Agency and Identity in the Ancient Near East: New Paths Forward

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2014-08-08
  • Publisher: Acumen Pub Ltd

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Concepts of agency and identity have penetrated very little into practices and research agendas in Near Eastern archaeology. This volume addresses this lack, and initiates a new level of theoretical discourse in the field. Several themes run throughout the chapters in the volume, including: how agency theory can be employed in reconstructing the meaning of spaces and material culture; how agency and identity intersect and how archaeologists might investigate this intersection; how the availability of a textual corpus may impact the agency approach. An overarching goal of this volume is to advance the theoretical discourse within archaeology, and particularly among practitioners of archaeology in the Near East. The volume is interdisciplinary, including contributions derived from the fields of philology, art history, computer simulation studies, materials science, and the archaeology of settlement, architecture, and empire. It offers chapters ranging in time from the Neolithic to the Islamic period, and covers cultures and sites located in the present-day regions of Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, and Israel.

Author Biography

Sharon R. Steadman is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at SUNY Cortland and Director of the Brooks Museum at the college. She is the author of numerous articles on ceramics, architecture, and interregional interaction analysis studies in Anatolia, including The Archaeology of Religion, (2008). She is the Field Director of the adir Hyk excavations on the north central Anatolian plateau, and has worked in Turkey since 1989 and in the Middle East since 1983. Jennifer C. Ross is an Associate Professor of Art and Archaeology at Hood College. She is an Assistant Director of the adir Hyk excavations in Turkey and has published articles on topics ranging from ideology and representation in Mesopotamia to metallurgical technologies in the Near East. Her current research is von the intersection of technology with social transformation at the dawn of urbanism in Mesopotamia.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Agency and Identity in the Ancient Near East: New Paths Forwardp. 1
The Agency of Place
Movement Across the Landscape and Residential Stability: Agency and Place in the Southern Levantine Early Bronze Agep. 13
Agency, Architecture, and Archaeology: Prehistoric Settlements in Central Anatoliap. 27
Agents in Motionp. 47
The Agency of Daily Practice
Subsistence Actions at Çatalhöyükp. 63
The Scribal Artifact: Technological Innovation in the Uruk Periodp. 80
Shared Painting: The Practice of Decorating Late Neolithic Pottery in Northern Mesopotamiap. 99
Early Islamic Pottery: Evidence of a Revolution in Diet and Dining Habits?p. 117
The Agency of Power
Material Culture and Identity: Assyrians, Aramaeans, and the Indigenous Peoples of Iron Age Southeastern Anatoliap. 129
Object Agency? Spatial Perspective, Social Relations, and the Stele of Hammurabip. 148
Akkad and Agency, Archaeology and Annals: Considering Power and Intent in Third-Millennium BCE Mesopotamiap. 166
Agency, Identity, and the Hittite Statep. 181
Beyond Agency
Beyond Agency: Identity and Individuals in Archaeologyp. 193
About the Contributorsp. 201
Indexp. 203
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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