Second Circular

March 2016

Approximately four months from now, on July 11-15, the 62nd Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale will be held in Philadelphia and we would like to provide you with some additional information on the program and events, as well as on practical matters.

First, we would like to remind you that May 1st is the deadline for submitting paper and poster proposals and abstracts.  No presentation will be included in the program without the prior submission of an abstract.

The preliminary program will be announced by mid-June.  Eleven workshops will be part of the program:
1.      Ancient Near Eastern Art
2.      Art/ifacts and Artworks in the Ancient Near East
3.      As Above, So Below: Religion and Geography
4.      Culture Contact and the History of Ideas: Comparing Scribal Ideologies in the Persian and Hellenistic Periods
5.      Gulf Trade
6.      In Honor of Miguel Civil
7.      In Memory of Åke Sjøberg
8.      Intertextuality in Cuneiform Scholarship
9.      Middle Babylonian Period
10.    Teaching and Assyriology
11.    Ur III Period

Sessions will be held on the main campus of the University of Pennsylvania in Cohen Hall and College Hall.  The two buildings 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 the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology is located one block away. Two trolley and bus stations are each located about two blocks from the Quadrangle.  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).

Conference registration will take place in the Dietrich Gallery of the Penn Museum on Sunday, July 10, between 5 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. The book exhibits will open in the Terrace Room (ground floor) of Cohen Hall after the Monday morning plenary session.

The Opening Reception (co-sponsored by the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World) will be held on Monday, July 11 on the top floor of Huntsman Hall, between 6:30 and 9:00 pm.  Huntsman Hall is located on the central part of the university campus, about a ten-minute walk from the Perelman Quadrangle.

On Tuesday evening, there will be an Informal Reception arranged by Penn graduate students at a local pub; one or more free drink tickets will be provided to each registrant.

The Wednesday afternoon session will be held at Bryn Mawr College in suburban Philadelphia.  The workshop on “Gulf Trade” will be scheduled for that afternoon.

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

A BBQ-style Dinner Reception will be held on Thursday, July 14 in the Warden Garden of the Penn Museum, 6:30-10:00 pm.  The museum will remain open for conference participants to view the galleries.

All registered participants will have free admission to the Penn Museum during the five days 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 Ancient World,” dealing with magical objects from the Mediterranean, Egyptian and Near Eastern worlds, will be on display.

Accommodations:  See the “Accommodations” section (under “General Information”) at the conference website for information.   Arrangements have also been made with the University of Pennsylvania’s Office of Hospitality Services to reserve a block of 50 rooms in one of the university’s Residence Halls. The price for these rooms is $90 a night per person, and they will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis. To make reservations, please use the following link:

The US Department of State has recently placed new restrictions on travel to the United States that may affect several individuals desiring to participate in this year’s RAI in Philadelphia. In previous years, nationals of the 38 countries that belong to the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) could travel to the US for a short period of time (90 days) for business or holiday without a visa. However, conference participants should be aware of two new regulations:
.    Individuals who have traveled to Iraq, Iran, Syria, or Sudan since March 1, 2011 must apply for a visa, even if they are nationals of a VWP country.
.    Nationals of VWP countries who are also nationals of Iraq, Iran, Syria, or Sudan must apply for a visa.
Travelers in these two categories can still apply for visas through the standard application procedures, but the US State Department may require several months to process such applications.
For details on the Visa Waiver Program and eligibility, please see:

The conference website may be found at:
The third circular is planned for June 2016.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Organizing Committee
G. Frame, J. Jeffers, H. Pittman, L. Ristvet, S. Tinney, and R. Zettler

Grant Frame at: