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Bad Blood in Byblos: Politics and Murder in Mesopotamia

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Nicholson Museum

Manning Road

Camperdown, NSW 2006

Australia

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Join us for the next lecture in our 2018 Saturday series, Postcards from the Past, by Dr Louise Pryke.

In 1969, Robert Winks noted the similarities between the historian and the detective: "The historian must collect, interpret, and then explain his evidence, by methods which are not greatly different from those techniques employed by the detective, or at least the detective of fiction.' Following in the footsteps of Poirot, Columbo, and J.B Fletcher, this lecture examines the evidence for a series of unexplained murders in the ancient city of Byblos.

The rulers of the vassal cities of Egypt's Western Asian Empire ruled in a time of great regional upheaval, where disputes over territory and trade could threaten more than a vassal's political survival. With Rib-Addi of Byblos as chief witness, we consider possible motives for the Amarna Letter murders, and what the bloodshed in Byblos can tell us about the political environment of late Bronze Age Canaan.

Louise M. Pryke is the Lecturer for the Languages and Literature of Ancient Israel, and a Research Associate at the University of Sydney. Her most recent book, Ishtar, was released in 2017.

This lecture series is sponsored by Academy Travel.

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Nicholson Museum

Manning Road

Camperdown, NSW 2006

Australia

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