Hello, remember me?
I know, I have been very quiet this past week. That’s because I have been very busy. The conference days were long, partly because we had so much good material, and partly because, this being Barcelona, we allowed 1.5 hours for lunch. The days tended to finish at around 7:00pm, after which we’d go out for a glass or two of wine, and then go for dinner. By the time we were done it was time for bed.
The lack of blogging wasn’t helped by the fact that my hotel was fairly basic. The wifi was good but there was no desk so I tended to just check email then drop offline again. I’m not complaining. The room was clean, comfortable and ideally situated just a few minutes walk from the university. It was also very cheap. That was ideal for somewhere I would be spending very little time in, but needed for sleep.
My final excuse for not blogging more is that much of the material was very esoteric. You folks probably won’t be interested in an in-depth analysis of the names that Babylonians gave their children, a list of all of the known scribes from the Assyrian empire and their functions, or Talmudic deliberations on whether being breastfed made a male baby unclean. However, here are a few things I found out about that may be more amusing.
First up, thanks to Anne Katrine de Hemmer Gudme for introducing me to the Brick Testament. This is a recreation of the Bible in Lego dioramas. Naturally it reproduces a whole lot of weirdness from the Old Testament, including this explanation of when it is OK to have your son stoned to death and this rather NSFW depiction of male sex workers. It is also a useful reminder of just how many people the Israelite god managed to slaughter during the course of the narrative.
Second, thanks to Amy Gansell for introducing me to the recreation of the royal palace at Nimrud created by Learning Sites, Inc.. This palace was built by Ashurnasirpal II and material from it is available in numerous museums around the world. There is also a 2D walk-through available here via a Firefox plugin.
The video below is a 2D fly-through of the place, but it is also available as a VR experience using Oculus Rift. When Amy first encountered the project there were no women shown at all in the recreation. Thankfully Learning Sites has been willing to work with her to develop a representation of Ashurnasirpal’s queen, Mullissu-mukannišat-Ninua and some of her servants.
Since the recreation project was begun, what remains of the actual site at Nimrud has apparently been destroyed by Daesh.