Reconceptualising the essentials of philological editions – fostering a new generation of scholars
The cuneiform record of the ancient Near East is the central corpus of sources within Assyriology as a historical-cultural discipline. Thousands of cuneiform tablets languish still unread in museums or slumber in the earth. In order to make accessible this wealth of knowledge to the field, their appropriate study is necessary: Philology is still very much real and essential research.
Reading unpublished cuneiform texts cannot be learnt from a book, but rather through practice and experience. The Heidelberg Research Laboratory for the Ancient Near East lends the ideal auspices to adapt to the challenges of the decipherment, documentation, and evaluation of unpublished cuneiform texts, and serves as a qualification for independent work upon unpublished source material. The participants expand and hone their own research profile and augment thereby their international competitiveness.
With its didactic concept, the Heidelberg Research Laboratory for the Ancient Near East blazes new trails in research and teaching within the humanities. Inasmuch as it is inspired by the spatial arrangement of a scientific laboratory, constant exchange during the work process is expressly encouraged. Problems and questions presenting themselves over the course of the work can be discussed at any time in a collegial environment.
The intensive exchange with the docents permits the participants to learn first-hand from academics and to profit from their expertise. The close supervision allows individual needs to be taken very much into account. In discussion with docents as independent mentors, the participants have the opportunity to reflect upon their academic development and forge their future plans.
The participants plan and shape collectively the work process. Beyond the acquisition of philological competencies, the participants gain experience in planning and executing research projects, developing thereby their project management abilities.