Venue and Other Practical Information

The City of Philadelphia

Philadelphia was founded along the banks of the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers in 1682 by William Penn as a colonial capital. Yet the city played its most pivotal role in American history during the Revolutionary War of 1775–1783. At that time, the founding fathers of the United States used Philadelphia as a meeting place, and ultimately signed the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution in its now iconic Independence Hall. Philadelphia had the honor of serving as the newly-formed nation’s first capital until Washington D.C. was completed in 1800. Today, Philadelphia is the fifth-largest city in the United States with a population of just under 1.6 million people.

The official webpage for the city is located at:

A Google map of the city (with the University of Pennsylvania marked) may be found at:
City of Philadelphia

The following link includes information regarding travel to the University of Pennsylvania from Philadelphia International Airport:

Travel throughout the entirety of the city is facilitated by its public transportation system of subway, bus, and trolley lines:


The University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania is one of the first universities established in the United States. Its origins date back to the 1740s, and its founding is most famously associated with the renowned printer, inventor, and politician Benjamin Franklin, who was also a founding father of the United States. (For a brief overview of Penn’s heritage, see: The university boasts a current full- and part-time student population of nearly 21,500, which is comprised of approximately 10, 500 undergraduate and 11,000 graduate students, as well as 3,500 part-time students.

The main Penn webpage is located at:

Assyriology and ancient Near Eastern Art and Archaeology are important components of the Penn curriculum. The related departmental websites are as follows:

Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations:
History of Art:
Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World:

For a printable map of the Penn campus, see:

Conference registration will take place in the Dietrich Gallery of the Penn Museum on Sunday, July 10, between 4 and 7 pm, and in the Fox Art Gallery (ground floor) of Cohen Hall on Monday, July 11, beginning at 9:00 am. Please note that only cash payments in US dollars will be possible at registration.

Book exhibits will be in the Terrace Room (ground floor) of Cohen Hall starting on Monday, July 11 after the opening plenary session.

Conference sessions will be held on Penn’s main campus in Cohen Hall and College Hall, both of which are located on adjoining sides of the Perelman Quadrangle. Houston Hall, with various food services and lounges, is also located on the Perelman Quadrangle, and Penn’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology is located one block away. Bus stations are located about two blocks from the Quadrangle.

The opening reception of the RAI (co-sponsored by the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World) will be held on Monday, July 11 from 6:30-9:00 pm on the top floor of Huntsman Hall.

On Tuesday evening, there will be an informal reception arranged by Penn’s graduate students at Harvest Seasonal Grill and Wine Bar; one or more free drink tickets will be provided each registrant.

The Wednesday afternoon sessions of the RAI will be held at Bryn Mawr College in suburban Philadelphia. The workshop on “Ur and the Persian Gulf” will be scheduled for that afternoon. In addition, there will be a reception in the Cloisters of the Thomas building from 6:30-8:30 pm. A map of the Bryn Mawr campus is here.

The General Meeting of the International Association for Assyriology will be held on Thursday, July 14, 4:30-6:00 pm in room G17 of Cohen Hall.

Note: In an effort to maintain the integrity of each scholar’s current research, the recording of presentations and the photography of presenters’ powerpoint slides is strictly prohibited during this RAI without the express permission of the presenter(s).


The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

The Penn Museum was founded in 1887 and was initially built to house the artifacts it would soon acquire during its excavation of the ancient city of Nippur, located in modern-day southern Iraq. Since then, the museum has collected artifacts from around the world through countless archaeological expeditions. Its most notable collections are those from Mesopotamia, Egypt, China, the Mediterranean world and the Levant, Mesoamerica, and Africa.

The main museum webpage is located at:

A plan of the museum highlighting its various collections is here:

All registered participants will have free admission to the Penn Museum during four days (Tuesday through Friday) of the conference  by showing their conference badges. In addition to the special exhibitions “Iraq’s Ancient Past: Rediscovering Ur’s Royal Cemetery” and “The Golden Age of King Midas,” a student-organized exhibition “Magic in the Museum,” dealing with magical objects from the Mediterranean and Near Eastern worlds will be on display.

The Penn Museum has arranged for several presentations to be given about the Ur Online project on Sunday, July 10, from 5:15-6:00 pm in the Widener Lecture Hall. The Ur Online project was carried out with lead funding from the Leon Levy Foundation. A reception will follow the presentations in the Dietrich Gallery of the museum, adjacent to the Widener Lecture Hall.

A BBQ-style dinner reception (co-sponsored by Penn’s Center for Ancient Studies) is planned for Thursday, July 14 in the Stoner Courtyard of the Museum from 6:30-9:00 pm. The museum will remain open for conference participants to view the galleries.