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Mesopotamian Magic; A New Discovery.

Dr Irving Finkel (British Museum) will be speaking on his new discovery of a political form of invocation magic.

In Mesopotamia, one form of practical cuneiform magic was called 'Entering the Palace' in which one magically disarms the court and the coteries that surrounded the king, so as to gain the king's ear. It is attested in incantation tablets, and up till now all the known examples have been from the Assyrian capitals like Ashur and Nineveh. Dr Finkel of the British Museum will be revealing a new one just discovered, and this one is 1000 years older than these known one, and it shows origin of this magical idea among the West Semites before the time of Hammurabi. This newly discovered magical incantation tablet also gives unique insight into one highly-stressed and obsessive individual about to plead his case in front of the king.

Irving Finkel is Assistant Keeper of Near Eastern Antiquities at the British Museum. He is the curator in charge of cuneiform inscriptions on tablets of clay from ancient Mesopotamia, of which the Middle East Department has the largest collection- some 130,000 pieces – of any modern museum. His work involves reading and translating inscriptions, sometimes working on ancient archives. With his occasional evening slide lectures, Dr Finkel has been bringing mesopotamian magic to life at Treadwell's for a couple of years now.


Dr Irving Finkel | talks | www


Date and Time:

22 January 2008 at 7:15 pm


1 hour 30 minutes



Treadwell's Books
33 Store Street
020 7419 8507

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