Wayne Horowitz

Wayne Horowitz at Qumran

profile: Dr. Wayne Horowitz is Professor of Assyriology at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Born in New York City, professor Horowitz attended Brandeis University and the University of California at Berkeley, before completing his Ph.D. at the University of Birmingham in Britain in 1986. Since then, Wayne has been a member of the faculty of The Hebrew University, teaching in English in The Rothberg International School, and in Hebrew in the Institute for Archaeology. His main academic areas of interest are Ancient Mesopotamian astronomy, Cosmic Geography, and Cuneiform Texts from Canaan. Outside interests include wilderness camping, the Canadian Arctic and ice hockey. He lives with his wife and three children in the Judean Desert near Jerusalem.


1.) “On Stars and the Starry Sky: An Ancient Mesopotamian Perspective” Monday, June 13th

2.) “The Four Winds:  Mesopotamian Wind-Star Directions and the Uruk Compass Card Revisited” Tuesday, June 14th

first abstract: An informal presentation introducing the Ancient Mesopotamian Stars and Starry Heavens from an Ancient Mesopotamian perspective. How they saw the stars, constellations, and night sky above on the basis of ancint sources including the series Mul-Apin, ‘the Astrolabes,’ Enuma Elish, Enuma Anu Enlil, the “How to Draw a Constellation Group” and more. Included in the presentation will also be drawings of constellations, and some ideas about the Babylonian geometry of the creation of the sky.

second abstract: An examination of wind directions in Ancient Mesopotamia cuneiform sources. How did they determine, and understand, what we today call north, south, east and west? How did they use the winds, sun, rivers, and stars, among other indicators, where they were in their universe consisting of Heaven above and Earth below, on a continent surrounded by a great cosmic salt water sea? The two main sources to be considered will be the British Museum tablet BM 92687, best known as ‘The Babylonian Map of the World,’ and what has been called ‘The Uruk Compass Card’ from the Persian or Hellenistic period. Our discussion will ultimately lead us away from maps on clay into the realm of Ancient Mesopotamian instruments that may be compared with modern sundials, weathervanes and other such apparatus for determining the place of the ‘rising of the winds.’

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