Tawny Holm, Department of Religious Studies, presented a paper entitled “Nanaya and the Arameans” in the Aramaic Studies section at the National Society of Biblical Literature conference, held in Chicago November 17–20, 2012.
The paper concerned the Egyptian Papyrus Amherst 63, which is a long text in the Aramaic language but in Demotic Egyptian script. It dates to the fourth or third centuries BCE and contains a wide variety of compositions, many of which prominently feature the Mesopotamian goddess Nanaya. The papyrus most likely reflects the religious, cultural, and literary traditions of several disparate groups of Arameans or Aramaic speakers originally from Mesopotamia and Syria-Palestine who had taken refuge in the same communities in Egypt in the first millennium BCE.
Holm is editing the papyrus as a whole for a volume on Aramaic literary texts for the Society of Biblical Literature’s series “Writings from the Ancient World,” which will go to press in Spring 2013.