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Strings and Threads: A Celebration of the Work of Anne Draffkorn Kilmer
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Strings and Threads: A Celebration of the Work of Anne Draffkorn Kilmer

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Anne Draffkorn Kilmer has had a long and fruitful career as an academic in Assyriology. After receiving her doctorate in Philadelphia and serving as assistant to Benno Landsberger in Chicago, she came to Berkeley in 1963 and stayed there for the long term, despite offers from other universities. During her career, in addition to her many contributions to Assyriology and ancient musicology, she served the university in various administrative functions. In Assyriology, her wide and varied interests included lexical texts, mathematics, animals, entertainment, and especially music. Her discoveries were often unexpected and dramatic.

In this volume, the essays presented in her honor focus on many of Prof. Kilmer’s primary interests. The contributions are divided into two sections, reflecting the title, “Strings and Threads.” The “strings” portion of the volume collects essays that follow her interest in musicology and related matters, especially “music archaeology.” It is well known that she studied ancient Hurrian, Mesopotamian, and Ugaritic texts containing musical notations and/or songs, and has been at the forefront of decipherment and explanation of these texts. And a number of essays in this volume address various aspects of ancient music, whether it be the lyrics of the songs or the pictorial representation of music-making or the language in which music is described. In the “threads” portion of the volume are collected essays on various aspects of Mesopotamian narrative literature, an area to which Anne contributed significant insight on the structure of compositions and verbal wordplay used by ancient authors. A number of the articles in the volume follow up on or parallel Prof. Kilmer’s work in this area.

Contributors include: G. Azarpay, D. Collon, J. Cooper, R. L. Crocker, D. Foxvog, E. Hickmann, A. B. Knapp, E. Leichty, S. L. Macgregor, S. B. Noegel, D. Pickworth, E. Robson, J. C. Ross, D. Schmandt-Besserat, D. Stronach, and R. L. Zettler. The volume concludes with a bibliography and an index of the works of A. D. Kilmer.


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