Thursday, December 21, 2023

Material Worlds: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Contacts and Exchange in the Ancient Near East: Proceedings of the Workshop held at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (ISAW), New York University 7th March 2016

book cover

Cultural contacts and exchange are constituents of human behavior – ancient and modern. Within archaeology, particularly in that of Western Asia, the topic and related phenomena have been intensively studied during the last decades, leading to a re-evaluation of the cultural and economic, as well as physical landscapes throughout the ancient Near East. The eleven contributions in this book were delivered at a workshop held in 2016 at NYU’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World by renowned experts in their fields. They address the history of contacts and exchanges in the Bronze and Iron Ages using case studies from different regions and based on different types of sources. The contributions illustrate that the geographical dimension of cultural contacts and exchange networks within West Asia extends far beyond the boundaries of the previously defined contact zone of the ‘Ancient Near East’ and that other systems existed in adjacent regions (Egypt, Arabia as well as Iran, Central Asia, Africa, India, and South Asia), suggesting that the West Asian networks were also part of larger ones. At the same time, it has become clear that a closer look at single case studies of specific material culture datasets is important to better understand the dynamics, scale(s), and extent of contacts and exchanges.

Contributing authors: Gojko Barjamovic (Harvard University), Celia J. Bergoffen (Fashion Institute of Technology, New York), Lorenzo D’Alfonso (NYU, New York), Nancy A. Highcock (The British Museum, London), Robert W. Homsher (San Francisco), Alice M. W. Hunt (University of Georgia, Athens), Marta Luciani (University of Vienna), Maria Grazia Masetti-Rouault (École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris), Beate Pongratz-Leisten (NYU, New York), Lisa Saladino Haney (Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh), Jonathan Valk (University of Helsinki).

H 290 x W 205 mm

142 pages

Colour illustrations throughout

Published Dec 2023

Archaeopress Archaeology


Paperback: 9781803276489

Digital: 9781803276496

DOI 10.32028/9781803276489


Introductory Remarks – Arnulf Hausleiter


I. Old Assyrian Trade

Introduction to the Old Assyrian Trade Session – Nancy A. Highcock

States, Markets and Overland Trade in the Early and Middle Bronze Age – Gojko Barjamovic

Dynamism and Scale in Western Asian Bronze Age Trade Networks – Lorenzo D’Alfonso and Nancy A. Highcock


II. Cuneiform Knowledge Production in Contact Zones

Reflections on the Dynamics of Cuneiform Knowledge Production in the Ancient Near East – Jonathan Valk

Production of Knowledge in Contact Zones: Mari and Tigunanum in the Old Babylonian Period – Beate Pongratz-Leisten


III. Transitions and Transformations in the Levant and Northern Arabia

The MBA/LBA Transition at Tell el-?Ajjul in the Light of Exchanges between Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean – Celia J. Bergoffen

Transitions in Material Culture of the 2nd Millennium BCE: the Middle Bronze to Late Bronze Age Shift Seen from Northwest Arabia – Marta Luciani

Connections and Transformations in the Southern Levant during the 2nd Millennium with a View from Megiddo – Robert Homsher


IV. Egyptian Red Sea Trade

Power and Prestige: Egyptian Red Sea Trade during the Old and Middle Kingdoms and its Place within the Royal Redistributive Network – Lisa Saladino Haney


V. Middle Grounds, Contact Areas and Social Identity in the Iron Age

Middle Grounds, Contact Areas, and the Assyrian Empire: the Case of the Syrian Lower Euphrates Valley, Iron II Period – Maria Grazia Masetti-Rouault

Tell Jemmeh: Social Identity at a Cultural Crossroads – Alice M. W. Hunt


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