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Spring 2010

A course with Ömür Harmansah<-- who is this?
Assistant Professor of Archaeology and Egyptology and Ancient Western Asian Studies
Joukowsky Institute of Archaeology and the Ancient World
Brown University

Meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:30-11:50 am at Rhode Island Hall 108
Ömür's Office: Joukowsky Instutute (Rhode Island Hall - 60 George St.) Room 102
E-mail Office tel: 3-6411
Office Hours: Tuesday 1-3 pm (By appointment) @ Rhode Island Hall 102

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Course description

What do phaoroahs mean to modern Egyptians? Why did Saddam Hussein consider himself the last Neo-Babylonian king? Who suggested that ancient Hittites were the ancestors of Turks? Why do modern Assyrian Christians still celebrate ancient Assyrian festivals? How do archaeological projects in Israel-Palestine attempt to verify Biblical texts?

Our understanding of the past is profoundly impacted by political ideologies of the present. In this course, we are interested in exploring the use (and abuse) of archaeological pasts among the modern nation states in the Middle East since the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire. Discussing the constructions of secular modernity in the formation of modern nation states in the Middle East, we will explore various case studies of the integration of imagined ancient pasts in the making of collective identities and state ideologies. While we explore the related archaeological activities that intended to satisfy such needs, we will interrogate how the pervasive force of archaeology become nationalistic obsessions from the late 19th century to this day.

Books ordered at the Brown Bookstore

Midterm questions

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