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On Art in the Ancient Near East Volume II

From the Third Millennium BCE


Irene Winter

This second volume of collected essays, complement to volume one, focuses upon the art and culture of the third millennium B.C.E. in ancient Mesopotamia. Stress is upon the ability of free-standing sculpture and public monuments not only to reflect cultural attitudes, but to affect a viewing audience. Using Sumerian and Akkadian texts as well as works, the power of visual experience is pursued toward an understanding not only of the monuments but of their times and our own.

"These beautifully produced volumes bring together essays written over a 35-year period, creating a whole that is much more than the sum of its parts...No library should be without this impressive collection."
J.C. Exum


Edited by Adam Zertal

The excavations at el-Ahwat constitute a unique and fascinating archaeological undertaking. The site is the location of a fortified city dated to the early Iron Age (ca. 1220–1150 BCE), hidden in a dense Mediterranean forest in central Israel, near the historic ’Arunah pass. Discovered in 1992 and excavated between 1993 and 2000, the digs revealed an urban “time capsule” erected and inhabited during a short period of time (60–70 years), with no earlier site below or subsequent one above it.

This report provides a vivid picture of the site, its buildings, and environmental economy as evinced by the stone artifacts, animal bones, agricultural installations, and iron forge that were uncovered here. The excavators of this site suggest in this work that the settlement was inhabited by the Shardana Sea-Peoples, who arrived in the ancient Near East at the end of the 13th century BCE and settled in northern Canaan. In weighing the physical evidence and the logic of the interpretation presented herein, the reader will be treated to a new and compelling archaeological and historical challenge.

“…this final publication of el–Ahwat will hold great value for those studying settlement, architecture, and change in the hill country culture of Iron Age Canaan.” Jeff Emanuel

Offerings to the Discerning Eye

An Egyptological Medley in Honor of Jack A. Josephson


Edited by Sue D'Auria

Egyptologist Jack A. Josephson, a writer and researcher in the tradition of the “gentleman scholar,” has achieved broad recognition as an authority in Egyptian art history. His lucid investigative analyses have probed and redefined the limits of inquiry, expanded research parameters, and broadened perspectives, emphasizing the undeniable contributions of art history in an intra-disciplinary framework.
This volume of collected essays is dedicated to Josephson by distinguished friends and colleagues, a select roster including eminent, established scholars in the field of Egyptology and rising stars of the younger generation. Josephson views Egyptian art history as a critical but neglected area of study, and is a strong proponent of its reinstatement in the academic curriculum as an essential component in the formation of new cadres. The quality of the articles in this Egyptological medley is a tribute to the honoree and an affirmation of the esteem of his peers, while the range of subjects and variety of themes addressed reflect the degree to which he has, in his own scholarship, undertaken to implement his ideal.


Elisa Fiore Marochetti

In 1910 Ernesto Schiaparelli, along with the Italian Archaeological Mission on behalf of the Regio Museo di Antichità Egizie, excavated the area where, during the Eleventh Dynasty, King Nebhepetre Mentuhotep erected a chapel to the goddess Hathor at the site of Gebelein. Some of the blocks belonging to this chapel had already been moved to the Cairo Museum during the nineteenth century, and finds during Schiaparelli’s campaign were taken to the Egyptian Museum at Turin. In this work, Elisa Fiore Marochetti presents documents from these two museums and gives an architectonic and decorative reconstitution of an unknown monument. The mostly unpublished blocks and fragments, presented here as the General Catalogue of the Turin Museum, follow a general introduction to the geographical, religious, and historical setting of Gebelein and of the chapel before Mentuhotep’s reunification of the land. The dating of the chapel is formulated on the basis of the iconographical style of the reliefs and of the titulary borne by Mentuhotep.

"The publication therefore not only presents a valuable reference to the Egyptian antiquities housed in Turin’s Egyptian
Museum. It also presents a valuable addition to literature on Egyptian temple decoration and development, royal iconography,kingship and the course of events on the verge of the Middle Kingdom."
Nico Staring, Macquarie University

Das Ritual der Aštu (CTH 490)

Rekonstruktion und Tradition eines hurritisch-hethitischen Rituals aus Boğazköy/Ḫattuša


Susanne Görke

The Ritual of Aštu, a text found at the Hittite Capital of Hattuša, shows strong influence from southern Anatolia and describes a Hurrian-Hittite ritual against witchcraft and sorcery. The following study provides detailed philological treatment of the 13th-century fragments found at Hattuša, from which the ritual is known, including transcription, translation, and commentary of all manuscripts, as well as special emphasis on the Hurrian passages of the ritual. Reconstruction of the more fragmentary sections is undertaken through comparison to other rituals. The study concludes with an analysis of Anatolian, Luwian, and Kizzuwatnaian influences evident in the ritual, and affords, in sum, valuable additions to the study of the nature of Hittite archives, and the development of ritual texts.

“I firmly believe that works like this are essential to creating the dialogue that is necessary for the progress of our understanding of Hurrian. Görke’s treatment of the various texts and her discussions of many aspects of the ritual will prove very useful to scholars working on Hurro-Hittite religion.” Dennis R.M. Campbell, San Francisco State University

The Debate Between a Man and His Soul

A Masterpiece of Ancient Egyptian Literature


James P. Allen

This book is a new study of the ancient Egyptian poem known in English as The Man Who Was Tired of Life or The Dialogue of a Man and His Ba (or Soul). The composition is universally regarded as one of the masterpieces of ancient Egyptian literature. It is also one of the most difficult and continually debated, as well as being the subject of more than one hundred books and articles. The present study offers new readings and translations, along with an analysis of the text’s grammar and versification, and a complete philological apparatus.

From Conquest to Coexistence

Ideology and Antiquarian Intent in the Historiography of Israel’s Settlement in Canaan


Koert van Bekkum

Current research on ancient historiography concentrates on the relation between history and ideology, while the archaeology of the Southern Levant is more and more viewed as a discipline of its own. What happens when these new directions are applied to the historiography of Israel’s settlement in Canaan?

This study offers a fresh analysis of scholarly debate, a synchronic and diachronic reading of Joshua 9:1—13:7, and a critical evaluation of all the relevant archaeological evidence. This leads to a new historical picture of the Late Bronze – Iron Age transition in the Cisjordanian Southern Levant and to the fascinating conclusion that it was the ideology of the Israelite scribes reworking this episode that instigated them to explore their antiquarian intent.


László Török

Presenting a large body of evidence for the first time, this book offers a comprehensive treatment of Nubian architecture, sculpture, and minor arts in the period between 300 BC-AD 250. It focuses primarily on the Nubian response to the traditional pharaonic, Hellenistic/Roman, Hellenizing, and “hybrid” elements of Ptolemaic and Roman Egyptian culture. The author begins with a history of Nubian art and a critical survey of the literature on Ptolemaic and Roman Egyptian art. Special chapters are then devoted to the discussion of the Egyptian-Greek interaction in the arts of Ptolemaic Egypt, the place of Egyptian Hellenistic and Hellenizing art within the oikumene, the pluralistic visual world of Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt, as well as on the specific genre of terracotta sculpture. Utilizing examples from Meroe City and Musawwarat es Sufra, the author argues that cultural transfer from Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt to Nubia resulted in an inward-focused adaptation. Therefore, the resulting Nubian art from this period expresses only those aspects of Egyptian and Greek art that are compatible with indigenous Nubian goals.


Edited by Assaf Yasur-Landau, Jennie R. Ebeling and Laura B. Mazow

Despite the large number of well-preserved domestic contexts in Bronze and Iron Age sites, household archaeology has not been a common approach to studying the material culture of Ancient Israel. Until recently, the dictates of “Biblical Archaeology” led to a narrow set of questions that ignored issues such as gender, status and production within the household. The present volume, which grew out of a session at the 2008 Annual Meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research, attempts to redress this issue. The seventeen papers herein reflect innovative viewpoints on the theory and praxis of household archaeology in this region. The next step in household research is presented here, with the use of tailor-made data collection strategies designed to answer specific questions posed by household archaeology.

"The neglect of households and the archaeology of the activities of its members are ambitiously attended to in this volume. Its exceptional breadth of various modes of inquiry coupled with the application thereof justifies the household as a topic of discussion. I would highly recommend this book for institutions, libraries, scholars, and students interested in any aspect of daily life in the southern Levant, and I very much look forward to the future research projects it will inspire."
Cynthia Shafer-Elliot, William Jessup University

" a whole the work is impressive, and most contributions are commendable for their sophistication in engaging
interdisciplinary research in order to understand the nature and function of households in ancient Israel and surrounding areas."
Carol Meyers, Duke University

Le pouvoir impérial dans les provinces syriennes

Représentations et célébrations d'Auguste à Constantin (31 av. J.-C.-337 ap. J.-C.)


Hadrien Bru

This book focuses on the role of the emperor and the image of the Roman Empire as a whole during the time period from Augustus to Constantine. It analyses this image by taking into account the epigraphic, literary, numismatic and archaeological sources from Phoenicia to Osrhoene and from Commagene to Arabia. While discussing Graeco-Roman cities and rural settlements among desert areas, it addresses celebrations as well as the organization and promotion of the imperial cult in the Near East. This includes the imperial cult’s forms of expression of symbolic, political, and various other social or religious functions. This approach, therefore, explores the real and imaginary relationships that existed between the Roman Empire and the populations of the Syrian provinces.