Otto, Adelheid and Ziegler, Nele (eds.)
Berliner Beiträge zum Vorderen Orient, Vol. 30. Gladbeck: PEWE Verlag.
Itineraries and route descriptions are among the most outstanding
sources for the reconstruction of historical geography. The stages
mentioned in texts make it possible to determine the ancient road
network in interdisciplinary cooperation between philology and
archaeology and to identify ancient toponyms with archaeologically
proven settlements dated by excavation or survey. However, routes are
rarely the shortest way from A to B, but were always determined by
certain parameters: What did the landscape that was travelled through
look like? Where was water for travellers and pack animals accessible
and where could rivers be crossed? How did travellers adapt to the
seasonal conditions? And where did they find safe accommodation if there
was no settlement?
This volume brings together the answers of international experts from
various disciplines. In the first part, the general conditions of
vegetation, weather, water resources and general requirements for routes
and travelling are discussed in five contributions by K. Deckers &
M. de Gruchy, H. Reculeau, E. Cancik-Kirschbaum and A. Dietz.
Furthermore, IT methods that allow knowledge modelling of itineraries
are presented by C. Cruz and M. Poncet.
The second part deals with selected itineraries in Upper Mesopotamia
during the Middle and Late Bronze Age. A. Tenu, J.-L. Montero Fenollós
& Francisco Caramelo present a new Middle Assyrian route stage, and
D. Charpin reconstructs Zimri-Lim’s route from the Habur to the
Euphrates. N. Ziegler, A. Otto & C. Fink present a new edition of
the Old Babylonian „Road to Emar“, the most elaborate travel description
of Mesopotamian written documentation, and achieve an advanced
reconstruction of the route and the identification of various ancient
toponyms, above all of Šamši-Adad’s capital city Ekallatum