Rivers From Eden is dead. Long live Gates of Nineveh.
It’s been a while and things are going to change quite a bit here. I started the blog Rivers from Eden three years ago to keep my writing skills sharp and keep me reading about the ancient Near East while I was applying to grad school. In the past three years, Rivers from Eden received over 90,000 page views.
But life went on. I moved to Israel. I moved to Illinois. I earned a master’s degree. I got accepted into a Ph.D program. I went without posting for months or years at a time. Page views stagnated and declined. New posts received hardly any attention at all.
It’s time for a change.
As of yesterday, Rivers from Eden is no more. It’s gone. My search engine optimization will suffer, but that’s alright. This blog is now titled Gates of Nineveh, which should make it clear that we’re talking about Mesopotamia here, and especially Assyria.
The best posts from Rivers from Eden have been moved to this blog. The not-so-good posts have been taken down and may re-appear after extensive re-writes. The links page has been rewritten to link to other scholarly blogs focused on the ancient world and organize links in ways that people actually use them.
Gates of Nineveh is going to move in a new direction. The internet has many excellent biblioblogs. It also has many excellent archaeology blogs. What it lacks are many regular blogs dedicated to Assyriology. This is probably because most of us in that field are nerdy beyond belief. But, I have long suspected that more people would find Mesopotamia interesting if it were presented in a manner that more than a hundred people on this planet could understand.
So, without further ado, here are some things you will see on Gates of Nineveh:
- A renewed focus on Mesopotamia, and especially neo-Assyrian studies.
- Shorter posts, and more of them.
- Shorter posts discussing a single artifact or text.
- Quality long form articles, as before.
- Posts discussing news and new finds in the field.
- Posts discussing current scholarship.
- Posts seeking to span the gap between Assyriology and Biblical Studies.
- Book reviews.
- Interactions with archaeobloggers and bibliobloggers.
- Posts about my own research (when I have something to write about).
Things you will not find on Gates of Nineveh:
- Posts more than once a day (probably not more than 2-3 times a week). Don’t worry subscribers, I’m not about to flood your inbox.
- Posts that read like an upper level undergrad term paper (I plead guilty to past offenses in this regard).
- Simply reposting news from the Agade mailing list (Subscribe to it here! It’s great).
- Commentary on modern politics or social issues.
- General commentary about the state of higher education in the United States.
- Posts consisting entirely of funny pictures (that’s what Twitter is for).
- Posts advertising stuff, books, digs, etc (unless it’s my own book, dig, etc – I don’t have any at present).
- Mudslinging with others in the field. I’m not important enough to do that.
There’s nothing wrong with blogs that do these things, it’s just not what this blog is about. And I’m still going to write about Late Antiquity, because I like it. I’ll never make a career out of it, but I enjoy reading and writing about it. Plus, it’s fun to trace the legacy of the ancient Near East through time.
My hope, as always, is that some people will read this blog, enjoy it and maybe learn a thing or two. Rebuilding the readership Rivers from Eden had at its peak will take time, but that’s OK. There’s a new beginning afoot, that required making a clean break with the old.