Italy – UPS serves research and scientific progress: study on collection of cuneiform texts preserved in its library published

09 November 2022

(ANS - Rome) - The article, "New Texts of the Third and Early Second Millennium at the Università Pontificia Salesiana," was recently published in the prestigious international scientific journal "Archiv für Orientforschung" of the "Institut für Orientalistik" of the University of Vienna. This study describes part of the collection of neo-sumerical tablets and seals that are housed in the Don Bosco Library of the Roman university for the first time.

With the exception of two tablets and three clay cones dating from the reign of Sîn-kāšid of Uruk (first half of the 18th century B.C.), these finds belong to the Ur III period (2100-2000 B.C.).

The authors of the article are Marcos Such-Gutiérrez (Madrid), Stefano Seminara (Rome), and Alessandro Di Ludovico, who curated the photographic section and was the one who presented the other two researchers with the artifacts from the library of the Salesian Pontifical University (UPS).

The Don Bosco Library holds, among its treasures, an interesting collection of objects - mostly seals and cuneiform tablets - from the ancient Near East, collected in the early 1900s by Salesian Giorgio Shalhub (1884-1973), professor of Biblical Archaeology at UPS.

The bulk of the cuneiform materials was studied by Alfonso Archi and Francesco Pomponio and published in 1989 in Vicino Oriente, the yearbook of the Institute of the Near East of the University of Rome La Sapienza: 102 objects dating from the Ur III period, between 2100 and 2000 B.C. ("Neo-Sumerian Economic Tablets from the Pontifical Salesian University").

The scientific study of these artifacts and the recent publication in the journal "Archiv für Orientforschung" stand as a testament to the continuous and effective research activities carried out by UPS, which supports and complements Salesian educational, training, and pastoral actions. 

The full text of the study is available, in English, in the digital version of the journal (pages 25 to 50).


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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