ItemMatrices of motherhood in Judges 5(SAGE, 2019-05-07) Thelle, Rannfrid I.In Judges 5, patterns of motherhood weave throughout the poem, forming an intrinsic component of the fabric of the text. In pursuing these threads, I focus on the construction of Deborah as ‘mother in Israel’, both through this plain attribution and through the intriguing ordering of the Israelite tribes. A focus on Deborah as Israelite matriarch—a counterpart to Jacob—brings into sharp relief the counterpoint between the tribes of Deborah and the Canaanites. The imagined anxieties of the mother of Sisera serve to implicate mothers in a justification of violence against women. The poem thus prods readers/audiences to consider Israelite and their own perceptions of their enemies. The striking climax of the poem comes with the blessing for Jael and her killing of Sisera, the captain of Israel’s enemy, with the figure of Jael forming a point of triangulation in the intriguing interplay between these pivotal mothers. ItemDiscovering Babylon (Preface)(Taylor & Francis, 2019) Thelle, Rannfrid I.This volume presents Babylon as it has been passed down through Western culture: through the Bible, classical texts, in Medieval travel accounts, and through depictions of the Tower motif in art. It then details the discovery of the material culture remains of Babylon from the middle of the 19th century and through the great excavation of 1899-1917, and focuses on the encounter between the Babylon of tradition and the Babylon unearthed by the archaeologists. This book is unique in its multi-disciplinary approach, combining expertise in biblical studies and Assyriology with perspectives on history, art history, intellectual history, reception studies and contemporary issues. ItemBeginning discovery (Chapter 1)(Taylor & Francis, 2019) Thelle, Rannfrid I.After lying buried in the ground for over 2000 years, the remains of ancient Babylon were excavated around 100 years ago. Yet, even after its discovery the city remains enveloped in a web of myth, and occupies a unique place in our culture. The book opens with the author’s first-person account of a visit to the site of ancient Babylon in present-day Iraq, which leads into questions about how we form our expectations about the past. What is Babylon? How do we know anything about it? Where do our ideas about it come from? ItemThe discovery of Mesopotamia (Chapter 5)(Taylor & Francis, 2019) Thelle, Rannfrid I.The 19th century’s archaeological discovery of Mesopotamia took place in the context of Enlightenment ideals, European nationalism, and the race to colonize both new lands and their ancient pasts. Assyria was the first civilization to be discovered, with British and French excavators pioneering the field. The 1856 decipherment of cuneiform proved decisive for interpreting the thousands of inscribed tablets unearthed in Assyria and Babylonia. The city of Babylon was the first large-scale German project in Mesopotamia, conducted during the last, most ambitious phase of German imperialism, 1899–1917. Excavators discovered the fantastic Ishtar Gate, a colossal brick structure that had been covered with colored glaze, decorated with lions, dragons, and bulls. However, no tower was discovered, and although the Hanging Gardens were identified, not everyone was convinced. Babylon became known, but what they found was new and strange. ItemBack to the future (Chapter 9)(Taylor & Francis, 2019) Thelle, Rannfrid I.The final chapter assesses the impact of the encounter between the received Babylon and the excavated Babylon on our knowledge and understanding of Babylon. The discussion leads into a reflection on the significance of cultural heritage management for the future, on the discipline of history, and what it means to us, in the present, to know the past.