Courses for Fall 2019

  • The Cradle of Civilization? An Introduction to the Ancient Near East

    This course explores the cultures of ancient Mesopotamia and the Near East (present-day Iraq, Syria, Turkey, and Iran) from prehistory until the end of the first millennium BC. We will investigate the rich history and archaeology of this region through literary and historical texts (in translation) and archaeological evidence, including visual culture and architecture. Central to our discussion will be questions about how and why scholars study the Middle East in this early period. Topics include: early complex societies, state formation, the origins and development of writing, ancient empires, religion, culture and ethnicity, trade, diplomacy, warfare, agriculture, and craft production.
    ASYR 0800 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Thavapalan
  • Introduction to Akkadian

    An intensive introduction to the cuneiform writing system and the basic grammar and vocabulary of Akkadian, a language first attested over four thousand years ago in Mesopotamia (modern Iraq). The earliest known member of the Semitic family of languages (like Arabic and Hebrew), Akkadian was in use for over two thousand years across a wide expanse of the ancient Near East. Students will learn the classical Old Babylonian dialect of Akkadian (ca. 1800 BCE) and read Mesopotamian texts in the original, including selections from the Laws of Hammurabi, as well as excerpts from myths, hymns, prayers, historical documents, and letters.
    ASYR 1000 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Rutz
  • Astronomy Before the Telescope

    This course provides an introduction to the history of astronomy from ancient times down to the invention of the telescope, focusing on the development of astronomy in Babylon, Greece, China, the medieval Islamic world, and Europe. The course will cover topics such as the invention of the zodiac, cosmological models, early astronomical instruments, and the development of astronomical theories. We will also explore the reasons people practiced astronomy in the past. No prior knowledge of astronomy is necessary for this course.
    ASYR 1600 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Steele
  • Ancient Scientific Texts: Akkadian

    Readings and analysis of a major scientific text in Akkadian. Prerequisite: AWAS 0200 or 0210. Open to graduate students only.
    ASYR 2310A S01
    Primary Instructor
    Steele
  • Akkadian Historical Texts

    This course offers focused study of the most significant Akkadian historical and chronographic texts from the second and first millennia BCE. Readings in cuneiform will come for the major genres of Mesopotamian history-writing found at sites throughout the ancient Near East, including commemorative inscriptions, annals, chronicles, literary historical texts, and historical miscellanea. We will contend with the disjunctions between ancient and modern modes of historical thinking and work to contextualize the ancient texts. Knowledge of Akkadian cuneiform required. Reading knowledge of German and French will be useful but is not required. Intended primarily for graduate students.
    ASYR 2430 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Rutz
  • Reading and Research

    Section numbers vary by instructor. Please check Banner for the correct section number and CRN to use when registering for this course.
    ASYR 2980 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Rutz
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
    ASYR 2980 S02
    Primary Instructor
    Steele
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
    ASYR 2980 S03
    Primary Instructor
    Rojas Silva
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
  • Thesis Preparation

    For graduate students who have met the residency requirement and are continuing research on a full time basis.
    ASYR 2990 S01
    Schedule Code
    E: Grad Enrollment Fee/Dist Prep