607 research outputs found

    The Archives of Old Assyrian Traders: their Nature, Functions and Use

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    This contribution deals with the archives of Old Assyrian traders (originating from the city-state of Assur on the Tigris) from the first centuries of the second millennium BC, found in their houses in the lower town of the ancient Anatolian city of Kanesh, which is excavated since 1948 by Turkish archaeologists. The now more than 23.000 cuneiform tablets discovered there, belonging to at least 60 different merchants’ archives, constitute the most detailed and extensive written evidence on overland trade before the early Middle Ages. After providing general information on the traders, their business and their archives (kept in sealed “strong-rooms”), a more detailed analysis is preceded (§ 2) by distinguishing the various situations in which traders lived and worked in Kanesh – seniors or young men, with or without their family, some also with a house in another trading town in Anatolia - and the impact this had on their relations with their mother-city and on the nature and number of written records in their archives. In § 3 a brief sketch is given of the self-governing, corporate Assyrian merchant community, called “kārum Kanesh” (its location and archives have not yet been discovered), run by its main members. As an extension of the government of the city of Assur and head of the colonial network in Anatolia it played a vital role in performing administrative (it kept accounts, organized general accounting sessions and could impose rules), commercial (organizing collective operations and dealing with the local palace and ruler) and judicial tasks (as court of law), whose impact on the activities of the traders is reflected by their archives. In § 4 the three main categories into which the records may be distinguished are described: a large variety of letters, legal documents (contracts and judicial records) and memorandums, lists and short notes, whose functions the long § 5 analyzes. Three functions, which may overlap, are distinguished. Firstly (§ 5.1) as means of communication, mainly by letters, essential for the success of the caravan system and the contacts between people - relatives, business partners, authorities - in Assur and the colonies, notably with personnel and relatives traveling or temporarily settled elsewhere in Anatolia. Secondly (§ 5.2) as aid to memory, letters, testimonies, memorandums and lists, to keep track of the many, often complex and valuable transactions, especially investments and credit operations, to monitor due dates and dun defaulting debtors. And thirdly (§ 5.3) as evidence, especially “valid” records, that is those in sealed envelopes, both contracts and agreements and a variety of usually sworn depositions and testimonies, which resulted from and were used in private summonses, mediation, arbitration or formal lawsuits. The latter could take place in kārum Kanesh and in Assur, before the City Assembly, headed by the ruler of Assur, which resulted in verdicts and official letters. Credit operations in particular generated many evidentiary records, most of them in order to provide creditors with various securities and specific facilities, such as a “payment contract” (with a defaulting debtor) and a kind of “bearer’s cheques”. Paragraph 6 investigates the role of “copies” and “duplicates”, both of letters and “valid records”, made to serve multiple addressees of letters, to provide business partners and co-witnesses with essential data (e.g. to dun defaulting debtors and to prepare for lawsuits), and to keep evidence available when originals were sent overland. The final § 7 analyzes the various ways in which records were classified, by subject matter, persons involved, the nature of the texts (e.g. letters, debt-notes, and sealed or unsealed records), and stored in the archives. This was usually on shelves along the walls or in various types of frequently sealed containers (wooden boxes, baskets, leather bags and jars) or as sealed packets, whose contents could be identified by inscribed bullae that served as labels. Letters of absent traders who ask wives or friends to retrieve records from their archives and write about the transport of groups of tablets provide interesting information. Unfortunately the archaeological record about the discovery of the tablets usually is too general, because their exact find-spots and numbers are rarely mentioned, which makes it impossible to distinguish valid, current records, from old files, no longer in use and possibly stored in jars. The informative value of the bullae, often separated from the tablets to which they belonged and published separately, is also not exploited. The resulting picture, mainly based on the textual information, shows a rather practical way of classification in various types of easily distinguishable groups and files in different “containers”, but many details remain unclear

    In Accordance with the Words of the Stele: Evidence for Old Assyrian Legislation

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    In Accordance with the Words of the Stele: Evidence for Old Assyrian Legislation

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    A Comparative Numerical Study on GEM, MHSP and MSGC

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    In this work, we have tried to develop a detailed understanding of the physical processes occurring in those variants of Micro Pattern Gas Detectors (MPGDs) that share micro hole and micro strip geometry, like GEM, MHSP and MSGC etc. Some of the important and fundamental characteristics of these detectors such as gain, transparency, efficiency and their operational dependence on different device parameters have been estimated following detailed numerical simulation of the detector dynamics. We have used a relatively new simulation framework developed especially for the MPGDs that combines packages such as GARFIELD, neBEM, MAGBOLTZ and HEED. The results compare closely with the available experimental data. This suggests the efficacy of the framework to model the intricacies of these micro-structured detectors in addition to providing insight into their inherent complex dynamical processes

    Estimation of Weighting Potential for a TPC

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    In this work, we have computed the three dimensional weighting potential, field and pad response function (PRF) of typical time projection chambers (TPC) using a recently formulated and developed boundary element method solver, namely, the nearly exact BEM solver. A realistic geometry of the device is found to have significant influence on the estimation of signal generation.In this work, we have computed the three dimensional weighting potential, field and pad response function (PRF) of typical time projection chambers (TPC) using a recently formulated and developed boundary element method solver, namely, the nearly exact BEM solver. A realistic geometry of the device is found to have significant influence on the estimation of signal generation

    Performance of a large limited streamer tube cell in drift mode

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    The performance of a large (3x3 cm2cm^2) streamer tube cell in drift mode is shown. The detector space resolution has been studied using cosmic muons crossing an high precision silicon telescope. The experimental results are compared with a GARFIELD simulation.Comment: 18 pages, 7 figures. Accepted by Nucl. Instr. and Methods

    Modelling and Measurement of Charge Transfer in Multiple GEM Structures

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    Measurements and numerical simulations on the charge transfer in Gas Electron Multiplier (GEM) foils are presented and their implications for the usage of GEM foils in Time Projection Chambers are discussed. A small test chamber has been constructed and operated with up to three GEM foils. The charge transfer parameters derived from the electrical currents monitored during the irradiation with an Fe-55 source are compared with numerical simulations. The performance in magnetic fields up to 2 T is also investigated.Comment: 21 pages, 16 figures, submitted to NIM-

    Charge Transfer Properties Through Graphene Layers in Gas Detectors

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    Graphene is a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a honeycomb lattice with remarkable mechanical, electrical and optical properties. For the first time graphene layers suspended on copper meshes were installed into a gas detector equipped with a gaseous electron multiplier. Measurements of low energy electron and ion transfer through graphene were conducted. In this paper we describe the sample preparation for suspended graphene layers, the testing procedures and we discuss the preliminary results followed by a prospect of further applications.Comment: 2014 IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium and Medical Imaging Conference with the 21st Symposium on Room-Temperature Semiconductor X-Ray and Gamma-Ray Detectors, 4 pages, 8 figure

    Effects of High Charge Densities in Multi-GEM Detectors

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    A comprehensive study, supported by systematic measurements and numerical computations, of the intrinsic limits of multi-GEM detectors when exposed to very high particle fluxes or operated at very large gains is presented. The observed variations of the gain, of the ion back-flow, and of the pulse height spectra are explained in terms of the effects of the spatial distribution of positive ions and their movement throughout the amplification structure. The intrinsic dynamic character of the processes involved imposes the use of a non-standard simulation tool for the interpretation of the measurements. Computations done with a Finite Element Analysis software reproduce the observed behaviour of the detector. The impact of this detailed description of the detector in extreme conditions is multiple: it clarifies some detector behaviours already observed, it helps in defining intrinsic limits of the GEM technology, and it suggests ways to extend them.Comment: 5 pages, 6 figures, 2015 IEEE Nuclear Science Symposiu
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