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Dr. Willemijn Waal – Literacy in the Late Bronze Aegean in the Mirror of Anatolia

November 8, 2023 @ 6:00 pm
365 Kaplan Hall,

When comparing the surviving textual sources from the Late Bronze Age Aegean and Anatolia, one is immediately struck by the great difference between these two text corpora. The Hittite tablet collections have yielded thousands of large, elaborate clay tablets containing a wide range of text genres, but hardly any daily economic administration. By contrast, the Linear B archives exclusively offer administrative and economic records, which are usually very short. Considering the close connections between these two areas, this difference is intriguing. Does it reflect a distinctive use of writing, or is it merely a perceived difference because we are dealing with incomplete data? This talk will address the controversial question to what extent perishable materials were used for writing in the Aegean from an Anatolian perspective.

Willemijn Waal (PhD 2010) is director of the Netherlands Institute for the Near East (NINO) and associate professor in the program Classics and Ancient Civilizations at Leiden University. Her research focuses on the materiality of writing and literacy and orality in the ancient world, as well as the cross-cultural contacts between Late Bronze Age Anatolia and the Aegean. This fall she is a resident scholar at the J. Paul Getty Museum (LA), where she works on her project “Oral of Aural?” Ancient Greek epic from an Anatolian perspective.


November 8, 2023
6:00 pm


365 Kaplan Hall