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Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology



Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology & the Ancient World
Brown University
Box 1837 / 60 George Street
Providence, RI 02912
Telephone: (401) 863-3188
Fax: (401) 863-9423
[email protected]

Week 1: Sept. 8. Introduction

Introduction: scope of the course, methods. Excerpt from Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Medea. Ustad Siyahkalem’s miniatures.

OCRA E-Reserves | Discussion

Week 2: Sept. 15. Body in recent critical/social theory

Post-Cartesian approaches to being, phenomenological responses to the mind and body split in the post-industrial West.
Case study: recent interpretations of palaeolithic rock art: shamanism, body, performance.


Shilling, Chris; 2005. “Introduction” and “Contemporary bodies” in Body in culture, technology and society. London: Thousand Oaks, Calif.: SAGE, 1-23 and 47-72.

Turner, Bryan S.; 2000. “An outline of a general sociology of the body,” in The Blackwell companion to social theory. Bryan S. Turner (ed.). Second edition. Malden MA: Blackwell, 481-502.

Mauss, Marcel; 1973 (1935). "Techniques of the body," Economy and society 2: 1-34.

Lewis-Williams, J. David; 2001. “South African shamanistic rock art in its social and cognitive contexts,” in Archaeology of shamanism. Niel S. Price (ed.). London and New York: Routledge, 17-39.

Ouzman, Sven; 2001. “Seeing is deceiving: rock art and the non-visual,” World Archaeology 33: 237-256.

Further reading:
Layton, Robert; 2000. “Shamanism, totemism and rock art: Les Chamanes de la Prehistoire in the context of Rock art research,” Cambridge Archaeological Journal 10/1:169-186.

OCRA E-Reserves | Discussion | Response papers |

Week 3: Sept. 22. Body and the archaeological discourse

Embodied subjectivities. The concepts of the body in the Neolithic Near East.
Presentation: Ain-Ghazal (Jordan) Pre-pottery Neolithic B Period pit of lime plaster human figures by Keffie Feldman. See Ain Ghazal excavation reports, htm The Ain Ghazal Statue Project and the htm Preservation/exhibition site.


Joyce, Rosemary; 2005. “Archaeology of the body,” Annual Review of Anthropology 34: 139-158.

Hodder, Ian ; 2003. “The "social" in Archaeological Theory: An Historical and Contemporary Perspective,” in A Companion to Social Archaeology. Lynn Meskell and Rober Preucel. Malden MA: Blackwell, 23-42. This article is also available online from Blackwell in case you have difficulty with the reserve book. Or download it here: (Nota bene: Hodder article is at the end of the pdf file)

Meskell, Lynn M. 1996: “The somatisation of archaeology: institutions, discourses, corporeality,” Norwegian Archaeological Review 29(1): 1-16. Posted on OCRA E-Reserves.

Sofaer, Joanna R.; 2006. “Body as an archaeological resource,” in Body as material culture: a theoretical osteoarchaeology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 12-30.

Prehistoric figurines:

Kuijt, Ian and Meredith S. Chesson; 2005. “Lumps of clay and pieces of stone: ambiguity, bodies and identity as portrayed in Neolithic figurines,” in Archaeologies of the Middle East: critical perspectives. Susan Pollock and Reinhard Bernbeck (eds.). Malden MA: Blackwell, 152-183.

Bailey, Douglas W.; 1994. “Reading prehistoric figurines as individuals,” World Archaeology 25(3): 321-331.

Knapp, Bernard and Lynn Meskell; 1997. “Bodies of evidence on prehistoric Cyprus,” Cambridge Archaeological Journal 7: 183-204.

Further reading:

Cauvin, Jacques; 2000. The birth of the gods and the origins of agriculture. Trans. Trevor Watkins. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 67-72 and 105-120.

Bailey, Douglas; 2005. Prehistoric Figurines: Representation and Corporeality in the Neolithic. Hoboken : Taylor & Francis Ltd.

Hamilton, Naomi et. al. 1996. "Can we interpret figurines?" Cambridge Archaeological Journal 6/2: 281-307.

Meskell, Lynn M.; 1998. “The irresistable body and the seduction of archaeology” in Changing bodies, changing meanings: studies on the human body in antiquity. D. Montserrat (ed.). London: Routledge, 139-161.

OCRA E-Reserves | Discussion | Response Papers |

Week 4: Sept. 29. Performance, performativity and ritual --->Discuss

Towards an understanding of performed and embodied spaces, subjects, societies in the Neolithic in the Near East: an archaeological overview and current projects in Southeast Turkey.
Presentation: The sites of Göbekli Tepe-Nevali Çori by Brad Sekedat


Mitchell, Jon P.; 2006. “Performance” in Handbook of material culture. Christopher Tilley et. al. (eds.). London: Sage Publications, 384-401.

Inomata, Takeshi and Lawrence S. Cohen; 2006. “Overture: an invitation to the archaeological theater,” in Archaeology of performance: theaters of power, community, and politics. Takeshi Inomata and Lawrenbce S. Cohen (eds.). Lanham: Altamira Press., 11-44.

Carlson, Marvin; 2004. “The performance of culture: anthropological and ethnographic approaches” in Performance: a critical inttroduction. Second Edition. New York: Routledge, 11-30.

Turnbull, David; 2002. “Performance and narrative, bodies and movement in the construction of places and objects, spaces and knowledges,” Theory, Culture & Society 19 (5/6): 125-143.

Thomas, Julian; 1993. “The hermeunetics of megalithic space,” in Interpretative archaeology. C. Tilley (ed.). Berg: Providence/Oxford, 73-98. (Handout)

Watkins, Trevor; 2004. “Architecture and theaters of memory in the Neolithic of Southwest Asia,” in Rethinking materiality: the engagement of mind with the material world. E. Demarrais et al. (eds.). University of Cambridge: Cambridge UK, 97-106. (Handout)

Göbekli Tepe and Nevali Cori:

DAI website on Göbekli Tepe

Geodätisches Institut, Universität Karlsruhe

Schmidt, Klaus; 2000. “Göbekli Tepe and the rock art of the Near East,” TÜBA-AR 3: 1-14.

Schmidt, K.; 2000. "Göbekli Tepe, southeastern Turkey. A preliminary report on the 1995-1999 excavations," Paleorient 26(1): 45-54.

Hauptmann, Harald; 1999. “Urfa Region” in Neolithic in Turkey. Mehmet Özdogan and Nezih Basgelen (eds.). Istanbul: Arkeoloji ve Sanat Yayinlari, 65-86. OCRA e-reserves download: Part 1 and Part 2.

OCRA E-Reserves | Discussion | Response Papers

Week 5: Oct. 6. Çatalhöyük: social memory and everyday performance. -->Discuss

Presentation: Figurines from Çatalhöyük houses: new interpretations by Emma Lipkin.


Connerton, Paul; 1989. “Bodily practices,” in How societies remember. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 72-104.

Explore Çatalhöyük website

Hodder, Ian; 2006. “The spectacle of daily performance at Çatalhöyük,” in Archaeology of performance: theaters of power, community, and politics. Takeshi Inomata and Lawrenbce S. Cohen (eds.). Lanham: Altamira Press., 81-102.

Hodder, Ian and C. Cessford; 2004. “Daily practice and social memory at Çatalhöyük,” American Antiquity 69: 17-40.

Hodder, Ian (ed.); 2000. Towards reflexive method in archaeology : the example at Çatalhöyük. Cambridge : McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge, read 3-14, skim 19-36.

Lewis-Williams, David; 2004. “ Constructing a cosmos: architecture, power and domestication at Çatalhöyük,” Journal of Social Archaeology 4: 28-60.

Last, Jonathan; 1998. “A design for life: interpreting the art of Çatalhöyük” Journal of material culture 3: 355-378.

Figurine debate once again:

Meskell, Lynn; 2006. “Figurine worlds at Çatalhöyük: materiality, mobility and process,” Unpublished paper delivered at Ethnohistory workshop, University of Pennsylvania (April 6, 2006) (Handout with author’s permission).

Tringham, Ruth and Margaret Conkey; 1998. "Rethinking figurines: a critical view from archaeology of Gimbutas, the 'Goddess' and popular culture," in Ancient Goddesses: the myths and the evidence. Lucy Goodison and Christine Morris. Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 22-45.

Meskell, Lynn; 1998. "Twin peaks: the archaeologies of Çatalhöyük," in Ancient Goddesses: the myths and the evidence. Lucy Goodison and Christine Morris. Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 46-62.

Discussions with Çatalhöyük goddess community.

2005 Figurine Field Report at Çatalhöyük, by Lynn Meskell and Carolyn Nakamura.

OCRA E-Reserves | Discussion | Response Papers

Week 6: Oct. 13.

No meeting: Ömür out of town on Thursday and Friday. Here is why.

Week 7: Oct. 20. Materiality and performativity: artifacts and their performance in the social sphere. --> Discuss

The case of the Uruk vase.
Presentation: Sacred marriage and ritual performance in early Mesopotamia: what do we know? by Kerry Sonia.


Miller, Daniel; 2005. “Materiality: an introduction” in Materiality. D. Miller (ed.). Durham and London: Duke University Press, 1-50.

Gell, Alfred; 1998. Art and agency: an anthropological theory. Clarendon Press: Oxford, 1-27.

Alexander, Jeffry C.; 2006. “Cultural pragmatics: social performance between ritual and strategy,” in Social performance: symbolic action, cultural pragmatics, and ritual. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 29-90.

Looper, Matthew; 2003. "From Inscribed Bodies to Distributed Persons: Contextualizing Tairona Figural Images in Performance" Cambridge Archaeological Journal 13: 25-40.

Bahrani, Zainab; 2002. “Performativity and the image: narrative, representation and the Uruk vase,” in Leaving no stones unturned: essays on the Ancient Near East and Egypt in honor of Donald P. Hansen. E. Ehrenberg (ed.). Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns, 2002: pages 15-22. Download here:

Pollock, Susan and Reinhard Bernbeck; 2000. “And they said, let us make gods in our image: gendered ideologies in ancient Mesopotamia, ” in Reading the Body: Representations and remains in the archaeological record, Alison E. Rautman (ed.), University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, 150-164.


Layton, Robert; 2003. "Art and Agency: A Reassessment" Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 9/3: 447-464.

Sacred marriage and the early Mesopotamian ritual:

Cooper, Jerrold; 1993. “Sacred marriage and popular cult in early Mesopotamia,” in Official cult and popular religion in the Ancient Near East. Heidelberg: Universtatsverlag C. Winter, 81-96. (Handout)

Steinkeller, Piotr; 1999. “On rulers, priests and sacred marriage: tracing the evolution of Early Sumerian kingship,” in Priests and officials in the Ancient Near East. K. Watanabe (ed.), Universitätsverlag C. Winter: Heidelberg, 103-137.

OCRA E-Reserves | Discussion

Week 8: Oct. 27. The body of the able ruler---> Discuss

Masculinity, representation and royal rhetoric in Gudea and Naram-Sin’s commemorative monuments. Presentation: Statues of Gudea from Girsu: textual production and bodily representation as spectacle and performance.


Joyce, Rosemary; 2004. “Embodied subjectivity: gender, femininity, masculinity, sexuality,” in A companion to social archaeology. Lynn Meskell and Robert W. Preucel (eds.). Nalden MA: Blackwell, 82-95.

Asher-Greve, Julia M.; 1998. “The essential body: Mesopotamian conceptions of the gendered body,” in Gender and the body in the ancient Mediterranean. Maria Wyke (ed.). Malden, MA: Blackwell, 8-37.(Copies outside Omur's door)

Winter, Irene J.; 1996. “file:260029 Sex, rhetoric and the public monument: the alluring body of Naram-Sin of Agade” in Sexuality in Ancient Art, N.B.Kampen (ed.), Cambridge: 11-26.

Bahrani, Zainab; 2003. “Salmu: representation in the real,” in The graven image: representation in Babylonia and Assyria. Philadelphia: The University of Pennsylvania Press, 121-148.


Winter, Irene J.; 1989. “file:319716 The body of the able ruler: Toward an understanding of the statues of Gudea” in DUMU-E2-DUB-BA-A: studies in honor of Åke W. Sjöberg, H. Behrens et al. (eds), Philadelphia: 573-583.

Winter, Irene J.; 1992. “Idols of the King: royal images as the recipients of ritual action in ancient Mesopotamia”, Journal of Ritual Studies 6: 13-42. (Copies outside Omur's door)

Ancient Texts:

Edzard, D. O.; 1997. Gudea and his dynasty. University of Toronto Press: Toronto.

OCRA E-Reserves | Discussion

Week 9: Nov 3. The polemical gendered body--->Discuss

Sexuality, representation and magic in the terracotta figurines of Old Babylonian Mesopotamia. Alternative readings: agency, materiality and corporeal magic.


Foucault, Michel; 1978. The history of sexuality. London, Routledge, 1-13 and 29-35 and 92-102.

Bahrani, Zainab: 2001. Women of Babylon: gender and representation in Mesopotamia. London and New York: Routledge, 40-95. (available at bookstore)

Assante, Julia; 2003. “file:261603 From whores to hierodules: the historiographic invention of Mesopotamian female sex professionals,” in Ancient art and its historiography. Alice A. Donohue and Mark D. Fullerton (eds.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 13-47.

Assante, Julia; 2002. “file:391633 Sex, magic and the liminal body in the erotic art and texts of the Old Babylonian Period,” in Sex and gender in the Ancient Near East. S. Parpola and R.M. Whiting (eds.). Helsinki: Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project, 27-52.


Gell, Alfred; 1998. “The distributed person” Art and agency: an anthropological theory. Clarendon Press: Oxford, 96-115.

Moorey, P.R.S.; 2003. Idols of the people : miniature images of clay in the ancient Near East. Oxford : Oxford University Press.

Nakamura, Carolyn; 2005. “Mastering matters: magical sense and apotropaic figurine worlds of Neo-Assyria” in Archaeologies of materiality. Lynn Meskell (ed.). Malden MA: Blackwell, 18-45.

OCRA E-Reserves | Discussion

Week 10: Nov. 10. Situated bodies: phenomenology of space, place and landscape.--->Discuss

Rock-reliefs of the Hittite, Late Hittite and the Assyrian landscapes. "Source of the Tigris" monuments. You can read my paper here on the Assyrian "Source of the Tigris" rock monuments, which I will briefly present in class.


Merleau-Ponty, Maurice; 2003 (1945). “The spatiality of one’s own body and motility” in Phenomenology of perception. London and New York: Routledge, 113-170. Reserve copies and E-book.

Tilley, Christopher with Wayne Bennett; 2004. “From body to place to landscape: a phenomenological perspective,” in The materiality of stone: explorations in Landscape Phenomenology. Oxford: Berg, 1-32. Reserve copy and

Casey, Edward; 2001. “Body, self and landscape: geophilosophical inquiry into the place-world,” in Textures of place: exploring humanist geographies. P.C. Adams et al. (eds.). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 403-425.

Shafer, Ann Taylor; 1998. The carving of an empire: Neo-Assyrian monuments on the periphery. Unpublished PhD Dissertation. Harvard University. (Skim esp. chapter 1-Outside Omur's Door)

Kreppner, Florian Janoscha; 2002. “file:412576 Public space in nature: the case of Neo-Assyrian rock reliefs,” Altorientalische Forschungen 29: 367-383.

OCRA E-Reserves | Discussion

Week 11: Nov. 17. Production of social space: gesture and royal rhetoric in Assyrian and Syro-Hittite architectural programs.---> Discuss

Spatial narrativity and performance in the urban space.
Presentation: Gesture and bodily practice in Assyrian wall reliefs. (Casey)


Lefebvre, Henri; 1991. “Spatial architectonics” in The production of space. Trans. Donald Nicholson-Smith. Oxford: Blackwell, 167-228.

Bourdieu, Pierre. “Structures, habitus, practices” in The logic of practice. Richard Nice (trans.). Stanford CA: Stanford University Press, 52-65.

Winter, Irene J.; 1981. “Royal rhetoric and the development of historical narrative in Neo-Assyrian reliefs”, Studies in Visual Communication 7: 2-38.
Download this one in four parts: file:428787 part one, and file:429942 two and file:430167 three and file:431024 four.

Marcus, Michelle I.; 1995. “file:432942 Geography as visual ideology: landscape, knowledge, and power in Neo-Assyrian art,” in Neo-Assyrian geography, Mario Liverani (ed.); Università di Roma “La Sapienza,” Roma: Sargon srl, 193-202.


Mazzoni, Stefania; 1997. “file:427460 The gate and the city: change and continuity in Syro-Hittite urban ideology]” in Die orientalische Stadt: Kontinuität, Wandel, Bruch. G. Wilhelm (ed.), SDV Saarbrücker Druckerei und Verlag: Saarbrücken: 307-338.

Reade, Julian; 2005. “Religious ritual in Assyrian sculpture,” in Ritual and politics in ancient Mesopotamia. B.N. Porter (ed.). New Haven, Connecticut: American Oriental Society, 7-32 and plates pp. 33-62.

Gesture and bodily practice in Assyrian wall reliefs (Casey)

Cifarelli, Megan; 1998. “Gesture and Alterity in the Art of Ashurnasirpal II of Assyria,” Art Bulletin 80: 210-228.

Leroi-Gourhan, André; 1993. Gesture and speech. Anna Bostock Berger (trans.), Randall White (intro.); The MIT Press: Cambridge, Massachusetts. Originally published as Le geste et la parole (Éditions Albin Michel: Paris 1964).

OCRA E-Reserves | Discussion

Nov 24- Thanksgiving-no class.

Week 12: Dec 1. Ritual action, politics and state spectacles---> Discuss

The Assyro-Babylonian Akitu festival.


Debord, Guy; 1995 (1967). The society of the spectacle. D. Nicholson-Smith (trans). New York: Zone Books, 11-24.

Bell, Catherine; 1997. Ritual: perspectives and dimensions. Oxford University Press, 1-22.

Bidmead, Julye; 2002. The akitu festival: religious continuity and royal legitimation in Mesopotamia. New Jersey: Gorgias Press: 1-15, 111-119, 169-174.

Pongratz-Leisten, Beate; 1997. “file:467405 The interplay of military strategy and cultic practice in Assyrian politics,” in Assyria 1995. Proceedings of the 10th Anniversary Symposium of the Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project. Simo Parpola & R.M. Whiting (eds.). Helsinki: The Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project, 245-252.

Black, Jeremy A.; 1981. “file:468198 The new year ceremonies in ancient Babylon: ‘taking Bel by the hand’ and a cultic picnic,” Religion 11: 39-59.

Sommer, Benjamin D.; 2000. “file:469573 The Babylonian akitu festival: Rectifying the king or renewing the cosmos?” The Journal of the Ancient Near Eastern Society 27: 81-95.

OCRA E-Reserves | Discussion

Week 13: Dec. 8. Student presentations(Paper drafts-due)

This is going to be a 3-hour meeting, giving each of you half an hour. Student presentations of research projects and discussion

Week 14: Dec. 15. Final meeting: wrap up discussion (Drafts returned with feedback)

Archaeology, archaeological performance and the contemporary world.


Shanks, Michael; 2004. “file:651377 Three rooms: archaeology and performance,” Journal of social archaeology 4: 147-180.

OCRA E-Reserves | Discussion

Dec 18. – Final papers due. (5 pm- Ömür’s box or door)


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