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State Archives of Assyria Online (SAAo)

Browse the SAAo corpus [/saao/corpus]

A pair of Assyrian scribes filing reports after the conquest of a Babylonian city, Nimrud, 8th century BC (BM ANE 118882)

A pair of Assyrian scribes filing reports after the conquest of a Babylonian city (BM ANE 118882). The wall relief once decorated Tiglath-pileser III's Central Palace at Kalhu (modern Nimrud); photo by Karen Radner.

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. Headed by Karen Radner, the creation of SAAo has been made possible through the generous support of colleagues based at Cambridge, London, Munich, Philadelphia and Vienna as part of research conducted with Austrian, German and UK funding.

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).

SAA 5 241 obverse

The obverse of a letter (SAA 5 241 []) from Adad-ibni to the king (Sargon II) mentioning that an unnamed Babylonian was was sent to the palace.

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 have been 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). Since 2015, Mikko Luukko is continuing the lemmatisation of the remaining SAAo materials with funding provided by the Alexander von Humboldt Chair of Ancient History of the Near and Middle East at LMU Munich (Humboldt Professorship 2015, Karen Radner). As of July 2017, volumes 1-2, 5-11, 13-19 have been lemmatised.

Assyrian tablet SAA 8 287, obverse

The obverse of an astrological report (SAA 8 287 []) from Nergal-eáš­ir to an Assyrian king mentioning a birth omen.

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 Knowledge and Power in the Neo-Assyrian Empire []. 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 [].

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CC BY-SA The SAAo Project, 2014-