International Association of Assyriology (IAA): Proposed Change of Name
This consultation paper sets out the reasoning behind the IAA Board’s proposal to change the name of the Association. This proposal will be put to a vote by IAA members at the next General Meeting at Marburg in July 2017 (proxy votes will be available to those who cannot attend in person).

To quote from the IAA website [http://iaassyriology.org/founding-of-the-iaa/]:

“The IAA was founded during the general meeting at the 49th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale in London (7–11 July 2003). It is a non-profit organisation and a non-political institution. The goals of the IAA are:

  • To serve as a platform for scholars working in Cuneiform Studies, and Near Eastern Archaeology;
  • To discuss all matters concerning these fields;
  • To encourage and promote the study of these fields in all their aspects on an international basis.”

Although Near Eastern Archaeology has always formed an integral part of the IAA’s remit, as can be seen in the statement of goals cited above, this is not reflected in its name, the ‘International Association of Assyriology’. In its recent discussions the Board of the IAA decided that the time has come to revisit the question of the name with the idea of changing it to one that more accurately reflects the scope of the Association’s concerns.

The proposal to change the name to the ‘International Association for Assyriology and Mesopotamian Archaeology’ was accordingly presented to the members at the General Meeting held on Thursday 14 July at the 62nd RAI in Philadelphia. Following a brief discussion, it was decided to defer the issue until next year’s RAI in Marburg (2017), to allow for a period of consultation with the wider membership, including those not present at the 2016 General Meeting, and to allow the Board to set up proxy voting in time for the 2017 General Meeting so that the resulting decision reflects the widest possible voting membership.

In the following paragraphs we set out what we consider to be the advantages of the change of name, as well as the organisational and financial implications for the Association in implementing the change.

The Proposed Name
In its discussion the members of the Board opted to include Mesopotamian Archaeology in the proposed new name, since it was considered that Mesopotamian Archaeology, rather liberally understood, most accurately describes the region that is the focus of the Association’s membership and activities. ‘Near Eastern Archaeology’ is much wider in scope, both chronologically and geographically, encompassing periods and regions that are not normally covered by the Association’s members (most notably prehistory, as well as the Arabian peninsula, the Caucasus and regions further east, etc.). Essentially, we are dealing with the archaeology of what have sometimes been termed ‘cuneiform cultures’.

Advantages of the Proposed Change of Name
The Board believes that the proposed change of name will have a number of advantages:

  • The new name will make it clear that the Association is intended to be open to Near Eastern archaeologists as well as Assyriologists. This is important for two reasons. First, informal feedback from archaeological colleagues indicates that some of them feel excluded by the Association’s current name. (Though ICAANE, the biennial International Congress on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East, was founded at Rome in 1998, it should be noted that ICAANE is an international conference and not an association of members, thus its role is quite different from that of the IAA.) Second, if we are to increase the Association’s membership, it is important that we do not discourage potential members by inadvertently restricting the Association’s appeal.
  • The new name will also make it clear that the Association strives to represent the interests of the field in the widest sense. This is particularly important when the Association acts as a representative body for our discipline in an international context, particularly with regard to the ongoing cultural heritage crisis in Iraq and Syria.
  • The proposed change of name will contribute to breaking down disciplinary boundaries. For many of our members, interdisciplinary research and collaboration is central to their endeavours. The new name will better reflect the realities of our academic setting.

Implications of the Proposed Change of Name
The financial cost of making the change amounts to 500 Euros, the cost of hiring a notary to draw up a notarial deed (this occasion may present the opportunity to make other minor changes to the constitution). The administrative procedure to be followed in case of a proposed change to the IAA constitution is set out in Articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution (http://iaassyriology.org/rules-and-regulations/):

Art. 14. Changes in the Articles of Association

  1. Changing the constitution can take place only after a decision of a General Meeting, and only if a proposed change of the constitution has been announced as one of the items on the agenda. The notice for calling such a Meeting must be no less than three months.
  2. Those who have called a General Meeting in order to put forward a proposal for changing the constitution must make a copy of the proposal available in a suitable place accessible to the members at least three months before the Meeting and until after the Meeting has concluded, and it must contain the proposed changes verbatim.
  3. For a decision taken in a General Meeting about changing the constitution to be valid it is required that at least half of the total amount of members be present or be represented, and by a majority of at least two thirds of the voting members.
  4. In the absence of a quorum a change in the constitution can be decided upon at a new Extraordinary Meeting, to be held thirty days after the first Meeting, by a majority of at least two thirds of the votes of the members present or represented.
  5. What is stipulated in art. 14 is not applicable if all the members are present or represented at the General Meeting and the decision to change the constitution is taken unanimously.

Art. 15. Notarial Deed
1. Any change to the constitution will take effect only after a notarial deed of that change has been drawn up.
2. The Secretary is obliged to have an authentic copy of the changes as well as a complete text of the changed constitution deposited at the offices of the Chamber of Commerce in which the Association has its base location.

[In addition to the measures outlined above, the Association will also have to register the change of name with the Chamber of Commerce. There is no charge for this.]

In accordance with this procedure the proposed change, in the event of a vote in favour, will entail emending Art. 1.1. of the Constitution as follows:

Current wording
Art. 1.1. The Association has the name “International Association for Assyriology”, hereinafter to be called “the Association”.

Proposed new wording
Art. 1.1. The Association has the name “International Association for Assyriology and Mesopotamian Archaeology”, hereinafter to be called “the Association”.

The Consultation Process
We invite comments and suggestions concerning the proposed change of name, whether supportive or critical, from the IAA members. These may be submitted online in the form of comments (***insert url of webpage where the above text is posted***).

Comments are pre-moderated. Colleagues are reminded to ensure that their comments are relevant and conform to the accepted standards of civil discourse. Posts that are off-topic or discourteous will be rejected, as will spam.

 

43 thoughts on “Name Change IAA

  1. although I agree, I feel it a little disappointed because Assyriology has been used for over one century, and became a label. Also I agree with Sallaberger, Owen, Sasson. I provide an example, in China, the word Assyriology has been gradually known and understood by general people and scholars. We use various words: ancient Near East, Western Asia, ancient Civilization, ancient World History, etc. I also hope that the label “Assyriology” will be kept forever.

  2. It strikes me that a name change alone may not achieve much in the way of attracting more archaeological participation so long as the meetings are scheduled during July when most archaeologists tend to be in the field.

    This being said, International Association for Ancient Near Eastern Studies seems to be the most sensible option.

    1. The current short name should be kept, it is understood by all in the field of ANE studies. It is, after all, a NAME of an organization and, like all names, does not have to include reference to every sub-aspect of the entity. Philologists, of all people, should not be so literal-minded. If archaeologists think that because of the name they are not appropriate for membership, provide a announcement to be posted on a bulletin board in each department. Further, while “Western Asia” may be technically accurate as a geographical term, “Ancient Near East” is a cultural term, with a long, well-recognized tradition. It isn’t broken, so don’t fix it. Lastly, the meetings should NOT be larger with more parallel sessions, keep it collegial.

  3. I would like to point out the two major societies in the US:

    The Archaeological Instutute of America and the American Philolological Society (Now the Society for Classical Studies), both founded in the 19th century, have been separate and equal societies since their creations. Each recognizes the other’s relevance and interrelationships and their separation has never been an issue. Nor has this ever been an impediment to either society or to the scholarship of their memberships. Everyone who favors a name change should take notice of this successful model of separate but equal interests and should serve as a model for the IAA and the decision that faces us and thus reject the motion to change our name.

  4. “International Association for Ancient Near Eastern Studies” (see Michael Streck) seems also to me to be a very good solution.

    1. To make clear that our research is, and must be “interdisciplinary,” I would propose to add it to the new name:

      International Association for Ancient Near Eastern Interdisciplinary Studies

  5. If you choose to modify the IAA label, here are some possible variants, either for a restricted geographical horizon (Mesopotamia & Syria) or for a more inclusive meaning (Near East). There are indeed very good reasons to include Syria in the general scope of the association, a ‘cuneiform’ country from the twenty-fifth century BCE up to the end of Iron Age.

    I would favor an association that encompasses Mesopotamia, Syria, Southeastern Turkey, Susiana and Iranian borderlands with Mesopotamia, but ton the whole Levant, whole Anatolia, Caucasus, Central & Eastern Iran, even if flexibility should be recommended in many cases.

    Of course there are plenty of other possibilities, including the one proposed by IAA Board.

    —————–

    International and Interdisciplinary Association for Research on Ancient Syro-Mesopotamia
    IIARASM

    International Board for the Research on Ancient Mesopotamia & Syria
    IBRAMS

    International Association for the Research on Ancient Syria & Iraq
    IARASI

    International Association for Assyriology & Archaeology of Syro-Mesopotamia
    IAAASM

    International Association for Assyriology & Syro-Mesopotamian Archaeology
    IAASMA

    World Association for Assyriology & Archaeology of Syro-Mesopotamia
    WAAASM

    International Association for the Studies on Ancient Mesopotamia & Syria
    IASAMS

    International Council for Ancient Mesopotamia & Syria
    ICAMS

    International Council for Assyriology & Syro-Mesopotamian Archaeology
    ICASMA

    Research on Ancient Iraq & Syria, the International Association
    RAIS

    Enki, International Association for Syro-Mesopotamian Studies
    ENKI

    Assyriology & Archaeology of Syro-Mesopotamia, the International Association
    AASMIA

    International Research Association on Ancient Mesopotamia and Syria
    IRAAMS

    World Association for the Research on Assyriology & Syro-Mesopotamian Archaeology
    WARASMA

    Assyriology & Archaeology of Syro-Mesopotamia, the International Association
    AASMIA

    International Council for Research on Ancient Iraq & Syria
    ICRAIS

    International Association for Research on Ancient Iraq & Syria
    IARAIS

    International Council for Research on Ancient Iraq & Syria
    ICRAIS

    Syro-Mesopotamia & Beyond, the International Association
    SMBIA

    Bilad al-Rafidayn, International Association for the Research on the Cultures & Civilizations of Ancient Mesopotamia
    BR

    Erbet Kibrâtu, the International Association for Research on Ancient Mesopotamia & Syria
    EK

    ————

    International Association for Ancient Near Eastern Studies
    IAANES

    Ancient Near Eastern Studies, the International Association
    ANESIA

    International Council for Assyriology & Archaeology of the Ancient Near East
    ICAAANE

    World Association for Assyriology & Near Eastern Archaeology
    WAANEA

    International Association for Ancient Western Asian Studies
    IAAWAS

    International Association for Assyriology & Western Asian Archaeology
    IAAWAS

    Erbet Kibrâtu, the International Association for Near Eastern Studies
    EK

  6. I would personally favor the move but I am not sure that it will be accepted by majorities in both disciplines.

    I guess there are two main options :

    a) either the proposed joint association with a name that depends on the geographical area to be considered, large = “International Association for Ancient Near Eastern Studies”, or slightly smaller = “International Association for Syro-Mesopotamian Studies” (useless to mention ‘Ancient’ in the latter label). If you want to keep the term “Assyriology”: “International Association for Assyriology & Near Eastern Archaeology” or “International Association for Assyriology & Syro-Mesopotamian Archaeology”.

    b) or two professional sister-associations (no need to change the IAA label), the one representing the archaeologists still needing to be created, with a topping umbrella Committee composed of assyriologists, archaeologists and art historians, meeting once a year for deciding on common issues, and organizing a common event every other year (for instance a small interdisciplinary symposium).

    In any case let us work together for reviving the links between our sister-disciplines, and let us not forget the art historians, historians, specialists of the cultural heritage, and environmentalists.

    Best Wishes!

  7. I’m in favour of changing the name to “International Association for Ancient Near Eastern Studies”. To my mind this is the most inclusive and least contentious option. I think we should bear in mind that, outside of our own academic circles, the term “Assyriology” has a very low recognition factor. I also cannot understand the argument that the term “Assyriology” encompasses archaeology – it may once have done, but I have yet to meet an archaeologist in our field who identifies themselves in that way or who understands themselves to be included by the term.

    1. I do completely agree and would gladly vote for a change of name. However, as I said before, ther term ‘Near East’ disencourages colleagues from Asia and especially the targetcountries of our research to participate. In my oppinion ‘Near East’ should be substituted with ‘Western Asia’. I am aware that this is not a widely used term for our field of study, still it is the most inclusive and ‘neutral’ description of the field of study.

  8. Dear Colleagues, at a contrasting time of increasing scientific specialization as well as of academic blurring of boundaries often resulting in the suppression of specialized disciplines (as it is mostly the case with ANE Studies), it does not seem apt to change the name of an Association which has thus far sailed well. Moreover, the label Mesopotamian archaeology does not define a discipline in itself, nowadays archaeology is thought of as a general method with regional specializations. So I would stay firm in keeping the IAA named in the traditional way, names are the consequences of things. Warm regards

  9. In my view, the name change is ill-advised. “Assyriology” is understood as a general label covering the various disciplines associated with various Near Eastern studies in relation to Mesopotamia etc.

    Those of use who concentrate on Sumer or Babylonia don’t worry that “assyriology” might suggest to the non-specialist “Assyria-centred”, so if we don’t worry about supposed geographic concerns, why worry about disciplines, particularly when these are inherently subsumbed? It’s not as though “assyriology” somehow invokes “philology” (or the like) to the exclusion of “archaeology”.

    In my experience, names of the form A and B tend to lead to division more than anything else. And it invites the addition of “and C” then “and D” and so on.

    Further, I seriously doubt that a change of name is going to make any difference to who will attend or participate. My recollection of past Rencontres (admittedly, not recent) is that the concern about Near Eastern archaeologists comes up again and again with no real change in the reality.

    I think anyone who is interested in participating (and can participate) will do so regardless of the name.

    So in sum, I think the current name is not only perfectly adequate but much to be preferred to the one being proposed.
    And having thought it over somewhat more, I’d like to make a comment about the alternative proposal “ancient Near Eastern”, which is (rightly) said to be more inclusive.

    Of course this is true; but it is true precisely in such a fashion that it too should be avoided..

    Certainly we wish to be inclusive where participation is concerned. But on the other hand, I don’t think it wise to choose something so broad that the centre-of-gravity of what we do is lost in it. There are many organizations which cater to the ancient Near East generally speaking; but so far as I can tell, IAA/Rencontre is the only one which gives Sumero-Akkadian cuneiform/Mesopotamia a central focus.

    My concern with this alternate proposition is that the focus will be lost for the sake of some kind of theoretical notion of inclusivity and that ultimately, the field will be worse off for it.

    I’d also like to note that ‘assyriology’ is a term coined relatively recently for the sake of this focus. So for that matter, there is no reason one could not coin a new term once again, say for example ‘Mesopotamology’ or the like. But ultimately, I wonder what the real gain would be.

    I think the dialogue displayed here (and likely the oral dialogue elsewhere) substantiates very well my concern that this whole proposition is more divisive than it is helpful. Very many good points are made here, but it seems to me one should accept the reality that no one term is going to encapsulate perfectly what we are trying to describe, let alone so perfectly that going down this road will prove any kind of blessing compared to the cost to the community. I recommend being realistic and leaving things be.

  10. As an archaeologist I think the inclusion of archaeology in the name would be favorable. Mesopotamian archaeology however excludes much of the studied area, as many already mentioned. The ANE however is not accurate if one wants to include colleagues from eg Japan the Near East or Proche Orient or Nahes Osten are not accurate descriptions of our area of study. Ancient Western Asia would – in my oppinion – be the more accurate term.

  11. The proposed new name seems to me very unfortunate, for the reasons most clearly explained by Sallaberger, Sasson, Owen, and von Dassow. As an Hittitologist with an (obvious) interest in other branches of ANE studies, I never felt “excluded” or treated as a second-rate member within IAA initiatives :) Should a name change take place at all costs, a reference to ANE would be far better than the proposed extension, but personally I don’t see the need for a change.

  12. Dear Colleagues,

    I think the change of the name to include Mesopotamian Archaeology is great – it is specific and covers only Mesopotamia from the larger field of Near Eastern Archaeology – it could not be Near Eastern Archaeology as Assyriology has its focus on Mesopotamia and cuneiform sources. Anyway, Syro-Mesopotamia could also be an alternative as the area of the focus – that would include Ebla, Ugarit and other important sites that are not exactly in Mesopotamia. As a professional archaeologist I also see that the change of the name brings possibilites to integrate more archaeologists in to IAA than previously – we are not all assyriologists and philologists even we work in the field of Syro-Mesopotamian Archaeology. I would also like to see more archaeologists in the board of IAA.

  13. The proposed new name would add one problematic term to another. By no stretch can “Mesopotamia” be extended to include Anatolia and the Levant, never mind Egypt, which many who may call ourselves Assyriologists also study. Surely the intent is not to exclude archaeologists who work in areas of the Near East beyond Mesopotamia, any more than the term “Assyriology” is meant to exclude Hittitology, etc. So why choose the restrictive term “Mesopotamian archaeology,” as if “Mesopotamia” can be made so elastic as to encompass all of the Near East but prehistory and the geographical areas the proponents deem it necessary to omit? If words have meanings, this proposed name change erases them.

    Others have already made essentially the same point, as well as a better proposal: change our name to the International Association for Ancient Near Eastern Studies. Despite its demerits, “the ancient Near East” is the only term in common use that covers what we mean to cover, without distortion. (If there is concern about overlap in nomenclature with ICAANE, it has already been addressed by the board’s observing that the latter is an entity of a different kind.)

  14. You have to go back to the roots of Assyriology to sense the full meaning of the term. This may be a good pedagogical challenge but the term certainly does not mediate the plurality of the discipline on first glance.
    This is one point. The other is that Near Eastern Archaeology has become a discipline in its own right. But please note: the discipline is called Near Eastern … or Vorderasiatische … or du Proche Orient and not Mesopotamian Archaeology!
    So if we want to stick with Assyriology we might as well use Mesopotamian Archaeology, both terms are not mirroring the plurality of either one discipline.
    If a more comprehensive term is wanted one should think of: Association of Ancient Near Eastern Studies or … Cultural Sciences.
    This may be a future discussion – for the time being I second the present motion.

  15. I do not agree with the name change in the proposed form, for the reasons put forward already especially by W. Sallaberger. Assyriology (as in the name of the Association) and Mesopotamian Archaeology are terms of two different categories. One very broad and one very specific. If Assyriology is taken in a narrow sense, then not only Mesopotamian Archaeology is not represented, but also Sumerology, Hittitology, Urartian Studies, Elam and Iran Studies, the Levant etc etc.
    Furthermore: Would the new name including only „Mesopotamian Archaeology“ mean that archaeologists working in Anatolia, the Levant, Iran etc. etc. are not welcome? Of course it should not and it does not mean that.

    Concerning the costs, there is another question: If the proposal to change the name would be accepted, would the association still be the IAA or would it be called the IAAMA? Would there have to be a new logo etc.? Since even if there is no charge to change the name in the Chamber of Commerce (as pointed out above), there are certainly costs if a new logo has to be created, changes to the website have to be done and whatever comes with a name change.
    If there should be a name change it should be to „The International Association for Ancient Near Eastern Studies” as proposed by M. Streck and supported by others here, but the easiest way would certainly be to keep the name as it is.

  16. With the suggestion of renaming, I fully agree. I would however prefer Michael Streck’s formulating proposal “The International Association for Ancient Near Eastern Studies”. In my opinion, this designation covers the entire field both geographically and in terms of content. Above all, it is to be hoped that the controversy over the so-called “unprovenanced objects”, escalating in the last few years, which can hardly be surpassed in absurdity, might come to an end.

  17. It seems that every generation takes delight in reinventing the wheel. The founding members of the IAA carefully, thoughtfully, and thoroughly discussed the matter of naming the society. Virtually all the issues raised in the comments here were entertained. At no time was there any intention to exclude archaeology or archaeologists from the association. They left us! Everyone agreed that archaeology is an integral component of Assyriology; and that Assyriology, in its classical form, was inclusive of all languages and cultures that utilized cuneiform. It was the growing sub-fields in Assyriology that evolved into separate societies such as the Hittitologists but still some attend the RAI even though they have their own meetings. A similar process developed within the American Oriental Society when the Egyptologists and others established their own societies and the archaeologists moved elsewhere while some continued to remain members and attend our meetings and even to present paperss. While there is great benefit to have cross-cultural interconnected meetings, or at least sessions, when societies and their meetings grow to the size of ICAANE or ASOR, they become unwieldy, impersonal and sometimes become commercial enterprises (e.g. SBL). The IAA meetings are relatively small, cordial, and intimate compared to virtually all the others. The meetings allow students to meet their teachers and other senior scholars in an informal setting. The sessions reflect the basic interests of the constituency and universities still can host these relatively manageable groups. Our current leadership appears to be pushing for expansion by a desire to include the much greater archaeological community. Really, do we want to have triple or quadruple parallel sessions in conference centers with many hundreds of people rushing around? The IAA represents a cohesive, dedicated following, many/most of whom know one another and who are supportive of our field. In this case size does matter, but it is our small size that makes us special, that makes us effective, that makes us attractive. We also happen to be financially solvent. I am against changing our name, changing our focus or creating divisive initiatives when none of this is necessary. Our emphasis should be on enhancing our meetings, encouraging and supporting our students and, most importantly, promoting Assyriology in our universities and to a wider public audience. Our previous administrations were doing just that and I see no compelling reason to alter their successful model.

    1. I support dio’s comments—to wit, “I see no compelling reason to alter [a] successful model.”

      I have personally benefited from the welcoming cordiality of the rencontres—and, while I did not initially understand the “exclusion”of archaeology, I came to feel that the discipline is in fact represented.

  18. As an archaeologist AND member of the IAA I can strongly stress, that I have never considered myself being an “Assyriologist”, not even in the most old-fashioned and broadest sense. And I doubt that many of my colleagues do so. Have we ever labelled scholars like Frankfurt, Moortgat, Koldewey, Woolley “assyriologists”?
    We should not discuss here the odd organization of any ICAANE with lots of papers on single excavations. Contributions of archaeologists to RAIs are in most cases focusing on the main topics and shall be so in the future.
    But we have to attract younger archaeologists to participate at the RAI and not considering it a merely philological meeting. Thus I feel very much the urgent need of changing the name.

  19. Actually, by almost all definitions, “Assyriology” includes ANE/Mesop. Arch. (Even the Wikipedia, follows suit!) So the addition is redundant. Worse: it is reductive, and I should not be shocked if folks would wonder whether the proposed expansion is itself too narrow. Less, as we all know, is more.

    In the IAA website, Assyriology is defined too narrowly as a purely philological endeavor. We need only to update and harmonize it with what is said in our charter.

    This issue was raised during the founding of the IAA, and some of the same objections were offered.

    Jack

  20. The proposed title strikes me as somewhat unwieldy. Has an alternative such as “International Association for Mesopotamian Studies” been considered?

  21. I fully agree with you that Mesopotamian archaeology should be somehow part of the name.
    Another possibilty would be to call our association “The International Association for Ancient Near Eastern Studies”, which also would cover both fields, is an easier name and has the additional advantage to include visibly all sub-branches that are not really covered by the venerable but out-fashinoned term “Assyriology”, such as Hittitology etc.

  22. Both philology and archaeology are vital to understand our field of study. Therefore I definitely agree with the proposal to document this in the name of our Association. However I would have preferred something like “International Association for Ancient Near Eastern Studies” (to include Hittitology, Urartean Studies etc).

  23. I fully support this change. Cuneiform studies cannot exist without archaeology. As in any family, relationships can be tense. That is not a reason to walk away – but rather to confirm with emphasis that we belong together and need each other.

  24. I am presently epigraphist of the Ebla excavation and of the Ușaklı (Turkey) excavation; I have been epigraphist of the Tell Afis excavation.
    I enjoyed, therefore, the advantages of this position: first of all, to know the places and last (surely not least) to have got epigraphic material from all the three excavations (of different importance, of course).
    I can affirm that I am in a position (also because I have been invited to speak in several meetings by field archaeologists) to appreciate the collaboration with the archaeologists as very few others.
    I have to do daily with an archaeologist, and still survive very well indeed.
    (I refrain, however, to quote the too many examples which, on the contrary, demonstrate how difficult can be the coexistence between archaeologists and philologists, particularly if belonging to same institution!).

    My disagreement in changing the name of our association has just logistic reasons.
    When Paolo Matthiae (the director of one of the excavations of which I am a humble collaborator) founded ICAANE, I was very angry with him, and I said it in some IAA board meetings.
    After few years, I had to recognize (and I did it openly) that his undertaking was a blessed one.

    Have you ever taken part in one of the last ICAANE congresses? Vienna, e. g. If not, you have not an idea how many archaeologists (old and young) are eager to speak! Evderyone pretend to speak on his small excavated spot, or some pieces of pottery. They tried to put limits: only one speaker for each excavation. Alas: impossible. In Vienna someone presented even three papers!

    I have organized a Rencontre: it was very difficult (impossible I would say) to have a kind of control on people and papers. How can you judge? An unknown person can offer a more interesting paper than a too mature scholar.
    But, otherside, I have experienced that someone who got with me only his/her three years degree, and was refused for the five years diploma, was allowed to present a paper in 2 (two) Rencontres!

    Years ago it was decided to have only three parallel sections at the RAI.
    If the archaeologists who will take part in the Rencontres will lose the feeling of the necessity of an interaction between them and the historians and philologists, the situation risks to be untenible.
    It is not easy to find who offers to organize such huge congresses, even each two years. In Vienna the entrance fee was particular high.

    In the RAIs of Paris, Barcelona, and so on, there was a considerable participation of archaeologists. Have you the impression that they feel to be second class participants?

    NOBODY HAD THIS IDEA, and I hope that this enquiry will not spread this feeling!

  25. the point of the old-fashioned term “Assyriology” is that it may include Sumerology, Hittitology, or Archaeology as well. “Assyriology and Mesopotamian Archaeology” is one very broad and one very specific term combined; and note that some even tend to split “archaeology” and “art history”, and that some speak of “philology” and “history”, or between “literary studies” and “socio-economic history”; and it would exclude Anatolian archaeology etc etc. So I prefer to stay with “Assyriology” as an old-fashioned term that we use in a very broad sense.

    1. As an archaeologist and member of the IAA I can maintain that I never considered myself an assyriologist, not even in the most old-fashioned and broadest sense of the word. And I am quite sure that it is the same for most of my colleagues. I also never read that somebody called Frankfurt, Moortgat, Koldewey or Wolley an assyriologist.
      If we want to attract more younger archaeologists to attend RAIs, a renaming would be a good sign.
      Moreover, we should not discuss the quality of any ICAANEs, because normally, archaeologists participating at the RAI are trying to contribute to the main topics and do not present papers on single excavations or potsherds.

    2. I agree with W. Sallaberger and J. Sasson. And I would add that if a change is deemed necessary, in the “old fashion” way, the proposed new title should be “Assyriology and Oriental Archaeology” (cf. the title of the oldest journal in our field, “Revue d’Assyriologie et d’Archéologie Orientale”

  26. I am in favor of the new-wording proposed: “International Association for Assyriology and Mesopotamian Archaeology”. The opening of the Association to archaeologists and in general, to non-cuneiformists, is very welcome and will result in a broader and more stimulating participation to the scientific activities of the Association

  27. This seems unobjectionable to me; I will be curious to know what, if any, problems other members might foresee in this proposal.

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