Welcome to the latest issue of Mar Shiprim, the newsletter of the IAA! This issue of the newsletter brings exciting news, both good and bad, from all over the world – from Helsinki to Baghdad, from Hamburg to Moscow, and from Denmark to Japan.

The issue focuses on this year’s IAA General Meeting, and the Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale held in Marburg. Besides a summary of the Rencontre, the newsletter includes also a report congratulating the winners of the IAA prizes announced at the General Meeting, and a paper on outreach originally presented at the conference.

For those who enjoy learning more about how Assyriologists live and work across the world, this is a particularly fortuitous issue of the newsletter. Technical snags caused the delay of an interview scheduled for the previous issue, so here we bring you a double installment of our recurring theme ‘In the Spotlight’: the spotlight now falls on both Helsinki and Hamburg.

In addition, the issue brings news from Iraq, Japan, and Russia. Ahmad Kamil of the Iraq Museum reports on the various Assyriological activities in Iraq of this year, while Jeff Allen brings us an update on the World Monuments Fund’s project in Babylon. Meanwhile, Chikako Watanabe tells of merry anniversary celebrations for ancient Near Eastern studies in Japan, and Anastasia Iasenovskaia from the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts details the museum’s efforts to preserve and digitize their collection of cuneiform texts.

In sum, this issue of the newsletter includes:

Taken together, the issue paints a varied picture of the challenges and opportunities ahead for Assyriology and ancient Near Eastern archaeology, including the preservation of threatened heritage in Iraq, the closing of departments and the beginning of new research centres, the importance of academic outreach, and the celebration of scholarly achievements and milestone anniversaries.

The next issue will come out in February, and will include news about the integration of digital humanities and kudos to the winner and runner-up of the IAA Dissertation Prize, while the spotlight will fall on Omar N’Shea at the University of Malta. But that’s not all – Mar Shiprim is always open for submissions. Do you have happy news to share? A conference you would like to report on? A project you would like to advertise? Or a suggestion for new content? Then send us an email and we will include it in the next issue. And do let us know if you find any bugs on the site, mistakes in the reports, or faults in the design. The great thing about electronic newsletters is that all such things can be fixed with a few clicks.

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