This dissertation project is a study of the Babylonian extispicy ritual descriptions and their role in the local scribal culture.
As a first step, the project took the task of editing a collection of text called the Extispicy Rituals. From this group of cuneiform tablets recovered from the library in Nineveh, we learn about the manner in which the procedure was arranged. They include descriptions of purification acts, series of sacrificial offerings, and the different gestures on behalf of the human participants. The edition of the tablets includes a score transliteration, translation and photos of the different rituals, along with a scientific commentary.
The second step of the project investigates the main questions raised by those ritual descriptions, such as: What are the roles of the different participants in the ritual? What were the relations between the theoretical literature and the act of extispicy? did astrology play a role in this practice? And, finally: to what extent was the knowledge of this lore restricted?