The Jonas C. Greenfield Prize for Younger Semitists

The Jonas C Greenfield Prize, in honor of the eminent Semitist and AOS member Jonas Greenfield (b. Oct. 30, 1926, d. March 13, 1995), is granted every four years to a younger scholar for the best article in any area of Semitic studies that has been published during the most recent three-year period. The prize carries a cash award of $5,000 (five thousand US dollars).

The last competition period was from June 2012 through May 2015.

The prize committee, chaired by Randall Garr, University of California,
Santa Barbara, has awarded the prize to Noga Ayali-Darshan, Bar-Ilan University, for the article, “The Other Version of the Story of the Storm-god’s Combat with the Sea in the Light of Egyptian, Ugaritic, and Hurro-Hittite Texts,” Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions 15 (2015): 20-51.

According to the committee, “the article reconstructs two versions of a prominent ancient Near Eastern mythological motif-that of the battle between the Storm-God and the Sea. It is a learned, detailed study involving substantial philological abilities, and it addresses important issues of ancient religion and theology, both on the Levantine/West-Semitic and Mesopotamian sides. It represents the sort of serious philological competence and scholarly erudition that makes it shine amongst the many other worthy submissions in the competition.”

Presentation of the award will take place at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the American Oriental Society in Boston, MA.


Previous Greenfield Prize winners

1998—Christa Mueller-Kessler, for the article “The Story of Bguzan-Lilit: Daughter of Zanay-Lilit,” JAOS 116 (1996): 185–95.

2000—J. N. Ford (Hebrew University, Jerusalem), for the article “‘Ninety-Nine by the Evil Eye and One from Natural Causes’: KTU21.96 in Its Near Eastern Context,” Ugarit-Forschungen 30 (1998): 201–78.

2003—Michael P. Streck (University of Munich), for the article “Keilschrift und Alphabet,” in Hieroglyphen— Alphabete—Schriftreformen: Studien zu Multiliteralismus, Schriftwechsel und Orthographieneuregelungen, ed. D. Borchers, F. Kammerzell, and S. Weninger (Göttingen 2001), 77–97.

2006—Matthew W. Waters (University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire), for the article “Cyrus and the Achæmenids,” IRAN 42 (2004): 91–102.

2009—Martin Worthington (St. John’s College, Cambridge), for the article “Dialect Admixture of Babylonian and Assyrian in SAA VIII, X, XII, XVII, XVIII,” Iraq 68 (2006): 59–84.

2012—Aaron Tugendhaft (New York University), for the article “How to Become a Brother in the Bronze Age: An Inquiry into the Representation of Politics in Ugaritic Myth,” Fragments 2 (2012): 89–104.

Greenfield Prize Committee Composition and Procedures

1. The Greenfield Prize Committee (GPC) is made up of three AOS members: (1) the ANE Program Chair (service on the GPC is co-terminus with the term of ANE Program Chair) and (2) two additional members, selected by the ANE Program Chair to assure coverage of all major fields of Semitics.
2. Service on the GPC is for three (3) award cycles.
3. Appointments of the two additional members should be staggered.
4. The Chair of the GPC is to be one of the two additional members.

1. The GPC meets at the Annual AOS Meetings held in even number years when any adjustments to the Call for Submissions for the next competition will be made.
2. The announcement of the GPC’s selection will be announced by the end of February.
3. The recipient will be notified by the AOS Office of the Secretary, the GPC chair, and/or the ANE section chair, as determined by the GPC.
4. The recipient will be invited to attend the next AOS Meeting, with appropriate pomp and circumstance.
5. The award will be presented formally at the annual banquet.