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Cities and the Shaping of Memory in the Ancient Near East


  • Date Published: March 2013
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107027947


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About the Authors
  • This book investigates the founding and building of cities in the ancient Near East. The creation of new cities was imagined as an ideological project or a divine intervention in the political narratives and mythologies of Near Eastern cultures, often masking the complex processes behind the social production of urban space. During the Early Iron Age (ca. 1200–850 BCE), Assyrian and Syro-Hittite rulers developed a highly performative official discourse that revolved around constructing cities, cultivating landscapes, building watercourses, erecting monuments, and initiating public festivals. This volume combs through archaeological, epigraphic, visual, architectural, and environmental evidence to tell the story of a region from the perspective of its spatial practices, landscape history, and architectural technologies. It argues that the cultural processes of the making of urban spaces shape collective memory and identity as well as sites of political performance and state spectacle.

    • Provides an interdisciplinary analysis, engaging with archaeological, textual, architectural and visual evidence
    • Uses sources from excavated remains, monumental inscriptions, landscape archaeology (regional surveys), art historical analysis and environmental research
    • Provides broad regional overviews of landscape histories to specific examples of foundations and urban context, to specific architectural technologies that operated as royal insignia and shaped urban spaces
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "Well written and illustrated, this work is must reading for students and scholars of the ancient Near East as well as urbanization in general. Summing up: highly recommended."

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2013
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107027947
    • length: 372 pages
    • dimensions: 261 x 184 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.97kg
    • contains: 51 b/w illus. 9 maps
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Landscapes of change: cities, politics, and memory
    3. The land of Aššur: the making of Assyrian landscapes
    4. City and the festival: monuments, urban space, and spatial narratives
    5. Upright stones: architectural technologies and the poetics of urban space
    6. Cities, place, and desire.

  • Author

    Ömür Harmanşah, Brown University, Rhode Island
    Ömür Harmanşah is Assistant Professor of Archaeology, Egyptology, and Ancient Western Asian Studies at Brown University. He currently directs the Yalburt Yaylası Archaeological Landscape Project, a Brown University regional survey based in west central Turkey since 2010. In the past he has worked on archaeological projects in Turkey and Greece, including Gordion, Ayanis, Kerkenes Dağ and Isthmia. His articles have been published in journals such as the Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology, Archaeological Dialogues and the Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research.

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