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    The study of Sumerian culture introduced by the present volume, Sumerian Mythology, is to be based largely on Sumerian literary sources; it will consist of the formulation of the spiritual and religious concepts of the Sumerians, together with the reconstructed text and translation of the Sumerian literary compositions in which these concepts are revealed.

    It is therefore very essential that the reader have a clear picture of the nature of our source material, which consists primarily of some three thousand tablets and fragments inscribed in the Sumerian language and dated approximately B. After a very brief general evaluation of the contents of the huge mass of Sumerian tablet material uncovered in the course of these excavations, it turns to the Sumerian literary tablets which represent the basic material for our study, and analyzes in some detail the scope and date of their contents.

    The Introduction then concludes with a description of the factors which prevented in large part the trustworthy reconstruction and translation of the Sumerian literary compositions in the past; the details, not uninteresting in themselves, furnish a revealing and illuminating commentary on the course and progress of one of the more significant humanistic efforts of our generation.

    For in the case of Egypt, Assyria, and Babylonia, the investigating scholars of western Europe had at their disposal much relevant material from Biblical, classical, and postclassical sources. Not only were such names as Egypt, Ashur, and Babylon well known, but at least to a certain extent and with much limitation and qualification, even the culture of the peoples was not altogether unfamiliar.

    In the case of the Sumerians, however, the situation was quite different; there was no clearly recognizable trace of Sumer or its people and language in the entire Biblical, classical, and post-classical literature. The very name Sumer was erased from the mind and memory of man for over two thousand years. The discovery of the Sumerians and their language came quite unexpectedly and was quite unlooked for; and this more or less irrelevant detail was at least partially responsible for the troubled progress of Sumerology from the earliest days to the present moment.

    Historically, the decipherment of Sumerian resulted from that of Accadian, which in turn followed the decipherment of cuneiform Persian. Briefly sketched, the process was as follows. Inthe Danish traveler and scholar, Carsten Niebuhr, succeeded in making careful copies of several inscriptions on the monuments of Persepolis.

    These were published between the years andand were soon recognized as trilingual, that is, the same inscriptions seemed to be repeated in three different languages.

    It was not unreasonable to assume, since the monuments were located in Persepolis, that they were inscribed by one or more kings of the Achaemenid dynasty and that the first version in each inscription was in the Persian language. Fortunately, at approximately the same time, Old Persian was becoming known to western European scholars through the efforts of Duperron, who had studied in India under the Parsees and was preparing translations of the Avesta.

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    And so bywith the help of the newly acquired knowledge of Old Persian and by keen manipulation of the p. Additions and corrections were made by numerous scholars in the ensuing years. But the crowning achievement belongs to the Englishman H.

    A member of the English Intelligence Service, Rawlinson was first stationed in India, where he mastered the Persian language. In he was transferred to Persia, where he learned of the huge trilingual inscription on the rock of Behistun and determined to copy it. During the yearsat the risk of life and limb, Rawlinson succeeded in copying lines of the Persian version.

    He returned in and completed the copying of the Persian as well as the Elamite version. The Accadian inscription, however, was so situated that it was impossible for him to copy it, and it was not until that he succeeded in making squeezes of the text. To return to the decipherment of cuneiform Persian, by Rawlinson published his memoir in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, which gave the transliteration and translation of the Persian version of the Behistun inscription together with a copy of the cuneiform original.

    Long before the final decipherment of the Persian text, however, great interest had been aroused in western Europe by the third version of the Persepolis inscriptions. For it was soon recognized that this was the script and language found in numerous inscriptions and bricks, clay tablets, and clay cylinders which were finding their way into Europe from sites that might well be identified with Nineveh and Babylon. Inscribed monuments were being found in large quantities at all three sites; moreover, p.

    Bytherefore, Europe had scores of inscriptions coming largely from Assyrian sites, made in the very same script and language as the third version of the Persepolis and Behistun inscriptions.

    The decipherment of this language was simplified on the one hand by the fact that it was recognized quite early in the process that it belonged to the Semitic group of languages. On the other hand, it was complicated by the fact that the orthography, as was soon recognized, was syllabic and ideographic rather than alphabetic. The leading figure in the decipherment of Accadian, or Assyrian as it was then designated, was the Irish scholar Edward Hincks. But once again a major contribution was made by Rawlinson.

    In he published the text, transliteration, and translation of the Accadian version of the Behistun inscription, the large trilingual to whose text he alone had access. As for the second, or Elamite version, of the Behistun inscription, it offered relatively little difficulty as soon as progress was made in the decipherment of Accadian, since it uses a syllabary based on the Accadian system of writing.

    The major figures in its decipherment were Westergaard and Norris. As will be noted, nothing has yet been heard or said of the Sumerians. As early ashowever, Hincks began to doubt that the Semitic inhabitants of Assyria and Babylonia had invented the cuneiform system of writing. In the Semitic languages the stable element is the consonant while the vowel is extremely variable.

    It seemed unnatural, therefore, that the Semites should invent a syllabic system of orthography in which the vowel seemed to be as unchanging as the consonant. Moreover, if the Semites had p. But this was hardly ever the case; the syllabic values all seemed to go back to words or elements for which no Semitic equivalent could be found. Hincks thus began to suspect that the cuneiform system of writing was invented by a non-Semitic people who had preceded the Semites in Mesopotamia.

    In Rawlinson published a memoir in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society in which he speaks of his discovery of non-Semitic inscriptions on bricks and tablets from sites in southern Babylonia such as Nippur, Larsa, and Erech. In Hincks took up the problem of this new language, recognized that it was agglutinative in character, and gave the first examples from bilinguals which had come to the British Museum from the Nineveh excavations.

    The name of the language was variously designated as Scythic or even Accadian, that is, the very name now given to the Semitic tongue spoken in Assyria and Babylonia. Inhowever, the French scholar Oppert, basing himself on the royal title, "king of Sumer and Accad," and realizing that Accad referred to the land inhabited by the Semitic population, rightly attributed the name Sumerian to the language spoken by the non-Semitic people who had invented the cuneiform script.

    Nevertheless, Oppert was not immediately followed by the majority of the Assyriologists, and the name Accadian continued to be used for Sumerian for many years.

    This material dates from the seventh century B. As for the material from the Sumerian sites, it consisted almost entirely of a very small group of bricks, tablets, and cylinders from the Sumerian and post-Sumerian periods which had found their way into the British Museum. Inhowever, began the first successful excavation at a Sumerian site. The Sumerians were a non-Semitic, non-Indo-European people who probably entered Mesopotamia from the east prior to or during the fourth millennium B.

    At the time of the Sumerian invasion much of the land between the Tigris and the Euphrates Rivers was no doubt inhabited by the Semites, and the entrance of the Sumerians marked the beginning of a struggle between the two peoples for control of the two-river land, which lasted for some two millennia. To judge from our present data, victory first fell to the Sumerians.

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    There is reason to assume that at one time the Sumerians were in control of the better part of Mesopotamia and that they even carried their conquests into more distant lands. It was no doubt during this period of conquest and power in the fourth millennium B. This material progress, together with the growth and development of the spiritual and religious concepts which accompanied it, must have left an enduring impress on all the peoples of the Near East who came in contact with the Sumerians during the fourth millennium.

    But the early defeat of the Semites by the Sumerians did not mark the end of the struggle between the two peoples for the control of Mesopotamia. No doubt with the help of new invasion hordes from the Arabian peninsula, the Semites gradually regained some of their strength and became ever more aggressive. And so in the first part of the third millennium we find the Sumerians being gradually pushed back to the more southerly portion of Mesopotamia, roughly from Nippur to the Persian Gulf on our map.

    North of Nippur the Semites seemed well entrenched. Approximately in the middle of the third millennium arose the great Semitic conqueror, Sargon, the founder of the dynasty of Accad. He and the kings that followed him attacked and badly defeated the Sumerians to the south, making it a practice, moreover, to carry off many of their victims into captivity and to settle Semites in their places.

    This defeat marked the beginning of the end for the Sumerians. It is true that toward the very end of the third millennium the Sumerians made a final attempt at political control of Mesopotamia, and under the so-called "Third Dynasty of Ur" met with a certain initial success. However, the important role played by the Semites even in this "Neo-Sumerian" kingdom, which lasted for no more than a century, is indicated by the fact that the last three kings of the dynasty bore Semitic names.

    With the destruction of Ur, their last capital, in approximately B. Not long afterwards, the Amurru, a Semitic people who had begun to penetrate into lower Mesopotamia toward the end of the third millennium, established the city of Babylon as their capital, and under such rulers as Hammurabi succeeded in obtaining temporary sway over Mesopotamia.

    Because of the prominence of Babylon in the second and first millennia B.
    Researchgate page Current Lab Members and Current Projects Jillian Bieser is a PhD student working on harvest impacts on soil greenhouse gas fluxes in boreal forests, and the potential use of biochars for mitigation.

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    Katerina Kostyukova co-supervised, Jay Malcolm is a PhD student working on the spatial ecology and habitat preferences of small mammals in Central Ontario. Janani Sivarajah co-suprevised, Sandy Smith is a PhD student working on the comparative ecology of UV penetratration through tree leaves and canopies in the context of urban forestry. Juliana Vantellingen is a PhD student working on variation in soil greenhouse gas fluxes in relation to tree species and ontogeny. The short answer is YES, I am seeking highly motivated, knowledgeable, clever, and hard-working graduate students interested in forest ecology and ecophysiology.

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    The following topics are planned as the main focus of research in my lab over the next years: Research is planned to examine biochar use for environmental remediation of contaminated soils and in urban forestry. Specific projects under development will examine biochar use on mine tailings, biochar use in industrial brownfields, and biochar to mitigate salt effects on urban tree plantings. Spatial ecology of temperate forest systems, and tropical-temperate comparative studies.

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    Leaf optics and remote sensing of tree ageing and ecosystem processes. Planned experiments will involve measurements and analysis of leaf- and canopy-level spectral reflectance and transmittance patterns, and how these vary with tree ontogeny. In addition, the project may involve use of high-resolution LiDAR Light Detection and Ranging data as a means of detecting age-related changes in canopy architecture.

    Some of the instruments and techniques used in the lab include: Leaf and whole-plant gas exchange Licor Li system. Leaf and canopy optical analysis Ocean Optics and other systems. Chlorophyll fluorescence Walz miniPAM. Soil and woody tissue respiration Li with soil chamber. Soil and woody tissue methane flux Los Gatos ultraportable GHG system Mobile canopy lift for canopy access and experimentation.

    Canopy meteorological tower with meteorological instrumentation and eddy flux systems for energy, CO2, and methane flux. Hemispherical photograph analysis digital cameras with fisheye lens; WinScanopy and other software. Tree mapping and measurement equipment Lasertech system, Nikon total station. Higher-level statistical software for analysis of large datasets e.

    Phylogeny-based comparative analysis techniques. Empirical modeling of spatial interactions using maximal likelihood methods. Use of individual-based, spatially explicit forest simulation models. If you think that I would be a good match as a prospective advisor, I will need to evaluate your background and prior work more carefully. What I specifically would need from you is: Lab Alumni Post-doctoral fellows: Dan Bebber PhD Oxford, worked in the lab as a post-doc examining responses of white pine to partial stand harvests in the Algoma region of Ontario.

    Dan is the head of climate change research for the Earthwatch Institute, UK. Michael Drescher PhD Univ Wageningen, worked as a post-doc on the Haliburton Forest mega-plot project, examining tree senescence effects on forest dynamics and the spatial dynamics of natural enemy effects. He is currently a faculty member at Waterloo University webpage.

    Mike is interested in spatial processes and analysis of forest communities, and the application of theoretical ecology to applied problems in forestry. He currently teaches at University of New Mexico. Jennifer Baltzer PhD, studied physiological aspects of soil habitat preferences in tropical and temperate trees. Tomasz Gradowski PhD, examined responses of canopy trees and understory vegetation to additions of non-nitrogenous nutrient additions at Haliburton forest, documenting pronounced phosphorus limitation in this system.

    Tomasz works in environmental consulting in British Columbia. Trevor Jones PhD, investigated growth and physiological responses of trees to selection management harvests in tolerant hardwood forests in Ontario. Jean-Remy is currently a forestry specialist for central Africa employed by the Wildlife Conservation Society, and holds an academic appointment with the University of Kisangani, Dem.

    Liz Nelson PhD worked on dendrochronological to quantifying effects of anthropogenic climate change on boreal forest growth. She is employed as a science policy analyst for the Canadian Forest Service. Rajit Patankar PhD ; co-supervised, Sandy Smith worked on interactions between canopy-dwelling mites and tree gas-exchange and growth dynamics.

    He is currently teaching at University of Toronto and in the market for a post-doctoral position. Yuan-Ying Peng PhD, examined the responses of soil carbon flux to silvicultural interventions, including partial stand harvests and soil amendments.

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    Hilary Thorpe PhD ; co-supervised, John Caspersen documented and modeled responses of black spruce ecosystems to partial harvests in the Lake Abitibi Model Forest in northern Ontario. Mike works as forest management and renewal coordinator for the Saskatchewn Forest Centre. Nat Iwanycki MFC, examined responses of the understory vegetation community to selection harvests at Haliburton Forest in central Ontario, and established the first round of permanent sample plots at Haliburton.

    Nat works as staff terrestrial ecologist for the Toronto Regional Conservation Authority. Bea Lucas MFC, examined performance of hybrid poplar in mixed vs.

    Bea is on the staff othe Mediterranean regional office of the European Forest Institute in Barcelona, Spain, where she works on wood product chain assessment. Greg Malczewski MFC, worked on patterns tree growth and potential carbon sequestration of native species in north-east China. Erin Mycroft MScF worked on polypore fungi as agents of tree decline in nothern hardwood forests, and developed molecular methods for characterizing polypore fungal communities in live woody tissue.

    Tyler Peet MFC, worked on developing statistical predictors of tree age and recent growth based on gross morphology of sugar maple. Megan Saprunoff co-supervised, John Caspersen; MSc, studied the light requirements of tree species in the Changbaishan reserve in north-east China. Jennifer Shuter MFC, examined responses of coarse woody debris and the polypore fungi community to selection harvests at Haliburton Forest in central Ontario.

    Jennifer is completing a PhD in conservation biology at Guelph University. Fraser Smith MScF ; co-supervised, John Caspersen did a project on mortality following structural retention harvesting at the farthest north extension of operational forestry in Canada, in the Yukon Territory. Fraser currently works as an arborist, environmental consultant, and contractor. MFC, examined the effects of forest roads on forest structure and tree species composition at Haliburton Forest.

    Haliburton Forest and Wildlife Reserve, Ltd. Most of the forest is sugar-maple-dominated hardwoods that are managed under selection-system silviculture that maintains continuous canopy cover. Scientific infrastructure at the site includes a permanent field camp with housing for researchers on our own small lake!

    Projects presently underway or planned for Haliburton Forest include: Thomas Soil surface CO2 efflux in an uneven-aged northern hardwood forest: Plant and Soil Thomas Phosphorus limitation of sugar maple growth in central Ontario. Paciorekand S.

    Thomas Impacts of nest construction by native pigs Sus scrofa on lowland Malaysian rain forest saplings. Forest diversity and dynamism: Thomas Resprouting of woody saplings following stem snap by wild pigs in a Malaysian rain forest.

    Journal of Ecology It is also home to host of organisms found nowhere else, including the okapi and the owl-faced monkey, and home as well to one of only two large-scale mapped forest plot projects in Africa. Thomas Impacts of selective logging and forest clearing on timber tree regeneration, forest structure and floristic composition in the Ituri Forest, Democratic Republic of Congo. Biodiversity and Conservation Thomas Effects of light-gaps and litter removal on seedling performance in six African timber tree species.

    Thomas Dispersal limits natural recruitment of African mahoganies. However, students have worked in wide variety of field sites, and we have well-developed relationships with research groups and research stations at a number of locations.

    In particular, prior field work has included projects at the following sites:
    How did Libby test his method and find out if it worked correctly? Libby tested the new radiocarbon method on carbon samples from prehistoric Egypt whose age was known. A sample of acacia wood from the tomb of the pharoah Zoser was dated for example. Zoser lived during the 3rd Dynasty in Egypt BC.

    The results they obtained indicated this was the case. Many other radiocarbon dates were conducted on samples of wood of known age. Again, the results were good. InLibby and his team published their results. By the early s there were 8 new radiocarbon laboratories, and by the end of the decade more than How much sample material do you need to date using radiocarbon? A new way of radiocarbon dating was developed in the late s called "AMS Radiocarbon dating".

    AMS dating is important because using it you can date very small sizes carbon samples. Imagine a grain of rice, this can be dated now with radiocarbon. We can date pollen grains, seeds, tiny pieces of charcoal.

    What about a hair from someone's head? That too can be dated using AMS! We can now date a variety of very, very small samples, so many more kinds of archaeological and geological samples can be dated than ever before so AMS is a tremendous breakthrough for archaeologists and other researchers.

    How much does it cost to date using radiocarbon dating? The cost varies between different laboratories. On average, a single date will cost about US dollars.

    The high cost is because it is a big job to date a sample. It takes a long time to change the carbon material into the form it needs to be in to be able to be dated. As well as that, the equipment is very expensive and has ongoing costs associated with it. What are the oldest things that can be radiocarbon dated? Anything that is less than about 50 or 60 years can be radiocarbon dated.

    Beyond 60 years there is hardly any radiocarbon left in a sample that is original. Often, in very old material, there is contamination which can significantly affect the accuracy of a date. Dating material from the archaeological or geological record beyond 30 years can be very difficult indeed unless the depositional situation of the sample is favourable and scientists can remove any contamination. Even a small amount of c14 from a contaminant can produce an incorrect date in an old sample.

    Often, radiocarbon daters release dates as being 'greater than 50 years' or 'greater than 45 years' because of the difficulty in reliably giving a date at this age. In some places, such as Australia, archaeologists have recognised the problems in dating the oldest sites, which may stretch back over 50 - 60 years. Other techniques such as OSL Optically Stimulated Luminescence dating which use different methods of determining age, are often used in parallel with radiocarbon to determine the ages of the uppermost parts of the site.

    The ages derived are compared with another, and usually, there has been good agreement between the methods. At sites in the far north of the continent, the oldest dates have been obtained using OSL, at about 60 years. Again, this is really just beyond the c14 limit for sites such as these.

    What is the youngest thing that can be radiocarbon dated? This is a difficult one, because we can date pretty much anything from today or in modern times, but getting an actual 'date' is hard. In the s and 60s, people blew up alot of nuclear bombs, and one thing that happened because of this was that alot of radiocarbon was created in the air artificially.

    Radiocarbon is a side effect of nuclear bombs. In the early s the amount of radiocarbon produced by bombs was bigger than the amount of radiocarbon naturally present! It sounds bad, and nuclear bombs are not pleasant when they are generated, but for science there have been some spinoffs because we have been able to study the movement of this radiocarbon through the environment and learn alot about how radiocarbon is transported naturally.

    So this has been beneficial. We can also date things that have happened since rather well because of the sudden jump in radiocarbon on Earth, so that it is possible to figure out within years sometimes, the date of a sample.

    Generally, we can date things pretty well over the past years, it becomes difficult from about AD to AD because of natural changes in radiocarbon, and since AD dating is quite possible.

    What kinds of famous things have been radiocarbon dated? They date from the first century BC to the first century AD. There was close agreement between the radiocarbon dates and the dates which had been estimated using the writing styles used on the scrolls, and in some cases the dates recorded on the scrolls themselves. What about the Iceman? The Iceman is a very famous frozen body found in northern Italy in Samples of his bones, grass boot, leather and hair were dated, the results showed that he lived almost years ago BCduring the age when people first began using copper in Europe.

    Radiocarbon dating was tremendously important in dating the precise age of the Iceman. How, in your opinion, did the use of radiocarbon dating change the way scientists are able to interpret and understand history? Beforewhen radiocarbon dating was first developed by scientists from the US, archaeologists had no way of knowing precisely how old in numbers of years an archaeological site or artefact was.

    In some parts of the world, where historic records extended back far enough in time, such as in the Mediterranean, archaeologists had dated artefacts by comparison with material from other sites which could be historically dated.

    This method was called "relative dating" and it is still used today. Radiocarbon dating enabled archaeologists and other scientists to verify the ages of carbon-bearing materials ndependently and almost overnight revolutionised the approach of dating the past. The reason was that now any samples could be dated, so long as they were once living organisms. Radiocarbon dating is one of the critical discoveries in 20th century science and it provided one of the most important tools for archaeologists in their quest to uncover the past.

    Instead of spending large amounts of time solving the problem of "when" something happened, archaeologists could now concentrate on investigating "how" and "why" things happened. What if any arguments were provoked because of the use of radio-carbon dating? One of the most controversial examples of the use of radiocarbon dating was the analysis of the Turin Shroud, the supposed burial cloth of Jesus. The shroud itself appears to show a person who was crucified and is an object of some veneration because of its supposed association with Christ.

    Its history dates back at least as far as the mid 14th century AD. The first photograph of the shroud showed the man as a negative image, a kind of three dimensional picture. This, along with other discoveries, such as the supposed presence of pollen spores from Israel on the cloth have suggested the shroud might be an important and genuine relic. In the s, the Archbishop of Turin gave permission to a group of scientists to date small pieces of fabric sampled from the shroud.

    Radiocarbon laboratories at Tucson USOxford England and Zurich Switzerland dated the samples, along with 3 control samples of varying ages. The results were very consistent and showed the shroud dated between AD. This fits closely with its first appearance in the historical record and suggests strongly that it is a medieval artefact, rather than a genuine year-old burial cloth.

    You can read the original scientific paper on the age of the Shroud here. Can you find the age of rocks by using radiocarbon dating or are they generally too old? If a rock was shot from a volcano and isn't that old, can we use radiocarbon dating? Samples of rock are not able to be dated using radiocarbon, because rocks contain no organic carbon from living organisms that are of recent enough age.

    Most rocks formed hundreds of thousands if not millions of years ago. Geologic deposits of coal and lignite formed from the compressed remains of plants contain no remaining radiocarbon so they cannot be dated. Radiocarbon dating is limited to the period 0 - 60 years, because the 'half-life' of radiocarbon is about years, so to date rocks scientists must use other methods.

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    There is a number of different techniques available. We can date volcanic rocks using a method called argon-argon dating for instance. This method uses principles of isotopic decay like radiocarbon, but different isotopes argon and argon 40 which have a longer halflife million years.

    This means scientists can date rock which is many millions of years old. The technique can date materials the size of one grain of volcanic ash, using a laser.

    There are other methods which can be used as well which operate using different radiochemistries. The only way to date a volcanic ash layer using radiocarbon dating is to find ash within a lake sediment or peat layer and then date the organic carbon from above and below it, and therefore fix an age for the ash event. This is a commonly used approach to date volcanic events over the past 60 years around the world.

    How do you know that radiocarbon really works? It is possible to test radiocarbon dates in different ways. One way is to date things that you already know the age of. Libby did this when he first developed the method, by dating artefacts of Egyptian sites, which were already dated historically. Another way is to use tree rings.

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    Every year a tree leaves a ring, the rings increase in number over time until a pattern of rings is formed. Sometimes the tree has many hundreds of rings.

    Scientists can date the age of the tree by counting and measuring the rings. Radiocarbon daters can then date the tree rings and compare the dates with the real age of the tree. This is a very good way of testing radiocarbon, and we now know that there are some differences in radiocarbon dates and real time. Most of the time radiocarbon dating is accurate, but sometimes it is different from the real age by a small amount.

    Using a calibration curve, which is based on radiocarbon dates of tree rings over the last years, radiocarbon daters can correct for this problem. We can also test radiocarbon by comparing the results with the dates produced by other dating methods, and there are many of those. These methods are completely different to radiocarbon dating and use different methods to provide dates. If you have any other questions or comments, contact Dr Tom Higham Email:
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