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Grant number like: RZ-50877-08

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Saint Joseph's University (Philadelphia, PA 19131-1308)
Bruce Wells (Project Director: November 2007 to November 2010)

Collaborative Research
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$175,000 (approved)
$175,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2008 – 6/30/2010

The Neo-Babylonian Trial Procedure

Continuing work on the transcription, computer encoding, translation, and analysis of about 1,500 cuneiform clay tablets of Neo-Babylonian litigation documents. (36 months)

This project seeks to understand and describe the features and procedures of the trial court system from ancient Mesopotamia (southern Iraq) during the seventh to fifth centuries BCE (the Neo-Babylonian period). This effort includes: (1) analyzing the 1,466 Neo-Babylonian documents that the project has already identified as potentially related to trial proceedings from that period; (2) encoding a large number of these texts with the Unicode encodings for cuneiform signs; (3) mining these texts for legal and historical content; and (4) compiling and organizing the encoding data and the legal-historical analysis in the University of Chicago's OCHRE system, a Unicode-based and internet-based system designed specifically for the study of ancient Near Eastern texts and artifacts. The ultimate goal of the project is to produce a written presentation of the findings in book form and to make available a free website with encoded Neo-Babylonian texts, searchable by individual cuneiform signs.