Week 1: September 10. Introduction.
Thursday ~ Introduction: scope of the course, methods, overview...
Week 2: September 15-17. The presence of the past
Tuesday ~ The tablet, the souvenir, the artifact, the seed, and the bone: objects of studying the ancient world.
- Schnapp, Alain; 1997. “Archaeology and the presence of the past,” in The discovery of the past. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 11-37.
- Bottéro, Jean; 1992. “In defense of a useless science” in Mesopotamia: writing, reasoning and the gods. Trans. By Z. Bahrani and M. Van de Mieroop. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 15-25.
Thursday ~Study of the ancient Near East: sources and their problems
- Matthews, “Defining a discipline: Mesopotamian archaeology in history” 1-26.
- Gates, Marie-Henriette; "Archaeology and the ancient Near East: methods and limits," in A companion to the ancient Near East. Daniel C. Snell (ed.). Malden, MA : Blackwell Pub., 65-78.
- Van de Mieroop, Marc; 1999. “The first half of histoy,” in Cuneiform texts and the writing of history. London and New York: Routledge, 9-38.
Week 3. September 22-24. Where is Mesopotamia, Near East, Middle East? Maps and politics.
Assignment 1: Curious maps of the Middle East due September 22, before class (post on the wiki)
Tuesday ~ Seriously: where is Mesopotamia, Near East, Middle East? Imperialism, colonialism and the politics of defining a region.
- Scheffler, Thomas; 2003. " 'Fertile crescent', 'Orient', 'Middle East': the changing mental maps of Souhwest Asia," European Review of History 10/2: 253-272.
- Bahrani, Zainab; 1998. “Conjuring Mesopotamia: imaginative geography and a world past,” in Archaeology under fire: Nationalism, politics and heritage in the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East. L. Meskell (ed.), Routledge: London and New York, 159-174.
Thursday ~The secret life of emperors, ambassadors and missionaries: a short history of archaeological exploration in the Middle East. Archaeology in service of Biblical history.
- Pollock, “Introduction” 1-27.
- Larsen, Mogens Trolle; 1989. “Orientalism and Near Eastern archaeology,” in Domination and Resistance. D. Miller et. al. (eds). London and New York: 229-239.
- Presentation: The site of Nimrud: excavations by Layard.
Week 4. September 29-October 1. Landscapes of the Near East
Tuesday ~ Diverse landscapes of the Near East: long term history of the environment (and the curious stories it might tell us).
- Wilkinson, Tony J.; 2003. Archaeological landscapes of the Near East. Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 3-32.
- Pollock, “Settlement patterns” 45-77.
Thursday ~ Near Eastern Neolithic: hunters-gatherers, agriculturalists, pastorists.
- Matthews 2003: “Tracking a transition: hunters becoming farmers,” 32-48 and 67-92.
- Hodder, Ian and Craig Cessford; 2004. “Daily practice and social memory at Çatalhöyük,” American Antiquity 69: 17-40.
- Presentation: Neolithic figurines of Çatalhöyük
Week 5. October 6-8. First cities, first tablets: the Uruk Phenomenon
Tuesday ~ Urbanization and social complexity in Southern Mesopotamia
- Kuhrt 19-27.
- Matthews 2003: “States of mind: approaches to complexity,” 93-126.
- Wengrow, David; 1998. “The changing face of clay: continuity and change in the transition from village to urban life in the Near East,” Antiquity 72: 783-795.
- Ancient text: Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta
Thursday ~ Invention of writing and other objects of complex economic administation
- Postgate 1992: “The written record,” 51-70.
- Cooper, Jerrold S.; 2004. “Babylonian beginnings: the origin of the cuneiform writing system in comparative perspective,” in The first writing: script invention as history and process. S.D. Houston (ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 71-99.
- Presentation: Seals and sealing in Uruk Mesopotamia
Week 6. October 13-15. The Early Bronze age: from memory to history
Tuesday ~ Burying the dead: The Royal tombs of Ur
- Pollock, S.; 2007. “The Royal Cemetery of Ur: Ritual, tradition and the creation of subjects,” in Representations of political power: case histories from times of change and dissolving order in the Ancient Near East. M. Heinz and M. H. Feldman (eds.). Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 89-110.
- Zettler, R. L. and L. Horne(eds.); 1998. Treasures from the royal tombs of Ur. Philadelphia: University of Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Skim through the catalogue.
Thursday ~ Kingship, war and the Early Mesopotamian state: Umma and Girsu
- Kuhrt, 27-43.
- Winter, Irene J.; 1985. “After the battle is over: the stele of the vultures and the beginning of historical narrative in the art of the ancient Near East”, Studies in the History of Art. 16:11-32.
- Michalowski, Piotr; 1983. “History as charter: some observations on the Sumerian king list,” JAOS 103: 237-248.
- Text: Sumerian king list
- Presentation: The stele of Eannatum from Girsu (Telloh)
Take home midterm questions distributed via e-mail (Oct 16, Friday).
Week 7. October 20-22. Akkad and Sumer: the Late Third Millenium in Mesopotamia
Take home midterms essays due (Oct 19, Monday, 5 pm)
Tuesday ~ The kingdom of Agade: monuments and memory
- Kuhrt 44-55.
- Pollock, “Ideology and images of power,” 173-195.
- Winter, Irene; 1996. “Sex, rhetoric and the public monument: the alluring body of Naram-Sin of Agade” in Sexuality in Ancient Art, N.B.Kampen (ed.), Cambridge: 11-26.
- Text: Royal inscriptions of Akkadian kings
Thursday ~ Text and archaeology: The Third Dynasty of Ur.
- Kuhrt 56-73.
- Zettler, Richard; 2003. “Reconstructing the world of ancient Mesopotamia: divided beginnings and holistic history,” JESHO 46: 3-45.
- Postgate, J. Nicholas; 1990b. “Archaeology and the texts-Bridging the gap,” Zeitschrift für Assyriologie und vorderasiatische Archäologie 80: 228-240.
- Presentation: Inscribed objects, foundation figurines of Ur III kings
Week 8. October 27-29. A literary Renaissance: The Old Babylonian world
Tuesday ~ The Old Babylonian world: scribal schools and the literary and visual floruishing of cuneiform culture.
- Kuhrt 95-117.
- Bottéro, Jean; 1992. “The ‘code’ of Hammurabi” in Mesopotamia: writing, reasoning and the gods. Trans. By Z. Bahrani and M. Van de Mieroop. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 156-184.
- Text: Hammurabi’s stele inscription
Thursday ~Isin Larsa kings and the city lament.
- Tinney, Steve; 1996. The Nippur Lament: royal rhetoric and divine legitimation in the reign of Išme-Dagan of Isin (1953-1935 BC). Occasional Publications of the Samuel Noah Kramer Fund, 16: Philadelphia, 11-25, 55-62 and 97-123.
- Text: Nippur lament
- Presentation: The site of Tell Abu Dhuwari (Mashkan-Shapir)
Week 9. November 3-5. Hittite Empire
Tuesday ~ Omur is out of town - no class.
Thursday ~ The peripathetic kings of the Hittite Empire: Rituals and temples of Hattusha.
- Gorny, Ronald L.; 1989. “Environment, archaeology and history in Hittite Anatolia,” Biblical Archaeologist 52: 78-96.
- Van den Hout, Theo; 2002. "Tombs and memorials: the (Divine) Stone house and Hegur reconsidered," in Recent developments in Hittite archaeology and history. K. A. Yener and H.A. Hoffner Jr. (eds.). Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 73-91.
- Presentation: Hittite rock reliefs in Anatolia
Week 10. November 10-12. Greetings to my brother: The Eastern Mediterranean world in the Late Bronze Age and the trasition to Iron Age
Tuesday ~ Networks of trade and diplomacy in the Eastern Mediterranean: Amarna letters- The Bronze Tablet of Hattusha.
- Sherratt, Andrew and Susan Sherratt; 1991. “From luxuries to commodities: the nature of Mediterranean Bronze age trading systems,” Bronze Age trade in the Mediterranean. N.H. Gale (ed.). Jonsered: Paul Åströms Förlag, 351-386.
- Feldman, M. H.; 2002. “Luxurious forms: refining a Mediterranean ‘international style,’ 1400-1200 BCE,” Art Bulletin 84: 6-29.
- Text: Amarna letters, Bronze Tablet from Boğazköy
- Presentation: Amarna Letters
- Presentation: Temple at Ayn Dara
- Presentation: Temple of the Storm God in Aleppo
Thursday ~ Syro-Hittite states of Northern Syria-Southeast Anatolia and the Assyrian Empire
- Akkermans, and Schwartz; “Iron Age Syria,” 360-397.
- Mazzoni, S; 1997. “The gate and the city: change and continuity in Syro-Hittite urban ideology,” in Die orientalische Stadt: Kontinuität, Wandel, Bruch. G. Wilhelm (ed.), SDV Saarbrücker Druckerei und Verlag: Saarbrücken, 307-338.
- Text: Hieroglyphic Luwian Inscriptions from Karkamish (Suhis-Katuwas Dynasty)
- Presentation: The site of Karkamish (Carchemish)
Week 11. November 17-19. Nineveh and Babylon: the festival, the city, the myth
Tuesday ~ Foundation of an empire: Assyria in the Iron Age- Kalhu and Nineveh
- Kuhrt 473-501.
- Postgate, J N; 1992. “The Land of Assur and the Yoke of Assur,” World Archaeology 23: 247-263.
- Text: Banquet Stele of the Asyrian King Aššurnasirpal II from Kalhu (Nimrud).
Thursday ~ From Hanging Gardens of Babylon to Iñárritu’s Babel: The city of Babylon in history, myth, imagination.
- Kuhrt 603-622.
- George, Andrew R.; 1993. “Babylon revisited: archaeology and philology in harness,” Antiquity 67: 734-46.
- Text: Enuma Elish
- Presentation: Hanging Gardens of Babylon
Week 12. November 24. Persian empire: from Persepolis to Daskyleion
Tuesday ~ The story of a world empire.
- Curtis, John and Nigel Tallis (eds); 2005. Forgotten empire: the world of ancient Persia. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.
- Pierre Briant ,“History of the Persian Empire 550-330 BC” 12-17.
- John Curtis, “The archaeology of the Achaemenid Period,” 30-49.
- Text: Bisutun inscription.
- Presentation: Bisutun rock relief and inscription
Thanksgiving Recess: Nov 25-29
Week 13. December 1-3. Midde East and the politics of the (ancient) past: matters of cultural heritage
Tuesday ~ Nationalism and the politics of the past: from contemporary Israel to Turkey.
- Abu El-Haj, Nadia; 1998. "Translating truths: nationalism, the practice of archaeology, and the remaking of past and present in contemporary Jerusalem" American Ethnologist 25(2): 166-188.
- Kersel, Morag M.; Christina Luke and Christopher H. Roosevelt; 2008. “Valuing the past: Perceptions of archaeological practice in Lydia and the Levant” Journal of Social Archaeology 8(3): 298-319.
Thursday ~ Archaeological sites as sites of conflict.
- Meskell, Lynn; 2005. “Sites of violence: terrorism, tourism and heritage in the archaeological present,” in Embedding ethics. Lynn Meskell and Peter Pels (eds.). Oxford: Berg, 123-146.
- Pollock, Susan; 2005. “Archaeology goes to war at the newsstand,” in Archaeologies of the Middle East: critical perspectives. S Pollock and R Bernbeck (eds.). Malden MA: Blackwell, 78-96.
Final Papers ("cultural biography of an artifact") due: December 4, Friday by 5 pm. ~
Reading period: December 7-11
Review session: December 8, Tuesday (usual time and place)
Final exam: December 12, Saturday at 9 am. ~