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Knowing Plants in Cuneiform Cultures: Revisiting R.C. Thompson's “Dictionary of Assyrian Botany”

Lecture | February 15 | 12-1 p.m. | 254 Barrows Hall

Eduardo Escobar, PhD Candidate, Department of Near Eastern Studies, UC Berkeley

Near Eastern Studies

This talk will consider what R.C Thompson's 1949 "Dictionary of Assyrian Botany" might look like in the twenty-first century. Scribal investigations of plants covered a wide range of scholarly genres in cuneiform cultures, from lexical lists, to materia medica, and glassmaking recipes. I will address the perennial challenge of identifying modern plant species in ancient texts, and suggest new ways forward using network visualization and the history of science.