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State Archives of Assyria Online (SAAo) is an open-access web resource that aims to make the rich Neo-Assyrian materials found in the royal archives of Nineveh, and elsewhere, more widely accessible.
Based on an existing ASCII text database created by Simo Parpola and his team at the University of Helsinki, the online transliterations and translations are those of the standard editions in the series "State Archives of Assyria". All of the published volumes are accessible online, in addition to volume 2 of the companion series "State Archives of Assyria Studies", the edition of the Eponym Lists and Chronicles. The web presentation and linguistic annotation are carried out using tools and standards developed by Steve Tinney (University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia).
The state correspondence of king Sargon II (published in volumes 1, 5, 15 and 17) was the first chunk of the SAAo materials to have been "lemmatised", providing glossaries and interactive translation facilities which allow the user to check and question the translations in detail and make the corpus fully searchable, in order to facilitate and encourage an active understanding of the primary sources. This is the work of a team headed by Karen Radner (University College London) and funded by the British Arts and Humanities Research Council. The research project "Mechanisms of Communication in an Ancient Empire: The Correspondence between the King of Assyria and his Magnates in the 8th Century BC" (AH/F016581/1; 2008-2013) also included the preparation of a new edition of the Nimrud Letters, parts of the state correspondence of Tiglath-pileser III and Sargon, by Mikko Luukko (volume 19), which was published simultaneously in print and online in March 2013.
Other parts of the SAAo materials are being made available in the same manner. During his time at UCL, Mikko Luukko lemmatised the prophecies (volume 9) and part of the royal correspondence of the 7th century BC (volumes 13 and 16). Melanie Groß, as part of the research project "Royal Institutional Households in First Millennium BC Mesopotamia" (Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung, S 10802-G18; 2009-2011) headed by Heather D. Baker (University of Vienna), lemmatised the private legal documents (volumes 6 and 14). - As of March 2013, volumes 1, 5-6, 9, 13-17 and 19 have been lemmatised.
Online portals provide context and explanatory materials for SAAo. Hence, the website "Knowledge and Power in the Neo-Assyrian Empire", created by Radner, Eleanor Robson (University of Cambridge) and Tinney with funding from the British Higher Education Academy, is dedicated to the 7th century letters, queries and reports exchanged between kings Esarhaddon and Assurbanipal and their scholarly advisors; the companion corpus is http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/saao/knpp/corpus/. Another such portal, "Assyrian Empire Builders" is devoted to the 8th century political correspondence as part of the UCL research project, with a companion corpus at Assyrian Empire Builders. Further portals are planned.