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Michael Shenkar

Winner of the the Roman and Tania Ghirshman Prize 2015 by the French Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres. This prize was established in 1973 by the donation made by Roman Ghirshman, one of the prominent French archaeologists of Pre-Islamic Iran. It is awarded annually for a publication in the field of Pre-Islamic Iranian Studies.

In Intangible Spirits and Graven Images, Michael Shenkar investigates the perception of ancient Iranian deities and their representation in the Iranian cults. This ground-breaking study traces the evolution of the images of these deities, analyses the origin of their iconography, and evaluates their significance. Shenkar also explores the perception of anthropomorphism and aniconism in ancient Iranian religious imagery, with reference to the material evidence and the written sources, and reassesses the value of the Avestan and Middle Persian texts that are traditionally employed to illuminate Iranian religious imagery. In doing so, this book provides important new insights into the religion and culture of ancient Iran prior to the Islamic conquest.

Susa and Elam. Archaeological, Philological, Historical and Geographical Perspectives.

Proceedings of the International Congress held at Ghent University, December 14-17, 2009.

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Edited by Katrien De Graef and Jan Tavernier

In December 2009, an international congress was held at Ghent University in order to investigate, exactly 20 years after the 36th RAI “Mésopotamie et Elam”, the present state of our knowledge of the Elamite and Susean society from archaeological, philological, historical and geographical points of view. The multidisciplinary character of this congress illustrates the present state of research in the socio-economic, historical and political developments of the Suso-Elamite region from prehistoric times until the great Persian Empire. Because of its strategically important location between the Mesopotamian alluvial plain and the Iranian highlands and its particular interest as point of contact between civilizations, Susa and Elam were of utmost importance for the history of the ancient Near East in general.

History of Biblical Israel

Major Problems and Minor Issues

Abraham Malamat

The history of Israel of the Bible remains one of the most hotly contested issues in scholarship of the Hebrew Bible today. One of the clearest voices in the debate is that of Abraham Malamat. In the pages Malamat distills years of writing on the history of Israel from its beginnings up to the destruction of the First Temple of Jerusalem (586 B.C.E.). Malamat divides his study into the following sections: (1) The Dawn of Israel; (2) Forming a Nation; (3) The Rise of the Davidic Dynasty; (4) Twilight of Judah and the Destruction of the First Temple; and (5) Historical Episodes in the Former Prophets and the Prophetical Books. All those interested in the emergence of Israel as a people and the rise of the story of Israel will find this an essential volume.

This publication has also been published in hardback, please click here for details.

Israel in Exile

The History and Literature of the Sixth Century B.C.E.

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Rainer Albertz

The period of the Babylonian Exile (597/587–520 B.C.E.) is one of the most enthralling eras of biblical history. During this time, Israel went through what was probably its deepest crisis; at the same time, however, the cornerstone was laid for its most profound renewal. The crisis provoked the creation of a wealth of literary works (laments, prophetic books, historical works, etc.) whose development is analyzed in detail by the methods of social history, composition criticism, and redaction criticism. The history of this era is hard to grasp, since the Bible has almost nothing to say of the exilic period. The author nevertheless attempts to illuminate the historical and social changes that affected the various Judean groups, drawing heavily on extrabiblical and archaeological evidence. His study also includes the treatment of the exile in later biblical material (Daniel, Tobit, Judith, apocalyptic literature). Thirty-five years after Peter Ackroyd’s classic Exile and Restoration, this book summarizes extensively the results of recent scholarship on this period and builds on them with a number of its own hypotheses.

Paperback edition is available from the Society of Biblical Literature (www.sbl-site.org)

Epics of Sumerian Kings

The Matter of Aratta

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Fernand de Varennes

Edited by Jerrold Cooper

Epics of Sumerian Kings presents for the first time both the authoritative Sumerian text and an elegant English translation of four epics which are major works in the Sumerian literary canon and the earliest epics known in any language. The epics revolve around the conflict between the cities of Uruk (biblical Erech) in ancient Iraq and Aratta in neighboring Iran. The introduction discusses the intellectual and cultural context of the epics, their poetics and meaning, and the significance of the cycle as a whole. The volume will interest scholars and students of Assyriology and of the ancient Near East, biblical scholars, and general readers, and will be an invaluable resource for courses on ancient Near Eastern literature or history.

Paperback edition is available from the Society of Biblical Literature (www.sbl-site.org)

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Michèle Daviau

Located in a strategic position on the southern flank of the Ammonite hill country, overlooking the Madaba Plain, the earliest settlement at Tall Jawa dates to the Iron I period (1100-900 BC). This settlement was redesigned during Iron Age II (900-600 BC), and consisted of a walled town, surrounded by a casemate style fortification system and a multi-chambered gate complex. Major buildings, standing to the second storey, are described in detail with their furnishings and contents. A marked change in architecture, ceramic technology, and high status artefacts mark the high point of Tall Jawa during the period of the Assyrian empire (730-600 BC). The major features of each structure are illustrated both in the text and on a CD-ROM.
This volume presents the final report of six seasons of excavations at Tall Jawa in central Jordan. The particular focus of this report is the architecture and stratigraphy of the settlements which occupied the site during the Iron Age (1100-600 BC).

Early Metallurgy of the Persian Gulf

Technology, Trade, and the Bronze Age World

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Lloyd Weeks

This volume examines the earliest production and exchange of copper and its alloys in the Persian Gulf, a major metal supply route for the Bronze Age societies of Western Asia. Weeks addresses the geological and technological background to copper production in southeastern Arabia and contextualizes evidence for major fluctuations in prehistoric copper production. The core of the volume contists of compositional and isotopic analyses. The relationship between specialized copper production, exchange, and the development of social complexity in early Arabia is examined, and the author addresses the broader archaeological issue of the Bronze Age tin trade, which linked vast areas of Western Asia, from the Indo-Iranian borderlands to the Aegean, in the third millennium BC.

The Reception of the Church Fathers in the West (2 vols.)

From the Carolingians to the Maurists

Edited by Irena Backus

Patristic scholarship has arguably been neglected by historians until now. This two- volume reference work is intended to be a guide to some of the most important developments in the history of patristic scholarship from the Carolingians to the Benedictines of the Congregation of St. Maur. Twenty-three authors from Europe and North America address such questions as: What is meant by “The Fathers” in a given socio-cultural and doctinal context? How is the authority of the Fathers measured against that of Scripture? What types and amount of patristic material is available? What are the problems of attribution and of misattribution? How are the Fathers used in theological innovation and, conversely, in conservation of tradition(s)? Whether it be by an institution or an individual, how is patristic literature used overtly in a tendentious or polemical way?

This publication has also been published in hardback, please click here for details.

The Graffiti of Pharaonic Egypt

Scope and Roles of Informal Writings (c. 3100-332 B.C.)

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Alexander J. Peden

Graffiti, being a form of written communication invariably free of social restraints, are a far more accurate reflection of the character of the Egyptian era of the pharaohs than the far more polished artistic or literary works. This book is the first overall attempt to offer insight into more than 2800 years of Egyptian and Nubian hieroglyphic and hieratic graffiti. Graffiti have long been neglected when compared to larger and more formal texts and inscriptions, and it is only in recent years that many important graffiti texts written in these scripts have been published and made available to wider scrutiny. For this work, extensive use has also been made of materials as yet unpublished. All this taken together makes Dr. Alex Peden’s work a valuable guide to “normal” life and society in Ancient Egypt.

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Curtis

Employing a wide variety of sources, this book discusses innovations in food processing and preservation from the Palaeolithic period through the late Roman Empire.
All through the ages, there has been the need to acquire and maintain a consistent food supply leading to the invention of tools and new technologies to process certain plant and animal foods into different and more usable forms. This handbook presents the results of the most recent investigations, identifies controversies, and points to areas needing further work.
It is the first book to focus specifically on ancient food technology, and to discuss the integral role it played in the political, economic, and social fabric of ancient society. Fully documented and lavishly illustrated with numerous photographs and drawings, it will appeal to students and scholars of both the arts and the sciences.