Afterlives of Ancient Rock-cut Monuments in the Near East

Carvings in and out of Time

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This book concerns the ancient rock-cut monuments carved throughout the Near East, paying particular attention to the fate of these monuments in the centuries after their initial production. As parts of the landscapes in which they were carved, they acquired new meanings in the cultural memory of the people living around them. The volume joins numerous recent studies on the reception of historical texts and artefacts, exploring the peculiar affordances of these long-lasting and often salient monuments. The volume gathers articles by archeologists, art historians, and philologists, covering the entire Near East, from Iran to Lebanon and from Turkey to Egypt. It also analyzes long-lasting textual traditions that aim to explain the origins and meaning of rock-cut monuments and other related carvings.

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Jonathan Ben-Dov, Ph.D. (2005), is Associate Professor of Biblical Studies at Tel Aviv University. He has published widely on the Hebrew Bible, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and Ancient Time reckoning, including a recently co-edited volume The Construction of Time in Antiquity: Ritual, Art, and Identity (Cambridge University Press, 2017).

Felipe Rojas, Ph.D. (2010), is Associate Professor of Archaeology at Brown University. He currently co-directs archaeological projects in Turkey and Jordan, and recently published the book The Pasts of Roman Anatolia: Interpreters, Traces, Horizons (Cambridge University Press, 2019).
"The volume’s contents are thus wide-ranging and the main message to learn is that ancient rock-cut monuments triggered vivid yet very varied reactions throughout their existence. (...) The editors’ intent to consider the “afterlives” of monuments in this inclusive way is to be praised"
- Marc Van De Mieroop, Columbia University, in Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2022.04.26

"This is an interesting collection on how inscriptions were interpreted before modern scholarship and who was interested in doing so."
- Lester L. Grabbe, in The Society for Old Testament Study Book List 2022

“The volume’s contents are thus wide-ranging and the main message to learn is that ancient rock-cut monuments triggered vivid yet very varied reactions throughout their existence. (…) The editors’ intent to consider the “afterlives” of monuments in this inclusive way is to be praised, and I hope that the chapters that do so successfully will inspire others to pursue the same path.”
- Marc Van De Mieroop, Columbia University, in Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2022.04.26.
Preface
List of Figures and Tables
Notes on Contributors

1 Introduction
Felipe Rojas and Jonathan Ben-Dov

2 Entangled Images: Royal Memory, Posthumous Presence, and the Afterlives of Assyrian Rock Reliefs
Karen Sonik and David Kertai

3 Narrating Temporality: Three Short Stories about Egyptian Royal Living-Rock Stelae
Jen Thum and Anne-Claire Salmas

4 Forgetting an Empire, Creating a New Order: Trajectories of Rock-Cut Monuments from Hittite into Post-Hittite Anatolia, and the Afterlife of the “Throne” of Kızıldağ
Lorenzo d’Alfonso and Matteo Pedrinazzi

5 A Carving in Antioch: History, Magic, Antiquarianism, Archaeology
Felipe Rojas

6 Herodotus and Empire: Ancient Near Eastern Monuments and Their Cultural Recycling in Herodotus’ Histories
Robert Rollinger

7 Sculpting in Time: Rock Reliefs, Inscriptions and the Transformation of Iranian Memory and Identity
Matthew P. Canepa

8 Éminences grises: Emergent Antiquities in Seventeenth-Century Iran
Lindsay Allen and Moya Carey

9 Neo-Babylonian Rock Reliefs and the Jewish Literary Imagination
Jonathan Ben-Dov

10 Translatio studii: Stelae Traditions in Second Temple Judaism and Their Legacy in Byzantium
William Adler

11 The Long History of an Imaginary Inscription: Josephus’s Two Pillars in Early Modern European Histories of Astronomy
John Steele
Index
Scholars of the ancient world, especially historians and archaeologists interested in cultural memory and landscape monuments throughout the Near East from antiquity to the early modern period.
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