Archaeology of the ancient Near East (2018/2019)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Simonetta Ponchia
Simonetta Ponchia
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. 2A, Sem. 2B

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 course is organized in two sections. The first section is devoted to a comprehensive presentation and periodization of the history and archaeology of the Syro-Mesopotamian area, aimed at providing basic knowledge and a general framework for the more specific treatment in the second section. The second section illustrates art and archtecture of the Neo-Assyrian imperial period as documented in central and provincial cities. Prestige goods, such as ivories, vessels, metal objects, etc. are especially considered as expressions of socio-political, economic, and ideological relations. Archaeological and epigraphical documents will be examined and secondary literature discussed. The reference bibliography herewith listed will be integrated with the illustration of other and specific studies during the lessons.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Davide Nadali e Andrea Polcaro (a cura di), Archeologia della Mesopotamia antica Carocci 2015
M. Liverani Assiria. La preistoria dell’imperialismo 2017
Russell J.M. Neuassyrische Kunstperiode III. Reallexikon der Assyriologie und vorderasiatischen Archäologie 9 (1998–2001), 244-65  
Kertai D. The Architecture of the Late Assyrian Royal Palace 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.