1. Conference Date and Venue
  2. Abbreviated Conference Schedule
  3. Presentations
  4. Timeline for abstracts, drafts, manuscripts
  5. Preparation of Papers for Publication
  6. Travel and Transportation
  7. Accommodation
  8. Getting Around
  9. Reimbursement
  10. Wireless Access
  11. Contact Information

Conference Date and Venue


March 5–6, 2020

Institute for the Study of Ancient Cultures of the University of Chicago
1155 E 58th St, Chicago, IL 60637
Breasted Hall

Conference Schedule

A copy of this schedule will be included in your welcome pamphlet. 

TUESDAY, March 3

Arrival of overseas presenters


Arrival of presenters from North America

5:00–6:30 pm WELCOME DINNER at the MESLER KITCHEN, 1401 E 53rd street

7:00–8:00 pm OPTIONAL Members' Lecture | BREASTED HALL
Dr. Martha Roth will discuss violence in ancient Mesopotamia

8:00–9:00 pm OPTIONAL Reception for Members' Lecture | MESOPOTAMIA GALLERY


coffee, tea & light food

Christopher Woods, Institute Director 
Delphine Poinsot, Organizer, Postdoctoral Fellow

SESSION 1: Examining Uses of Seals | 09:30 AM–1:00 PM | Ida Noyes Hall Librairy

09:30 Oya Topçuoğlu, "One seal, two seal, red seal, blue seal : multiple seal ownership in Mesopotamia in the early second millenium "
10:00 Agnete Wisti Lassen, "Seal collection and reuse in the ancient Near East"

10:30 Theo van den Hout, "Preventing fraud and forgery of seals in the Hittite Kingdom"

11:00–11:30 COFFEE BREAK | IDA NOYES HALL LIBRAIRY coffee, tea & light food

11:30 Brian Muhs, "A diachronic survey of ancient egyptian sealing practices from the predynastic through the graeco-roman periods"
12:00 Deniz Kaptan, "Sealing practices in Anatolia under achaemenid rule"

Response & Discussion, McGuire Gibson 

1:00 GROUP PHOTO for all participants | IDA NOYES HALL
1:00–2:15 LUNCH BREAK for attendees | IDA NOYES HALL LIBRAIRY

SESSION 2: Examining administrative archives | 2:15 PM–5:15 PM | Breasted Hall

2:15 Torben Schreiber, "Only lumps of clay? Seal impression and their contribution to the reconstruction of hellenistic and roman bureaucracy"
2:45 Mark B. Garrison, "Seals and documents types in the Persepolis Fortification Archive"

coffee, tea & snacks

3:45 Wouter Henkelman, "Irdabama and her seals: the roots of the Achaemenids and the fortification archive"
4:15 Delphine Poinsot, "Sealing with animals in Iranian glyptic, from the Achaemenid to the sasanian dynasty"

Response & Discussion, Alain Bresson

beer, wine & hors d'oeuvres

7:00 DINNER for participants and invited guests | KURAH | 1355 S. Michigan Avenue
transportation provided from the Institute at 6:30; return to the Hyatt Hotel at 9:00


coffee, tea & light food

SESSION 3: Examining beyond administration | 9:30 AM–1:00 PM | Breasted Hall

9:30 Béatrice Caseau, "Stamping material as seals in roman and byzantine material culture"
10:00 Karl Schaefer, "Administering magic in medieval Islam"
10:30 Paul Copp, "Seals in chinese religious practice: metaphor and materiality"

coffee, tea & snacks

Response & Discussion, Tasha Vorderstrasse 

12:00 Delphine Poinsot, concluding remarks & final discussion

catered by Nella Pizza e Pasta

3:00 - 4:30 Rhyne King, Susanne Paulus, Delphine Poinsot and Tasha Vorderstrasse "Lasting impressions: using seals in the ancient Near East", optional workshop - LaSalle Bank room


Presentation time: 20–25 min
Questions: 5 min per speaker
AV Guidelines: We encourage you to use Powerpoint (rather than Prezi, etc.) Presentation files will be collected at the Welcome Dinner on Wednesday, March 6. Please bring your Powerpoint with you on a flash drive.  

It is standard practice at the Institute for the Study of Ancient Cultures to make an audio-visual recording of presentations for archival, not distribution, purposes. You will be asked to sign a waiver on Wednesday evening that provides ISAC with the permission to do so. If you do not wish to be recorded, please let us know as early as possible.

All sessions conclude with a 30–minute slot for response and discussion, of which 5–10 minutes will be structured remarks by the discussant, and 20 minutes will be moderated discussion among presenters, participants, and audience members. 

Timeline for drafts, manuscripts

Please send:

  • An early draft of your paper to distribute among respondents before February 20
  • Your paper for publication before August 30
    Charissa Johnson, Managing Editor of the ISAC Publications Office, will give a brief presentation detailing the publication process during lunch on Thursday, March 5. See also "Preparation of Papers for Publication," below; N.B. this information is subject to updates. 

Preparation of Papers for Publication (in alphabetical order)


August 30, 2020

Fonts and Transliterations

Because the volume will contain a multiplicity of scripts, there is no preferred transliteration or transcription (normalization) style. This applies to proper nouns as well, anglicized or otherwise.

Submit all fonts used (unless readily available in MS Word). Unicode fonts are preferred. The publishing office works with Macs (OS 10.12.5).



Images are strongly encouraged; published volumes can handle color and multiple-page images.
Trim size per page is 7 x 10 in. Images can be submitted as TIF, JPG, PNG, or PDF (if necessary).

Copyright: when inquiring about permissions for reproduction, specify that this is an academic publication being published by an academic publisher. The initial print run will likely be around 500–1,000 copies. Online estimates vary. 

There is some money in the budget for images; this is not extensive, however, so if you have other sources available, please go to these first. 

Manuscript submission guidlines for 2020


Page limit

Roughly this should be 20–30 pages (6000–9000 words) in double-spaced, Times New Roman, 12-point font.

Publication Office

If you have questions about the publication process feel free to contact Charissa Johnson directly.

Charissa Johnson
Managing Editor, Publications

Review Process

After initial content review and copying editing, authors will receive a first set of proofs. Once proofs are approved by authors and resubmitted, final image setting will take place. The manuscript will then be submitted to the Institute's director, Christopher Woods, and to one or two outside reviewers.


Chicago Manual of Style (17th ed.)

American, not British, spelling where applicable
BCE and CE where applicable

For the ISAC Seminar series, references should be author-date.

Travel and Transportation

Flight Arrangements

For help or to modify your travel arrangements, you can feel free to contact the agents at Tower Travel: email reservations@towertravel.com, or call 866.625.6491 (within the US) or 630.928.7148 (international). 

Unless you have contacted me to make other arrangements, please make your own way to the Hyatt Hotel upon arrival. We recommend either public transportation (see directions, below) or a ride-share service (Uber or Lyft, see below). Due to traffic, depending on your time of arrival, public transit may be the fastest way to reach the hotel. You will be reimbursed for these expenses, as long as you provide receipts (see Reimbursement). 

Getting to the University from O'Hare Airport

Public Transportation

Via public transportation (Chicago Transit Authority, or “CTA”), the trip from O’Hare to Hyde Park takes the better part of two hours and costs $5.25. From the baggage claim level, follow signs for the CTA Trains. In the station, buy a CTA card at one of the machines, loading it with $5 to $10 (or more, depending on how often you intend to use the card). CTA cards can be used on trains and buses. Bus and train fare is $2.25, and a transfer costs 25 cents. If you don’t purchase a CTA card, only buses accept cash, and they require exact change. Unlimited-ride visitor passes also are available for one, three, and seven days. For more information, visit www.transitchicago.com.

Board the Blue Line and, after a roughly 45-minute ride, get off at the Jackson stop. Head upstairs to street level, walk east one block to the intersection of Jackson and State Streets, and catch the #6 bus heading south, using your CTA card. The #6 bus will take you straight to Hyde Park along Lake Shore Drive. There are several stops in Hyde Park, but we recommend you get off on 57th Street and walk a few blocks west to central campus.


A taxi from O’Hare to Hyde Park costs about $80 and takes about 45 minutes—except during rush hour, when it may take twice as long. If you arrive in the afternoon or early evening, it may actually take less time to come by public transit.

Getting to the University from Midway Airport

Midway Airport is closer to the university. Follow signs for the CTA Trains, which also lead to the CTA buses. Board the #55 bus to Hyde Park and, after about 45 minutes (maybe a little longer during rush hour), get off at University Avenue. A taxi from Midway to Hyde Park costs about $50 and takes about half an hour.

Information about both airports, Uber and shuttle services

The CTA has a helpful website with details about airport transit. The Chicago Department of Aviation also has a website with details about airport terminal layouts and transportation options.


Hyatt Place Chicago-South/University Medical Center
5225 S Harper Ave, 
Chicago, IL 60615
Tel: (773) 752-5300

The Hyatt provides a shuttle to campus, which runs from 7am till 7pm daily. Information about departure times and stops can be requested at the front desk.
You will receive a paper map in the conference folder, but you can also find an online Map of the University of Chicago Campus / Hyde Park here:

Please note that you will need a credit card to check in. Your accommodation has been paid for by the OI, however, if you order something to your room or use the minibar, your card will be charged.
The hotel shuttle will take you to and from the hotel for events and the conference (or you can walk, if the weather is good!).

Getting Around

Things to do in Hyde Park

Hyde Park, home to the University of Chicago, is a great community with a lot to see. It is one of the City of Chicago’s 77 “community areas.” They are not formal administrative districts, but everyone knows these neighborhoods by name, so if you say you’re going to Hyde Park, Chicagoans will know what you’re talking about. (This is useful if you explore Chicago and are unsure how to get back. Just ask a cab or bus driver how to get to Hyde Park.)

The University has a very informative website about Hyde Park.
Under "Explore Hyde Park" you find information about bars, restaurants and entertainment.

How to get around in the city

Downtown Chicago consists of the main commercial district (known as “the Loop” after the above-ground train tracks that form a loop in this area) and residential, retail, and/or recreational areas on all sides. Most of the downtown action takes place around Millennium Park and along Michigan Avenue north of the river (called the “Magnificent Mile”). There are also restaurants all over the city, which you can easily search online and generally access by public transit. The areas around downtown and on much of the north side are largely safe, but take normal precautions as you would in any big city.

The quickest and most affordable ways to get between Hyde Park and downtown are the Metra Electric commuter rail and the #6 bus.

To get anywhere beyond the Loop, the quickest route is to take the “EL” trains (known as such whether they’re underground or elevated). From Hyde Park, take the #55 or the #59 bus west to where these streets intersect with the Green or the Red Line. Use CTA Bus Tracker to find out when the next bus is due.


Please keep all receipts for reimbursement.

Participants seeking reimbursement for their ground transport (in Chicago only), should email their scanned receipts after they have completed all their travel to Brendan Bulger : bpbulger@uchicago.edu

  • US-based participants will be reimbursed via check from University of Chicago, and should provide their residential mailing information;
  • Foreign-based participants, in order to be reimbursed via wire transfer, should provide the following banking information in the body of an email:

Receiving Bank Name:

Receiving Bank Address:

Receiving Bank City, State, Zip:

Receiving Bank Country:

SWIFT CODE (if international):

Sort Code (if international):

Account holder name:

Account Number:

ABA/Routing Number (if US bank, 9 digit):

Wireless Access

All conference participants can use the University of Chicago Wireless guest network during the stay.
Download Instructions to connect, username and password (.PDF)

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Delphine Poinsot

tel: 773-702-7497