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Cities and the Shaping of Memory in the Ancient Near East

Cities and the Shaping of Memory in the Ancient Near East

By: Omur Harmansah (author)Hardback

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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 (c.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.

About Author

Omur Harmansah is Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Illinois, Chicago. His research focuses on the history of architecture and cities in the ancient Near East, as well as questions of place, landscape and memory. He has been directing the Yalburt Yaylasi Archaeological Landscape Project, a regional survey in west-central Turkey since 2010. In the past he has worked on archaeological projects in Turkey and Greece, including Gordion, Ayanis, Kerkenes Dag 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.


1. Introduction; 2. Landscapes of change: cities, politics, and memory; 3. The land of Assur: 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.

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9781107027947
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 372
  • ID: 9781107027947
  • weight: 970
  • ISBN10: 1107027942

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