This course aims to present a methodological framework of the discipline, to introduce students to the history of archaeological studies and research in the Near East. The course aims to provide the students with cognitive and interpretive tools on the main cultural processes developed by pre-classical civilizations in the Eastern Mediterranean and Western Asia from the second half of the 3rd to the 1st millennium BC. The course will allow students to acquire knowledge on material culture and will provide them with the ability to orientate and critically analyse archaeological artifacts through the contexts of discovery.
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The discipline of Archaeology and History of Art of the Ancient Near East deals with the study and understanding of the cultures, civilizations and works of art produced in the Ancient Near East, which includes today's Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and other neighbouring regions.
The course will start by examining case-study settlements in the Near East, from their settlement in Early Bronze Age (second half of the 3rd millennium BC), to the formation of regional powers in the Middle Bronze Age (first half of the 2nd millennium BC), to cultural and commercial relations during the Late Bronze Age (second half of the 2nd millennium BC), to the territorial states of the following Iron Age (1st millennium BC).
Insights will be provided on the cultural changes that occurred in Mesopotamia, Anatolia, Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine during the first empires and principalities that arose during the Iron Age. The architectural complexes will be analysed, as well as the main artistic manifestations such as sculptures, reliefs, toreutics, coroplastics, and glyptics, also by deepening the knowledge of the archaeological record.
Some lectures will be focused on the analysis of material culture, goods circulation, the organization of craft shops, and artistic and iconographic traditions.
To conclude, it is planned an in-depth analysis of the archaeological research carried out in the Upper Shouf region, in Lebanon.

Core Documentation

S. Festuccia, La Ricerca Archeologica nel Vicino Oriente. Siria, Anatolia e Iran, Roma 2012.
M. Frangipane, Un frammento alla volta. Dieci lezioni dall’archeologia, Bologna 2023.
P. Matthiae, La storia dell’arte dell’Oriente Antico. Gli stati territoriali, 2100-1600 a.C., Milano 2000.
P. Matthiae, La storia dell'arte dell'Oriente Antico. I primi imperi e i principati del Ferro, 1600-700 a.C., Milano 1997.
P. Matthiae, La storia dell'arte dell'Oriente Antico. I grandi imperi, 1000-330 a.C., Milano 1996.

Basic bibliography in English and further reading will be communicated in class on the basis of the topics addressed.

Type of delivery of the course

In-presence and remote teaching.

Type of evaluation

Individual assessment and oral exam