Specialized Interests Indeed

After summarizing the contents of several of the Sultantepe tablets, the Wikipedia article on Sultantepe ends with this curious sentence, “Other texts were of more specialised interest to the Assyriologist: rituals, incantations, omen readings, contracts and vocabulary lists.”
Among the tablets that the author(s) seem(s) to think deserving of a larger audience are the Enuma Elish tablet, the Gilgamesh school text, part of Ludul bêl nêmeqi, and a few others. These are indeed important tablets but aren’t rituals, incantations, omen readings, contracts and even vocabulary lists deserving of general interest. I worry that such artificial divisions between those tablets of broad interest and those of interest only to the Assyriologist just about guarantee that latter will not be read by Hebraists for example. To be sure, it is unreasonable to think that the author(s) should give summaries of every tablet from Sultantepe but to assign some of them en masse to the specialized interests of the Assyriologists seems to reflect a rather serious mistake in judgment. This artificial division supports the prejudices of some introverted scholars who study things other than Assyriology.

4 thoughts on “Specialized Interests Indeed”

  1. Tim,
    While I’m not an expert on Sultamtepe and complaining is easier than participating, I may take a few moments to fix this problem.

  2. It looks to me as if it has survived fine 🙂 probably therefore the original author was even less of an extert and welcomes the improvement. The whole point of Wikipedia is to be (largely) self-healing. And my take is that by and large it works, but it does need people who spot problems to correct them.
    On behalf of other Wikipedia users, thank you 🙂

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