For a Tin Ingot: The Archaeology of Oral Interpretation

Marzena Chrobak


This paper, based on research conducted by the pioneers of the history of
oral interpreting (A. Hermann, I. Kurz) in the 1950s and on modern archaeological
evidence, presents the earliest references to interpreters in the Bronze Age, in the Near
East and the Mediterranean area (Mesopotamia, Egypt, Crete, Carthage). It discusses
a Sumerian Early Dynastic List, a Sumerian-Eblaic glossary from Ebla, the Shu-ilishu’s
Cylinder Seal, the inscriptions and reliefs from the Tombs of the Princes of Elephantine
and of Horemheb, the mention of one-third of a mina of tin dispensed at Ugarit to the
interpreter of Minoan merchants and the Hanno’s stele, as well as terms used by these
early civilisations to denote an interpreter: eme-bal, targumannu, jmy-r(A) aw, and mls.

Słowa kluczowe: interpreting, archaeology, archaeological evidence, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Crete, Carthage, Bronze Age, Near East

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