[HadadDigital]: The Biography of a Statue


The mutilated colossal statue from the mid-eighth century BC of the storm god Hadad, exhibited in the Vorderasiatisches Museum in Berlin since 1891 (VA 02882), has been studied for a long time. However, closer examination still puzzles researchers in several respects. Not only did the ancient destruction severely affect the thirty-four-line text in raised script on the god’s robe (KAI 214), due to environmental factors the inscription has also partially worn away and become a true challenge to decipher. At stake is further the statue’s materiality, making and original appearance (artisans’ specificity and marks, chaîne opératoire; arm posture, inlaid eyes, socle) and the replay of its violent mutilation (distant find spots, traces of destruction technique; authorship, addressee). Finally, the aim will be to think through a statue: about the strategy of a king’s commemoration assured by the ritual enactment of the divine, in a funerary context, assuming certain agents and implying conceptualizations of continuity, liminality, and humiliation (targeted destruction, but preservation of the king’s name). 


Monumental Statuary, Sam’alian Aramaic, Digital Humanities


Andrei Aioanei 

University of Strasbourg 

Konstantin Klein 
University of Bamberg 

Regine Hunziker-Rodewald
University of Strasbourg 

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Toulouse 2022 Call for Papers

We welcome contributions to current research on the iconography, paleography, and epigraphy of the Hadad statue as well as on related historical, archaeological, and religious issues; on stonemasonry, especially the making (and destruction) of stone statuary and raised script techniques; on materials science, enhanced computational photography (photogrammetry, 3D scanning, etc.), and computational epigraphy (Letter Recognition, Artificial Intelligence). The most innovative contributions will be selected for publication.