NEST: Near Eastern Studies

Winter 2019

NEST301 Early Empires of the Ancient Middle East Sections

A history from 3100-333 BC with emphasis on Mesopotamia.

Instructor(s): COOPER, ELISABETH
This course provides a general introduction to the political history, culture and religion of the ancient Near East, with particular emphasis on the high civilizations of Mesopotamia (Sumer, Babylonia andAssyria). Lectures will cover major developments, from the appearance of the earliest cities in the Tigris-Euphrates flood plain up to the time of the defeat of the Persian forces by Alexander the Great. A variety of topics will be examined in order to introduce to the student the incredible richness of culture and diversity of this important part of the world. Topics include the development of the cuneiform writing system and its decipherment, Mesopotamian political ideologies, the role of royal propaganda, warfare, trade, art and architecture. The course will also discuss Sumerian and Babylonian religion and mythology, and their role in Mesopotamian society. Text: Van de Mieroop, Marc. A History of the Ancient Near East, ca. 3000
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NEST304 Ancient Egypt: The Archaeology of the Land of the Pharaohs Sections

The material remains of the ancient Egyptians from monumental tombs and temples to the artifacts of daily life; the development of Egyptian civilization from the rise of the first rulers to its incorporation into the Roman Empire.

Egypt has fascinated both scholars and the general public since ancient times, and not without good reason.  We will, of course, discuss mummies, pyramids, and famous pharaohs from Hatshepsut, the female king, to Akhenaten, the so-called heretic king and first monotheist, and Tutankhamen the "boy king" whose intact tomb was found by Howard Carter in 1922--but they tell only part of the story. Egypt is one of the earliest civilizations and, despite its eventual conquest by a succession of imperial powers, it retained many aspects of its distinctive culture over a period of millennia, influencing the art, architecture, and culture of neighbours and conquerors alike. In this course we’ll trace the rise, development, and occasional collapse, of Egyptian society from its origins in the Neolithic period through to its incorporation into the Roman Empire.  In exploring ancient Egypt, we’ll look at the incredible finds recovered by archaeologists (and others) and...
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NEST313 Introduction to Middle Egyptian Sections

Language of Ancient Egypt and the main literary texts composed during the Middle Kingdom.

NEST318 Egyptomania Sections

The adaptation and appropriation of ancient Egypt in ancient and modern art, architecture, film, and music; the development of Egyptology since the 19th century.

NEST402 The Archaeology of the City in the Ancient Near East Sections

The material manifestations of urbanism in the ancient Near East, from the 4th millennium BC up to the 1st millennium BC. Credit will be granted for only one of NEST 402 or 506.

Instructor(s): Fisher, Kevin
"The Archaeology of Space and Place" This course explores the role of built environments – from single rooms to urban landscapes – in past societies. Through participation in a series of lectures, seminar discussions, “hands-on” labs, and two research projects, students will come away with an understanding of contemporary (and past) approaches that archaeologists use to understand buildings, settlements and built landscapes. We’ll examine theories linking prehistoric and historic built environments to human and material agency, daily practice, power, identity and social reproduction, as well as concepts such as place, house and household, community and neighbourhood, cityscape, monumentality and memory. We’ll also emphasize the application of methods that can help us understand how various types of buildings affect human behavior, experience, and interaction by encoding and communicating meanings. This includes an introduction to emerging digital technologies for recording, 3D modeling and visualizing past built environments as well...
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