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Relative Popularity of Egyptology and Assyriology since 1800

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  • MarcC
    Instead of grading papers this morning, I did some data mining in Google Books. Since Google has reduced several million vlumes into searchable electronic
    Message 1 of 12 , Dec 18, 2010
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      Instead of grading papers this morning, I did some data mining in Google
      Books. Since Google has reduced several million vlumes into searchable
      electronic form, I wondered if it is possble to determine the relative
      popularity of Assyriology and Egyptology over the last 200 years. So I
      ran searches for sets of words that are specific to these fields in
      English, "egyptian hieroglyphic", "babylonian cuneiform", and akkadian.
      Google's date limited search engine turns out to be imperfect. For
      instance, a journal run beginning in 1824 will occasionally produce
      Google references from later periods in earlier period, so the numbers
      below cannot be taken as the true number of instances in any given
      period, but the relative numbers are, I think, meaningful. Here are my
      quickie findings:

      Egyptian Hieroglyphic Babylonian Cuneiform Akkadian 1800-1820 5780 91 0
      1820-1840 21900 744 7 1840-1860 32500 6700 58 1860-1880 27400 15500
      991 1880-1900 32900 35000 14500 1900-1920 21200 33100 5190 1920-1940
      14300 13700 6670 1940-1960 11300 12900 11900 1960-1980 43100 25200
      66600 1980-2000 45100 33900 89400

      The actual date constraints are more precise than suggested above. I
      used January 1, 1800 to December 31, 1819 for the first period and
      similar date constraints for those which follow. Also note that the
      earliest references to Akkadian are all spurious.

      My first reaction to the table is that the era prior to WW I was a
      golden age for Ancient Near Eastern Studies. The wars nearly destroyed
      the field, but it has returned to prominence since 1960.

      Marc Cooper

      Missouri State



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • MarcC
      My attempt to insert a file into a Yahoo post failed, so I uploaded a .pdf of the table to our Files directory. You can access it here:
      Message 2 of 12 , Dec 18, 2010
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        My attempt to insert a file into a Yahoo post failed, so I uploaded a .pdf of the table to our "Files" directory. You can access it here:


        http://tinyurl.com/2d36td5

        Marc Cooper
        Missouri State University
      • Peter T. Daniels
        (It was a trivial matter to turn your pasteup into a table; view with Courier for the full effect.) Note that this search returns only English-language
        Message 3 of 12 , Dec 18, 2010
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          (It was a trivial matter to turn your pasteup into a table; view with Courier
          for the full effect.)

          Note that this search returns only English-language materials, which will skew
          the results badly; and surely the vast majority of hits is to Bible-related
          material rather than Egyptology or Assyriology.

          I wonder when the word "cuneiform" entered English, so that both the first lines
          may be spurious in that column, too; common terms were "wedge-writing" and
          "nail-writing."

          Hincks's first publication relating to the decipherment was in 1846.--
          Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...
          Jersey City




          ________________________________
          From: MarcC <marc.cooper@...>
          To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Sat, December 18, 2010 1:41:12 PM
          Subject: [ANE-2] Relative Popularity of Egyptology and Assyriology since 1800

           

          Instead of grading papers this morning, I did some data mining in Google
          Books. Since Google has reduced several million vlumes into searchable
          electronic form, I wondered if it is possble to determine the relative
          popularity of Assyriology and Egyptology over the last 200 years. So I
          ran searches for sets of words that are specific to these fields in
          English, "egyptian hieroglyphic", "babylonian cuneiform", and akkadian.
          Google's date limited search engine turns out to be imperfect. For
          instance, a journal run beginning in 1824 will occasionally produce
          Google references from later periods in earlier period, so the numbers
          below cannot be taken as the true number of instances in any given
          period, but the relative numbers are, I think, meaningful. Here are my
          quickie findings:

                     Egyptian Hieroglyphic Babylonian Cuneiform Akkadian
          1800-1820           5780                   91                0
          1820-1840          21900                  744                7
          1840-1860          32500                 6700               58
          1860-1880          27400                15500              991
          1880-1900          32900                35000            14500
          1900-1920          21200                33100             5190
          1920-1940          14300                13700             6670
          1940-1960          11300                12900            11900
          1960-1980          43100                25200            66600
          1980-2000          45100                33900            89400

          The actual date constraints are more precise than suggested above. I
          used January 1, 1800 to December 31, 1819 for the first period and
          similar date constraints for those which follow. Also note that the
          earliest references to Akkadian are all spurious.

          My first reaction to the table is that the era prior to WW I was a
          golden age for Ancient Near Eastern Studies. The wars nearly destroyed
          the field, but it has returned to prominence since 1960.

          Marc Cooper

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • MarcC
          ... That s good to know. ... True. That s why I use the term relative. Google books is itself skewed to English materials. ... Cuneiform was a bone before it
          Message 4 of 12 , Dec 18, 2010
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            --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, "Peter T. Daniels" <grammatim@...> wrote:
            >
            > (It was a trivial matter to turn your pasteup into a table; view with Courier
            > for the full effect.)

            That's good to know.
            >
            > Note that this search returns only English-language materials, which will skew
            > the results badly; and surely the vast majority of hits is to Bible-related
            > material rather than Egyptology or Assyriology.

            True. That's why I use the term relative. Google books is itself skewed to English materials.

            >
            > I wonder when the word "cuneiform" entered English, so that both the first lines
            > may be spurious in that column, too; common terms were "wedge-writing" and
            > "nail-writing."

            "Cuneiform" was a bone before it was used to describe writing. That's why my search term includes "babylonian." I thought that the cuneiform bone is so named because it reminds anatomists of cuneiform writing, but that can't be correct since the term "cuneiform" to describe bones of the foot was in use from at least 1661 according to Google Books.
            >
            > Hincks's first publication relating to the decipherment was in 1846.--

            But the term "cuneiform inscription" was already in use prior to 1820. Google books offers Hoeck

            http://tinyurl.com/36zgae4

            which uses the term in Latin from 1818. I imagine a better collection of antique books would supply earlier references.

            > Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...
            > Jersey City
            >
            >
            >
            >
          • gtosiris@mpx.com.au
            ... [snip] Hi Marc, I find the tinyurl link does not work. Regards, Gary Thompson Australia (No academic affiliation.)
            Message 5 of 12 , Dec 18, 2010
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              On 18 Dec 2010 at 18:51, Marc Cooper wrote:

              > My attempt to insert a file into a Yahoo post failed, so I uploaded
              > a .pdf of the table to our "Files" directory. You can access it
              > here:
              >
              >
              > http://tinyurl.com/2d36td5
              [snip]

              Hi Marc,

              I find the tinyurl link does not work.

              Regards,
              Gary Thompson
              Australia
              (No academic affiliation.)
            • Charles E. Jones
              OED cites: 1818 W. Taylor in Monthly Rev. 85 486 The cuneiform character is so simple in its component parts, that it consists only of two elements, the
              Message 6 of 12 , Dec 18, 2010
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                OED cites:

                "1818 W. Taylor in Monthly Rev. 85 486 The cuneiform character is so simple in its component parts, that it consists only of two elements, the wedge and the rectangle."

                as their earliest reference to cuneiform script.

                Are those of you citing Google data using http://ngrams.googlelabs.com/
                which is a very nice new tool?

                -Chuck Jones-
                Harlem, USA
              • MarcC
                If the tinyurl link doesn t work, just go to the ANE-2 Yahoo web site, open the Files directory on the left, and find the table. Marc Cooper Missouri State
                Message 7 of 12 , Dec 18, 2010
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                  If the tinyurl link doesn't work, just go to the ANE-2 Yahoo web site, open the "Files" directory on the left, and find the table.

                  Marc Cooper
                  Missouri State

                  --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, gtosiris@... wrote:
                  >
                  > On 18 Dec 2010 at 18:51, Marc Cooper wrote:
                  >
                  > > My attempt to insert a file into a Yahoo post failed, so I uploaded
                  > > a .pdf of the table to our "Files" directory. You can access it
                  > > here:
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > http://tinyurl.com/2d36td5
                  > [snip]
                  >
                  > Hi Marc,
                  >
                  > I find the tinyurl link does not work.
                  >
                  > Regards,
                  > Gary Thompson
                  > Australia
                  > (No academic affiliation.)
                  >
                • Peter T. Daniels
                  Click on Messages in this topic near the end of the message and it takes you to the group s page; then click on Files at the left, and Marc s table is the
                  Message 8 of 12 , Dec 18, 2010
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                    Click on "Messages in this topic" near the end of the message and it takes you
                    to the group's page; then click on "Files" at the left, and Marc's table is the
                    last item. (The first one added since 2006.)
                     --
                    Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...




                    ________________________________
                    From: "gtosiris@..." <gtosiris@...>
                    To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Sat, December 18, 2010 8:43:23 PM
                    Subject: Re: [ANE-2] Re: Relative Popularity of Egyptology and Assyriology since
                    1800

                     
                    On 18 Dec 2010 at 18:51, Marc Cooper wrote:

                    > My attempt to insert a file into a Yahoo post failed, so I uploaded
                    > a .pdf of the table to our "Files" directory. You can access it
                    > here:
                    >
                    >
                    > http://tinyurl.com/2d36td5
                    [snip]

                    Hi Marc,

                    I find the tinyurl link does not work.

                    Regards,
                    Gary Thompson
                    Australia
                    (No academic affiliation.)


                    Reply to sender | Reply to group | Reply via web post | Start a New Topic
                    Messages in this topic (6)


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Joan Griffith
                    In searching for various items in Google Books, it does not seem that they show everything they claim is there. Some time ago, I was looking for something
                    Message 9 of 12 , Dec 18, 2010
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                      In searching for various items in Google Books, it does not seem that they
                      show everything they claim is there. Some time ago, I was looking for
                      something fairly old, so I thought it would show up at the end of the
                      search, which appeared to be latest to oldest. However, the search ran out
                      before the books did. I think Google goes on for 30 pages, at least that one
                      did. But there appeared to be more since the page showed thousands of
                      related books.

                      i was wondering what else I could do to tease out well-hidden items.
                      Usually I can find most things I look for, but this reminds me of the first
                      time I was on Lexus-Nexus and decided to start with "murder" which called up
                      a shocking bazillion search results. Does anyone have particular search
                      strategies?

                      I will most gratefully check out the Google Lab.


                      Joan Griffith
                      Independent


                      On Sat, Dec 18, 2010 at 10:56 PM, Peter T. Daniels <grammatim@...>wrote:

                      >
                      >
                      > Click on "Messages in this topic" near the end of the message and it takes
                      > you
                      > to the group's page; then click on "Files" at the left, and Marc's table is
                      > the
                      > last item. (The first one added since 2006.)
                      >
                      > --
                      > Peter T. Daniels grammatim@... <grammatim%40verizon.net>
                      >
                      > ________________________________
                      > From: "gtosiris@... <gtosiris%40mpx.com.au>" <gtosiris@...<gtosiris%40mpx.com.au>>
                      >
                      >
                      > To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com <ANE-2%40yahoogroups.com>
                      > Sent: Sat, December 18, 2010 8:43:23 PM
                      > Subject: Re: [ANE-2] Re: Relative Popularity of Egyptology and Assyriology
                      > since
                      > 1800
                      >
                      >
                      > On 18 Dec 2010 at 18:51, Marc Cooper wrote:
                      >
                      > > My attempt to insert a file into a Yahoo post failed, so I uploaded
                      > > a .pdf of the table to our "Files" directory. You can access it
                      > > here:
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > http://tinyurl.com/2d36td5
                      > [snip]
                      >
                      > Hi Marc,
                      >
                      > I find the tinyurl link does not work.
                      >
                      > Regards,
                      > Gary Thompson
                      > Australia
                      > (No academic affiliation.)
                      >
                      > Reply to sender | Reply to group | Reply via web post | Start a New Topic
                      > Messages in this topic (6)
                      >
                      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      >
                      >
                      >


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Peter T. Daniels
                      Here are some strategies: In the left-hand menu, choose Full view only. This will block everything less than 100 years old (except for a few items that may
                      Message 10 of 12 , Dec 19, 2010
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                        Here are some strategies:

                        In the left-hand menu, choose "Full view only." This will block everything less
                        than 100 years old (except for a few items that may have special dispensation;
                        some American Philosophical Society items still show up).

                        If you're looking for a journal issue, find any occurrence of that journal and
                        click "other editions." For a while, that brought up complete runs of journals
                        in reverse chronological order. But that no longer happens; they now appear in
                        indeterminate order.

                        Sometimes -- I cannot tell when -- if you search a name, it offers you the
                        options "books by" and "books mentioning" (or something like that).

                        I have the impression that when a commercial publisher reprints an old item,
                        they may pressure google to take it off google books, because some things
                        formerly available appear no longer to be available.

                        If something refuses to appear in books.google.com, then try things like
                        books.google.de and books.google.fr. They seem to access the same copies of
                        things as the American one, but they also seem to be able to get at things the
                        American one can't.--
                        Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...




                        ________________________________
                        From: Joan Griffith <despinne@...>
                        To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
                        Sent: Sun, December 19, 2010 2:48:14 AM
                        Subject: Re: [ANE-2] Re: Relative Popularity of Egyptology and Assyriology since
                        1800

                         
                        In searching for various items in Google Books, it does not seem that they
                        show everything they claim is there. Some time ago, I was looking for
                        something fairly old, so I thought it would show up at the end of the
                        search, which appeared to be latest to oldest. However, the search ran out
                        before the books did. I think Google goes on for 30 pages, at least that one
                        did. But there appeared to be more since the page showed thousands of
                        related books.

                        i was wondering what else I could do to tease out well-hidden items.
                        Usually I can find most things I look for, but this reminds me of the first
                        time I was on Lexus-Nexus and decided to start with "murder" which called up
                        a shocking bazillion search results. Does anyone have particular search
                        strategies?

                        I will most gratefully check out the Google Lab.

                        Joan Griffith
                        Independent

                        On Sat, Dec 18, 2010 at 10:56 PM, Peter T. Daniels <grammatim@...>wrote:

                        >
                        >
                        > Click on "Messages in this topic" near the end of the message and it takes
                        > you
                        > to the group's page; then click on "Files" at the left, and Marc's table is
                        > the
                        > last item. (The first one added since 2006.)
                        >
                        > --
                        > Peter T. Daniels grammatim@... <grammatim%40verizon.net>
                        >
                        > ________________________________
                        > From: "gtosiris@... <gtosiris%40mpx.com.au>"
                        ><gtosiris@...<gtosiris%40mpx.com.au>>
                        >
                        >
                        > To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com <ANE-2%40yahoogroups.com>
                        > Sent: Sat, December 18, 2010 8:43:23 PM
                        > Subject: Re: [ANE-2] Re: Relative Popularity of Egyptology and Assyriology
                        > since
                        > 1800
                        >
                        >
                        > On 18 Dec 2010 at 18:51, Marc Cooper wrote:
                        >
                        > > My attempt to insert a file into a Yahoo post failed, so I uploaded
                        > > a .pdf of the table to our "Files" directory. You can access it
                        > > here:
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > http://tinyurl.com/2d36td5
                        > [snip]
                        >
                        > Hi Marc,
                        >
                        > I find the tinyurl link does not work.
                        >
                        > Regards,
                        > Gary Thompson
                        > Australia
                        > (No academic affiliation.)
                        >
                        > Reply to sender | Reply to group | Reply via web post | Start a New Topic
                        > Messages in this topic (6)
                        >
                        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        >
                        >
                        >

                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Trudy Kawami
                        Of course we all say that WW I and WW II damaged scholarship, but this is an interesting angle with hard data. Could we take it a step further & say that
                        Message 11 of 12 , Dec 20, 2010
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                          Of course we all say that WW I and WW II damaged scholarship, but this
                          is an interesting angle with "hard" data. Could we take it a step
                          further & say that Assyriology & Egyptology were seen as "modern" in the
                          19th century, but now have a retro glow? What I have in mind is the
                          success of the Indiana Jones series which relied on much earlier themes
                          & imagery. Even the invasion of Iraq and the looting of the museum has
                          not produced any updating of the themes.

                          Since I lagged badly in keeping up with post this weekend, I'd better
                          read all the rest before tripping over my own feet (or tongue).

                          Trudy



                          ________________________________

                          From: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ANE-2@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
                          MarcC
                          Sent: Saturday, December 18, 2010 1:41 PM
                          To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: [ANE-2] Relative Popularity of Egyptology and Assyriology since
                          1800






                          Instead of grading papers this morning, I did some data mining in Google
                          Books. Since Google has reduced several million vlumes into searchable
                          electronic form, I wondered if it is possble to determine the relative
                          popularity of Assyriology and Egyptology over the last 200 years. So I
                          ran searches for sets of words that are specific to these fields in
                          English, "egyptian hieroglyphic", "babylonian cuneiform", and akkadian.
                          Google's date limited search engine turns out to be imperfect. For
                          instance, a journal run beginning in 1824 will occasionally produce
                          Google references from later periods in earlier period, so the numbers
                          below cannot be taken as the true number of instances in any given
                          period, but the relative numbers are, I think, meaningful. Here are my
                          quickie findings:

                          Egyptian Hieroglyphic Babylonian Cuneiform Akkadian 1800-1820 5780 91 0
                          1820-1840 21900 744 7 1840-1860 32500 6700 58 1860-1880 27400 15500
                          991 1880-1900 32900 35000 14500 1900-1920 21200 33100 5190 1920-1940
                          14300 13700 6670 1940-1960 11300 12900 11900 1960-1980 43100 25200
                          66600 1980-2000 45100 33900 89400

                          The actual date constraints are more precise than suggested above. I
                          used January 1, 1800 to December 31, 1819 for the first period and
                          similar date constraints for those which follow. Also note that the
                          earliest references to Akkadian are all spurious.

                          My first reaction to the table is that the era prior to WW I was a
                          golden age for Ancient Near Eastern Studies. The wars nearly destroyed
                          the field, but it has returned to prominence since 1960.

                          Marc Cooper

                          Missouri State

                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Raz Kletter
                          What this data reflects depends on varid factors, eg, if the querry retrieves the keywords from titles, or from any content of the books; if the keywords
                          Message 12 of 12 , Dec 20, 2010
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                            What this data reflects depends on varid factors, eg, if the querry
                            retrieves the keywords from titles, or from any content of the books; if the
                            keywords appeared several times in the same book, does it counts as 1 or
                            n-times, etc. The keywords were linguistic, "Egyptian Hierogliphic" might
                            not fish out "Egyptology" in general. One needs to check other fields, and
                            best to compare to some field, whose popularity can be estimated by other
                            means.
                            I am not sure about a pre WW1 Golden age. Except for WW1-2 as noticed by
                            Trudy, the trend in general is of constant growth. It may reflect mainly
                            growth in academic production of books, not necessarily a "retro glow", or
                            popularity in the sense of a general public.
                            Raz Kletter

                            2010/12/20 Trudy Kawami <tkawami@...>

                            >
                            >
                            > Of course we all say that WW I and WW II damaged scholarship, but this
                            > is an interesting angle with "hard" data. Could we take it a step
                            > further & say that Assyriology & Egyptology were seen as "modern" in the
                            > 19th century, but now have a retro glow? What I have in mind is the
                            > success of the Indiana Jones series which relied on much earlier themes
                            > & imagery. Even the invasion of Iraq and the looting of the museum has
                            > not produced any updating of the themes.
                            >
                            > Since I lagged badly in keeping up with post this weekend, I'd better
                            > read all the rest before tripping over my own feet (or tongue).
                            >
                            > Trudy
                            >
                            > ________________________________
                            >
                            > From: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com <ANE-2%40yahoogroups.com> [mailto:
                            > ANE-2@yahoogroups.com <ANE-2%40yahoogroups.com>] On Behalf Of
                            > MarcC
                            > Sent: Saturday, December 18, 2010 1:41 PM
                            > To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com <ANE-2%40yahoogroups.com>
                            > Subject: [ANE-2] Relative Popularity of Egyptology and Assyriology since
                            > 1800
                            >
                            > Instead of grading papers this morning, I did some data mining in Google
                            > Books. Since Google has reduced several million vlumes into searchable
                            > electronic form, I wondered if it is possble to determine the relative
                            > popularity of Assyriology and Egyptology over the last 200 years. So I
                            > ran searches for sets of words that are specific to these fields in
                            > English, "egyptian hieroglyphic", "babylonian cuneiform", and akkadian.
                            > Google's date limited search engine turns out to be imperfect. For
                            > instance, a journal run beginning in 1824 will occasionally produce
                            > Google references from later periods in earlier period, so the numbers
                            > below cannot be taken as the true number of instances in any given
                            > period, but the relative numbers are, I think, meaningful. Here are my
                            > quickie findings:
                            >
                            > Egyptian Hieroglyphic Babylonian Cuneiform Akkadian 1800-1820 5780 91 0
                            > 1820-1840 21900 744 7 1840-1860 32500 6700 58 1860-1880 27400 15500
                            > 991 1880-1900 32900 35000 14500 1900-1920 21200 33100 5190 1920-1940
                            > 14300 13700 6670 1940-1960 11300 12900 11900 1960-1980 43100 25200
                            > 66600 1980-2000 45100 33900 89400
                            >
                            > The actual date constraints are more precise than suggested above. I
                            > used January 1, 1800 to December 31, 1819 for the first period and
                            > similar date constraints for those which follow. Also note that the
                            > earliest references to Akkadian are all spurious.
                            >
                            > My first reaction to the table is that the era prior to WW I was a
                            > golden age for Ancient Near Eastern Studies. The wars nearly destroyed
                            > the field, but it has returned to prominence since 1960.
                            >
                            > Marc Cooper
                            >
                            > Missouri State
                            >
                            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            >
                            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            >
                            >
                            >


                            --
                            Raz Kletter
                            Varsaallika 6a Tallinn 12013 Estonia


                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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