Skip to comments.Ancient world dictionary finished — after 90 years
Posted on 06/04/2011 7:47:12 AM PDT by decimon
CHICAGO It was a monumental project with modest beginnings: a small group of scholars and some index cards. The plan was to explore a long-dead language that would reveal an ancient world of chariots and concubines, royal decrees and diaries and omens that came from the heavens and sheep livers.
The year: 1921. The place: The University of Chicago. The project: Assembling an Assyrian dictionary based on words recorded on clay or stone tablets unearthed from ruins in Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey, written in a language that hadn't been uttered for more than 2,000 years. The scholars knew the project would take a long time. No one quite expected how very long.
Now that the dictionary is finished, Roth says there's a feeling of tremendous accomplishment and "a little bit of a sense of loss.... This has occupied my waking and sleeping moments for 32 years. You dream this stuff."
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
Warren’s the word ping.
An amazing story about an amazing journey.
I wonder how much is online. It would be fascinating reading.
Sounds like an Obama wet dream for America
The editors of the Bavarian Dictionary say it will take 45 years. I bet their underestimating. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11095620
You deserve some applause if you can read it.
You are bairisch on their prospects?
Can you spell Grant Money??
just saw that a couple days ago.... thinking the same thing
I doubt it. If grant money had been involved, they would have hired a bunch of grad students and done it in 20 years.
It sounds more like a labor of real scholarship. It was started long before the era of multitudinous government grants. Before Franklin Roosevelt.
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It was a black and white world, and I’m glad. :’)
This project was started during the same year that Ray Chapman Andrews (the inspiration for Indiana Jones) was planning his expeditions into the Gobi desert in Mongolia. It was a golden age, after WWI and before the Great Depression. Calvin Coolidge, one of our greatest and most successful presidents, was in charge during most of this era.
Did a little googling...lotsa past grants and ongoing grants for this.
Ohhh! Nice one.
Thanks for your research.
"This has occupied my waking and sleeping moments for 32 years. You dream this stuff."
Just imagine his disappointment when he finds out there's no one to converse with!
Other than the same dorks she's been with for 32 years.
Now that is scholarship....
Thanks for the post and the Ping!
Ah, I missed that he is a she. Couldn’t tell from the excerpt.
Anyway, looks like these people are all over the world, so it’ll have to be by telephone or email (is there a font for that yet?)
Obviously the end of an era of important scholarship with no new words to conquer.
ETAOIN SHRDLU, Professor Roth.
The pdf files are here (they do ask that downloads be limited to one copy and are for personal use only):
And a high speed internet link would be a really good thing. The volume for the letter B is something like 35 MB.