.R. Veenhof (by request). One board member (P.S. Vermaak) cycles out as chair of the 50th RAI. Two candidates fulfilled constitutional requirements (art. 7.3) by acquiring support of 15 IAA members before a July 1 deadline: Dr. Jeanette Fincke and Dr. Cornelia Wunsch. CVs of both candidates were circulated three weeks before the Münster RAI.
Representatives of Scholarly Associations. The board has asked for stricter qualifications for IAA affiliation by scholarly intuitions, in view of potential interest by a number of societies and institutions. Only the larger associations will be admitted to the board and only those associations that are internationally recognized as representative bodies for our fields. The board will post on its website a statement on qualification and on application procedure. As a result, R. Mattila has stepped down as board member. D. Charpin will continue in the third category, but now represents SEPOA. G. Frame will be moved to category one, following his election at the Chicago RAI.
Ex Officio membership for the legal adviser. The office of legal adviser will henceforth be ex officio.
By acclamation the general meeting expresses its gratitude to the resigning board members.
c. New board members
J. Fincke and C. Wunsch are elected to the Board with only one vote against. They will serve in category 1 (officers). Fincke has accepted to be Treasurer.
For the coming year the board will have the following composition:
– Three officers and two appointed members: J.M. Sasson (President), W.H. van Soldt (Secretary), J. Fincke (Treasurer), C. Wunsch, and G. Frame (elected members).
– Five presidents of RAI organizing committees: M.T. Roth (Chicago 2005), H. Neumann (Münster 2006), N. Koslova [+ L. Kogan] (Moscow & St. Petersburg 2007), G. Wilhelm (Würzburg 2008), and TBA (Paris 2009).
– Five members of related scholarly associations: D.I. Owen (AOS), H. Neumann (DOG), and D. Charpin (SEPOA). Up to two vacant seats in this category will be filled by representation from newly affiliated scholarly associations.
J. Asher-Greve expresses the hope that the Board will have a broader representation from participating countries. The secretary urges members from as diverse a background as possible to propose their candidacy when future Board slots are open for competition.
Dr. Asher-Greve also points out that the rotation of board members in the middle of the year awkwardly matches the calendar year, which is the official association year (constitution art. 9). Especially the responsibility for the IAA finances needs to be handed over properly, preferably in writing. The secretary replies that the board members are in fact serving a five-year term, but that the last and first years of succeeding members overlap each other. This guarantees continuity of the board. The general meeting is held within 9 months of the end of the calendar year (constitution art. 10.1). The transition from one treasurer to another will henceforth be confirmed by a written statement signed by both functionaries.

5. IAA initiatives
a. Logo
The President reported that six logos have been received by the office. However, the logos did not meet with board’s approval and the members will be asked to send in new proposals. It is suggested that the Münster logo be taken as a useful example. New suggestions are welcome and should be emailed to him.
b. IAA-AIA cooperation initiative
Sasson has contacted the AIA to explore the possibilities for IAA lectures by three or four of our colleagues within the AIA lecture programme (in the USA). The initial response is promising, the discussion will continue.
c. Policy on unprovenanced texts
Because of powerfully-held but diametrically opposed opinions on issues related to the status of unprovenanced documents and artifacts, the IAA did not succeed in forming a committee of Assyriologists and archeologists that could formulate a position paper for presentation to the membership. Since no committee was formed the matter was tabled for the time being.
M. Müller-Karpe read a statement concerning the restriction of banned material in Germany. In his statement he urged the German government to lift the restriction.
D. George pointed out that the publication of looted tablets will lead to more looting. To make this stop the looted material should be handed back to the Iraq Museum in Baghdad.
There is a suggestion from the audience to prepare a data-base of looted material. However, most looted objects come from sites and are not previously known.
d. IAA sponsorship of web-based Akkadian literature in translation
This initiative will consist of three different compilations: bibliographies, texts in translation and the Coopération Assyriologique. The bibliographies and translations are to be reached through a portal on the IAA website. C. Wunsch has accepted to supervise the development of these compilations. CDL Publishers has kindly offered to post segments of B. Foster’s Before the Muses.
e. Coopération Assyriologique
M. Tanret (Ghent University) will revive the Coopération Assyriologique in an electronic format. The Rencontre website already has a link to this website. A notice will be posted on this initiative soon. The president urged those present to send in data on projects, books to be published, etc.
f. Petitions
Occasionally the president receives pleas for help from threatened departments. The president will act as needed after consultation with the board.
g. Historiography of the field
It is suggested to the membership that each Rencontre dedicate a session to the history of its department and/or the colleagues who worked there. A special paragraph on this topic will be added to the Rencontre guidelines on the IAA website.

6. The Honorary Council
Membership of the honorary council is the highest honor that the IAA can bestow. The Board will formulate and soon post on its website a statement on qualification and on the nomination procedure.

7. Proceedings of past Rencontres
– 48th RAI Leiden 2002: “Ethnicity in Ancient Mesopotamia”. The proceedings were published in April 2005.
– 49th RAI London 2003: “Nineveh”. The proceedings were published in Iraq 66 (2004) and 67/1 (2005).
– 50th RAI South Africa 2004: “Fauna and flora in the ANE”. The proceedings will be published as an extended version of the Journal of Semitics.
– 51th RAI Chicago 2005: “Classifications of Knowledge in the Ancient Near East: Lexicography, Iconography, Stratigraphy”. The proceedings will be published as Assyriological Studies 28.
There is discussion with Eisenbrauns to achieve more uniformity and substantial savings in the production and sales of RAI volumes. Host institutions will continue to edit the volumes and to opt for publishers that are traditional at their institutions.

8. Future Rencontres
a. Moscow and St. Petersburg 2007
N. Koslova, M. Dandamayeva and L. Kogan informed the General Meeting of the plans for 2007. Written information was distributed among the audience.
The dates of the Rencontre are 23-28 July. The first three days will be spent in Moscow, where the subject will be “Language in the Ancient Near East”, followed by a day for traveling and two days in St. Petersburg. For St. Petersburg the subject will be “City Administration in the Ancient Near East”. A workshop on archaeology will be organized in St. Petersburg. Excursions to the treasury of the Hermitage and to its new storage are planned.
It will be possible to book return flights out to Moscow and back from St. Petersburg. The organizers will provide help (letters, etc.) to make acquiring the necessary visa easier. They will also assist in buying tickets and in finding hotel accommodation (the latter can also be arranged through the various websites). Special funds for students will probably be available. Credit card payments can be processed through the IAA office in Leiden (see above, Financial matters). Registration will be possible through the website in Russia, which will be up and running by the end of this year. Colleagues are urged to register as early as possible.
b. Würzburg 2008
The plans for Würzburg will be presented at the General Meeting in 2007.
c. Paris 2009
With an RAI in Chang Chun (China) no longer in the planning, Paris offered to host the RAI there in 2009 rather than in 2010. The membership voted unanimously to accept the candidacy of Paris for 2009.
e. Open venue for 2010
Since Paris will now be the destination for the year 2009 a new venue has to be sought for the RAI in 2010. Possible options are Barcelona, Vienna, or Budapest.

9. Questions
W.G. Lambert inquired about plans to acquire funds from the EU. The secretary replied that this idea has been mentioned in the past, but that so far no action has been taken.
J. Cooper urged all Assyriologists to become a member of the IAA.
J. Klein pointed out that the Israel Association for Assyriology and the Ancient Near East opens its lectures only to members and suggested that the IAA follow suit. P. Michalowski opposed this policy. The secretary added that any such policy would be incompatible with the concept of a broadly accessible Rencontre. However, he urged all colleagues to become IAA members.

10. Closing of the Meeting.
The President offered the membership this Resolution:

WHEREAS the great WESTFÄLISCHE WILHELMS-UNIVERSITÄT, Münster, graciously opened its facilities to all of us; and

WHEREAS its officers, Rektor Jürgen Schmidt and Dean Jürgen Hein, generously hosted fine receptions, among them a wonderful evening at the Mühlenhof-Freilicht Museum; and

WHEREAS its host committee, in alphabetic order, Rheinhard Dittmann, Christian Eder, Kristin Kleber, Hans Neumann (chair), and Anais Schuster-Brandis displayed hard work, personal warmth, and paradigmatic collegiality; and

WHEREAS its staff members and students, including Margit Thomas, secretary of the Institut, who shouldered much responsibility, Georg Neumann, who helped design the splendid RAI website, as well as Susanne Paulus and Christine Winkelmann, who gave much practical assistance, were unstinting in contributing time and energy;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR ASSYRIOLOGY, assembled this Wednesday, July 19, 2006, in Münster, Westphalia, herewith declares its most formal and deepest appreciation.

The resolution was passed by acclamation. The general meeting was closed at 17.30 hours.

W.H. van Soldt, Secretary
23 August 2006

Speeches held in Münster 2006

Jack M. Sasson (President)

Opening remarks
Monday, July 17, 2006
52nd Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale (RAI)
Aula, Schloß, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
It is an honor to accept in behalf of the membership of the International Association for Assyriology the wonderful sentiments of welcome and the informative remarks from Rektor Jürgen Schmidt, representing this great University, from Professor Dr. Jürgen Hein, Dean of the Philology Division, and from colleague and chair of our Host Committee, Professor Dr. Hans Neumann. Although there will be more formal occasions to do so again, let me from the outset thank the other members of the Program and Arrangement Committee: from Altorientalische Philologie, Anais Schuster-Brandis and Kristin Kleber, and from Vorderasiatische Altertumskunde und Archaeologie, Reinhard Dittmann and Christian Eder. If you were anything like me, you will have noted with how much grace and patience the many queries were answered. I want also to recognize Georg Neumann, our host’s son, who helped design the fine RAI website, as well as Susanna Paulus and Christina Wickelmann for their practical assistance.

The last time the Rencontres were at Muenster was in 1985 and we were hosted then by among others Professor Karl Hecker, Joachim Krecher, and Walter Sommerfeld. I want once more to acknowledge their contribution of two decades ago.

The theme then was “Cuneiform Literature” and the volume containing the papers appeared a year later. Out of curiosity I went back and learned that about 240 people registered then. I looked for myself in vain in the official photograph; but not having participated in that year’s Rencontre, I had to borrow from the memory of others. They all recalled a very fine meeting with hospitality, warmth, and much accomplishment. I also noticed that all those who published their studies in the proceedings papers are still very active among us. So I assign it to the magic of Münster.

I expect that we will have another memorable meeting this week. We have over 400 people registered. Who says that Assyriology and archaeology are weakened disciplines? I heard from Alice Slotsky at Brown University that she has 125 students pre-registered for a course on Introductory Akkadian. So maybe university administrators should take note?

As I was packing for Groningen on my way here, I received the notice that many of you by now have read. It was from Dominique Charpin who informed us all of the death of Paul Garelli, a man who for many years took charge of these Rencontres, with much care and attention. It reminded me of how harsh for us was the year that has passed since the Chicago Rencontre. In 2005-2006 The following colleagues passed away, some who were major contributors to the discipline and to the RAI and others for whom Assyriology and archaeology were allied fields. May I ask us all to rise as I read these names and to follow this reading with a minute of silence?

In 2005:
Jin Jie July 13
Paolo Emilio Pecorella Aug 29
Henry William Frederick Saggs, Aug 31
Stanislav Segert Oct 1
Tahsin Özgüç Oct 28
David Pingree Nov 11
Hayim Tadmor Dec 11
Erica Reiner Dec 31

In 2006:
T. Cuyler Young Feb 7
Machteld Mellink Feb 24
Emanuel Bouzon March 27
Simon Parker April 29
Jésus-Luis Cunchillos May 30; and again, just now
Paul Garelli July 8

The theme this year is “War and Peace,” with the conjunction “and” masking chasms of differences between happiness and misery. Would that today all that we witness of the former are the contests that occurred just a couple of weeks ago in Berlin, where Italy, France, Germany, and Portugal proved that combat is better when it draws sweat rather than blood and less final when it bruises muscles rather than lives. At this convocation, we have people of different genders, nations, creeds, colors, persuasions, and politics. We will discuss, argue, dispute, and occasionally even agree with each other, all in peaceful exchanges of ideas. Let us hope that next time the RAI meets again we might have no reason to regret the absence of peace in the area of the world we currently study.

The IAA tries to represent you and to support your work. You have done and will continue to do your scholarship effectively and successfully without being affiliated with it. But as an organized institution, the IAA strives to strengthen the public face of your work by vetting out in forums issues that you need to raise, by advocating the causes of Assyriology and Near Eastern archaeology where institutes and departments think them expendable, and by developing a number of avenues by which to present to a wider public some of the fruits of your achievements.

So whether you are a professor, a student, or an independent scholar, please consider joining. It is still cheap at 10 Euros per year. If someone like Mark Geller joined, as he did today, you known that the cause is good and so is the deal. Also, please come to our business meeting on Wednesday at 4pm and help us formulate the many initiatives your IAA board has in mind.

But we need to start on our program. Let me turn this podium back to Hans Neumann who will introduce our keynoters for this year, Dominique Charpin and Stefan Maul.

Reinhard Dittmann: Farewell speech

Friday, July 21, 2006
52nd Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale (RAI)
Aula, Schloß, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
Sehr geehrte Kolleginnen und Kollegen,
liebe Studierende, meine Damen und Herren!

In diesen unruhigen Zeiten, die wir – nicht nur in Nahost – zurzeit durchleben, wird es wieder einmal deutlich, dass soziale Spannungen nicht nur ihre Ursachen in der Unbalance sozialer Systeme haben oder in der Sicherung von Ressourcen usw., sondern eine der übelsten Geiseln der Menscheitsgeschichte ist die unheilvolle Verquickung von Ideologien, besonders in der Variante von Religion mit Politik und daraus abgeleiteten vermeintlichen Führungsansprüchen gegenüber Andersgläubigen oder anders Denkenden.
Dieses Problem begleitet die Menschheit seit Jahrtausenden und wurde selbst in der Neuzeit nur kurzfristig durch die Französische Revolution thematisiert, doch selbst hier musste auf ein “être suprème” zurückgegriffen werden, welches jedoch immerhin zuförderst, als Sinnbild des rational denkenden Geistes verstanden wurde. Begriffe, wie “Liberté”, “Égalité” und “Fraternité” oder einfacher: Meine Grenzen hören dort auf, wo die meines Nächsten beginnen, sollten wieder verstärkt das politische Leben bestimmen. Die Vermittlung und gesellschaftliche Verbreitung dieser einfachsten Grundregeln menschlichen Zusammenlebens wird jedoch kaum über die religiös oder ökonomisch ausgerichtete Politik der Neuzeit erfolgen können, im Gegenteil wird sie eher zunehmend dadurch behindert, sondern wahrscheinlich nur durch die Vermittlung der so oft belächelten Geisteswissenschaften.

Den so genannten Kleinen Fächern, vor allem denen, die sich mit außereuropäischen Kulturen beschäftigen, kommt hier – zumal durch ihre lange historische Perspektive, aus der sie schöpfen -, eine wichtige Rolle zu. In sofern war es konsequent, für die diesjährige Rencontre das Thema Krieg und Frieden zu wählen, zumal, wenn wir uns an den Anlass erinnern, der zu dieser Titelwahl führte, worauf Kollege Neumann in seiner Einführung ja deutlich hinwies.

Geisteswissenschaften waren immer politisch und werden auch in Zukunft – und wie ich denke -, es verstärkt sein müssen. Studierende der angesprochenen Fächer sollen nicht nur zu selbstverliebten “Fachleuten”, sondern auch zu kritischen Bürgern, ganz im Sinne eines “Citoyen” erzogen werden, die der schleichenden Ökonomisierung und zunehmenden Theologisierung von Politik entgegenwirken.Geisteswissenschaften haben ohne Zweifel einen gesellschaftlichen Bildungsauftrag, der nicht nur zu Fachkompetenz, sondern auch zur Verantwortung für das Ganze führen muss.

Nun genug der Worte, ich möchte mich hier im Namen des Instituts ganz herzlich an das Organisationskomitee dieser Rencontre wenden und ihm unseren tiefen Dank aussprechen. Ohne seinen unermüdlichen und trotzdem unauffälligen Einsatz wäre dieser Kongress nie zu bewältigen gewesen. Die Namen der Beteiligten wurden ja bereits von Jack Sasson bei der Begrüßung genannt, trotzdem gilt unser Dank namentlich in erster Linie der Perle unseres Instituts, Frau Thomas, die in jeder noch so verzwickten Situation den Überblick behielt und ohne deren selbstlosen Einsatz das Ganze wohl gescheitert wäre. Dies gilt gleichermaßen für die Studierenden unserer Fächer und denen unseres Nachbarinstitutes der Ägyptologie, die unermüdlich zum Gelingen beitrugen. Hervorzuheben sind vor allem das Logistikteam, welches den Kongress unermüdlich mit Wasser versorgte und somit durch die Hitze bedingte Kollateralschäden zu vermeiden half und die Kompetenz und Unaufgeregtheit des technischen Teams war ebenfalls beeindruckend. Selbst die Gestaltung des Logos und des Plakats, lag in der Hand der Studierenden und all dies gibt ein beredtes Zeugnis von der guten Stimmung in den beteiligten Instituten dieser Universität. Ihnen allen nochmals herzlicher Dank!

Gedankt sei auch dem Rektorat der Westfälischen Wilhelms-Universität für die zur Verfügungsstellung des Schlosses als Tagungsort, einer sicher würdigen Kulisse für solch einen Kongress. Schließlich sei auch dem Dekanat des Fachbereichs 9 für die Ausrichtung des kleinen Empfangs für die IAA herzlichst edankt!

Aber nicht nur der Heimmannschaft gilt unser Dank sondern in besonderem Maße unseren Referenten und Gästen, ohne deren Vortrags- und Debatierfreude solch ein Kongress nicht zum Erfolg werden kann. Ihnen allen herzlicher Dank!

Die Proceedings dieses Kongressen sollen im Laufe des nächsten Jahres erstellt werden. Geplant sind möglicherweise drei Bände: einen themengebundenen, einen themenungebundenen und einen Workshop-Band.Nähere Informationen zur Textgestaltung werden wir über email den Autoren und über die mailing lists von Jack Sasson noch mitteilen.

Zum Abschluss wünsche ich den Veranstaltern der nächsten Rencontre viel Erfolg und ein ebenso tolles Publikum, wie in Münster.

Farewell, Bon Voyage, gute Heimfahrt und auf ein Wiedersehen in den, wie de Gaule es formuliert hätte, prächtigen europäischen Metropolen Sankt Petersburg und Moskau!

Vielen Dank!

Reinhard Dittmann

Jack M. Sasson wished everyone a safe trip home and looked forward to our next RAI, in Moscow and St. Petersburg

Top of page

General Meeting Chicago 2005

Minutes of the General Meeting in Chicago (2005)

1. Opening.
At 16.30 hours the President Wilfred H. van Soldt opened the meeting with a word of welcome to the members of the IAA as well as to other colleagues who attended this meeting. He noted with regret that the President of the organizing Committee, Martha Roth, was unable to attend due to unforeseen family obligations.
Van Soldt noted that the invitation for this general meeting together with the agenda and relevant documentation having been sent to the members on the April 15, 2005 in accordance with the requirements of the Constitution of the IAA, decisions taken at this meeting are binding.
Since the Rencontre in South Africa (2004) the following colleagues have passed away:
André Caquot
Michael C. Astour
Roger Moorey
Griogor Giorgadze.
Commemoration took place at the opening session of the Rencontre, Monday, July 18, 2005.

2. Report of the Secretary.
The last meeting took place at the 50th Rencontre in Skukuza, South Africa, on August 5, 2004 and the minutes of this meeting have been communicated electronically to the members.
The Secretary reported the activities of the Association and its Board since the last (50th) RAI in Skukuza.
During this General Meeting the By-laws were approved by acclamation and subsequently published on the website (see By-laws). The number of members of the IAA rose by 70 in 2004, and stood at 95 at the end of that year. Just before this Rencontre the total was 114.

3. Financial matters.
a) Report of the treasurer. On behalf of the treasurer Klaas R. Veenhof the Secretary presents the financial report over the year 2004. In the financial year that ended December 31, 2004, the balance was +¤2,099.53, an increase of ¤946,25 over the previous year.
Of the 114 members 30 have not yet paid for 2005. Two reminders have been sent and at the end of November a last reminder will follow. Those who have not paid by the beginning of 2006 will cease to be a member of the IAA. The Board urges the members to pay their dues for at least two years at a time.
b) Recommendations by the controlling committee. The written conclusion and recommendation by the Controlling Committee, signed by its three members G. Deutscher, N.J.C. Kouwenberg and Th.J.H. Krispijn, is read by the secretary. The financial statements were duly examined and found to be in order. The Controlling Committee recommended that members accept and approve the financial statements and reports. The General Membership voted to renew for 2006 the membership of the Controlling Committee.
c) Vote of acceptance and discharge. With no resolutions submitted, the General membership voted unanimously to accept the annual and financial reports. Discharge was granted to the Board and the Controlling Committee for their management of the finances of the Association.

4. The Board.
a) Composition. The Board is currently composed of fourteen members:
1. Two officers and two appointed members: W.H. van Soldt (President and Secretary) and K.R. Veenhof (Treasurer), and J. Cooper and B. Ottervanger (legal advisor).
2. Five presidents of RAI organizing committees of the past two Rencontres (A.R. George [2003], P.S. Vermaak [2004]), the present Rencontre (M.T. Roth [2005]), and the Rencontres of the next two years (H. Neumann [2006] and N. Koslova [2007]).
3. Five members of related scholarly associations: D. Charpin (Groupe François-Thureau-Dangin), R. Mattila (Finnish Institute of the Middle East and Scandinavia at large), D. Owen (AOS), J.M. Sasson, and G. Wilhelm (DOG).
b) Resigning members and candidates. The three ordinary members (sub a) J. Cooper, R. Mattila and J.M. Sasson resigned, but all three stood for reelection. W.H. van Soldt stepped down as President but stayed on as the IAA Secretary. 15 members of the IAA (Constitution 7.3) having offered support for his candidacy to Board membership, G. Frame is proposed as delegate from the Canadian Society for Mesopotamian Studies.
c) Election of the president and the new board members. In accordance with Article 7 of the Constitution the President of the IAA is to be elected directly by the members. In a letter to the members of 15th April, the Board proposed J.M. Sasson as candidate and solicited the candidacy of others. With no other candidates running, Sasson was elected as President by a unanimous vote. The Secretary congratulates the new President who made the following remarks:

J. Sasson opens by thanking van Soldt for presiding over the founding and the membership for honoring him by its selection. He realizes that there are many others who are better achieving scholars or longer veterans of the RAI, and feels honored by their decision. The IAA is a new organization and its presidency is still in flux; but one must build on the work and aspirations of generations of leaders, keeping in mind that the IAA remains a small scale enterprise, nurtured by differing organizations cultures, within which the membership will continue to play a vital role in shaping its future. Sasson imagines his role as a facilitator, where no fundamental decisions are made without thorough discussion.
Sasson offers a list of potential areas of future activities:
– A. Internal to the IAA
1. Creating a Logo for the IAA. This may not seem of major import, but a logo is an instrument by which others identify an organization. Sasson hopes that members will suggest something appropriate and invites everyone to contribute. A final decision will be placed before the membership at the Münster RAI.
2. Membership. While the IAA need not compete with professional organizations with enormous subscription rolls, membership in it is one way in which scholars display their interest in the cuneiform world and the scholarship about it. The hope is to make membership inviting by:
a. Limiting demands on members;
b. Keeping fees modest and enrollment relatively hassle-free;
c. Increase benefits, possibly including online access to bibliography and NABU discount.
3. Participation. Increase participation of younger scholar, perhaps by subsidizing the delivery of papers through competition or the like. Donations for this purpose will be solicited. Encourage the formation of creative sessions at the RAI.
4. Discussions. Create a forum (internet or live sessions at the RAI) in which to further the discussion of such issues as the problem created by looting and illegal trafficking in antiquities.
5. Dialogues. Coordinate occasional parallel RAI annual meetings with organizations with field interests, such as Hittitology and Archaeology.
– B. External to the IAA
1. Awareness. Increase awareness of the purpose and promise of Assyriology, in academia and beyond.
2. Defense of field. Mount aggressive campaigns against potential elimination of Assyriology and cognate fields whenever threatened in academia.
3. Lecture Series. Piggy-back with such established lecture series as the Archeological Institute of America’s, to offer accessible lectures on Assyriological matters.
4. Dissemination of Akkadian texts. While Sumerian and even Egyptian literatures (less so Hittite and Ugaritic) literature are well served on the web, and while a number of fine websites are electronically disseminating scholarly presentation of cuneiform tablets, basic texts from Mesopotamia (Gilgamesh, Hammurabi, Etana, Atrahasis, etc.) are presented either in fragments or in outdated translations. The IAA could sponsor a website that offers reliable translations. Members may “donate” some of the translations they have prepared, under their own names.
These are ambitious, perhaps also unrealistic, goals; some of them are likely beyond the capacity of the IAA. But there is no reason why we can’t begin to work on them now.

J. Cooper, R. Mattila are then re-elected and and G. Frame is elected to the Board unanimously.

5. The Honorary Council
In connection with article 7 of the By-laws, the Honorary Council, the Board received the proposal to invite E. Reiner (Chicago), M. Civil (Chicago-Barcelona) and Å. Sjöberg as members of the Honorary Council “for their outstanding contribution to the field of Assyriology”. With this recommendation welcomed by enthusiastic acclamation, the honorees received Certificates of their membership.

6. New IAA activities
See the address made by the President (4).

7. Policy on unprovenanced inscriptions and objects
It is decided to postpone this point on the agenda to the end of the meeting.

8. Proceedings of past Rencontres
– 46th RAI Paris-2000: “Nomades et sédentaires dans le Proche-Orient ancien”. The proceedings were published in Amurru 3 (2004).
– 47th RAI Helsinki 2001: “Sex and gender in the Ancient Near East” was published in 2002 by S. Parpola and R.M.Whiting.
– 48th RAI Leiden 2002: “Ethnicity in Ancient Mesopotamia”. The proceedings were published in April 2005.
– 49th RAI London 2003: “Nineveh”. The proceedings were published in Iraq 66 (2004) and 67/1 (2005).
– 50th RAI South Africa 2004: “Fauna and flora in the ANE”. The proceedings will be published as an extended version of the Journal of Semitics.
– 51th RAI Chicago 2005: “Classifications of Knowledge in the Ancient Near East: Lexicography, Iconography, Stratigraphy”. The proceedings will be published as Assyriological Studies 28.

9. Future Rencontres
– 52nd RAI Muenster 2006: 17-22 July 2006: “Krieg und Frieden/War and Peace in the ANE”. H. Neumann reported on the plans for Münster and the facilities available (Schloss Münster). The proposed subject links up with the historical reputation of Münster as a city where peace treaties were concluded. The Organizing Committee will consist of four people: R. Dittmann, C. Eder, A. Schuster-Brandes. and H. Neumann (chairman). The first information will be communicated to the main institutes in September by printed circulars, through the IAA web-site, and via email-lists. The conference fee will be EUR 100, EUR 80 for IAA members, and EUR 50 for students. The organizers will arrange the possibility of paying by credit-card. The IAA will provide the website for this Rencontre in cooperation with the organizers. The proposals for Münster are accepted by the General Meeting.
– 53rd RAI Moscow & St.Petersburg 2007: “Languages in ancient Mesopotamia” (Moscow) and “City Administration” ( St.Petersburg). N. Koslova and L. Kogan inform the meeting of the plans for 2007. The first three days will be spent in Moscow followed by two days in St. Petersburg. It is possible to book return flights out to Moscow and back from St. Petersburg. The proposed date is the second week of July, when dormitories will be available. Transfer from Moscow to St. Petersburg is usually by night-train, but there is a preference for a one-day break, including the train trip. The organizers will provide help (letters, etc.) to make acquiring the necessary visa easier. The proposals for Moscow & St.Petersburg are accepted by the General Meeting.
– 54th RAI Würzburg 2008 was confirmed by the General Meeting.
– 55th RAI Changchun 2009
– 56th RAI Paris 2010
More information on future Rencontres will be available on the website.

10. Questions
None

11. Closing of the Meeting.
The President thanked the hosts of this Rencontre, Martha Roth, Walter Farber, Jennie Myers and all those who have were helping them make these meetings so successful. The general meeting was closed at 17.15 hours.

After the General Meeting a discussion took place on the policy concerning unprovenanced texts and objects from Iraq. It was decided that a committee consisting of archeologists and philologists will be formed that will report its recommendations to the Board as soon as possible.

Closure at 18.00 hours.

 

W.H. van Soldt, Secretary
17 October 2005

 

General Meeting South Africa 2004

Minutes of the General Meeting in South Africa (2004)

 

General Meeting of Members of the IAA
Wednesday, 5 August, 2004
50th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale (RAI)
Diplomatic Hall at Skukuza, Kruger National Park, South Africa

1. Opening.
At 14.40 hours the President Wilfred H. van Soldt opens the meeting with a word of welcome to the members. He calls the members’ attention to the fact, that this is the 50th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale and at the same time the first general members’ meeting of the IAA, which gives to this RAI a special importance.
The invitation for this general meeting together with the agenda and relevant documentation was sent to the members on the 25th April in accordance with the requirements of the Constitution of the IAA, so this is a legally valid meeting and decisions taken will be binding for the members.
The members present each have one vote and can in addition validly represent one other member. Therefore, members have been requested to sign the list of members present at the entrance in order to enable the counting of the number of votes, the minimum to pass a decision and – if necessary – to fix the quorum.
Since the Rencontre in London (2003) the following colleagues have passed away:
Rabi al-Qaisi (Dir. General Ant. of Iraq),
Karlheinz Deller,
Gillian M. Hart,
Robert J. Braidwood,
Linda Braidwood,
David Oates,
Aaron Shaffer,
Jeremy Black,
Dietz Otto Edzard.
They were commemorated during the opening session of the Rencontre on Monday 3rd August.

2. Report of the Secretary.
The last meeting took place at the 49th Rencontre in London on 9th July 2003 and the minutes of this meeting have been communicated to the members through the website. All communication with and information to the members is in principal done through the internet. No further questions have reached the secretariat concerning this subject.
The Secretary reports the activities of the Association and its Board since the last (49th) RAI in London.
During the meeting of the RAI Steering Committee in the British Museum in London on the 9th July 2003 it was unanimously decided by the founding members to establish for the RAI a legal framework in the form of an International Association. The constitution was approved by the Board unanimously and proxy was given to Wilfred H. van Soldt, Klaas R. Veenhof and Baruch E.A. Ottervanger to establish the association and to fulfil all the requirements thereto. On the 22nd September the Association was formally established before a notary was registered as a legal body at the Chamber of Commerce in Leiden, The Netherlands. At the end of November any interested person was invited to become a member of the IAA. Since then 90 people have signed, 50 of whom have been admitted as regular members.
The office of the IAA is at the University of Leiden; address:
TCMO-Assyriology, P.O.Box 9515,
2300 RA Leiden, Holland.
Since the founding several procedures were started up, among others:
– membership registration and the handling of applications.
– the opening of bank accounts and solving problems of payment by bank transfer, by credit card and by email.
– the installing and running of the website: http://www.let.leidenuniv.nl/rencontre/association.html.

3. Financial matters.
a) Report of the treasurer. The treasurer Klaas R. Veenhof has reported the financial data and asked the secretary to handle this matter in his absence. In the financial year that ended 31st December 2003, after contributions have been collected and expenditures paid, the balance at the end of the financial year is +EUR1,153.28, which amount includes the EUR930.13 inherited from the Steering Committee of the RAI Organization.
b) Recommendations by the controlling committee. The written conclusion and recommendation by the Controlling Committee, signed by its three members G. Deutscher, N.J.C. Kouwenberg and Th.J.H. Krispijn, is read by the secretary. The financial statements have been duly examined and found to be in order. The Controlling Committee recommends the Assembly to accept and approve the financial statements and reports.
c) Vote of acceptance and discharge. No resolutions are submitted and the President asks the members to vote. The counting of the votes shows that the annual and financial reports have been accepted by the members unanimously. Subsequently discharge was granted to the Board and the Controlling Committee and its members for the management of the Association during the last year, with thanks for the work done by them. The assistance of Mrs. Renée Kalverlagen in the work of the office is gratefully mentioned. She has, among other things, processed the membership applications. The Secretary is thanked for the work done during the last year. No questions.

4. The Board.
a) Composition. The Board is currently composed of fifteen members:
– Three ordinary members: W.H. van Soldt (President and Secretary), K.R. Veenhof (Treasurer) and B. Ottervanger, appointed as legal advisor and member of the Board at the founding Steering Committee meeting in the British Museum on 9th July 2003.
– Five members, being the head of the organizing committees of the past two Rencontres (W.H. van Soldt [2002] and A.R. George [2003]), the present Rencontre (P.S. Vermaak), and the Rencontres of the next two years (M.T. Roth [2005] and H. Neumann [2006]). Van Soldt is also an ordinary member.
– Seven members of regional organisations: D. Charpin (Paris), J. Cooper (Baltimore), N. Koslova (St.Petersburg), R. Mattila (Helsinki), D. Owen (Ithaca), J.M. Sasson (Nashville), and G. Wilhelm (Würzburg).
b) Resigning members and candidates. The three ordinary members (sub a.) W.H. van Soldt, K.R. Veenhof and B. Ottervanger resign. No other members of the Board resign at this general meeting.
There are no other candidates and the three resigning members are willing to stand for reelection. The Board proposes the above mentioned three candidates for election.
c) Election of the president and the new board members. Prof. Dr. David Owen takes over the presidency of the meeting during the election. In accordance with Article 7 of the Constitution of the IAA, Wilfred van Soldt is directly chosen by the members in the function of President. Also Klaas Veenhof and Baruch Ottervanger are reelected as members of the Board. Since the other members of the Board never stood for election, a vote is asked from the members to formally confirm their appointment. All members are elected by unanimous vote.
David Owen congratulates the President and the other members. He thanks the President for his active role and asks him to encourage the members to increase the membership, especially with students.
The division of tasks among the various members for the next years is an internal matter of the Board and also the five-year schedule of appointment and resignation will be decided upon in the next Board meeting to take place this afternoon.
The President thanks the members for their confidence and asks their mandate for the appointment of the members of the Control Committee, which is approved unanimously.

5. The By-laws of the Association
The draft text is available through the internet and copies have been distributed to the members upon request. According to Article 17 of the Constitution of the IAA, the General Meeting may decide upon the by-laws, formulate further provisions and decide about changes. Except for some corrections of the wording, the changes proposed by the Board in its meeting on Monday, 3rd of August, are the following:
Article 4. The Board of Management.
4.3 “The official delegates of up to five related scholarly associations will be invited by the Board as candidate members of the Board of the IAA.”
Article 5. Activities.
5.3 The new reading after the first sentence will be: “The Office will communicate to the members at least three months prior to the RAI General Meeting. All other information will be posted on the website.”
5.4 “Initiatives for publications will be supported by the office as far as possible.”
Artricle 6. External Relations.
6.1 “The Board will keep good contacts with academic and scientific organizations, local, regional and international, including governmental, organizations, universities, international institutions (such as UNESCO), museums and libraries.”
After the various changes and the discussion the proposed By-laws are unanimously accepted by the
members. This corrected version will be put on the web site.
In connection with article 7 of the By-laws, the Honorary Council, the Board received in its meeting on the 3rd August the proposal to ask Prof. Dr. Paul Garelli, Paris, to be “the first member of the Honorary Council for his life-long dedication to the field of Assyriology and his outstanding contribution to the Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale”. The members accept this recommendation by acclamation and the installation of the Honorary Council and the election of Paul Garelli as its first member is a fact. The President is asked to communicate with Prof. Garelli and to inform him about his election.

6. Membership dues and benefits
The membership dues will remain ¤10 per year. The members of the IAA will pay EUR20 less for the registration fee of the yearly Rencontres. In Europe the payment of the IAA membership will preferably take place through bank transfer, outside Europe through credit card.
The conference registration fee for a RAI has remained EUR70 over the last number of years. It is now time to raise it to EUR80.- for members. The fee for non-members will thus be EUR100.-, Students will pay half the price. The Organizing Committee for the 51st RAI in Chicago in 2005 has taken over this suggestion and has put the registration fees at $100.- and $120.-, respectively. After some discussion this is accepted with one vote against and four abstaining.

7. Proceedings of past Rencontres
46th RAI Paris-2000: “Nomades et sedentaires dans le Proche-Orient ancien”. The proceedings are almost in press and are to be expected in 2004.
47th RAI Helsinki 2001: “Sex and gender in the Ancient Near East” was published in 2002 by S. Parpola and R.M.Whiting.
48th RAI Leiden 2002: “Ethnicity in Ancient Mesopotamia”. The proceedings will be published in the fall of 2004.
49th RAI London 2003: “Nineveh”. Thirty-eight papers will be published in the spring of 2005 in IRAQ 2004 (part 1, hardcover), while the remaining papers will be published as part 2 for subscribers to IRAQ.
50th RAI South Africa 2004: “Fauna and flora in the ANE”. The proceedings will be published as an extended version of the Journal of Semitics.

8. Future Rencontres
– 51st RAI Chicago 2005: from 18-22 July 2005 on the campus of the University of Chicago. The accomodation is limited, high attendance is expected, so early registration is recommended. The IAA will provide the website for this Rencontre.
– 52nd RAI Muenster 2006 : 17-22 July 2006 : “Krieg und Frieden in the ANE”
– 53rd RAI Moscow & St.Petersburg 2007
– 54th RAI Würzburg 2008
– 55th RAI Changchun 2009
– 56th RAI Paris 2010
More information on future Rencontres will be available on the website.

9. Questions
None

10. Closing of the Meeting
The President thanks the hosts of this Rencontre, S. Vermaak, J. Du Toit, L. van Vuuren, A. Ferneira, E. Barrell and J. van der Westhuyzen, for making this Rencontre possible.
The general meeting is closed at 16.50 hours.

 

 

Founding of the IAA, London 2003

By: The Steering Committee of the Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale

Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held during the 49th Rencontre, in the British Museum, on July 9, 2003, for the purpose of founding an “International Association for Assyriology”

1. The secretary of the Committee, Prof. dr. W.H. van Soldt, opens the meeting at 18.10 hours.

2. The following twelve members are present: Prof. dr. D. Charpin (Paris), Prof. dr. J. Cooper (Baltimore), dr. N. Koslova (St. Petersburg), Dr. R. Mattila (Helsinki), Prof. dr. H. Neumann (Münster), Prof. dr. D. Owen (Ithaca), Prof. dr. M.T. Roth (Chicago), Prof. dr. J.M. Sasson (Nashville), Prof. dr. W.H. van Soldt (Leiden), Prof. dr. K.R. Veenhof (Heemstede), Prof. dr. P.S. Vermaak (Pretoria), and Prof. dr. G. Wilhelm (Würzburg).

3. It is agreed that van Soldt acts as president, and Veenhof as secretary of this meeting.

4. The Committee establishes, with gratitude, that the Business Meeting of the 49th “Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale”, which met at 16.30 hours, with a large majority has endorsed the plan (already supported by 70% of the Assyriologists who had answered the relevant question posed on the RAI-website) to found an “International Association for Assyriology”.

5. The draft of the constitution (the “Articles of Association”), which has circulated and for which a number of corrections have been proposed and provisionally entered, is once more read critically. The corrections are accepted and a final one is agreed upon, to read the first sentence of Art. 11,1 as: “General Meetings will be announced by the Board at least three months in advance by written notification.”

6. The Steering Committee thereupon unanimously votes in favour of founding the Association for Assyriology (henceforth abbreviated as IAA).

7. After the corrected pages of the text of the constitution have been countersigned by the acting president and secretary, all present sign the last page. The signees are considered the founding members of the IAA and will act as its provisional Board, until a Board can be elected by the first General Meeting of the IAA, following the rules to be laid down therefore.

8. It is decided that in the meantime W.H. van Soldt will act as President and Secretary, and K.R. Veenhof as Treasurer. Mr. B. Ottervanger, who has provided valuable assistance in drafting the constitution, is appointed for one year as Legal Advisor of the IAA and as member of the provisional board. These three are authorized to have the founding of the “International Association for Assyriology” legally executed before a notary and to pay the costs this entails from the money available on the account of the Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale.

9. D. Charpin, J. Sasson, and W.H. van Soldt are appointed as members of a committee which will prepare a draft of the “House Rules and Regulations” (also called “by-laws”), mentioned in art. 17 of the Articles. They will submit the draft to the provisional Board for critical appraisal, whereupon it will be posted on the RAI-website to inform all members of the Association. The first General Meeting of the IAA will have to approve and apply them, i.a. in electing the members of the Board.

10. The RAI-website will post a form by means of which those interested can apply for membership of the IAA, according to Art. 3. The membership fee for the first year, which will be considered to run until Dec. 31, 2004, is fixed at 10 Euro. The provisional Board will submit to the General Meeting proposals concerning possible benefits for its members, i.a. in relation to the registration fee for participating in a RAI, and on the fee for life membership.

11. At 19.10 hours the president concludes the meeting for the founding of the IAA, after a photo has been taken to record this memorable event, which has been in the making for ten years.

The acting president,
Prof. dr. W.H. van Soldt

The acting secretary,
Prof. dr. K.R. Veenhof