SHARE

2018 LIST OF APPROVED SESSIONS

* The period for the submission of paper abstracts is from January 15th – February 15th, 2018.

ASOR-Sponsored Sessions

Member-Organized Sessions for the 2018 Annual Meeting

Descriptions of Sessions & Workshops

ASOR-Sponsored Sessions

Ancient Inscriptions: Recent Discoveries, New Editions, New Readings

Session Chairs: Heather Parker, Johns Hopkins University; Michael Langlois, Strasbourg/University of France

Description: The focus of this session is epigraphic material from the Near East and Wider Mediterranean. Paper proposals that consist of new readings (of previously published inscriptions) or constitute preliminary presentations of new epigraphic discoveries are of special interest.

 

Approaches to Dress and the Body

Session Chair
: Megan Cifarelli, Manhattanville College

Description: Traces of practices relating to dress and the body are present in
many ways in the archaeological, textual and visual records of the
ancient world, from the physical remains of dressed bodies, to images
depicting them, to texts describing such aspects as textile production
and sumptuary customs. Previous scholarship has provided useful
typological frameworks but has often viewed these objects as static
trappings of status and gender. The goal of this session is to
illuminate the dynamic role of dress and the body in the performance
and construction of aspects of individual and social identity, and to
encourage collaborative dialogue within the study of dress and the
body in antiquity.

 

Archaeology and Biblical Studies

Session Chair: Jonathan Rosenbaum, Gratz College

Description: This session is meant to explore the intersections between History, Archaeology, and the Judeo-Christian Bible and related texts.

 

Archaeology and History of Feasting and Foodways

Session Chairs:
Margaret Cohen, Albright Institute of Archaeological Research, Deirdre Fulton, Baylor University, and Elizabeth Arnold, Grand Valley State University

Description:
The Archaeology and History of Food and Feasting session addresses the production, distribution, and consumption of food and drink. Insofar as foodways touch upon almost every aspect of the human experience—from agricultural technology, to economy and trade, to nutrition and cuisine, to the function of the household and its members, to religious acts of eating and worship—we welcome submissions from diverse perspectives and from the full spectrum of our field’s geography and chronology.

 

Archaeology of Anatolia

Session Chair: Levent Atici, University of Nevada – Las Vegas

Description: This session is concerned with current fieldwork in Anatolia, as well as the issue of connectivity in Anatolia. What, for example, were the interconnections between Anatolia and surrounding regions such as Cyprus, Transcaucasia, Mesopotamia, and Europe?

 

Archaeology of Arabia

Session Chairs
: Mark Kenoyer, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Steven Karacic, Florida State University

Description:
This session seeks contributions covering a wide spatio-temporal swath from the Paleolithic to the present centered on the Arabian Peninsula but including neighboring areas such as The Horn of Africa, East Africa, and South Asia. Contributions might be tied to the region thematically (e.g pastoral nomadism, domesticates, or agricultural strategies), methodologically (e.g. Landscape archaeology, or satellite imagery technologies) or through ancient contacts such as trade along The Red Sea, Persian/Arabian Gulf or Indian Ocean.

 

Archaeology of the Black Sea and the Caucasus

Session Chairs: Ryan Hughes, University of Michigan; Elizabeth Fagan, University of Chicago

Description: This session is open to papers that concern the archaeology of the Black Sea and Eurasia.

 

Archaeology of the Byzantine Near East

Session Chair: Melissa Bailey Kutner, Northwestern University

Description: This session is open to papers that concern the Near East in the Byzantine period.

 

Archaeology of Cyprus

Session Chair: Nancy Serwint, Arizona State University

Description: This session focuses on current archaeological research in Cyprus from prehistory to the modern period. Topics may include reports on archaeological fieldwork and survey, artifactual studies, as well as more focused methodological or theoretical discussions. Papers that address current debates and issues are especially welcome.

 

Archaeology of Egypt

Session ChairsKrystal Pierce, Brigham Young University; Greg Mumford, University of Alabama

Description: The focus of this session is on current archaeological fieldwork in Egypt.

 

Archaeology of Iran

Session Chair: Holly Pittman, University of Pennsylvania

Description: This session explores the archaeology of Iran.

 

Archaeology of Islamic Society

Session Chair: Beatrice St. Laurent, Bridgewater State University

Description: This session explores the archaeology of Islamic society.

 

Archaeology of Israel

Session Chair: J.P. Dessel, University of Michigan

Description: The focus of this session is on current archaeological fieldwork in Israel.

 

Archaeology of Jordan

Session Chairs: Marta D’ Andrea, Sapienza Università di Roma; and Barbara Reeves, Queen’s University

Description: This session is open to any research from any period relating to the Archaeology of Jordan. The session is open to papers on recent fieldwork, synthetic analyses of multiple field seasons, as well as any area of current archaeological research focused on Jordan.

 

Archaeology of Lebanon

Session Chair: Hanan Mullins, ASOR

Description: The focus of this session is on current archaeological fieldwork in Lebanon.

 

Archaeology of Mesopotamia

Session Chair: Lauren Ristvet, University of Pennsylvania

Description: This session seeks submissions in all areas illuminated by archaeology that relate to the material, social, and religious culture, history and international relations, and texts of ancient Mesopotamia.

 

Archaeology of the Natural Environment: Archaeobotany and Zooarchaeology in the Near East

Session Chairs: Mellisa Rosenzweig, Miami University; Madelynn von Baeyer, University of Connecticut

Description: This session accepts papers that examine past human resources (flora and fauna) uses and human/environment interactions in the Ancient Near East.

 

Archaeology of the Near East: Bronze and Iron Ages

Session Chair: Eric Welch, University of Kansas

Description: This session is open to papers that concern the Near East in the Bronze and Iron Ages.

 

Archaeology of the Near East: The Classical Periods

Session ChairMichael Zimmerman, Bridgewater State University

Description: This session is open to papers that concern the Near East in the Classical periods.

 

Archaeology of Arabia

Session Chair: Michael Harrower, Johns Hopkins University; Peter Magee, Brynn Mawr

Description: This session seeks contributions covering a wide spatio-temporal swath from the Paleolithic to the present centered on the Arabian Peninsula but including neighboring areas such as The Horn of Africa, East Africa, and South Asia. Contributions might be tied to the region thematically (e.g pastoral nomadism, domesticates, or agricultural strategies), methodologically (e.g. Landscape archaeology, or satellite imagery technologies) or through ancient contacts such as trade along The Red Sea, Persian/Arabian Gulf or Indian Ocean.

 

Archaeology of the Southern Levant

Session ChairOwen Chesnut, North Central Michigan College

Description: The focus of this session is on current archaeological fieldwork in the southern Levant.

 

Archaeology of Syria

Session Chair: Clemens Reichel, University of Toronto

Description: This session is concerned with all areas of Syria that are illuminated by archaeology.
These include a discussion of recent archaeological excavations, history, religion, society, and texts.

 

Art Historical Approaches to the Near East

Session Chairs: Allison Thomason, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville; Kiersten Neumann, Oriental Institute, University of Chicago

Description: This session welcomes submissions that present innovative analyses of any facet of Near Eastern artistic production or visual culture.

 

Bioarchaeology in the Near East

Session Chair: Lesley Gregoricka, University of South Alabama

Description: This session welcomes papers that present bioarchaeological research conducted in the Near East. Papers that pose new questions and/or explore new methods are encouraged.

 

Cultural Heritage Management: Methods, Practices, and Case Studies

Session Chairs: Glenn Corbett, American Center of Oriental Research (ACOR); Suzanne Davis, Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, University of Michigan; LeeAnn Gordon, Peabody Museum of Archaeology, Harvard University

Description: This session welcomes papers that concern cultural heritage management in terms of methods, practices, and case studies in areas throughout the Near East.

 

Gender in the Ancient Near East

Session Chairs: Stephanie Langin-Hooper, Southern Methodist University

Description: Session explores the interface between gender and archaeology, and the ways in which archaeology and related disciplines can reconstruct the world of women and other gender groups in antiquity. Papers should explore subjects such as the household and domestic life, industry and commerce, religion, etc. Other topics may also be included.

 

GIS and Remote Sensing in Archaeology

Session Chair: Kevin Fisher, University of British Columbia

Description: This session will present papers that describe significant advances or interesting applicationsof geographic information systems and remote sensing methods thatpertain to the archaeology of the Near East.

 

History of Archaeology

Session Chair: Kevin McGeough, University of Lethbridge

Description: Papers in this session examine the history of the disciplines of Biblical Archaeology and Near Eastern Archaeology.

 

Landscapes of Settlement in the Ancient Near East

Session Chairs
: Jesse Casana, Dartmouth College; Emily Hammer, University of Chicago

Description: This session brings together scholars investigating regional-scale problems of settlement history and archaeological landscapes across the ancient Near East.  Research presented in the session is linked methodologically through the use of regional survey, remote sensing, and environmental studies to document ancient settlements, communication routes, field systems and other evidence of human activity that is inscribed in the landscape.  Session participants are especially encouraged to offer analyses of these regional archaeological data that explore political, economic, and cultural aspects of ancient settlement systems as well as their dynamic interaction with the natural environment.

 

Maritime Archaeology

Session Chair: Caroline Sauvage, Loyola Marymount University

Description: This session welcomes papers that concern marine archaeology in terms of methods, practices, and case studies in areas throughout the Near East.

 

Prehistoric Archaeology

Session Chair: Yorke Rowan, University of Chicago

Description: This session is open to papers that concern the Prehistoric Near East, particularly in the Paleolithic, Neolithic, and Chalcolithic

 

Reports on Current Excavations – ASOR Affiliated

Session Chair: Jack Green, Corning Museum of Glass

Description: This session is for projects with ASOR/CAP affiliation.

 

Reports on Current Excavations – Non-ASOR Affiliated

Session Chair: Robert Homsher, Harvard University

Description: This session is for projects without ASOR/CAP affiliation.

 

Technology in Archaeology: Recent work in the Archaeological Sciences

Session Chairs: Andrew Koh, Brandeis University

Description: This session welcomes papers that examine the issue of technology in archaeology.

 

Theoretical and Anthropological Approaches to the Near East

Session Chairs: Leann Pace, Wake Forest University; Emily Miller Bonney, California State University Fullerton

Description: This session welcomes papers that deal explicitly with theoretical and anthropological approaches to ancient Near Eastern and east Mediterranean art and archaeology.

 

Member-Organized Sessions

 

Antioch – A Legacy Excavation and its Aftermath

Session Chairs: Andrea De Giorgi, Florida State University; Alan Stahl, Princeton University

Description: In the 1930s the Antioch excavations conducted by Princeton University and other institutions produced a remarkable wealth of finds that opened up new vistas onto a city that played a fundamental role in the shaping of politics and cultures in the eastern Mediterranean for more than a millennium. Although most of the monuments that this enterprise had targeted were missed, its cumulative -and complicated- archaeological record still entices throngs of scholars. Pavements, sculpture, coins -these are but some of the ephemera that have long attracted attention and, despite their often fortuitous character, still enable the writing of new, fascinating narratives about Antioch.

Today, most of the finds and records are housed at the Princeton University Art Museum and are only partially documented by the three volumes of post-war publications. In re-examining these collections and their cultural context the “New Committee for the Excavation of Antioch and its Vicinity” makes it now possible to further our understanding of the city’s evolution and transformative qualities. The 2017 speakers will illustrate these momentums in research by bringing to the fore various aspects of Antiochene material culture and topography.

 

 

Career Options for ASOR Members: The Academy and Beyond

Session Chairs: Susan Ackerman, Dartmouth and Emily Bonney, California State University Fullerton

Description: Applicants for tenure-track positions at universities and colleges confront diminished demand for faculty.  Increasingly junior scholars are forced to look for adjunct or temporary appointments and face the possibility of no appointment at all.  This three-year session aims to provide insights into alternative careers for both the next generation of ASOR scholars and those interested in a career change.  Each year one or two panels of four to six scholars who developed careers outside the academy will discuss their careers, answering fundamental questions in 15- to 20-minute presentations.  How did they discover the job opportunities that became a meaningful career?  Did they begin in the academy and leverage that experience to gain access to a different career or were they able to move from graduate school into this work?  How important, if at all, was a post-doc in the choices they had?  How long did it take to get into the position where they have spent most of their professional lives?  What additional training did they need? Have they been able to continue their research and/or excavation projects: that is, what was the overall impact of the career choice on their scholarship?  Sessions will include time for questions and discussion.

Developing Isotopic Investigations in the Ancient Near East and Caucasus

Session Chairs: G. Bike Yazicioglu, Independent Researcher and Maureen Marshall, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign

Description: In recent years, biogeochemical isotopic analysis has gained pace in the archaeology of the Near East and Caucasus, now embracing a holistic understanding of human ecology. Having focused on Environment and Mobility in 2016, our sessions will continue to provide a collegial, interactive platform for ongoing biogeochemical investigations in the region in 2017 and 2018. The key objective is to keep up with the pace of methodological advances when addressing region-specific challenges in research design.

 

Encoding Data for Digital Discovery

Session Chairs: Vanessa Juloux, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (EPHE), Paris Sciences et Lettres (PSL) Research University; Amy Gansell, St. John’s University

Description: Data encoding entails an analog-to-digital conversion in which the characteristics of an object, text, image, or archaeological site can be represented in a specialized format for computer handling. Once encoded, data can be stored, sorted, and analyzed through a variety of computer-based techniques ranging from specialized data-mining algorithms to user-friendly mobile apps. Especially when using linked open data, researchers around the world can collaborate on the collection, encoding, and analysis of data. A single encoded corpus could be analyzed concurrently by multiple projects, and encoded data can be linked across corpuses to facilitate broader, potentially interdisciplinary, studies.

This three-year session offers a venue for the presentation of methodologies, projects, and discoveries based on encoding or encoded data. We describe and demonstrate a wide spectrum of research that will include studies of stratigraphy, object typologies, provenance, cultural heritage, epigraphy, e-philology, and prosopography. Ultimately we will show the value of cyber-research as a powerful resource for revealing otherwise imperceptible information about ancient Near Eastern time. We welcome art historians, historians, epigraphers, philologists, anthropologists, and archaeologists, including prehistorians, Bible scholars, Hittitologists, Egyptologists, Aegeanists, and Byzantinists. This session will inspire new networks and designs for digital collaboration.

 

Houses and Households in the Near East: Archaeology & History

Session Chairs:  Laura Battini, CNRS, Collège de France, Paris; Aaron Brody, Pacific School of Religion; Sharon Steadman, SUNY Cortland

Description: Recent studies have foregrounded the importance of the house and household in multiple periods and over varied regions of the Near East and North Africa.  Various methods have been employed including household archaeology and textual studies, viewed through frameworks of anthropological and social theories.  This session aims to continue the conversation between varied sub-disciplines and regions by highlighting the structural, social, and ritual data and interpretations from domestic settings. Themes are not limited, but may include culture, economy, gender, ethnicity, and religion taking a bottom-up approach to understanding the ancient world.  Varied methodologies, including household archaeology, domestic micro-archaeology, 3-D reconstructions, etc. welcome.

 

 

Meeting the Expenses: ANE Economies

Session ChairsRaz Kletter, University of Helsinki (CSTT); Lorenz Rahmstorf, Copenhagen University

Description: The topic of the session is the economies of the Ancient Near East, moving beyond the  dichotomy between “ancient” and “modern” economy. Planned for two-three years, the sessions will include papers based on written as well as archaeological evidence relating to different ANE cultures/societies, mainly of the Bronze and Iron Ages. The session is open to lectures on economic modes of exchanges (barter, bullion, the transition to coinage); systems of measures and of defining value; wealth deposits (hoards); dynamics of prices and salaries; markets; and trade and traders.
Each year we will focus on a certain subject, though additional lectures (as long as they relate to ANE economies) are welcomed.
2017: Measuring value: hoards and systems of weight.
2018: Trade and traders.
2019: Prices, salaries, and the transition to coinage

 

Senses and Sensibility in the Near East

Session Chair: Kiersten Neumann, Oriental Institute, University of Chicago

Description: Contributions to the Senses and Sensibility in the Near East session in 2016 took a multiplicity of theoretical and methodological approaches in their exploration of senses and sense-making related to objects, spaces, and practices in the Near East, in order to bring to light culturally meaningful sensory experience and modes of representation, reception, perception, and interaction, as well as social and political dynamics of past worlds and human encounters.

The goal for the 2017 session is to narrow the aim of the session by gathering papers that emphasize aspects of intentionality in sensory experience; to explore what forms of sensory experience are intentionally constructed in activities and encounters of past worlds; how we might access such intentionality, whether through text or material culture, for example; and how we might understand such intentions with respect to particular social and cultural contexts. Papers will also be included that explore unintentional sensory phenomena, the involuntary and at times overlooked sensory aspects that are equally formidable and impactful in a variety of encounters between agents and spaces.

 

Study of Violence from the Region of the Ancient Near East and Its Neighbors

Session Chairs: Vanessa Juloux, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (EPHE), Paris Sciences et Lettres (PSL) Research University; Leann Pace, Wake Forest University

Description: Violence is a common motif that appears throughout the well-studied narrative and historical texts and images from the region of the ancient Near East and its neighbors, from Prehistory to Late Antiquity. Although depicted in both divine and human realms (e.g. Enuma Elish, Stele of Vultures, Chronicles, Battle of Qadesh, Baʿlu Cycle, Torah, Josephus), violence, whether physical or psychological (e.g. interpersonal, corporate, or structural), has been insufficiently studied from the perspectives of intention, motivation and legacy. During this three-year session, we will investigate the topic of violence through different methodological frameworks: (1) in 2017, the anthropology and hermeneutics of text and image analysis, (2) in 2018, the intentions (voluntary or not) and motivations of the authors in their use of violence as part of the narrative arc, and (3) in 2019, the philosophy of a contextualized violence (its social, moral and political questions) based on the understanding of text as well as image. We welcome abstracts from art historians, philologists, historians, anthropologists, and scholars interested in extending their analysis of violence beyond the bounds of traditional text-oriented approaches and determinism. We envision an interdisciplinary session attracting papers from Prehistorians, Assyriologists, Bible scholars, Hittitologists, Egyptologists, Aegeanists, and Byzantinists alike.

 

The Archaeology of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq

Session Chair: Jason Ur, Harvard University

Description: This session highlights research on all aspects of history and archaeology focused on the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and adjacent areas.

 

 

The History of the Early Alphabet

Session Chairs: Orly Goldwasser, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Thomas Schneider, University of British Columbia

Description: In the past decade, the study of the early history of the alphabet has gained new momentum.
On the one hand, the discovery of alphabetic inscriptions in Wadi el-Hol and certain hieratic inscriptions from Egypt may testify to a surprising knowledge of early alphabet orders as early as 18th Dynasty Egypt. This opens a new vista for the understanding of the possible role of Egypt in the early phases of alphabet development and formulation.

At the same time, new research has appeared aimed at reconstructing the process of invention itself—with the Egyptian scripts serving as the inventors’ palette. Naturally, this research and its results bear directly on the question of the roles of Egypt, Sinai, and Canaan in the invention of the alphabet, as well as its later development and dissemination.

The next step forward in the study of the alphabet’s history is an analysis of the astounding success of the early linear alphabet on the cultural marketplaces of the Ancient Near East and Europe during the 2nd and 1st millennia BCE.