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image of Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient

Since its inception in the nineteenth century, ancient Mesopotamian studies has recognized a division of labor between archaeologists and philologists/historians that has often skewed histories of the "land between the rivers." Recent efforts, inspired in part by the Sumerologist Thorkild Jacobsen, offer hope for more holistic histories. Three case studies—on the Inanna temple at Nippur under the Third Dynasty of Ur, abrupt climate change in the late third millennium and its social impact as reconstructed from environmental proxy data and textual sources, and the Sumerian Agriculture Group's collaborative research on subsistence—typify efforts to integrate material culture and texts.

Dès le début des études sur la Mésopotamie ancienne au 19ème siècle, un fossé s'est creusé entre les archéologues et les philologues/historiens, et les travaux historiques portant sur le "pays entre les fleuves" en ont souvent été influencés. De récents efforts, inspirés en partie par le sumérologue Thorkild Jacobsen, permettent d'espérer une histoire plus compréhensive. Trois études de cas caractérisent les efforts d'intégration des données de la culture matérielle et des documents écrits: le temple d'Inanna à Nippour sous la troisième dynastie d'Ur; le brusque changement de climat survenu vers la fin du troisième millénaire et son impact social reconstruits à partir de textes et de données indirectes dérivées de l'environnement; enfin la recherche en interdisciplinaire du Sumerian Agriculture Group sur les ressources alimentaires.


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