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Institute of Ancient Near Eastern Languages and Civilisations

Principal Investigator:
DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft)
Oct 01, 1997 — Dec 31, 2010

The Assur-Project is devoted to working on the results of the excavations of the Deutsche Orient-Gesellschaft (DOG) in Assur and publishinging them. The excavation undertaken under the direction of Walter Andrae lasted from Sept. 1903 until April 1914 when the excavation was closed according to plan. Afterwards Andrae and his collaborators published the architectural results of the excavation in several volumes. Many aspects and especially a treatment of the small finds remained untreated and were in need of a thorough investigation.

Since after the excavation the numerous small finds were housed after the excavation in the Vorderasiatisches Museum in Berlin (VAM) a cooperative effort between the VAM, the DOG and the Freie Universität Berlin was not feasible until after 1990. After careful planning work started in 1997 with the financial support of the DFG. Since then thirty nine volumes have been published in “Wissenschaftliche Veröffentlichungen der Deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft” (WVDOG) in addition to numerous articles.


This challenging task was only possible with the assistance and collaboration of more than thirty scholarly collaborators aided by photographers and draftswomen and experts for formatting the MSS for the printers. A data bank of c. 44.000 entries based on the excavation journal, excavation diaries and other pertinent documents from the archives of the DOG now serves the project. – For a few volumes a helpful cooperation with the museum in Istanbul was possible in part supported by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The emphasis of the project is fourfold: An exhaustive treatment of the small finds, a re-examination of the big temples and the Old Palace, the publication of the graves and tombs and the publication of the legal and administrative texts found at Assur:

A thorough investigation, treatment and publication of the hitherto unpublished small finds was now possible because of available comparative material from other excavations conducted after 1950 and 1960. Work was done on the pottery, inscribed ceramic vessels, glazed tiles and cones, lamps, stone vessels, objects made of frit/quartz ceramic, alabaster vessels from Egypt as well as native alabaster vessels, terracotta figurines, objects made of ivory and bones, seals and sealings, scarabs, arrow heads, fibulae, stone mace-heads, Arsacid, Sasanian and Islamic coins found at Assur, fragments of obelisks, fragments of orthostats, several fragments of Old Akkadian monumental statues. – Besides that the more than 1100 graves and tombs were studied and published providing new results pertaining to the chronology of middle- and neo-Assyrian pottery. – Part of the work of the Assur-Project was the re-examination of the monumental architecture under new aspects and providing a complete presentation of the several thousand small finds retrieved from the temples and the palace that were not studied and published in the previous volumes on the architectural monuments. The volumes on monumental architecture now published have been enhanced through an exhaustive photographic documentation (photos of findspots and objects) as well as digitized plans provided on a CD ROM. – Finally, most of the legal and administrative records from the Old Akkadian, Old Assyrian, Middle Assyrian and Neo Assyrian periods were published.