The Institute Letter Fall 2010

In 1935, Professor Benjamin Meritt took the first steps to build a Repository of Squeezes—impressions of inscriptions that allow scholars to more easily study them. He wrote to Director Abraham Flexner that it “will be second only to that in Berlin.” Today, the Institute houses one of the world’s largest collections of squeezes.

We do not know who made the first paper squeeze of an inscription. The practice is quite old; large numbers of them were made by Richard Lepsius on an expedition to Egypt (1842–45) and by Philippe Le Bas in Greece (1843). The invention of the...

“Who are you?” A simple question sometimes requires a complex answer. When a Homeric hero is asked who he is (e.g. Iliad 7.123 ff.), his answer consists of more than just his name; he provides a list of his ancestors. The history of his...

Autism is a common child­hood neurodevelop­mental disorder affecting one in 180 children. It is characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and by restric­ted interests and rep­etitive behav­ior. Autism is a complex disease...

Material objects play a role in all religions. Jewish women light candles for the Sabbath; Christians sprinkle or douse bodies with water to baptize; Hindus offer coconuts and clarified butter to images of the gods and goddesses; the ancient...

Reliquaries were designed as receptacles for tiny bundles of sacred stuff such as handfuls of dust, pebbles from Biblical sites in the Holy Land, tiny fragments of the hair, clothing, and even bone of those deemed to be saints and martyrs by the...

It has been nearly sixty years that I have been engaged in an active scholarly life. My first article came out fifty-eight years ago, and there are still now two or three studies in the process of being printed or ready to appear on the Internet...

“It is fundamental in our purpose, and our express desire, that in the appointments to the staff and faculty as well as in the admission of workers and students, no account shall be taken, directly or indirectly, of race,...