Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Drinking Goat's Blood At ASOR

Being back in New Orleans for a few days now, I've had a chance to think about and reflect on the annual meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research. It was great to see so many of my ASOR friends. These are people that my family and i lived with at the Albright in Jerusalem, ACOR in Amman, and people with whom I've excavated in the summers. We know each other pretty well. Mostly I went to meetings. I told the ASOR president Eric Meyers that I used to think that ASOR legends such as him were snobs, as I never saw them at the papers. Now I know it's because they have meetings all freakin' day long. I'm glad that my co-ASOR-VP is Morag, as we can joke and debrief after all the meetings with long talkers. There are many long talkers high up on the ASOR totem pole if you didn't know. I think the most interesting paper I saw was by Gillian Goslinga. She talked about sacrifice in Tamil Nadu India, and she showed an amazing film in which a deity inhabited this woman's body, then she sacrificed a goat after it's neck hairs stood up showing it's willingness, and then she drank the goat's blood from the carcass as the eyes and mouth on the decapitated goat's head twittered about. And pay attention deities: I do not want to have you inhabit my body, but if you must, then have me eat some cheesecake or drink a few beers. If it's goat's blood you crave, then find another damn prophet.

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