LCANE Spring Lecture Series: New Research

London Centre for the Ancient Near East

Seminar Series Spring 2024

 

New Research on the Ancient Near East

Convened by Diana Stein

Mondays, 6.15pm in Lecture Theatre G6, UCL Institute of Archaeology, 31-34 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PY, UK

Register for online attendance here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/lcane-spring-lecture-series-new-research-steve-renette-online-attendance-tickets-794063654767?aff=oddtdtcreator

Mon. Jan. 15th   Steve Renette (Cambridge)

“From Lullubum to Adiabene: Archaeological investigations in the borderlands between Mesopotamia and the Zagros Mountains”

The Bazyan Valley in present-day Sulaymaniyah in Iraqi Kurdistan forms an imposing corridor between the plains east of the Tigris River and the Zagros Mountains. This geographic reality, imposed by the Qara Dagh mountain range, created a cultural and political border zone in this region. Since 2013, the Kani Shaie Archaeological Project, centered on the site of Kani Shaie, has been investigating the long history of human occupation in this narrow valley. The project particularly focuses on the period from 4000 to 2000 BCE when local communities came increasingly into contact with the burgeoning Mesopotamian states. This interaction culminated in a major military conflict with the Akkadian Empire, commemorated on the Victory Stele of Naram-Sin where the inhabitants of this region are identified as the Lullubi people. The following millennia, this land and its people continuously balanced economic dependence on external states with a desire for political autonomy. This talk will present recent results from archaeological fieldwork at Kani Shaie in the Bazyan Valley with a focus on two historical periods: the era of the Lullubi during the Early Bronze Age of the third millennium BCE and the integration of the region into the kingdom of Adiabene under Seleucid and Arsacid (Parthian) hegemony during the final centuries BCE.

Mon. Jan. 29th CHANGE OF PROGAMME: Diana Stein (Birkbeck, University of London)

“In Decent Exposure: Female Nudes in Near Eastern Glyptic”

The ancient Near Eastern motif of the nude female continues to captivate and confound us. Recent research has convincingly debunked theories based on 19th century concepts of female sexuality, fertility cults and prostitution, presenting us with a number of viable alternatives. While most studies focus on southern Mesopotamia in the early second millennium BCE, this one foregrounds Syro-Mesopotamia and adopts a diachronic approach to an examination of four nude female types encountered on seals from the second millennium BCE: the nude female with profile head, the “Mistress of Animals”, the nude female raising her robe, and the semi-nude female with open or cut-away coat. Only one has a southern equivalent. The remaining three are derived from Syro-Mesopotamian prototypes, and the ethnographic comparisons they evoke shed new light on the background of the great Near Eastern goddesses – who they were and why their powers, personalities, and appurtenances are so alike. We also gain a deeper appreciation of the value of integrity/purity and the role of sensory experience in ritual settings, as well as a glimpse into the uneven integration of pre- and post-urban worldviews.

We hope to be able to put on the lecture by Dr Christina Tsouparopoulou (Durham) which was originally scheduled for Jan 29th at a later date. 

Mon. Feb. 5th John MacGinnis (Cambridge)

“Excavations at Qalatga Darband in Iraqi Kurdistan”

This lecture will present the results of the six seasons of fieldwork undertaken on behalf of the British Museum in the Darband-i Rania pass, located at the northeast corner of Lake Dokan in Iraqi Kurdistan at a point where, though now subsumed into the lake, the Lower Zab flows from the Peshdar into the Rania Plain. Chief attention will be given to the work at Qalatga Darband, a large fortified site dating to the Parthian period. Of particular interest is a massive stone building located in the southern part of the site, interpreted as a fortified manor. Both this and other remains at Qalatga Darband exhibit striking Hellenistic influences. While the results throw up as many questions as they answer, the discoveries at Qalatga are beginning to provide new evidence on the Parthian presence in a corner of Iraq until recently very little explored.

CHANGE: Mar. 11th   Christie Carr (Oxford, Wolfson College) ROOM TBC

“Constructions of desire in Sumerian erotic poetry”

How was desire conceptualised at the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC in ancient Mesopotamia? The focus of my doctoral research and this paper centres upon the metaphorical language of the Old Babylonian Sumerian “Love Songs”, a group of erotic literary texts. My method of analysis borrows from cognitive linguistics- conceptual metaphor theory- that suggests our conceptual systems function like the metaphorical process: abstract concepts (target domains) are constructed by mappings from more embodied, concrete experiences (source domains). The extensive metaphor in the Sumerian “Love Songs” give one of the fullest and extended representations of sexual domains of experience from the ancient Mesopotamian world. This paper explores how the metaphorical language of the Sumerian “Love Songs” might be used to begin to answer how complex concepts such as desire were conceptualised at the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC.

Christie Carr’s talk has been moved from Feb 26th and the in-person delivery will depend on our finding a room for it (UCL room-bookings are currently down). You can still sign up for it online above, but watch this space for the in-person event. 

Mon. Mar. 18th   Bebe Richards (UCL)

“Can Westminster laws deter Middle East looting? Evaluating market-focused approaches to the illicit antiquities trade”

Devastating growth in archaeological looting has inspired calls for policies aimed at reducing demand for illicit antiquities in market nations. Two main approaches have emerged: One focuses on increasing legal penalties for buying and selling looted property; the other urges non-legislative solutions, such as encouraging the antiquities trade to adopt tougher anti-trafficking protocols or culture change campaigns aimed at making private ownership of antiquities unfashionable. This presentation will outline approaches to determining the efficacy of existing legal penalties in the UK and US and also explore the potential for non-legislative regulations adapted from other industries to reduce illicit demand in market nations.

www.lcane.org.uk, https://www.facebook.com/groups/LCANE/, @londoncentrene

 

LCANE Autumn Lecture Series: Achaemenids and Seleucids.

London Centre for the Ancient Near East

Seminar Series Autumn 2023

ACHAEMENIDS AND SELEUCIDS

In honour of the work of Amélie Kuhrt

Convened by Lindsay Allen and Mark Weeden. Mostly Mondays, 6.15pm in Lecture Theatre G6, UCL Institute of Archaeology, 31-34 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PY, UK, except the last lecture in the series (Henkelman), see below.

There is no need to register to attend in-person, but if you want to attend online, please register with Eventbrite here

Mon Oct. 16th Kathryn Stevens (Oxford): Hellenism revisited: the case of Babylonia

Kathryn Stevens’ handout will be available from this dropbox link at the latest by 5pm on October 16th.

Mon Oct. 30th Mateen Arghandehpour (UCL): Persian religion in the Greco-Persian Wars: the case of Athens

Online attendance at Mateen Arghandehpour’s lecture via Eventbrite here

Mon. Nov. 20th Josef Wiesehöfer (Kiel): Cyrus, Mirrors of Princes, and Christoph Martin Wieland

Online Attendance at Josef Wiesehöfer’s lecture via Eventbrite here

POSTPONED: Mon. Dec. 4th Eleanor Robson and Parsa Daneshmand (UCL): Debts, dates and donkeys: exploring the archives of Achaemenid Kish – This event has had to be postponed. Watch this space for details of a date in the spring. 

Thurs. Dec. 14th Wouter Henkelman (Paris): Achaemenid Babylonia and the building of Persepolis LOCATION: Senate House, G 22/26 – in collaboration with the Ancient History Seminar, Institute for Classical Studies.

Online Attendance at Wouter Henkelman’s lecture via Eventbrite here

www.lcane.org.uk, https://www.facebook.com/groups/LCANE/, @londoncentrene

March 31-April 1st 2023: Approaches to Cuneiform Literature

Sponsored by an anonymous donation as well as a grant from the Institute for Advanced Study (UCL), the London Centre for the Ancient Near East is able to host a conference on cuneiform literature that will be held in-person and online. It follows on from another conference that was held online in June 2021. The conference is loosely built around the theme of Babylonian approaches to cuneiform literature and arises largely out of consideration for some of the work that was done at SOAS over years before cuneiform programmes were brutally cut there 2 years ago. Attendance numbers are limited, but to see the programme and attend either in-person or online as long as space remains, please sign up to Eventbrite

April 24th: LCANE AGM 2023+lecture in honour of Amélie Kuhrt

The AGM of the London Centre for the Ancient Near East will be held on April 24th at 6pm and will be followed by a lecture by Professor Bert van der Spek. Title: New Evidence from Babylonian chronicles and diaries from the Hellenistic period. With an appreciation of the work of Amélie Kuhrt (1944-2023). Location: G6, UCL Institute of Archaeology, Gordon Square, 31-34 Gordon Square, London.

Abstract: Amélie Kuhrt, professor of Ancient Near Eastern History at University College and co-founder of the London Centre for the Ancient Near East in 1995, brought about a paradigm shift in the study of Ancient History. She made a bridge between the disciplines of Assyriology and Ancient History, the latter normally focussed on the study of Greek and Latin written sources.  She specialised in Achaemenid and Hellenistic history and endeavoured to study the sources of the Near East on their own merits. She did so for Persian history in collaboration with Heleen Sancisi-Weerdenburg by organising the Achaemenid History workshops in Groningen and elsewhere and by editing the long series Achaemenid History Vol. I – XVI, 1987 – 2020). She had the same approach as regards  Hellenistic History, which had been so frequently the subject of “looking for something Greek in the Near East”.  She encouraged me to work on the Babylonian documents for the Hellenistic period. I learned a lot from participating in a seminar which led to the volume, edited by her and Susan Sherwin-White, Hellenism in the East (1987). This lecture in her honour presents some results of a major project of editing and publishing all chronographic texts from Hellenistic Babylon from c. 480 to 22 BC. I hope to discuss the scientific approach of the authors of these documents and present some so far unpublished documents.

In-person attendance will be on a first come first served basis. For online participation please sign up via Eventbrite here and a link for the Zoom meeting should be sent to you on registration. The AGM will start at 6pm, the lecture is likely to start around 6.15pm.

Photo: Amélie Kuhrt speaking at Bert van der Spek’s Defence of his Doctoral Dissertation, Amsterdam 7.11.1986.

Occasional Lecture:

March 23rd 2023 6.15pm Glenn Schwartz (Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore) Era of the Living Dead: Memory, Human Sacrifice, and the “Royal” Tombs at Umm el-Marra, Syria Location: UCL, Garwood Lecture Theatre in UCL South Wing. For the South Wing turn right after you go through the main UCL entrance on Gower St. For online participation sign up via Eventbrite and a link should be sent in the reply.

Statement on Earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, 6th Feb 2023

The London Centre for the Ancient Near East extends its condolences to everyone affected by the earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria, which include many of our own members, friends, colleagues, and hosts. We are heartbroken to see so many of the people and the places we care about being thrown into such devastation.Wishing everyone the patience and resilience they need at this time.

London Centre for the Ancient Near East, Türkiye ve Suriye’deki depremlerden etkilenen ve aralarında birçok üyemiz, dostlarımız, iş arkadaşlarımız ve bize evsahipliği yapan sayısız ahbabımızın da olduğu herkese başlağlığı diler. Sevdiğimiz bu kadar çok yakınımızın ve bizim için değerli olan güzel şehirlerin içinde bulunduğu acı durum karşısında derin üzütü içindeyiz.Herkese sabır ve direnç dileklerimizle.

تتقدم جمعية لندن لآثار الشرق الأوسط عن تعاطفها وقلقها مع شعب تركيا وسوريا في هذا الوقت المأساوي ، بما في ذلك

العديد من أعضائنا وأصدقائنا وزملائنا. نشعر بالحزن لرؤية الناس والأصدقاء والأماكن التي نهتم بها في مثل هذه الحالة الرهيبة

نتمنى الشفاء العاجل للمصابين

Arcaheological Initiatives we know about that are collecting money to help people who have been affected:

Zincirli: gofund.me/491e1f14

gofundme.com/f/fgqmu9-tayin

gofund.me/471ec8ef

gofund.me/0248f128

instagram.com/p/CofKVU4KqfS/

Syria: https://givebutter.com/SjwOde

LCANE Spring Seminar Series 2023: New Research

Organised by Lucinda Menaul, Bozhou Mu and Mark Weeden. All lectures start at 6.15pm, Location: UCL Roberts Building G8, David Davies Lecture Theatre, Torrington Place London WC1E 7JE.

Online participation: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/london-centre-for-the-ancient-near-east-spring-seminar-series-2023-tickets-507452653547

16 January: Tanja Pommerening (Marburg) Ancient Egyptian Medicine: Perceptions from Different Points of View

In the past, ancient Egyptian medicine has been the focus of research by scientists from a variety of disciplines, especially Egyptologists, historians of science, physicians, biologists, and pharmacists. The first part of the lecture will indicate reasons for insufficiencies in research by looking at the history of science. The second part will provide a methodological discussion and basic insights which have enabled the speaker to broaden our knowledge of ancient Egyptian medicine and beyond.

Tanja Pommerening is professor of the History of Pharmacy and Medicine at university of Marburg and former professor of Egyptology at university of Mainz.

Drugs in the pharmacy of Harraz in Cairo; © Tanja Pommerening

 

30 January: Eleanor Dobson (Birmingham) “Jolly Good Trick[s]”: Magic and Ancient Egypt in Victorian Culture

This talk explores ancient Egyptian imagery in Victorian performance magic, and ancient Egyptian magic in nineteenth-century literature, to unearth a culture that saw cutting-edge imaging techniques repeatedly aligned with antiquity. It also charts ancient Egyptian presences in magic lantern slides, photographs, and early moving pictures – and in occult contexts, including the media of the Spiritualist movement – illuminating a particular visual strand in a longstanding cultural tradition in which ancient Egypt is read as byword for magic.

20 February: Ben Dewar (UCL) Curses and Intergenerational Justice in the Northwest Palace at Nimrud.

13 March: Georgia Andreou (UCL) The anatomy of the first cities in Cyprus. Recent excavations at the Late Bronze Age Maroni Complex.

20 March: Geoffrey Khan (Cambridge) The language and culture of the Modern Assyrians

LCANE lecture series Autumn 2022: Medicine in ancient Iraq

London Centre for the Ancient Near East

Autumn seminar series 2022

Medicine in ancient Iraq

Monday 24th October

Troels Pank Arbøll: “When gods strike, slay, and devour: conceptualising epidemics in ancient Mesopotamia”

Monday 14th November

Strahil Panayotov: “On the origins and creation of the Nineveh Medical Encyclopaedia”

Monday 28th November

Krisztián Simkó: “Administering medicine in Mesopotamia: a survey based on the Nineveh Medical Encyclopaedia”

Monday 12th December

Annie Attia: “Cuneiform medicine: a pitfall for physicians?”

All lectures start at 6.15pm

Institute of Archaeology, Lecture Theatre G6, 31-34 Gordon Square, Accessible entrance 14 Taviton St, London.

https://lcane.org.uk/events/

If you want to attend online, then please register for each lecture separately on Eventbrite and a link will be e-mailed shortly before each lecture: For Oct. 24th Troels Pank Arbøll: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/troels-pank-arbll-conceptualising-epidemics-in-ancient-mesopotamia-tickets-441550628817

Monday 14th November: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/strahil-panayotov-the-nineveh-medical-encyclopaedia-tickets-441580247407

Monday 28th November: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/x/krisztian-simko-administering-medicine-in-mesopotamia-tickets-441648371167

Monday 12th December: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/annie-attia-cuneiform-medicine-a-pitfall-for-physicians-tickets-441655813427