Over the rainbow

September 26, 2017 by Leanne Shelton
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Visiting Professor Wayne Horowitz from Hebrew University amazed his audience with his lecture on rainbows held at North Shore Temple Emanuel.

Ilana Den – Federal Executive Director, AUSTFHU, Robert Simons Federal President, AUSTFHU, Professor Wayne Horowitz – Professor of Assyriology at the HUJI, Dr Gil Davis – Director, Program for Ancient Mediterranean Studies, Macquarie University, NSTE President, Mark Ginsburg

Wayne told how the biblical story of the Flood had its origins in the misty Sumerian past, where rainbows more often than not portended disaster. He then linked the story with native traditions, such as the Gwich’in narrative of ‘The Boy in the Moon’ of Arctic Canada, where, curiously, they speak a language derived from Sumerian.

The talk was co-sponsored by Macquarie and Hebrew Universities. Dr Gil Davis, Director of Ancient Mediterranean Studies at Macquarie University, introduced Wayne and spoke a bit about the achievements of the Ancient Israel Program and the joint cooperation between the two universities. Robert Simons, President of the Australian Friends of Hebrew University made a vote of thanks to Wayne and to the NSTE which is a frequent and welcoming host to such events under its President, Mark Ginsburg.

Many of the students in the audience will be taking part in courses that have been jointly set up by the two universities in Israel at Hebrew University over the coming summer break. These include a Biblical Archaeology course, an Ulpan, and a joint archaeological excavation between Hebrew and Macquarie Universities at the site of Khirbet el-Rai.


One Response to “Over the rainbow”
  1. Larry Stillman says:

    Prof Horowitz is actually project leader of the Cuneiform in Australia and New Zealand Project (CANZ), of which I am part. We were contempories in our cuneiform studies.

    I am a part of this project, together with Dr Luis Siddall in Sydney, Prof Horowitz’s PhD student, Peter Zilberg, and Christopher Davey of the Australian Institute of Archaeology. Dr Horowitz and Mr Zilberg were here to conduct further research in museum collections. The project aims to publish in a scholarly edition, all cuneiform (Sumerian and Akkadian and one or two other) texts, mostly clay tablets and incised stone, in Australian and New Zealand museums.

    The project has discovered some very rare texts, including a unique medical-magical text with a drawing of a demon, as well as a very important list of gods, and a text incribed in Akkadian and Aramaic.

    All these texts are important contributions to world knowledge, as well as to cultural heritage held in both Australia and New Zealand. It is no exaggeration to say that this is one of the most obscure yet academically important collaborations between scholars in Australia, Israel, and New Zealand!

    The first volume should be published next year, with subsequent volumes to follow.

    See https://www.facebook.com/canzcuneiform/ for more information.

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