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Though immediately recognizable in public discourse as a modern state in a political "hot zone," Armenia has a material history and visual culture that reaches back to the Paleolithic era. This book presents a timely and much-needed survey of the arts of Armenia from antiquity to the early eighteenth century C.E. Divided chronologically, it brings into discussion a wide range of media, including architecture, stone sculpture, works in metal, wood, and cloth, manuscript illumination, and ceramic arts. Critically, The Art of Armenia presents this material within historical and archaeological contexts, incorporating the results of specialist literature in various languages. It also positions Armenian art within a range of broader comparative contexts including, but not limited to, the ancient Mediterranean and Near East, Byzantium, the Islamic world, Yuan-dynasty China, and seventeenth-century Europe. The Art of Armenia offers students, scholars, and heritage readers of the Armenian community something long desired but never before available: a complete and authoritative introduction to three thousand years of Armenian art, archaeology, architecture, and design.
"The Dead Sea Scrolls are undoubtedly the most important discovery found in Israel in the field of the Bible and history of Judaism and Christianity" (Yigael Yadin). Fragments of about nine hundred different scrolls from the Second Temple period were discovered in eleven caves at Qumran between 1947 and 1956.No one is better qualified than Hanan Eshel, with his vast experience in the field, wide historical knowledge and superb scholarship, to tell the full story of Qumran.,
Egypt under the Romans (30 BCE-3rd century CE) was a period when local deserts experienced an unprecedented flurry of activity. In the Eastern Desert, a marked increase in desert traffic came from imperial prospecting/quarrying activities and caravans transporting wares to and from the Red Sea ports. In the Western Desert, resilient camels slowly became primary beasts of burden in desert travel, enabling caravaneers to lengthen daily marching distances across previously inhospitable dunes. Desert road archaeology has used satellite imaging, landscape studies and network analysis to plot desert trail networks with greater accuracy; however, it is often difficult to date roadside installations and thus assess how these networks evolved in scope and density in reaction to climatic, social and technological change. Roads in the Deserts of Roman Egypt examines evidence for desert roads in Roman Egypt and assesses Roman influence on the road density in two select desert areas: the central and southern section of the Eastern Desert and the central Marmarican Plateau and discusses geographical and social factors influencing road use in the period, demonstrating that Roman overseers of these lands adapted remarkably well to local desert conditions, improving roads and developing the trail network. Crucially, the author reconceptualises desert trails as linear corridor structures that follow expedient routes in the desert landscape, passing through at least two functional nodes attracting human traffic, be those water sources, farmlands, mines/quarries, trade hubs, military installations or actual settlements. The 'route of least resistance' across the desert varied from period to period according to the available road infrastructure and beasts of burden employed. Roman administration in Egypt not only increased the density of local desert 'node' networks, but also facilitated internodal connections with camel caravans and transformed the Sahara by establishing new, or embellishing existing, nodes, effectively funnelling desert traffic into discernible corridors.Significantly, not all desert areas of Egypt are equally suited for anthropogenic development, but almost all have been optimised in one way or another, with road installations built for added comfort and safety of travellers. Accordingly, the study of how Romans successfully adapted to desert travel is of wider significance to the study of deserts and ongoing expansion due to global warming.
For many people it is clear: the actions and beliefs of Ancient Israel are described in the Bible. The stories about its peoples and kings, struggles and wars, deities and shrines, are supposed to have been told and retold throughout the ages and recorded in ancient archives. At a certain moment in time these stories have been assembled in the Bible which becomes history. However, from the 19th century at least, scholars have doubted the historical reliability of many biblical stories, and archaeological research has hardly been able to confirm their historicity. The aim of this book is to describe the often-complicated relationship between archaeology and the Bible. It is not a book on `biblical archaeology', and archaeology is not used to illustrate the biblical stories, let alone to prove that the Bible is right. On the contrary, it focuses on the information that archaeology can provide of the lives and beliefs of the ancient peoples that inhabited the land in which the Bible was written, and on the question of how this information relates to the biblical stories. It aims at providing some examples of how this interplay of archaeology and biblical stories works, and how to interpret the discrepancy that may exist between the results of archaeological research and the biblical narrative. It thus offers an introduction into the field from the standpoint of an archaeologist. The book is intended for the general public, and will also be of interest to biblical scholars, historians and teachers, as well as archaeologists in other fields. It differs from the average non-scholarly book on this subject in that it is more personal, more eclectic, more archaeological. Reviews of the Dutch edition praise the passionate style and the way it focuses on the scientific process of researching problems, instead of on finding answers and presenting the solution.
The Natufian culture, first recognized by Dorothy Garrod in 1928, is one of the best recorded archaeological examples of foragers at the end of the Ice Age. The many unique material finds and social aspects of this culture found their place in different hypotheses concerning the emergence of cultivation in Southwest Asia that heralds the Neolithic Revolution. In the heart of the Levant, Natufian sites are early examples for sedentism that apparently led to changes of socio-economic strategies in this region. Given the quality and quantity of its archaeological record, it is better known than most other Terminal Pleistocene cultures across Eurasia. This volume, the result of a large, international meeting on the Natufian culture, brings together a series of new discoveries and studies of sites from areas not previously investigated, thus substantially enlarging the geographic scope of this culture along the north-south axis of the Levant. Field and laboratory research reported in this book was conducted by different teams of archaeologists, archaebotanists, zooarchaelogists, and other experts both local and international. This comprehensive book adds a considerable amount of new information to our knowledge. It demonstrates the ongoing interest among numerous scholars whose efforts widen and deepen the understanding of the Natufian culture and will remain as a source of data and interpretations for years to come, just as its predecessor that was published in 1991.
This rich and magisterial work traces Palestine's millennia-old heritage, uncovering cultures and societies of astounding depth and complexity that stretch back to the very beginnings of recorded history. Starting with the earliest references in Egyptian and Assyrian texts, Nur Masalha explores how Palestine and its Palestinian identity have evolved over thousands of years, from the Bronze Age to the present day. Drawing on a rich body of sources and the latest archaeological evidence, Masalha shows how Palestine's multicultural past has been distorted and mythologised by Biblical lore and the Israel-Palestinian conflict. In the process, Masalha reveals that the concept of Palestine, contrary to accepted belief, is not a modern invention or one constructed in opposition to Israel, but rooted firmly in ancient past. Palestine represents the authoritative account of the country's history.
This volume is the first of a series on the ceramics from the Egypt Exploration Society's excavations in the Anubieion at Saqqara. The desert edge overlooking the Nile Valley was intensively used for two and a half millenia before its selection as the site of the mainly Ptolemaic temple. Mastaba tombs, pyramids and their associated temples, densely packed shaft tombs and a Late Dynastic cemetery came and went, many leaving evidence of former magnificence, while invisible beneath shifting sands lies fragmentary testimony to the kings, queens, nobles and commoners buried here and the priestly communities who ministered to their needs in the afterlife. Two volumes have described the surviving structures and the large and small objects found and analysed in the area's complex stratigraphy; the present volume adds the evidence of that most prolific of ancient artefacts, the pottery, for the whole period from the first use of the area until the eighth century BC. Published and some unpublished parallels from Saqqara itself, from the city of Memphis, where most of those buried here lived and died, and from further afield, place each type in its geographical and chronological context to trace the evolution of the ceramic repertoire in the Saqqara/ Memphis area through the major periods of ancient Egyptian history.
This volume explores early complex society and nascent urbanism, based in studies of Mesopotamia during the fifth-fourth millennia bc. Urbanism in the Near East has traditionally been located in late fourthmillennium bc southern Mesopotamia (south Iraq); but recent excavations and surveys in northeast Syria and southeast Turkey have identified a distinctively northern Mesopotamian variant of this development, which can be dated to the early fourth millennium bc. The authors use multiscalar approaches, including material culturebased studies, settlement archaeology and regional surveys, to achieve an understanding of the dynamics of early urbanism across this key region. The book reveals the variety of social, economic and political relationships that are implicit within an urban centre and an urbanized society.
Fools. Rebels. Ignorant peasants. That's how the Roman world saw the first Christians. Led by fishermen, tax collectors and renegade Pharisees, the first Christians shunned power and welcomed the poor and uneducated. Roman commentators mocked their upside-down values, but the apostle Paul - himself a Roman citizen, and a Pharisee to boot, affirmed that 'God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise.' Its followers were persecuted and its leaders killed, yet this ragged collection of lowly tradesmen, women, slaves - and a smattering of turncoat high-born Jews - created a movement that changed the world. How did this happen? How did the kingdom of fools conquer the mighty empire that was Rome? In this fascinating new biography of the early church, Nick Page sets the biblical accounts alongside the latest historical and archaeological research, exploring how the early Christians lived and worshipped - and just why the Romans found this new branch of the Jewish faith so difficult to comprehend. KINGDOM OF FOOLS is a fresh, challenging, accessible portrait of a movement so radical, so dangerous, so thrillingly different that it outlasted the empire that tried to destroy it and went on to become the driving force of our cultural development - and claims more followers today than ever before in history.
Middle Egyptian introduces the reader to the writing system of ancient Egypt and the language of hieroglyphic texts. It contains twenty-six lessons, exercises (with answers), a list of hieroglyphic signs, and a dictionary. It also includes a series of twenty-six essays on the most important aspects of ancient Egyptian history, society, religion, literature, and language. Grammar lessons and cultural essays allows users not only to read hieroglyphic texts but also to understand them, providing the foundation for understanding texts on monuments and reading great works of ancient Egyptian literature. This third edition is revised and reorganized, particularly in its approach to the verbal system, based on recent advances in understanding the language. Illustrations enhance the discussions, and an index of references has been added. These changes and additions provide a complete and up-to-date grammatical description of the classical language of ancient Egypt for specialists in linguistics and other fields.
Stretching across the historical region of Mesopotamia, the Akkadian dynasty (ca. 2334-2154 BCE) created a territorial state of unprecedented scale in the ancient Near East by uniting the city-states of Sumer and Akkad and parts of Syria and Iran. To establish and, later, cement their authority over disparate peoples and places, the kings used art and visual culture to extraordinary effect. Exemplars of Kingship conveys the astonishing life of the art of the Akkadian kings by assessing ancient and modern responses to its dynamic forms and transformative ideologies of kingship. For nearly two thousand years after their reign, the Akkadian kings were remembered as exemplary rulers. Modern assessments of ancient memories of Akkadian kingship have concentrated on textual attestations of the kings' place in cultural memory. This book considers the contributions of images to memories of Akkadian kingship. Through close readings of the visuals that remain, Melissa Eppihimer discusses how Akkadian steles, statues, and cylinder seals became models for later rulers in Mesopotamia and beyond who wished to emulate or critique the Akkadian kings-and how these rulers and their contemporaries were reminded of the Akkadian past when they looked at images. Exemplars of Kingship is, therefore, a book about Akkadian art and its reception in antiquity, but it is also concerned with the modern reception of Akkadian art and kingship. It argues that modern responses have constrained our understanding of ancient responses. Through a wide range of examples drawn from almost two millennia, the book highlights the individual decisions that prompted continuity and change during the long history of Mesopotamia and its artistic traditions.
Baqet III was the 'great overlord' of the Oryx province, located in the most fertile region of Egypt. The well-preserved wall scenes in his chapel record activities undertaken in the desert, on land and river, in workshops as well as those of wars and entertainments. Dated to the end of the Eleventh Dynasty, the tomb documents one of the critical times in Egyptian history. The architectural features and the scenes and inscriptions are published in colour photographs and detailed line drawings, accompanied by explanatory text.
Egyptian mummies are perennially popular with visitors to museums but what is their relevance in the twenty-first century? And what can we learn from the study of these ancient remains? Mummies are an unparalleled source of scientific data, addressing a host of questions about life in one of the most highly developed societies of the ancient world. Although the ancient Egyptians left many written records, these tell only part of the story, and researchers rely heavily on human remains to complete the picture. These throw light on many important issues about which the inscriptions are often silent: physical anthropology, family relationships, life expectancy, nutrition and health, disease and the causes of death. They also of course provide a unique insight into the fascinating and complex processes of mummification; including not only the artificial preservation of the corpse, but also the ritual elements which played such an important part: the placing of amulets, the putting on of wrappings and the equipping of the body with religious texts and images. For many years, the only way to extract this data from Egyptian mummies was to unwrap them a process both destructive and irreversible. Then, the advent of modern non-invasive imaging techniques X-rays and Computerized Tomography (CT) scanning made it possible to look inside a mummy without disturbing the wrappings in any way. Now this technology has advanced still further. Thanks to the latest computer-generated images, we are able to perform a virtual unwrapping of a mummy and to embark on a journey within the body, visualizing every feature and amulet in 3D. The subject chosen for this ground-breaking experiment, the priest Nesperennub, has been one of the British Museums treasured exhibits for over a hundred years. His beautifully painted mummy-case has never been opened since it was sealed up by embalmers on the West Bank at Thebes shortly before he was buried, but now after 2,800 years technology has unlocked its secrets. This book takes the reader on a journey of discovery, gathering information about Nesperennub from a variety of sources. First, his place in history and his role in Egyptian society are pieced together from the inscriptions the formal record of his life which was intended for posterity. Then the 3D technology makes it possible to enter the mummy case and to explore the body, collecting data about Nesperennub as a person, seeing his face, assessing his health, and looking over the shoulders of the embalmers as they prepared him for eternal life.
The Egyptian Collection at Norwich Castle Museum represents the first full publication of this important collection which contains several outstanding objects. Part 1 begins with an outline of the acquisition history of the Egyptian collection and its display within Norwich Castle in 1894, when it was converted from a prison to a museum. The collection was largely acquired between the nineteenth and first part of the twentieth centuries. Its most prominent donor was Flaxman Spurrell, whose varied collection of flints, faience beads and necklaces as well as Late Antique cloths was obtained from Sir Flinders Petrie. Also prominent was the Norwich-based Colman family, most notable for its manufacture of mustard, whose collection was purchased in Egypt during the late-C19. Also included in this part are essays on several of the museum's outstanding items - Ipu's shroud, a rare early 18th Dynasty example with fragments also held in Cairo; the 22nd Dynasty finely decorated and well-preserved cartonnage and wooden lid of the priest, Ankh-hor; and the exceptional model granary of Nile clay painted with lively scenes, one showing the owner, Intef, playing senet. Part 2 is a detailed catalogue of the complete collection. It is organised into sections with objects grouped together mainly according to type - stelae, shabtis, scarabs, jewellery, amulets, vessels, flints, lamps, inscribed Book of the Dead fragments, metal figurines, and Late Antique cloths; and also according to function - such as cosmetics& grooming, and architectural & furniture elements. The inscribed materials have all been translated and individual entries give examples or parallels. Seventy colour plates illustrate each object.
This volume features all the graffiti from the Baboon and Falcon galleries at the Sacred Animal Necropolis, North Saqqara, excavated by the Egypt Exploration Society by Bryan Emery between 1966 and 1971. The graffiti include dedications to the god Imhotep with an important historical content, and masons' marks which show some of the construction history of the galleries. There is also a Greek graffito listing the contents of dreams or visions, and a series of dedications on bronze temple furniture which mention a hitherto unknown god. Jars with hieroglyphic signs shed light on one of the main characters found in the Greek Hermetic literature, and a selection of ostraca give insights into the management of the animal cults.
The book delivers a history from below for the first half of Egyptian history covering the earliest settlements, state formation and the pyramid age. The focus is on the Wadjet province, about 350 km south of modern Cairo in Upper Egypt. Here archaeological records provide an especially rich dataset for the material culture of farmers. Histories of Ancient Egypt have focussed heavily on the kings, monuments and inscriptions, while the working population is hardly mentioned. The book investigates the life of people far from the centres of power. One main aim of the book is the interaction between farmers and the ruling classes at the centres of power and locally. How did decisions at the royal centre affect the life of ordinary people? The Introduction offers a critical survey of Egyptologists and their attitudes towards the working class. The social and cultural background of these researchers is analysed to assess how heavily they are influenced by time and their political and cultural background. The First chapter then describes the location and gives a history of previous research and excavations. The archaeological sites and the recorded ancient place names of the province are presented to provide a geographical framework for the book. The following chapters are arranged in chronological order, mainly according to the archaeological phases visible in the province. It appears that in phases of a weak central government, people in the provinces were much better off, while in phases of a strong central government burials of poorer people are almost absent. The reasons for this are discussed. A substantial part of the book comprises descriptions of single burials and the material culture in the province. The archaeology of the poorer people is the main focus. Burial customs and questions of production are discussed. For a fuller picture, evidence from other parts of Egypt is also taken into account. Thus settlement sites in other regions are presented to provide contemporary evidence for living conditions in particular periods. As the book will focus on the lower classes, the Tributary Mode of Production will be used as the main theoretical framework. The Tributary Mode of Production (previously known as the Asiatic Mode of Production) is a term that goes back to Karl Marx, but was mainly used in the 20th century to describe ancient societies whose economies were not based on slaves. A constant question will be the status of the working population. Were they slaves, serfs or free citizens? It will be argued that they were most often in a dependent position comparable to that of serfs, while there is little evidence for slavery. The numerous burials presented in the volume are important for highlighting the diversity of burials in the different periods. Many will be placed in special subchapters. Readers can skip these chapters when they prefer to concentrate on the main text.
This volume, which replaces Girgis's outdated prosopography from 1938, is an annotated record of every person attested in the Byzantine-era papyri from the middle Egyptian village of Aphrodito. Its papyri make Aphrodito the best attested village for this time period with implications for the study of rural life throughout Late Antiquity. For each entry, the author lists all the relevant texts and all known information about that person's social status, political position and family relations with a summary of activities for each attestation. The volume is indispensable for any scholar working with texts from Aphrodito and valuable for all concerned specifically with Egypt and more generally with rural life in Late Antiquity.
This volume publishes the most complete documentary codex from 6th-century Egypt. Known to the scholarly world since 1905 and frequently cited since then, it now appears for the first time in full edition. The codex details money taxes paid by landowners at the village of Temseu Skordon and the hamlet Topos Demeou in the Hermopolite Nome. The language is Greek but with extensive Coptic influence. The text is especially important for its bearing on nomenclature, language, taxation and gold-to-copper monetary conversions.
The Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Archaeology brings together expert work by leading scholars of the archaeology of Early Christianity and the Roman world in the Mediterranean and surrounding regions. The thirty-four contributions to this volume survey Christian material culture and ground the history, culture, and society of the first seven centuries of Christianity in archaeological method, theory, and research. The essays emphasize the link between archaeological fieldwork, methods, and regional and national traditions in constructing our knowledge of the Early Church and Christian communities within the context of the ancient Mediterranean, Near East, and Europe. Three sweeping introductory essays provide historical perspectives on the archaeology of the Early Christian world. These are followed by a series of topical treatments that focus on monuments and environments ranging from Christian churches to catacombs, martyria, and baths, as well as classes of objects of religious significance such as ceramics, lamps, and icons. Finally, the volume locates the archaeology of the Early Christian world in fifteen regional studies stretching from Britain to Persia, highlighting the unique historical contexts that have shaped scholarly discussion across time and space. The thorough, carefully-researched essays offer the most intensive, state-of-the-art treatment of recent research into the archaeology of Early Christianity available.
This book provides the first systematic and comprehensive discussion of the intra-urban distribution of high-status goods, and their production or role as a marker of the nature of the settlements known as royal cities of New Kingdom Egypt (c.1550-1069 BC). Using spatial analysis to detect patterns of artefact distribution, the study focuses on Amarna, Gurob, and Malqata, incorporating Qantir/Pi-Ramesse for comparison. Being royal cities, these three settlements had a great need for luxury goods. Such items were made of either highly valuable materials, or materials that were not easily produced and therefore required a certain set of skills. Specifically, the industries discussed are those of glass, faience, metal, sculpture, and textiles. Analysis of the evidence of high-status industrial processes throughout the urban settlements, has demonstrated that industrial activities took place in institutionalized buildings, in houses of the elite, and also in small domestic complexes. This leads to the conclusion that materials were processed at different levels throughout the settlements and were subject to a strict pattern of control. The methodological approach to each settlement necessarily varies, depending on the nature and quality of the available data. By examining the distribution of high-status or luxury materials, in addition to archaeological and artefactual evidence of their production, a deeper understanding has been achieved of how industries were organized and how they influenced urban life in New Kingdom Egypt.
From loutish behavior in Ramesside Egypt to insularity and island
identity in the desert oases, from late Predynastic offering tables
to Sixth Dynasty royal women, this collection of scholarly essays
explores diverse subjects brought together to celebrate the
contributions to Egyptology by Dr Kent Weeks, American University
in Cairo Professor Emeritus and the eminent Egyptologist whose work
in the Valley of the Kings and other important sites has advanced
the body of knowledge immeasurably.
The Nile and its People is an ambitious title, covering 7000 years of Egyptian history, from the time of the first settlers in Egypt through to the modern day, with the Nile being the constant element throughout. Changes through history of the culture and people are reflected in how the river was seen and used. As their manipulation and exploitation of the Nile improved so did their economy. Follow the journey of the Nile thus far: from the attraction it held for early settlers and how it affected their living methods; through the pharaonic period and how it was used politically; to the nineteenth-century industrial age and its role as a centre for tourism. Speculate as to what changes will shape the future of Egypt and her culture. Whatever the age, this important and peaceful body of water will be a constant presence through the centre of the landscape forever.
Near Eastern archaeology is generally represented as a succession of empires with little attention paid to the individuals, labelled as terrorists at the time, that brought them down. Their stories, when viewed against the backdrop of current violent extremism in the Middle East, can provide a unique long-term perspective. Extremism, Ancient and Modern brings long-forgotten pasts to bear on the narratives of radical groups today, recognizing the historical bases and specific cultural contexts for their highly charged ideologies. The author, with expertise in Middle Eastern archaeology and counter-terrorism work, provides a unique viewpoint on a relatively under-researched subject. This timely volume will interest a wide readership, from undergraduate and graduate students of archaeology, history and politics, to a general audience with an interest in the deep historical narratives of extremism and their impact on today's political climate.
No thinker in the West has had a wider and more sustained influence than the ancient Greek philosopher Plato. From philosophy to drama, religion to politics, it is difficult to find a current cultural or social phenomenon that is not in some aspect indebted to the famous philosopher and the Platonic tradition. It should come as no surprise that contemporary artists continue to engage with and respond to the ideas of Plato. Accompanying an exhibition at the Getty Villa, this book brings together eleven renowned artists working in a variety of media all of whom have acknowledged the role of Plato in their artistic process. Featuring candid interviews with the artists, this volume begins with an essay by the critic and curator Donatien Grau that contextualizes Plato in antiquity and in the present day. Contemporary art, Grau demonstrates, is Platonism stripped bare, and it allows us to reconsider Plato's philosophy as a deeply human construct, one that remains highly relevant today.
Empires of Antiquities is a history of the rediscovery of civilizations of the ancient Near East in the imperial order that evolved between the outbreak of the First World War and the 1950s. It explores the ways in which Near Eastern antiquity was redefined and experienced, becoming the subject of new regulation, new modes of knowledge, and international and local politics. A series of globally publicized spectacular archaeological discoveries in Iraq, Egypt, and Palestine, which the book follows, made antiquity visible, palpable and accessible as never before. The new uses of antiquity and its relations to modernity were inseparable from the emergence of the post-war world order, imperial collaboration and collisions, and national aspirations. Empires of Antiquities uniquely combines a history of the internationalization of a new "regime of archaeology" under the oversight of the League of Nations and its web of institutions, a history of British passions for Near Eastern antiquity, on-the-ground colonial mechanisms and nationalist claims on the past. It points to the centrality of the mandate system, particularly mandates classified A, in Mesopotamia/Iraq, Palestine and Transjordan, formerly governed by the Ottoman Empire, and of Egypt, in a new culture of antiquity. Drawing on an unusually wide range of archives in several countries, as well as on visual and material evidence, the book weaves together imperial, international, and local histories of institutions, people, ideas and objects and offers an entirely new interpretation of the history of archaeological discovery and its connections to empires and modernity.
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