Landscapes of the Near East

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ARCH 0351 / AWAS 0800 Introduction to the Ancient Near East Brown University ~ Fall 2009Landscapes of the Near East: environment and long-term history September 29, 2009

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Birth of Near Eastern archaeology Rediscovery (early travellers, antiquarians) Early archaeological work (mid 19th c. excavations), mainly Layard’s Nimrud and Botta’s Khorsabad International phase (1860-1880) decipherment of cuneiform script, Hormuzd Rassam’s work Large scale excavations (1880s to First World War) University of Pennsylvania at Nippur, Germans in Babylon Scientific archaeology. which took off especially after WWII, with Processual/New Archaeology

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Nippur University of Pennsylvania Excavations 1888 onwards

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German excavations at Babylon (new archaeological field techniques) Director architect/archaeologist Robert Koldewey feeds cats 1899-1917.

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Mesopotamia in the late 19th and early 20th c. The land of large scale excavations at massive mounds, producing pretty artifacts and tablets.Tell Tayinat 1935-38

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What is landscape?“Landscape is the world as it is known to those who dwell therein, who inhabit its places, and journey along the paths connecting them...” Tim Ingold 1993: 156

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"The lived body allows us to know what space, place and landscape are, because it is the author of them all." Christopher Tilley, The materiality of stone 2004: 3.

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Landscapes as taskscapes

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Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1525?-1569) The Harvesters (1565), Oil on wood 118.1 x 160.7 cm, Metropolitan Museum of Art

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Joachim Patinir, also called de Patinier and de Patiner (c. 1480 – October 5, 1524) Landscape with St. Gerome, c. 1515-24. Oil on wood. Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain. Weltlandschaft landscape as a meaningful whole- a continuous world that we inhabit

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Changing landscape around a dam construction on the Euphrates- South East Turkey, 1976-1999.

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Sedimented landscapes and landscapes with memory: ancient and modern settlements at the site of Tall-e Malyan, Iran (ancient Anshan).

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Cultural landscapes, planned cities: Bishapur, Iran. Founded by Sasanian king Shapur I in 3rd c. AD

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Archaeology of landscapes (an interdisciplinary world) Archaeological survey Extensive- traditional “landrover” surveys, more successful in identifying large sites Intensive field-walking, that identifies “off-site” features, “specialty sites”, villages, hamlets, extra-urban cult sites, “artifact scatters”, “linear hollows”, mining sites Architectural, topographic surveying, GPS Excavation sampling, surface scraping, Paleoenvironmental studies, Palynology: Holocene vegetation change, climatology, also dendrochronology Geomorphology: alluviation, soil erosion that buries archaeological sites, changing course of rivers, coastlines, environmental degradation etc. “Boring” and “Coring”, soil samplingEthnography of landscapes: what do contemporary societies make of their environment? Ethnobotany. Remote sensing (subsurface remains-electric resistivity, magnetometry, Ground Penetrating Radar), non-invasive techniques, use of satellite imagery (declassified military surveillance images, imaging spectrometers recording electromagnetic signals of the earth’s surface), aerial (baloon, blimp, kite) photography GIS: Geographical Information Systems- spatial integration of landscape data.

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Survey archaeology and world landscapes

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Uruk and Nippur, urbanization in Southern Alluvium (4000-2900 BC) villages, hamlets, towns and cities: socialization of the world

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Palynology, paleobotany and paleoenvironmental research pollen diagrams from lake bottom sediments

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Nineveh-Mosul, North Iraq CORONA Image Tell Brak, North Syria, immediate environs Lienar hollows: CORONA Image

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Google Earth: new ways of seeing, mapping the world?

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Noah’s Flood at the Black Sea? Ryan and Pitman hypothesis

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MesopotamiaLevantAnatoliaSyriaTranscaucasusIranEgypt

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ARCH 0351 / AWAS 0800 Introduction to the Ancient Near East Brown University ~ Fall 2009Landscapes of the Near East: environment and long-term history September 29, 2009

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What is then landscape?“Landscape is the world as it is known to those who dwell therein, who inhabit its places, and journey along the paths connecting them...” Tim Ingold 1993: 156

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Archaeology of landscapes (an interdisciplinary world) Archaeological survey Extensive- traditional “landrover” surveys, more successful in identifying large sites Intensive field-walking, that identifies “off-site” features, “specialty sites”, villages, hamlets, extra-urban cult sites, “artifact scatters”, “linear hollows”, mining sites Architectural, topographic surveying, GPS Excavation sampling, surface scraping, Paleoenvironmental studies, Palynology: Holocene vegetation change, climatology, also dendrochronology Geomorphology: alluviation, soil erosion that buries archaeological sites, changing course of rivers, coastlines, environmental degradation etc. “Boring” and “Coring”, soil samplingEthnography of landscapes: what do contemporary societies make of their environment? Ethnobotany. Remote sensing (subsurface remains-electric resistivity, magnetometry, Ground Penetrating Radar), non-invasive techniques, use of satellite imagery (declassified military surveillance images, imaging spectrometers recording electromagnetic signals of the earth’s surface), aerial (baloon, blimp, kite) photography GIS: Geographical Information Systems- spatial integration of landscape data.

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Last Updated: 8th March 2018

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