Archaeology of the ancient Near East (2017/2018)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Simonetta Ponchia
Simonetta Ponchia
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
First half of Semester 2 , Second half of Semester 2

Lesson timetable

Go to lesson schedule

Learning outcomes

The course is aimed at providing a basic knowledge and fundamental tools for the research activity in the field of ancient Near Eastern history and archaeology. The lessons propose relevant case studies, illustrate methods and goals of the analysis according to various approaches and exemplify the use of documentary sources and secondary literature.


The first part of the course is devoted to a general presentation of the history and archaeology of the Syro-Mesopotamian area. The second part concerns the River Orontes region. The reconstruction of the settlement and political history of the area is made by thoroughly investigating various sources (archaeological data and reports, written sources from different regions and periods). The Orontes valley is in fact a crossroad of crucial importance in the Levantine area and in connecting the Mediterranean and Near Eastern regions.
Lectures (delivered in Verona and broadcasted) are devoted to: illustrating and analysing ancient sources; examining and discussing secondary literature and methodological approaches; providing comprehensive historical reconstructions.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
P.M.M. Akkermans and G.M. Schwartz Archaeology of Syria 2003
Davide Nadali e Andrea Polcaro (a cura di), Archeologia della Mesopotamia antica Carocci 2015
L. Turri "Vieni, lascia che ti dica di altre città". Ambiente naturale, umano e politico della valle dell'Oronte nella tarda età del bronzo Forum - Udine 2015

Assessment methods and criteria

Oral exam. The exam concerns topics and bibliography illustrated and supplied during the lessons and accessible on the web Platform (University of Ferrara), and on parts of the reference books that are indicated during the lessons. Reference books and additional bibliography, useful for comparisons and deeper treatment of the topics, is indicated below. Students will be requested to answer questions concerning the topics treated during the lessons to demonstrate their knowledge of the data and their abilities in analysis, synthesis and methodological evaluation.