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Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology



Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology & the Ancient World
Brown University
Box 1837 / 60 George Street
Providence, RI 02912
Telephone: (401) 863-3188
Fax: (401) 863-9423

ARCH 2340



Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World
Brown University
Fall 2011

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Meets Thursdays 4:00-6:20 pm (Q-hour) Rhode Island Hall Seminar Room 008
Instructor: Ömür Harmansah (Assistant Professor of Archaeology and Egyptology and Ancient Western Asian Studies)
Office Hours: Tuesday 1-3 pm. (to meet outside these hours, please e-mail Ömür)
Office: Rhode Island Hall (60 George St.) Room 102
E-mail: Office tel: 3-6411

Course Description

Ritual, war and conquest! This is our modern image of the Assyrian Empire, one of the most powerful territorial states of the ancient world and the Near East. Assyrians are famous for their ambitious patronage of building capital cities and cultivating landscapes, the architecture of their palaces and temples, the elaborate structure of state bureaucracy, taxation and provincial administration, military expeditions, mass deportations and sumptuous cult festivals, the rich corpus of commemorative inscriptions and libraries of literary texts and official documents. Assyrian palaces, temples, city gates and various public spaces of the Iron Age were famously surrounded by carved stone orthostats and a variety of monuments such as steles, obelisks, sculptures of royal figures and mythological beings. Several of these monuments featured pictorial narratives and commemorative inscriptions that communicated the official ideology of the state. This course investigates the long-term history and archaeology of Assyria in the Near Eastern political landscape from small trading center of Ashur in the early centuries of the second millennium BC to the collapse of the Neo-Assyrian Empire in the 7th c. BC. Using evidence from archaeological excavations and regional surveys, textual documents and data from environmental studies, we will explore this important episode of Near Eastern history from the perspectives of material culture, space, place and landscape, cult practices and state ideology.