Ancient World Seminar 2015
Louise Hitchcock, University of Melbourne
The Elephant in the Room: An Object Biography of the Super Ivory Bowl from Tell es-Safi/Gath
During the 2013 season at Tell es-Safi/Gath, the University of Melbourne contingent of the Tell es-Safi/Gath Archaeological Project of Bar-Ilan University excavated an intriguing elephant ivory bowl. The bowl was found in a chalky matrix dating to the early Iron Age, just outside of and below the southwest corner of a room in Area A. Conservation revealed it to be a shallow vessel with six evenly spaced drill holes in the rim, which is incised with a continuous zig-zag border design. It contains one lug handle and has an incised lotus with twelve petals, engraved both on the interior and on the base, surrounded by five concentric circles.
Though unique within Philistia, parallels are found in the ivory hoard from the Late Bronze/Iron Age transition (ca. 12th c. BCE) palace at Megiddo, Stratum VIIA. The objects in the Megiddo hoard were probably heirlooms at the time of deposition and have been interpreted by Feldman (Levant 2009) as part of a ritual deposit. The Tell es-Safi bowl suggests far-flung socio-cultural connections for the inhabitants that did not end when many civilizations collapsed at the end of the Bronze Age as previously supposed. These wider connections, including the source of the ivory, the location of the workshop where it was produced, the function and meaning of ivory bowls in the Mediterranean, the bowl’s possible status as an heirloom and as a foundation deposit and its characterization form part of its biography that is the subject of this workshop.
Dr Dorothea Erbele-Küster, Universität Mainz
Transforming the Sacrificial Act into Images and Texts in the Ancient Near East
I shall consider iconographic material from the ANE and Ancient Israel/Palestine that is related to sacrifice, asking what implicit view of sacrifice it represents. Figurines portraying the bringing of an animal to be sacrificed and images with offering persons on seals shall be analyzed. The Mesopotamian scene as such is known as Einführungsszene vor einer Gottheit (Introduction to a deity). It may have had a protective function or as well as their impressions – indicating the owner‘s justification before the deity. The paper offers another understanding of it: a picture of someone offering a gift functions as the gift itself. The artifacts are evidence of a transformation of the very notion of sacrifice. The purpose of this paper is to understand this transformative process of the (idea of) sacrifice.
In a second step this may help to understand how the so called offering prescriptions in Leviticus function beyond the First and Second Temple Period in Ancient Israel, i.e. in times where sacrifice at the Temple has been impossible.
Dr. Dorothea Erbele-Küster (Ph.D. Hamburg 1999) has been working and living in the Netherlands and Belgium during the last decade. She recently moved back to her native country and teaches there Old Testament at the Gutenberg University at Mainz/Germany. She is currently working on a book on Ethics in the Hebrew Bible.
Recent publications include: 'Reading as an Act of Offering: Reconsidering the Genre of Leviticus 1', in: The Actuality of Sacrifice. Past and Present, hrsg. v. Alberdina Houtman u.a. (JCP 28) Leiden 2014, 34-46 and a monograph on "Body and Gender in Leviticus 12 and 15" (English version forthcoming with: The Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies, T@T Clark/Continuum).
Janice Crowley, AAIA
The Eye, the Mind and the Hand Seals: Signets and the Artistic Vision of the Minoans
The art of Crete at its high point in the Late Minoan I period is examined and contrasted to the arts of contemporary traditions to the East, the Egyptian and Mesopotamian. The special nature of the Minoan artistic vision thus highlighted is then further explored leading to the understanding of the Icon composition and the role of the seals and signets as crucial to this artistic creativity. When the seal compositions of the Early and Middle Minoan periods are also taken into account a thousand-year continuity in design and subject matter is revealed. There is much evidence to argue the primacy of the seals and signets in developing the artistic vision of the Minoans.
Trudie Fraser, University of Melbourne
Domitia Longina: A Reappraisal of Her Portraiture
The iconography of the Augusta Domitia Longina has presented scholars with problems of identification for the last 125 years. Many portraits of her were produced: in marble, on coins and gems at various stages of her life. A reappraisal of these busts, coins and gems demonstrates how recognisable features of this imperial lady can be clearly identified. This permits a more exact identification of her portraiture and, in addition, its reclassification. Furthermore, it allows an unexpected glimpse into her later life, post-Domitian.
James O'Maley, University of Melbourne
Characters' Paradigms, Narrator's Similes: Paranarrative Strategies in the Iliad
This paper will discuss the ways in which the Iliadic narrator differs from his characters when presenting material from outside their respective primary narrative settings. Scholars of the Iliad have increasingly come to recognise that the voices of the poem’s narrator and those of his characters are distinct, and that characters and narrator have different goals and use different rhetorical techniques to achieve these goals (de Jong, 1987). This is particularly true of their approaches to paranarratives. Whereas internal narrators within the poem tend to introduce external material in the form of paradigm which draws on stories from the mythic history they share with their audience (Alden, 2001), the Iliad’s external narrator prefers to punctuate his narrative with extended similes, which take his listeners outside the heroic world in its entirety and which evoke a simultaneously quotidian and timeless setting; what Redfield(1994, 186) calls: ‘a window through which we glimpse a world beyond the battlefield of Troy’. This paper will look at the techniques used by the poem’s internal and external narrators to evoke these different worlds, and discuss some of the potential reasons for their divergent preferences.The voice of the Iliadic narrator and the voices of his characters are put to very different uses by the poem as a whole, and by examining this particular instance I hope to show some of the ways in which the Iliad manipulates this polyphony for its broader poetic purposes.
Jonathan Barlow, University of Melbourne
P. Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus and Greek Ethics
The influence of Greek ethics in the life and career of P. Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus was once accepted in scholarship. A. Schmekel (1892), J. Kaerst (1929), W. Capelle (1932) and M. Pohlenz (1934) formed a scholarly consensus - that Scipio possessed an abiding interest in Greek philosophy which defined his character and informed his public life. This consensus was challenged by post-war scholarship of Strasburger (1965/1966) and Astin (1967), who have formed an alternative consensus which downplays such influences, despite Erskine (1990). The argument presented in this paper is that Greek ethics is central to the understanding of Scipio. The paper focusses on the virtue language used of Scipio by Polybius and Panaetius, and the theory of the moral imperative of power formulated by the Middle Stoa. Comments are also made about ethical intention.
David Runia, University of Melbourne
The Sources for Our Knowledge of Early Greek Philosophy
Greek philosophy flourished as part of Greco-Roman culture for over a thousand years. However, the documentary record that has been transmitted of this intellectual activity is very patchy. Almost no writings prior to the 4th cent. B.C. have been preserved, even though the first two centuries from 600 B.C. were extremely important for the development of philosophical thought. Moreover, most works from the 3rd to the 1st centuries B.C. have been lost. After that things start to improve. I will outline this unsatisfactory state of affairs and then explain how scholars of ancient philosophy have tried to overcome it. Special attention will be given to the genre of doxography, which has been the central focus of much of my research during the past decades.
Caroline Tully, University of Melbourne
The Cultic Life of Trees: What Trees Say About People in the Prehistoric Aegean, Cyprus and Levant
Glyptic art is the most extensive body of Aegean Bronze Age representational art and consists of carved seals in the form of seal stones, engraved metal signet rings and the clay impressions (sealings) that the seals are used to produce. The most complex and spectacular scenes are engraved on the metal signet rings and are thought to depict human and divine figures engaging in cultic activities. In the absence of translated texts from Minoan Crete, glyptic iconography is the richest and most diverse category of evidence relied upon in the interpretation of Minoan cult. This paper uses glyptic images that depict human figures interacting with trees to examine claims first put forth by Sir Arthur Evans (excavator of Knossos on Crete) in 1901 that Minoan religion was characterised by a primitive, aniconic cult of trees, stones and pillars, strongly influenced by the Levant and Egypt. As well as responding to Evans the paper examines the images in light of animism, royal ideology and performance and proposes a new reading in which the Minoan landscape was co-opted in the service of elite ideology and functioned as a politicised active agent in the enactment of power.
Ron Tappy, Pittsburgh Seminary
The Linear Alphabet and the Longue Durée
Near the conclusion of the 2005 excavation season at Tel Zayit, Israel, The Zeitah Excavations recovered a large stone bearing an incised, two-line inscription. The special importance of the stone derives not only from its archaic alphabetic text (a twenty-two-letter abecedary), but also from its well-defined archaeological context in a structure dating securely to the tenth century BCE. This lecture will focus on the long-term historical trends, particularly in Egypt, that gave rise to the development of a linear alphabet that grew out of but dramatically simplified older, pictographic writing. The discussion will chart the long development of the new, alphabetic writing system across the second millennium BCE. The Tel Zayit Abecedary will be shown to represent the linear alphabetic script of central and southern Canaan at the beginning of the first millennium BCE, a transitional script that developed from the Phoenician tradition of the early Iron Age and anticipated the distinctive features of the mature Hebrew national script.
Dr. Ron Tappy is the G. Albert Shoemaker Professor of Bible and Archaeology. He also serves as director of the Kelso Museum of Near Eastern Archaeology and as the project director and principal investigator of The Zeitah Excavations, an archaeological field project at Tel Zayit, Israel. In addition to completing graduate work at the Jerusalem University-College and the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, Tappy received an MATS degree summa cum laude from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and his AM and Ph.D. (with distinction) from Harvard University. His teaching focuses on the life and literature of the Old Testament period, biblical archaeology, and the history of Israel. Tappy’s research and publication interests centre on the interrelated nature of the cultural, political, and economic history of Iron Age Israel as well as the various cultural groups with whom Israel interacted. He began excavating at various sites in Israel more than 30 years ago, and his current field research at Tel Zayit involves the exploration of a Late Bronze–Iron Age town in the Shephelah (“lowlands”) region of biblical Judah. During the 2005 season of excavation, his team discovered an inscription incised in stone of the earliest known, securely datable Hebrew alphabet. (See New York Times, Nov. 9, 2005.) He has written articles on a variety of topics, including subjects in biblical archaeology, ancient Israelite burial customs and beliefs about the afterlife, the 23rd Psalm, and the Ten Commandments. He is a leading authority on the archaeology of Israelite Samaria and has written two books on that subject. Prior to accepting his current position at PTS, Tappy taught at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, Calif., and in the Near Eastern Studies Department at the University of Michigan. He is married to Connie Gundry Tappy and has one daughter, Madeleine Rose Tappy.
Ron Tappy, Pittsburgh Seminary - Public Lecture
Strangers at Home: The Give and Take of Life in the Borderlands of Judah
6:30-7:45; Theatre A-Room 106, Old Arts
Professor Ron Tappy, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary US, G. Albert Shoemaker Professor of Bible and Archaeology and the Director of the Kelso Museum of Near Eastern Archaeology.
The near-30-dunam site of Tel Zayit lies in the strategic Beth Guvrin Valley, roughly halfway between Lachish to the south and Tell es-Safi (Gath of the Philistines) to the north. Although this area generally belonged to the lowlands district of ancient Judah, it lay in an often-contested zone wherein cultural and certainly political associations might shift from time to time, primarily between the highlands to the east and the coastal plain to the west. This lecture will outline the enduring status of Tel Zayit’s strategic position as a borderland community. The presentation will draw on historical, textual, and archaeological evidence from three different periods in the 3,500-year depositional history of the tell that amply demonstrate the betwixt-and-between nature of daily life that the inhabitants surely understood. The collage includes: (1) Tel Zayit’s shifting allegiances during the tenth and ninth centuries BCE, (2) its fate in the wake of Sennacherib’s Third Campaign in 701 BCE, and (3) its service to the Romans as a fortified outpost following the reign of Hadrian.
Admission is free but bookings are required; seating is limited.
To register visit http://alumni.online.unimelb.edu.au/strangersathome
19 May - South Lecture Theatre (Room 224), Old Arts
John Power, University of Melbourne
How Could Political Science Further Augustan Studies?
In 2014 and early 2015, Professor Power prepared three papers* on a hitherto long dormant interest – Caesar Augustus. In these papers, he explored some of the ways in which his discipline could enhance the understanding of the career of this unique practitioner of the arts of governance. He has come to the judgement that the most appropriate framework for this enterprise is that of historical institutionalism, but this judgement raises a problem that must be addressed before further progress may be made. For historical institutionalism, although it aims to develop a framework for comparative studies, is still heavily historical in orientation, and thus requires a grasp of minutiae and specifics that, in the case of Caesar Augustus, is well beyond the grasp of a modern political scientist. He is tackling this problem through the development of a working relationship with colleague, Frederik Vervaet, but this has raised another more manageable problem. It has required him to redefine the role of a Professor Emeritus – which he is now tentatively terming that of a Research Quality Auditor – occupying a place somewhere between a Scholarly Friend and a Research Assistant.
*Power, John 2014a, 'Caesar Augustus as Governancier: A Case Study in the Application of Selectorate Theory'. Paper delivered to 2014 Conference of the Public Policy Network, University of Canberra, Canberra.
*Power, John 2014b, 'Are there Limitations on Academic Disciplines as Ways of Conveying Newly Discovered Knowledge? Caesar Augustus and Historical Institutionalism'. Paper delivered at the Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis. University of Canberra, Canberra.
*Power, John 2015a, 'The Public Policy Network and the Study of Governance'. Paper delivered to 2015 Conference of the Public Policy Network, Deakin University, Melbourne.
Copies of any of these papers may be obtained from the author.
Tyler Jo Smith, University of Virginia
Before, During and After: The Iconography of Ancient Greek Sacrifice
The publication of Folkert van Straten’s HIERA KALA: Images of Animal Sacrifice in Archaic and Classical Greece in 1995 opened up a new chapter in the study of ancient Greek religion. Cataloguing and discussing some 674 artefacts, the author assembled ancient Greek vases into ‘broad iconographical groups’ and sculpted votive reliefs ‘according to recipient deities and sanctuaries of provenance’. Using van Straten as the starting point, this paper revisits the evidence for animal sacrifice in Greek art and the ways in which classical scholars have collected the evidence and approached it. The focus will be limited to ancient Greek vases of the archaic and classical periods (6th-5th c BCE), including examples produced in the city of Athens and elsewhere. In an effort to steer our thinking in a new direction, the visual evidence will be considered in relation to theories of the gaze and the archaeology of performance. By reframing depictions of sacrifice on vases in these particular terms, it is hoped that the spectacle of sacrifice as portrayed by the vase-painter, as well as the experience of sacrifice on the part of actual participants, will both be better understood.
28 July - South Theatre, Old Arts
Jonathan Wallis, University of Tasmania
Horace, Virgil, and the Anxiety of Coincidence
The ‘Augustan response to the Aeneid’ in the late poetry of Propertius, Horace, and Ovid is well-trodden critical terrain. For very obvious reasons, such scholarship predominantly focusses on literature produced after the Aeneid’s publication in 19BCE (or soon after); so we hear of later personal poetry accommodating Virgil’s epic tropes in search of generic enrichment (Harrison 2007), or contributing significantly to the perception of the Aeneid as a strongly ‘Augustan’ poem by cleansing it of ambiguities and irony (Thomas 2001, Robinson 2006). Yet this approach leaves mostly unexamined the considerable body of Latin poetry published during the lengthy period during which Virgil was actively writing his epic and, we should presume, circulating it among audiences of various kinds. O’Rourke (2011) has recently explored the (mis)representation of Virgil in Propertius’ famous announcement of Virgil’s planned poem at Prop 2.34.61-66. Building on this approach, in the present paper I examine the extent and significance of Horace’s interaction with Virgil’s epic in the mid-20s BCE. My discussion has two aims: to explore the way in which Horace’s first collection of odes – published as a three-book set in 23BCE – takes stock of the Aeneid’s increasing presence in the Augustan literary scene, beginning with the lyric poet’s mock propempticon for an ocean-daring Virgil at Odes 1.3; and to examine Horace’s attempts to characterise and contain the Aeneid’s evident significance (what we might call, in fact, the epic’s earliest reception). The result invites us to recontextualise the approach to the Aeneid taken subsequently by Horace’s later poetry.
Andrew Jamieson, University of Melbourne
Bab adh-Dhra: A Case Study in Solving the ‘Storage Wars’
The University of Melbourne’s Classics and Archaeology Collection contains an important assemblage of Early Bronze Age pottery from Bab adh-Dhra in Jordan. The pottery – comprising of a complete tomb (Tomb A72S ) group acquired by Dr Hallam in 1978 – comes from Paul Lapp’s excavations in 1965. From 1965 to 1967 under the auspices of the American School of Oriental Research (ASOR), Lapp unearthed thousands of pots and other artefacts from various shaft tombs and charnel houses on the site. Artefacts recovered from these excavations were stored in repositories in Jerusalem (where Lapp was based) and in Amman. Lapp died unexpectedly in a swimming accident off the coast of Cyprus in 1970 before publishing the results of his excavations, which in addition to being a great loss for the archaeology of the region meant that the Bab adh-Dhra material remained in storage in unpublished limbo. In 1977 Paul Lapp’s widow Nancy Lapp devised a scheme whereby tomb groups from the original Lapp excavations would be distributed to interested ASOR member institutions for the purposes of display and education. In response to this proposal the University of Melbourne paid $855 for 45 pots from Tomb Group A72S. In a recent study on the ‘Storage Wars’ Morag Kersel asks ‘Could the innovative plan of Nancy Lapp, be the solution to the curation crisis?’ This paper will discuss the pottery from Tomb A72S, Nancy Lapp’s innovative proposal and Kersel’s analysis of the Storage Wars.
Brent Davis, University of Melbourne
The Minoan Script: Recent Advances in the Decipherment of Linear A
The Minoans’ enigmatic writing system, conventionally called ‘Linear A’, remains stubbornly undeciphered, despite more than a century of scholarly effort. Given the importance of the Minoan civilisation, the decipherment of this script has always been of the utmost concern to archaeology. The script is clearly an indigenous Minoan invention, probably based on an earlier Minoan script called Cretan Hieroglyphic. Like Linear B, Linear A was used extensively for administrative recordkeeping but, unlike Linear B, it was also used to inscribe ritual objects - especially stone offering tables, which are found by the hundreds at ritual sites throughout eastern and central Crete. Nearly 50 of these stone offering tables contain various versions of the so-called ‘libation formula’, a long series of Linear A signs. Parts of this formula never vary from vessel to vessel, while other parts always vary from vessel to vessel. By comparing these variants of the formula, it becomes possible to make some well-supported statements about the nature of the language behind Linear A - a crucial step toward decipherment, as the first key to deciphering the script is to identify the language behind it.
Leanne Michelle Campbell, University of Melbourne
Iconographies, Individuals and Cultures of the Ancient Egyptian and Aegean Bronze Age
This completion seminar will present an overview on the research undertaken for the doctoral thesis titled, “Human Iconographies in the Late Bronze Age: Minoan, Mycenaean and Egyptian Amarna Interconnections and Conscious Representations”. The thesis critically examines the social, political and economic features of these three Bronze Age cultures using an art historical approach involving selected representations of human iconography. The comparative analyses of body shapes, dress codes, hairstyles, and physical adornments, amongst other visual cues, demonstrate in detail how these societies developed new iconographies that were visually self-aware and knowingly conscious of neighbouring artistic traditions. A key research finding indicates that certain stylistic elements were deliberately borrowed, manipulated or rejected by the elite and artists of these culturally distinct groups. Tracing similarities, differences and changes in the representation of human iconographies over time has enabled patterns in the visual record to be identified. The data presented through this dissertation reveals non-textual documentation to be read and used to reconstruct interconnections, influences and developments of Minoan, Mycenaean and Egyptian societies, and inform a deeper understanding of cultural ideals and realities.
Irad Malkin, Tel Aviv University
Greek Colonization: The Right to Return
The lecture explores the validity of the concept of “Greek colonization” in modern scholarship. It refutes some current “negationist” claims (=there was no such thing, merely scattered migrants who, centuries later, invented stories about foundations), and justifies treating it as a discrete historical phenomenon, responsible for a large extent for the rise of the polis and commonalities of Greek civilization. It re-assesses links between mother cities and new foundations which created a web of mutually recognized mother cities throughout the Greek world. This mutual recognition was in place from the very beginning (mother cities in general are ignored by the negationists) and was formalized through the colonial “right of return” to the mother city.
Frederik Vervaet, University of Melbourne
Mass Deportations, Slave Revolts and the Augustan Pax Servilis: Socio-political Considerations
The resounding defeat of Antigonid Macedonia at Pydna in 168 BCE gave Rome the status of hegemonic power across the entire Mediterranean. This geopolitical watershed also had tremendous ramifications for the Roman-controlled slave trade. This venture now took the form of a veritable public-private involuntary mass migration as countless men, women and children were enslaved and forcefully deported from the newly conquered or dependent territories to Italy and its peripheral provinces. The most notorious unintended consequence of this forced deportation undoubtedly are the four major slave wars that rocked Sicily and Italy from ca. 136 to 36 BCE. After scrutinizing the socio-institutional and economical aspects of this interconnection, this paper will also ponder the – well known but poorly understood – question as to why the establishment of the Augustan monarchy marked the end of these great slave rebellions. This issue is all the more deserving of attention as mass enslavement and forced collective deportations continued unabated under Imperator Caesar Augustus until at least ca. 10 BCE. After discussing the circumstances and structural interconnectivity of the involuntary mass deportations and major slave revolts, the focus thus shifts to the political, socio-institutional, and socio-economic causes for their disappearance under Augustus and his immediate successors.
K.O. Chong-Gossard, University of Melbourne
Catfights, Meltdowns and Murder: The Reception of Euripides’ Andromache in French Theatre and Italian Opera
The plays of the ancient Greek tragedian Euripides had a tremendous influence on theatre and opera in France and Italy in the 17th through 19th centuries. This talk explores how the plot of Euripides’ “Andromache,” written around 425 B.C., was adapted and transformed in Jean Racine’s “Andromaque” (1667), Italian Baroque operas of the 1700s and Rossini’s “Ermione” (1819). Particular attention will be paid to dramatic elements that were peculiar to the Euripidean play and were retained in subsequent adaptations, such as the catfights between rival women, the emotional meltdown of the character of Hermione and the characterisation of Orestes the (non)-murderer.
Monique Webber, University of Melbourne
Darlings, Workhorses, and Dilettantes: Exploring Rome’s Artists in Ancient Thought and Modern Scholarship
The role of imagery in ancient Roman concepts of the self and society is often cited in modern scholarship. It is widely accepted that the visual was prevalent in quotidian life, both as a conveyor of meaning and as a measure of personal engagement with romanitas. At the same time, artist biography has from the Renaissance largely defined – and been retroactively applied to – art history. However the artists of ancient Rome as a professional class (let alone as individuals) remain largely unknown to us. Who created Rome’s imagery, not only for the public state, but also for the private populace? What was their relationship with their clients? How were Rome’s artists defined, professionally and creatively, by society and by themselves? And does a lack of knowledge render incomplete our understanding of Roman visual culture? This paper will explore the visual and literary evidence for Rome’s artists, and consider how this can extend our understanding of visual culture beyond the imperial superstars.
16 September (Wednesday)
Professor John Oakley, AAIA Visiting Professor, William and Mary College
Athenian White-Ground Lekythoi: Masterpieces of Greek Funerary Art
The images found on classical Athenian white-lekythoi are the subject of this lecture. These oil containers were placed in and on Athenian tombs as grave gifts, and therefore, not surprisingly often have scenes connected with graves and funerals, making them very important documents for understanding ancient Greek funerary rites. In fact, they are the primary source of funerary images from fifth-century Athens and are found in nearly every museum whose holdings include Greek art, since they are often considered the most beautiful of Greek vases. This lecture examines the development of the standard themes found on white lekythoi, namely two women in a domestic setting, the visit to the tomb, and the mythological ministers of death: Hermes, the ferryman Charon, and the brothers Hypnos (sleep) and Thanatos (death). And it synthesizes what these scenes tell us about classical Athenian perceptions of and reactions to death.
Gil Stein, University of Chicago
Persian Personae: Material Culture, Ethnicity and Elite Identity in the Achaemenid Tombs from Hacinebi Turkey
Empires by they very nature comprise multiple ethnic groups, whose relationship with their rulers is ambiguous and complex. Two intact burials from the 5th-4th century BC Persian period at the site of Hacınebi, near the Euphrates river crossing at Zeugma/Apamea (SE Turkey), provide a rare opportunity to investigate the relationship between material culture styles, and elite identity in the multi-ethnic Achaemenid empire. Achaemenid material culture was an imperial synthesis drawing on stylistic elements from Scythia, Mesopotamia, Egypt, and other regions; as a result, it is extremely difficult to identify the ethnicity of any individual burial based on the style of specific objects. However, when the artifacts and styles are examined within their mortuary context, our interpretations become better grounded.
The Hacınebi tombs are compared with burials from other parts of the Persian empire to examine the question of whether the burial practices and grave goods reflect Persian/Iranian ethnic identity as opposed to the use of what we can call “portable elite material culture” by local non-Persian elites in the satrapies. It is important to distinguish between burial goods and burial practices, since they do not necessarily convey the same information about social identity. I suggest that the individuals in the Hacinebi burials were most likely Mesopotamian or Persian high ranking personnel in a Persian military garrison guarding this key route of communication near the Royal Road to Sardis. Taken together, textual, iconographic and archaeological data on burial practices, military garrisons, and material culture styles at Hacınebi highlight the complex hybrid identities and cultural koine that linked Persian and non-Persian elites across the cosmopolitan Achaemenid empire.
Selim Pullu, University of Afyon
Urartian Irrigation Channels and Dams in Ancient Anatolia
Land, air, fire and water are four elements that marked the start of the universe. Three of these four essential elements making biological life possible, owe their existence to the fourth one that is water. Thus water has been valued sacred endowment at all stages that mankind has passed in terms of social, economic and cultural development. Creeds and cultures have flourished nearby water. Water also gave life to various cultures and creeds and created a unique richness in Anatolia, where innumerable civilizations emerged throughout history. Many beliefs found their ways in this land and displayed their respective rituals. In these rituals, water was regarded sacred with its connotations to power, fertility and well being and also as a means to spiritual catharsis. Many dams, water reservoirs and irrigation canals from the 8th century B.C. up to today have brought fertility to Van (city) and its surroundings. Facilities phased in during the Urartian period, which is known as the “Hydraulic Civilization of Asia Minor”, were significant both in terms of their technology and in orienting local communities to farming. Especially the Menua (Semiramis/Şamram) and Ferhat were two important "irrigation canals" used by the Urartian Kingdom. Water originating from a source locally known as (Semiramis/Şamran) where is in the Gurpınar plato by two canals leading, respectively, to west and north. The Semiramis/Şamran canal which is 51km long and its most interesting feature is that it passes over the Hoşap stream that flows to Lake Van. The Ferhat Irrigation Canal is another interesting site of water engineering by the Urartians has been watering farmlands for around 2700 years. It is the finest of many canals bringing water to farmlands from a large freshwater source. The canal starts from the southern edge of Balık Lake and it flows all the way through rocks. Its first construction is estimated to be a rock inscription testifies the existence of another dam constructed by the Urartian (during the reign of Rusa the Second, 685-645 B.C.) around 7th century B.C. In this seminar I aim to share some information about the surveys and excavations about those monumental constructions which held from 1991–2007 almost every year.
Sonya Wurster, University of Melbourne
Philodemus’ De dis 1 and Understanding Epicurean πρόληψις
Using the multispectral images, the Oxford (O) and Naples (N) disegni, alongside the original papyri, this paper presents a more detailed analysis of Philodemus’ De dis 1 (PHerc. 26). In particular it focuses on columns 12 to 15, arguing that they provide further insight into both the Epicurean concept of πρόληψις (‘preconception’) and the role of reason in Epicurean epistemology. In particular it addresses the question of whether προλήψεις are innate or whether they are gained over time through the application of reason. Based on evidence from De dis 1 and using as an example the πρόληψις of the gods as immortal and blessed beings, who do not interfere in the affairs of humans, this paper will argue that προλήψεις are acquired over time, and confirmed through reasoning, rather than being innate.
This paper will begin with a brief discussion of Epicurean epistemology together with a summary of the condition and content of De dis 1. It will then examine the evidence, including the material found in De dis 1 columns 12 to 15, for Epicurean πρόληψις to show that a πρόληψις is not innate and is gained as an adult. Having established the nature of Epicurean πρόληψις, this paper will lastly examine the evidence from De dis 1 to show Philodemus’ view that each time you encounter an event you must employ reason to supplant traditional thinking with Epicurean teachings based on empiricism. Taken together, the evidence from Philodemus’ De dis 1 shows that reason is employed to verify a πρόληψις, which once verified, can be used as a criterion of truth alongside αἴσθησις (‘the senses’) and πάθη (‘feelings’).
Cecily Grace, University of Melbourne
King Midas Between East and West
This thesis consists of a comprehensive study of king Midas of Phrygia. Evidence for Midas derives mostly from regions to the east and west of his kingdom. By contextualising this evidence as deriving from complex socio-political and cultural contexts, the discrepancy between the historical Midas and Midas as portrayed in the eastern and western sources, is revealed. It is proposed that the scant Phrygian texts referring to Midas provide a more historical perspective on his reign. Fresh interpretations of these texts are achieved by viewing them as intimately connected with the symbolic iconography of the monuments upon which they are engraved.