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Versione italiana
Academic year
Didactic period
Secondo Semestre

Training objectives

The course aims at providing a basic knowledge and the fundamental tools for studying and researching the history and the archaeology of the ancient Near East. The lessons propose relevant case studies, illustrate methods and goals of the analysis according to various approaches and exemplify the use of different sources and secondary literature.


General and basic historical, linguistic and artistic competences

Course programme

The course aims to provide a geographical and chronological framework to the history and the archeology of the ancient Near East, offering a general view the history of the discoveries, on the natural environment, on the sources, an overall periodization and a synthesis of its history from the Neolithic to the first millennium BC.
The second part of the course will focuses on the palaces of the Assyrian capitals, on their evolution, architecture, use of spaces, decoration of the rooms and iconography.

Didactic methods

Materials used during the lessons will be accessible online. The visit to an exhibition dedicated to the subject will be part of the course.

Learning assessment procedures

Oral exam.
The exam will focus on topics and materials illustrated during the lessons, as well as on the reference texts that will be indicated during the course. Some reference books useful as introduction to the subject, for comparisons or in-depth information are listed below. Students will be requested to illustrate specific topics of the program to demonstrate their knowledge of the proposed subjects and their abilities in analysis, synthesis and methodological evaluation.

Reference texts

Study materials and bibliographical references will be mentioned during the lessons. A basic bibliography is given here below:
(a) P. Matthiae, Prima lezione di archeologia orientale, Laterza, Bari 2005;
M. Liverani, Antico Oriente Storia società economia, Laterza, Laterza, Roma-Bari, 1988 (2018, 5 ed.);
D. Nadali e A. Polcaro, Archeologia della Mesopotamia antica, Carocci, Roma 2015.

(b) A. Invernizzi, Dal Tigri all'Eufrate. Vol. 2. Babilonesi e Assiri, Le Lettere, Firenze 1992 (pp. 161-290);
P. Matthiae, L’arte degli Assiri. Cultura e forma del rilievo storico, Bari 1996;
P. Matthiae, La storia dell'arte dell'Oriente antico. Vol. 4: I grandi imperi. 1000-300 a. C., Electa, Milano 1997 (pp. 11-103);
D. Kertai, The Architecture of Late Assyrian Royal Palaces, Oxford University Press 2015;
D. Nadali, Gli Assiri. Storia di una civiltà, Roma 2018.