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From the dawn of history to the death of Cleopatra, ancient Egypt was home to larger-than-life personalities. Across one hundred lives, Toby Wilkinson explores the true character and diversity of human experience in the ancient world's greatest civilization. Some of those profiled are famous: pharaohs and queens such as Akhenaten, Nefertiti, Ramesses II and Tiye. Others are lesser known but equally engaging: Imhotep, architect of the first pyramid; Perniankhu, the court dwarf; and the royal sculptor Bak. Equally illuminating are the lives of commoners, so rarely given their own voice: ordinary men and women who include a doctor, a dentist, a housewife, a musician - and a serial criminal.
The history of Ancient Egypt has been studied in the region of Southeast Europe since the end of the nineteenth century. In some of the countries this was not the case for various reasons, but mainly because of the undeveloped scholarly capabilities and institutions, insufficient funds for archaeological research in Egypt, and the lack of cooperation with scholars from other countries. From the 1960s, however, this situation has changed for the better, firstly with the numerous publications of the diffusion of the Ancient Egyptian cults during Graeco-Roman period, and then with publications (articles, catalogues, books) on Ancient Egyptian collections in various museum institutions located in Southeast Europe. From the early 1990s one can trace the increased production of various scholarly papers in which researchers from Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia, Romania, and Bulgaria not only researched the Egyptian cults in the Roman Empire, but also on the various aspects of history, religion and literature of Ancient Egypt. Their work, however, was mostly unknown to the scholars outside the region primarily because the results were written in the native languages. This book will try to give a review of the history of the studies of Ancient Egypt done in Southeast Europe, and present some of the latest research. The book comprises a selection of papers in which scholars from various institutions of the region reviewed the different aspects of past studies and the development of the research of the Ancient Egypt in some countries, along with recent research in the field. We hope that this publication will be useful for all scholars who are unfamiliar with the historiography of this region.
Recently, a travel account and 700 photographs came to light by the hand of Leo Boer, a former student of the Ecole Biblique et Archeologique Francaise in Jerusalem who, at the age of 26 in 1953-4 visited many archaeological sites in the area of present-day Israel and the Palestinian Territories. These documents inspired 20 internationally-renowned scholars - many of whom excavated at the sites they describe - to report on what we know today of nine particular sites chosen from the many that Leo Boer visited 60 years ago: Jerusalem, Khirbet et-Tell ( i?), Samaria & Sebaste, Tell Balata (Shechem), Tell es-Sultan (Jericho), Khirbet Qumran, Caesarea, Megiddo, and Bet She'an. Rather than focusing on the history of these sites, the contributors describe the history of the archaeological expeditions. Who excavated these sites over the years? What were the specific aims of their campaigns? What techniques and methods did they use? How did they interpret these excavations? What finds were most noteworthy? And finally, what are the major misconceptions held by the former excavators? Several themes are interwoven amongst the contributions and variously discussed, such as'identification of biblical sites', 'regional surveys', 'underwater archaeology', 'archaeothanatology', 'archaeology and politics', 'archaeology and science', and 'heritage management'. This unique collection of images and essays offers to scholars working in the region previously unpublished materials and interpretations as well as new photographs. For students of archaeology, ancient or Biblical history and theology it contains both a detailed archaeological historiography and explores some highly relevant, specific themes. Finally, the superb quality of Boer's photography provides an unprecedented insight into the archaeological landscape of post-war Palestine for anyone interested in Biblical history and archaeology.
In the autumn of 1915, in a "slightly heroic mood", E.M. Forster arrived in Alexandria, full of lofty ideals as a volunteer for the Red Cross. Yet most of his time was spent exploring "the magic, antiquity and complexity" of the place in order to cope with living in what he saw as a "funk-hole". With a novelist's pen, he brings to life the fabled, romantic city of Alexander the Great, capital of Graeco-Roman Egypt, beacon of light and culture symbolised by the Pharos, where the doomed love affair of Antony and Cleopatra was played out and the greatest library the world has ever known was built. Threading 3,000 years of history with vibrant strands of literature and punctuating the narrative with his own experiences, Forster immortalised Alexandria, painting an incomparable portrait of the great city and, inadvertently, himself.
This collection of studies is dedicated to Professor Fekri A.Hassan by people with whom he has worked over the past forty-five years. It represents the vast temporal and geographical ranges across which Fekri has spun his long and illustrious career, and while he has gone from strength to strangth to become a leader in his field, his passion for archaeology and geology - and his attachment to his aged VW Safari - remain unaltered.
The tomb of Pepyankh the Black (D2) at Meir was published by Blackman in his series The Rock Tombs of Meir (vol. 5, London, 1953). The Australian Centre for Egyptology (ACE) rerecorded all the scenes and inscriptions in the chapel after these had been conserved by the Supreme Council of Antiquities, with many additional details surfacing. The ACE has also undertaken conservation work in the burial chamber which yielded interesting information on the decoration of burial chambers in the Old Kingdom. The tomb is one of the most completely decorated and preserved provincial tombs of the Old Kingdom with scenes covering various themes from the life of the tomb owner as well as the most complete scenes of the funerary procession. All the scenes and inscriptions are published in detailed, coloured photographs as well as line drawings. They are accompanied by a textual description of the scenes, translation of the hieroglyphic texts and a comparative analysis with other contemporary tombs.
The period c. 10,000-5000 BC witnessed fundamental changes in the human condition with societies across the Fertile Crescent shifting their alignment from millennia-old practices of seasonally mobile hunting and foraging to year-round sedentism, plant cultivation and animal herding. The significant role of Iran in the early stages of this transition was recognised more than half a century ago but has not been to the fore of academic consciousness in recent decades. In the meantime, investigations into Neolithic transformation have proceeded apace in all other regions of the Fertile Crescent and beyond. Here, 18 studies attempt to redress that balance in re-assessing the role of Iran in the early neolithisation of human societies. These studies, many of them by Iranian scholars, consider patterns of change and/or continuity across a variety of topographical landscapes; investigate Neolithic settlement patterns, the use of caves, animal exploitation and environmental indicators and present new insights into some well-known and some newly investigated sites. The results re-affirm the formative role of this region in the transition to sedentary farming.
Over a period of several millennia, from the Late Pleistocene to the Early Holocene (c. 13,000-7000 BC), communities in south-west Asia developed from hunter-foragers to villager-farmers, bringing fundamental changes in all aspects of life. These Neolithic developments took place over vast chronological and geographical scales, with considerable regional variability in specific trajectories of change. Two vital and consistent aspects of change were a shift from mobile to sedentary lifestyles and increasingly intensive human management of animal and plant resources, leading to full domestication of particular species. Building on earlier campaigns of archaeological investigation, the current phase of the Central Zagros Archaeological Project is designed to explore these issues in one key region, the Zagros zone including central west Iran. Two Early Neolithic mounds were excavated: Sheikh-e Abad in the high Zagros and Jani, in the foothills of the Mesopotamian plains, each comprising up to 10 m depth of deposits indicating occupation spanning over 2000 years, and providing great scope for diachronic and spatial analyses. These two sites make major contributions to knowledge regarding the origins of sedentism and increasing resource management in Southwest Asia, and associated developments in social, cultural and ritual practices in this formative region of human cultural development.
Penned by a scholar who was personally involved in research into
the enigmatic young pharaoh, this comprehensive and fully
illustrated new study reviews the current state of our knowledge
about the life, death, and burial of Tutankhamun in light of the
latest investigations and newest technology. Zahi Hawass places the
king in the broader context of Egyptian history, unraveling the
intricate and much debated relationship between various members of
the royal family, and the circumstances surrounding the turbulent
Amarna period. He also succinctly explains the religious background
and complex beliefs in the afterlife that defined and informed many
features of Tutankhamun's tomb. The history of the exploration of
the Valley of the Kings is discussed, as well as the background and
mutual relationships of the main protagonists.
The Neolithic site of Catalhoeyuk in Turkey has been world famous since the 1960s when excavations revealed the large size and dense occupation of the settlement, as well as the spectacular wall paintings and reliefs uncovered inside the houses. Since 1993 an international team of archaeologists, led by Ian Hodder, has been carrying out new excavations and research, in order to shed more light on the people who inhabited the site. The present volume reports on the results of excavations in 2000-2008 that have provided a wealth of new data on the ways in which humans became increasingly engaged in their material environment such that `things' came to play an active force in their lives. A substantial and heavy involvement was with alluvial clays that surrounded the site. In the absence of large local stone, humans became increasingly involved in the extraction and manipulation of clay for a wide range of purposes - from bricks to ovens, pots and figurines. This heavy use of clays led to changes in the local environment that interacted with human activity, as indicated in the first section of the volume. In the second section, other examples of material technologies are considered all of which in various ways engage humans in specific dependencies and relationships. For example, large-scale studies of obsidian trade have drawn a complex picture of changing interactions between humans over time. The volume concludes with an integrated account of the uses of materials at Catalhoeyuk based on the analysis of heavy residue samples from all contexts at the site.
This book describes ten different government archives of cuneiform tablets from Assyria, using them to analyse the social and economic character of the Middle Assyrian state, as well as the roles and practices of writing. The tablets, many of which have not been edited or translated, were excavated at the capital, Assur, and in the provinces, and they give vivid details to illuminate issues such as offerings to the national shrine, the economy and political role of elite households, palace etiquette, and state-run agriculture. This book concentrates particularly on how the Assyrian use of written documentation affected the nature and ethos of government, and compares this to contemporary practices in other palatial administrations at Nuzi, Alalah, Ugarit, and in Greece.
This book casts light on a much neglected phase of the UNESCO world heritage site of Palmyra, namely the period between the fall of the Palmyrene 'Empire' (AD 272) and the end of the Umayyad dominion (AD 750). The goal of the book is to fill a substantial hole in modern scholarship - the late antique and early Islamic history of the city still has to be written. In late antiquity Palmyra remained a thriving provincial city whose existence was assured by its newly acquired role of stronghold along the eastern frontier. Palmyra maintained a prominent religious role as one of the earliest bishoprics in central Syria and in early Islam as the political centre of the powerful Banu Kalb tribe. Post-Roman Palmyra, city and setting, provide the focus of this book. Analysis and publication of evidence for post-Roman housing enables a study of the city's urban life, including the private residential buildings in the sanctuary of Ba'alshamin. A systematic survey is presented of the archaeological and literary evidence for the religious life of the city in Late Antiquity and Early Islam. The city's defences provide another focus. After a discussion of the garrison quartered in Palmyra, Diocletian's military fortress and the city walls are investigated, with photographic and archaeological evidence used to discuss chronology and building techniques. The book concludes with a synthetic account of archaeological and written material, providing a comprehensive history of the settlement from its origins to the fall of Marwan II in 750 AD.
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.
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.
The Neolithic site of Catalhoeyuk in Turkey has been world famous since the 1960s when excavations revealed the large size and dense occupation of the settlement, as well as the spectacular wall paintings and reliefs uncovered inside the houses. Since 1993 an international team of archaeologists, led by Ian Hodder, has been carrying out new excavations and research, in order to shed more light on the people who inhabited the site. The present volume reports on the results of excavations in 2000-2008 that have provided a wealth of new data on the ways in which the Catalhoeyuk settlement and environment were dwelled in. A first section explores how houses, open areas and middens in the settlement were enmeshed in the daily lives of the inhabitants, integrating a wide range of different types of data at different scales. A second section examines subsistence practices of the site's inhabitants and builds up a picture of how the overall landscape was exploited and lived within. A third section examines the evidence from the skeletons of those buried within the houses at Catalhoeyuk in order to examine health, diet, lifestyle and activity within the settlement and across the landscape. This final section also reports on the burial practices and associations in order to build hypotheses about the social organization of those inhabiting the settlement. A complex picture emerges of a relatively decentralized society, large in size but small-scale in terms of organization, dwelling within a mosaic patchwork of environments. Through time, however, substantial changes occur in the ways in which humans and landscapes interact.
In 1961 archaeologists discovered a family archive of legal papyri in a cave near the Dead Sea where their owner, the Jewish woman Babatha, had hidden them in 135 CE at the end of the Bar Kokhba revolt. Babatha's Orchard analyzes the oldest four of these papyri to argue that underlying them is a hitherto undetected and surprising train of events concerning how Babatha's father, Shim'on, purchased a date-palm orchard in Maoza on the southern shore of the Dead Sea in 99 CE that he later gave to Babatha. The central features of the story, untold for two millennia, relate to how a high Nabatean official had purchased the orchard only a month before, but suddenly rescinded the purchase, and how Shim'on then acquired it, in enlarged form, from the vendor. Teasing out the details involves deploying the new methodology of archival ethnography, combined with a fresh scrutiny of the papyri (written in Nabatean Aramaic), to investigate the Nabatean and Jewish individuals mentioned and their relationships within the social, ethnic, economic, and political realities of Nabatea at that time. Aspects of this context which are thrown into sharp relief by Babatha's Orchard include: the prominence of wealthy Nabatean women and their husbands' financial reliance on them; the high returns and steep losses possible in date cultivation; the sophistication of Nabatean law and lawyers; the lingering effect of the Nabateans' nomadic past in lessening the social distance between elite and non-elite; and the good ethnic relations between Nabateans and Jews.
The Levantine corridor sits at the continental crossroads of Africa and Eurasia, making it a focal point for scientific inquiry into the emergence of modern humans and their relations with Neanderthals. The recent excavations at Kebara Cave in Israel, undertaken by an international, interdisciplinary team of researchers, has provided data crucial for understanding the cognitive and behavioral differences between archaic and modern humans.
In this first of two volumes, the authors discuss site formation processes, subsistence strategies, land-use patterns, and intrasite organization. Hearths and faunal remains reveal a dynamic and changing settlement system during the late Mousterian period, when Kebara Cave served as a major encampment. The research at Kebara Cave allows archaeologists to document the variability observed in settlement, subsistence, and technological strategies of the Late Middle and early Upper Paleolithic periods in the Levant.
Born from the fields of Islamic art and architectural history, the archaeological study of the Islamic societies is a relatively young discipline. With its roots in the colonial periods of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, its rapid development since the 1980s warrants a reevaluation of where the field stands today. This Handbook represents for the first time a survey of Islamic archaeology on a global scale, describing its disciplinary development and offering candid critiques of the state of the field today in the Central Islamic Lands, the Islamic West, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia. The international contributors to the volume address such themes as the timing and process of Islamization, the problems of periodization and regionalism in material culture, cities and countryside, cultural hybridity, cultural and religious diversity, natural resource management, international trade in the later historical periods, and migration. Critical assessments of the ways in which archaeologists today engage with Islamic cultural heritage and local communities closes the volume, highlighting the ethical issues related to studying living cultures and religions. Richly illustrated, with extensive citations, it is the reference work on the debates that drive the field today.
In the past, textile production was a key part of all ancient societies. The Ancient Near East stands out in this respect with the overwhelming amount of documentation both in terms of raw materials, line of production, and the distribution of finished products. The thirteen intriguing chapters in Textile Production and Consumption in the Ancient Near East describe the developments and changes from household to standardised, industrialised and centralised productions which take place in the region. They discuss the economic, social and cultural impact of textiles on ancient society through the application of textile tool studies, experimental testing, context studies and epigraphical as well as iconographical sources. Together they demonstrate that the textile industries, production, technology, consumption and innovations are crucial to, and therefore provide an in-depth view of ancient societies during this period. Geographically the contributions cover Anatolia, the Levant, Syria, the Assyrian heartland, Sumer, and Egypt.
Nishapur in eastern Iran was an important Silk Road city, its position providing links to central Asia and China, Afghanistan and India, the Persian Gulf and the west. Despite previous excavations there are many unresolved questions surrounding the site; when was the city founded? Is Nishapur a Sasanian city? Was it founded by the Sasanian king Shapur I or II? The question of chronology of occupation and the ceramic sequence is also problematic particularly for late antiquity and the medieval period, as well as a complete topography of the site. The Irano-French archaeological mission at Nishapur (2004 to 2007) (CNRS-MAEE-Musee du Louvre) focused on the Qohandez, or citadel, the oldest part of Nishapur. Excavations were conducted in different areas of the mound, in order to address these questions. After an introduction to the site and the former American and Iranian excavations, this book presents the stratigraphy and the pottery of the site. The difficulties involved in establishing a precise history of the site, as well as the complexities of studying the pottery led to a program of analysis undertaken by the Research Centre of French Museums (C2RMF). Chemical and petrographic analysis, thermoluminescence (TL) dating and archaeomagnetism analysis as support to the TL results were done. A pottery database has been created regrouping the stratigraphical and laboratory analyses data, in order to manage and present an organised corpus of 1000 samples. The combination of the data from the stratigraphical and laboratory analyses gives an accurate and completely new chronology of the site. Moreover, the study also brought to light a new typological sequence of the ceramic, as well as new data about the pottery production at Nishapur.
Living with the Dead presents a detailed analysis of ancestor worship in Egypt, using a diverse range of material, both archaeological and anthropological, to examine the relationship between the living and the dead. Iconography and terminology associated with the deceased reveal indistinct differences between the blessedness and malevolence and that the potent spirit of the dead required constant propitiation in the form of worship and offerings. A range of evidence is presented for mortuary cults that were in operation throughout Egyptian history and for the various places, such as the house, shrines, chapels and tomb doorways, where the living could interact with the dead. The private statue cult, where images of individuals were venerated as intermediaries between people and the Gods is also discussed. Collective gatherings and ritual feasting accompanied the burial rites with separate, mortuary banquets serving to maintain ongoing ritual practices focusing on the deceased. Something of a contradiction in attitudes is expressed in the evidence for tomb robbery, the reuse of tombs and funerary equipment and the ways in which communities dealt with the death and burial of children and others on the fringe of society. This significant study furthers our understanding of the complex relationship the ancient Egyptians had with death and with their ancestors; both recently departed and those in the distant past.
Located at the margins of the Rub Al-Khali desert, a place of interactions between settled and nomadic populations, the Adam oasis occupies a pivotal role in the history of Oman. However, almost nothing was known about its foundation and early developments. In 2006, the French Archaeological Mission in Central Oman began the exploration of the area. After ten years of field research using innovative methods and technologies, much is now revealed about the importance of Adam in the prehistory and early history of Oman. This is the first monograph about the research carried out at Adam and it includes seven chapters written by specialists directly involved in the field activities. Each major period is described in detail, including evidence of Palaeolithic occupation, Neolithic settlements, Early and Middle Bronze Age necropolises, Iron Age ritual sites and also an ethnographic study of the traditional water sharing within the oasis.
Elam was an important state in southwestern Iran from the third millennium BC to the appearance of the Persian Empire and beyond. Less well-known than its neighbors in Mesopotamia, Anatolia, the Levant or Egypt, it was nonetheless a region of extraordinary cultural vitality. This book examines the formation and transformation of Elam's many identities through both archaeological and written evidence, and brings to life one of the most important regions of Western Asia, re-evaluates its significance, and places it in the context of the most recent archaeological and historical scholarship. The new edition includes material from over 800 additional sources, reflecting the enormous amount of fieldwork and scholarship on Iran since 1999. Every chapter contains new insights and material that have been seamlessly integrated into the text in order to give the reader an up-to-date understanding of ancient Elam.
The twelfth annual Current Research in Egyptology symposium aimed to highlight the multidisciplinary nature of the field of Egyptology. Papers in these proceedings reflect this multidisciplinarity, with research based on Archaeology, Linguistics, Cultural Astronomy, Historiography, Botany, Religion and Law, amongst others. By means of one or several of these disciplines, contributors to this volume approach a broad range of subjects spanning from Prehistory to modern Egypt, including: self-presentation, identity, provenance and museum studies, funerary art and practices, domestic architecture, material culture, mythology, religion, commerce, economy, dream interpretation and the birth of Egyptology as a discipline.
A study of archaeology and the early Church in Greece is long overdue. So far, no book has been published in English that examines the growth of Christianity in southern Greece from New Testament times until the medieval period, taking into account both contemporary theological expertise and a detailed knowledge of the numerous and exciting current archaeological excavations. Situated between Israel and Italy, Greece is now yielding vital evidence of the development of early Christianity. Mainland Greece and its surrounding islands is a vast region, and I have chosen to focus on an area rich in early Christian remains, namely the region stretching from Athens southwards. The book examines evidence relating to Christianity in New Testament times, particularly through the writings of St Paul and early theologians, and juxtaposes these texts with recent and current excavations at Corinth, with its twin ports of Kenchreai and Lechaion, and its chief sanctuary beyond the city at Isthmia, where St Paul worked during the celebration of the pan-Hellenic Games. Much of the excavation at Lechaion has been carried out underwater by divers pioneering new methods of preserving submerged material, since most of the harbour is entirely submerged. Later, particularly from the sixth century onwards, Christian basilicas were built throughout Greece. A number of these are examined, including those at Nemea and Epidaurus. Nemea provides unique evidence of an agricultural community guided by a bishop; numerous Christian artefacts have been excavated at the site. Epidaurus was honoured as the birthplace of the healing god Asclepius, and early Christians inherited and developed these healing skills in unexpected ways. At other locations, monks developed a wide variety of lifestyles that were little known in the Western Church. The archaeology of Christian sites in Greece is a new and unfolding discipline; this book will hopefully encourage scholars and students to take these studies further.
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