This paper presents the flaked flint and obsidian assemblages excavated in 1990 from Tell Kashkashok I, northeast Syria. Albeit a small collection selected from limited excavations, they represent one of the rare Halafian lithic assemblages that help define the lithic craft tradition of the Syrian Jazireh during this period. The analysis shows that the assemblages belong to the Late Halafian industry characterized by the common use of the following: imported raw materials, elaborate techniques for blank production including pressure debitage, snapped rectangular blades and crescent-shaped flake-blades with backed edges for sickle elements, bifacial knives made on tabular flint, and the rare manufacturing of burins. The literature survey reveals that these traits are recognized in the Early-Middle Halafian and the Late Pottery Neolithic industries of the Syrian Jazireh, suggesting that the Halafian lithic tradition of the region was established through indigenous cultural development. At the same time, the survey reveals that they do not occur in the neighboring regions as a package but in different combinations by regions. Future research into those regionally different patterns would provide a means to interpret the complex Halafian cultural dynamics from a perspective not examined in prior research that emphasized pottery analysis.
This article examines the epigraphic sources from the late third millennium BC from the city of Ur in southern Mesopotamia in order to reconstruct the organization of the city’s centrally controlled storehouse e2-kišib3-ba, and to analyze the in- and outflow of products and commodities in this facility. It is argued that a better understanding of the administrative context of this institution as it is reflected in the textual documentation can help us reconstruct in more concrete terms the overall structure of the higher levels of the so-called household economy of the third millennium Sumerian city-states.
This article aims to prove that the module system in the architectural design of Ancient Egypt was in use as early as the New Kingdom Period. I first extract the essence of the Egyptian module system evident in the elevation drawings of shrines on papyrus from the Late Period to the Greco-Roman Period, and I then extrapolate its use in works of earlier periods, mainly in depictions of shrines, furniture pieces and smaller wooden shrines, but also in a stone shrine from the time of Thutmose III. The result of this preliminary analysis shows that the use of the Egyptian module system can be traced to as early as the Eighteenth Dynasty and that more precise documentations for wooden and stone shrines known to us would be helpful to further clarify the principles of such design practice.
The article later defines the characteristics of the Egyptian module system by comparing it to the Vitruvian module system, whose origin hitherto has been said to be Greek. The schematic diagrams of the Doric and Ionic systems clearly show the difference in methods of defining the dimensions of each component of a design. The Doric system represents a radial pattern, in which a single module defines the dimensions of most parts.
This is identical to the module system of Ancient Egyptian shrines. The Ionic system, on the other hand, designates several dimensions as references, and as such, this system is to be regarded as multi-modular. In the historical development of the architectural styles, in order to create more elaborate system of design that would suit each culture’s architectural style and philosophy, the Doric system was perhaps based on the Egyptian system, and the Ionic system developed from the Doric.
This paper introduces an unpublished cuneiform Akkadian (Late Babylonian) document on the clay tablet BM 35183 of the British Museum. This document is a part of an astronomical diary, and includes a long historical account. A part of it concerns Ardaya, “the general of Babylonia,” i.e. the commander of the army in Babylonia, and sheds new light on the collapse of Seleucid rule of Babylonia in the late 140s B.C. The new document reports that someone “abandoned” Ardaya, probably at a point between his defeat by the Elamite king Kamniskires I and the appointments of the new “general above the four generals” (governor-general of the Upper Satrapies of the Seleucids; however, the office’s jurisdiction seems to have been restricted to Babylonia under the Arsacids) and “the general of Babylonia” at the conquest of Babylonia by the Arsacids. Another part of the document increases our knowledge of the administration of Esagil in the late second century B.C. It mentions Bēl-lūmur with his title zazakku. A person Bēl-lūmur as the šatammu of Esagil is attested in two documents of the 120s and the 110s B.C. If he is the same person as Bēl-lūmur mentioned in the new document, it shows his past office in the late 140s B.C. and indicates that a person once served as the zazakku could become the šatammu.
Various issues involving theoretical and practical dimensions of medicine have been studied by using the Cairo Genizah. However, there are few in-depth studies on medical education. This article focuses on the medieval Arabic ophthalmology textbook, Masāʾil wa-ajwiba fīʿilm ṣināʿat al-kuḥl (hereafter MI), written by Dāniyāl ibn Shuʿyā. This is a textbook that arranges ʿAlī ibn ʿĪsā’s Tadhkirat al-kaḥḥāllīn (hereafter TK) into the question-and-answer format.
MI is a concise and comprehensive textbook that includes anatomy, physiology, diagnostics, therapeutics, and pharmacology. Whereas Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq’s Masāʾil fī al-ʿayn is limited to theoretical knowledge, MI contains the total procedure from knowing nature of eye diseases to treatment, and enables readers to apply certain medicinal substances to specific situations. However, MI’s crucial defect is that it arranges treatment plans along one linear disease progression, and cut off many derivative plans.
Schematic composition is the remarkable feature of MI. Dāniyāl ibn Shuʿyā adopted some medical categories, which had been recognized but left unused in earlier Arabic medical books, in order to present the content in the concise scheme.
The content of MI basically follows that of TK; therefore, it does not contain remarkably new elements. However, since Dāniyāl ibn Shuʿyā arranged TK into the roughly fixed pattern, he occasionally had to fill omissions of TK with his original questions and answers. These new components were presumably referred to by later ophthalmologists such as Khalīfa ibn Abī al-Maḥāsin al-Ḥalabī.
This study presents a hitherto unknown attestation from the mid-fifteenth century CE of the followers of the Muḥammad Shāhī branch of Nizārī Ismāʿīlism. The attestation in question is a marginal note found on folio 25b of MS British Library Or. 1406, a notebook of a Twelver Shiʿi genealogist from Najaf. The subject of the marginal note is a “madhhab” (religious group) attributed to a Khūn Muḥammad, a figure identifiable as the Nizārī imam Khudāwand Muḥammad (fl. in the second half of the fourteenth century). The note includes references to Khurāsān, Ray, Sulṭāniyya, and “K-S-K-R Khūn Muḥammad” in Gīlān, which are mentioned as the places where sub-groups of Khūn Muḥammad’s madhhab were found at the time. The Najafī genealogist states that he met members of some of those sub-groups. The marginal note, in addition, shows the genealogist’s understanding that one such subgroup was called al-Khūndiyya. Further, the reference to a Shāh Ṭāhir in relation to the sub-group in Sulṭāniyya allows us to use this note as a source for discussing the background of Shāh Ṭāhir Dakanī, a well-known Muḥammad Shāhī imam from the first half of the sixteenth century. The Shāh Ṭāhir in the note is no doubt Dakanī’s grandfather. This linkage makes it clear that “al-Khūndiyya” as the name of Dakanī’s family derives from the family’s relationship with former Nizārī imams, that is, khudāwands, and possibly also from the family’s contemporary status as the family of the imamate, rather than simply from a (possibly fictitious) toponym Khūnd as has been explained to date. Lastly, this note enables us to establish a link between Muḥammad Shāhī Shāh Ṭāhir and Khudāwand Muḥammad, the nature of which reinforces the general understanding that Khudāwand Muḥammad was a Muḥammad Shāhī imam, in spite of a recent opinion that suggests otherwise.