Ancient Knowledge Networks is a book about how knowledge travels, in minds and bodies as well as in writings. It explores the forms knowledge takes and the meanings it accrues, and how these meanings are shaped by the peoples who use it.
Addressing the relationships between political power, family ties, religious commitments and literate scholarship in the ancient Middle East of the first millennium BC, Eleanor Robson focuses on two regions where cuneiform script was the predominant writing medium: Assyria in the north of modern-day Syria and Iraq, and Babylonia to the south of modern-day Baghdad. She investigates how networks of knowledge enabled cuneiform intellectual culture to endure and adapt over the course of five world empires until its eventual demise in the mid-first century BC. In doing so, she also studies Assyriological and historical method, both now and over the past two centuries, asking how the field has shaped and been shaped by the academic concerns and fashions of the day. Above all, Ancient Knowledge Networks is an experiment in writing about ‘Mesopotamian science’, as it has often been known, using geographical and social approaches to bring new insights into the intellectual history of the world’s first empires.
Eleanor Robson is Professor of Ancient Middle Eastern History at UCL.
A study of the material culture of Egypt during the period of Achaemenid Persian rule, c. 526-404 BCE
Provides a clear overview of the archaeological evidence for Achaemenid Egypt, including temples, tombs, irrigation works, statues, stelae, seals and coins
Demonstrates how different types of evidence, both textual and archaeological – including material of uncertain provenance – can be used to address a single historical question
Offers critical discussion of the dating criteria used by archaeologists for Egyptian Late Period material
Elucidates strategies used by the Persians to establish and maintain control of Egypt
Examines how these strategies may have affected the lives of people living in Egypt during the 27th Dynasty
Creates a new explanatory model for the introduction of coinage to ancient Egypt
Previous studies have characterised Achaemenid rule of Egypt either as ephemeral and weak or oppressive and harsh. These characterisations, however, are based on the perceived lack of evidence for this period, filtered through ancient and modern preconceptions about the Persians.
Henry Colburn challenges these views by assembling and analyzing the archaeological remains from this period, including temples, tombs, irrigation works, statues, stelae, sealings, drinking vessels and coins. By looking at the decisions made about material culture – by Egyptians, Persians and others – it becomes possible to see both how the Persians integrated Egypt into their empire and the full range of experiences people had as a result.
Afghanistan is at the cultural crossroads of Asia, where the great civilisations of Mesopotamia and Iran, South Asia and Central Asia overlapped and sometimes conflicted. Its landscape embraces environments from the high mountains of the Hindu Kush to the Oxus basin and the great deserts of Sistan; trade routes from China to the Mediterranean, and from Central Asia to the Arabian Sea cross the country. It has seen the development of early agriculture, the spread of Bronze Age civilisation of Central Asia, the conquests of the Persians and of Alexander of Macedon, the spread of Buddhism and then Islam, and the empires of the Kushans, Ghaznavids, Ghurids and Timurids centred there, with ramifications across southern Asia. All of which has resulted in some of the most important, diverse and spectacular historical remains in Asia.
First published in 1978, this was the first book in English to provide a complete survey of the immensely rich archaeological remains of Afghanistan. The contributors, all acknowledged scholars in their field, have worked in the country, on projects ranging from prehistoric surveys to the study of Islamic architecture. It has now been thoroughly revised and brought up to date to incorporate the latest discoveries and research.
Table of contents
Notes on Contributors
List of Illustrations
Foreword, Mohammad Fahim Rahimi, Kabul Museum
Preface, Norman Hammond
Introduction to the first edition, Norman Hammond and Raymond Allchin
Introduction to the new edition, Warwick Ball
The Geographical Background, Sophia R. Bowlby and Kevin H. White
The Palaeolithic, Richard S. Davies
The development of the Oxus Civilisation north of the Hindu Kush, Henri-Paul Francfort, Bertille Lyonnet, Cameron Petrie and Jim G. Shaffer
The development of a ‘Helmand Civilisation’ south of the Hindu Kush, Jim G. Shaffer and Cameron Petrie
The Iron Age, Achaemenid and Hellenistic periods, Warwick Ball, Simon Glenn, Bertille Lyonnet, David W. Mac Dowall and Maurizio Taddei
From the Kushans to the Shahis, Warwick Ball, Olivier Bordeaux, David W. Mac Dowall, Nicholas Sims-Williams and Maurizio Taddei
From the Rise of Islam to the Mongol Invasion, Warwick Ball and Klaus Fischer
From the Mongols to the Mughals, Warwick Ball and Klaus Fischer
Volume 20 of the journal “Parthica” (2018) contains several interesting contributions.
Table of contents:
F. SINISI, A. BETTS, G. KHOZHANIYAZOV: Royal fires in the ancient Iranian world: the evidence from Akchakhan-Kala, Chorasmia
I. BUCCI, A. CELLERINO, M. FARAJI, E. FOIETTA, F. GIUSTO, J. M. KIAN, V. MESSINA, M. ROUHANI RANKHOUI: Preliminary report on the third season of excavation of the Iranian-Italian Joint Expedition in Khuzestan at Kal-e Chendar, Shami (8th campaign, 2015)
V. N. PILIPKO: Nisa-Mihrdatkirt: Changing conceptions
L. COLLIVA: Sanctuaries and ʻdynastic cultsʼ in the Indo-Iranian world: Arsacid, Indo-Parthian and Kushan evidence
A. KHOSROWZADEH, N. N. Z. CHEGINI, S. NAZARI: Description, classification and typology of the excavated Parthian pottery from Qal‘eh-i Yazdigird, Kermanshah province, Iran
A.KHOUNANI, Y.MOHAMMADIFAR: Two Parthian period rock reliefs from Iraqi Kurdistan
E. FOIETTA, E. MARCATO: A review of the sequence of Hatra rulers and the role of 147 the inscription H416
Dedicated to Getzel M. Cohen, a leading expert in Seleucid history, this volume gathers contributions on Seleucid history, archaeology, numismatics, political relations, policy toward the Jews, Greek cities, non-Greek populations, peripheral and neighboring regions, imperial administration, economy and public finances, and ancient descriptions of the Seleucid Empire. The reader will gain an international perspective on current research.
The Penn Museum has a long and storied history of research and archaeological exploration in the ancient Middle East. This book highlights this rich depth of knowledge while also serving as a companion volume to the Museum’s signature Middle East Galleries opening in April 2018. This edited volume includes chapters and integrated short, focused pieces from Museum curators and staff actively involved in the detailed planning of the new galleries. In addition to highlighting the most remarkable and interesting objects in the Museum’s extraordinary Middle East collections, this volume illuminates the primary themes within these galleries (make, settle, connect, organize, and believe) and provides a larger context within which to understand them. The ancient Middle East is home to the first urban settlements in human history, dating to the fourth millennium BCE; therefore, tracing this move toward city life figures prominently in the book. The topic of urbanization, how it came about and how these early steps still impact our daily lives, is explored from regional and localized perspectives, bringing us from Mesopotamia (Ur, Uruk, and Nippur) to Islamic and Persianate cites (Rayy and Isfahan) and, finally, connecting back to life in modern Philadelphia. Through examination of topics such as landscape, resources, trade, religious belief and burial practices, daily life, and nomads, this very important human journey is investigated both broadly and with specific case studies.
Steve Tinney is Associate Curator-in-Charge of the Babylonian Section and the Clark Research Associate Professor of Assyriology at the University of Pennsylvania. Karen Sonik is Assistant Professor of Art History at Auburn University.
The present note provides a general overview of the site of Mahdiābād-e Oliā, 250 km SE of the city of Kerman, discussing objects exposed by the flood in 2017 as well as its architectural remains, with special attention to a complex that includes a square structure, inviting comparison with Achaemenid palaces.