Material Text Cultures

Subproject of the 1st Funding Period (2011-2015)

Materiality and Presence of Writing in the Ancient Mesopotamian Discourse of Power between 2500 and 1800 ACN
(Prof. Dr. Markus Hilgert, Dr. Thomas E. Balke)
Manifestation of rulership in the archaeological record from 3rd millennium southern Mesopotamia
(Prof. Dr. Peter A. Miglus, Dr. Christina Tsouparopoulou)


Artefacts bearing cuneiform texts that may be attributed to the discourse of power (e.g. inscriptions about rulers, hymns to rules, administrative documents) will be examined systematically with regard to the reflective elements written on them concerning the materiality and presence of writing (UP 1: Assyriology), and their material presence in antique contexts of reception (UP 2: Near Eastern Archaeology). From this the relationship between discourses and practices will be charted, along with a profile of the implementation of writing in the Ancient Mesopotamian discourse of power.


UP 1
  • Identifying relevant discursive fragments and analysing how they treat a) aspects of ‘materialisation’ and ‘presentification’, b) protagonists and practices, c) relevant arrangements of bodies and things
  • Analysis of explicit and implicit statements about the implementation of writing as a material manifestation and ‘instrument’ of rule
UP 2
  • Drawing up ‘material profiles’‘, ‘topologies’ and ‘praxeograms’ in order to document and analyse
  • aspects of ‘materialisation‘ and ‘presentification’,
  • probable practices of reception and protagonists,
  • surrounding arrangements of bodies and things


Subprojects of the 3rd Funding Period

A01 A02 A03 A05 A06 A08 A09 A10 A11 A12 B01 B04 B09 B10 B13 B14 B15 C05 C07 C08 C09 C10 INF Ö2 Z



Completed Subprojects

A01 A03 A04 B02 B03 B06 B07 B11 B12 C01 C02 C03 C04 C06 IGK Ö1



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