August 2017

Vol. V, No. 8

The Pharaoh’s Magic – Imagery and Diplomacy in the Late Bronze Age

By Flora Brooke Anthony

Today we imagine Egyptian magic through the lenses of the Bible and films. But what was the ‘actual’ role of ancient Egyptian magic in the royal palace when the king received foreign delegations?

Imagine you are an upper class Hittite. In your own country you serve your king and live a comfortable life in a spacious estate surrounded by many exotic luxury goods…[READ MORE]

Sunlight and Shade in the First Cities – A Sensory Archaeology of Early Iraq

By Mary Shepperson

There are two periods of about five days each, one in the Spring and one in the Autumn, when the weather in southern Iraq is quite nice. Outside of those brief pleasant interludes, it’s either cold, windy and rainy, or roasting, windy and dusty…[READ MORE]

Were YHWH and Dionysus Once the Same God?

By Nissim Amzallag

If we look for a parallel deity to YHWH in ancient Greece, we think immediately of Zeus, the patron of the Greek pantheon whose representation was introduced in the Jerusalem temple in the Hellenistic period. The shared ancestry of the two has been well accepted from antiquity, for example by Josephus Flavius (Jewish Antiquities 12.22), to modern times….[READ MORE]

The Invention of Judaism. Torah and Jewish Identity from Deuteronomy to Paul

By John Collins

In the second century BCE, the Syrian king Antiochus Epiphanes issued a decree proscribing the ancestral laws of Judea. The Jerusalem temple was taken over and renamed for Zeus Olympios. People were forbidden to practice traditional Jewish customs such as circumcision on pain of death. According to 2 Maccabees, chapter 6 “it was impossible either to keep the Sabbath, to observe the ancestral festivals, or openly confess oneself to be a Ioudaios.”….[READ MORE]

Rescuing Syriac Manuscripts in Iraq

By Amir Harrak

The so-called Islamic State invaded Mosul and the Plain of Nineveh in the north of Iraq in August 2014, destroying people, especially minorities, centuries-old religious and civil buildings, and cultural heritages, including collections of manuscripts owned privately or by institutions. The octagonal martyrion of Mār-Behnam built during the 6th century to commemorate this Christian man martyred at the hands of Zoroastrian Sassanians was dynamited…[READ MORE]

The Ancient Near East Today features contributions from diverse academics, a forum featuring debates of current developments from the field, and links to news and resources. The ANE Today covers the entire Near East, and each issue presents discussions ranging from the state of biblical archaeology to archaeology after the Arab Spring.

Take a look at the contents of this e-book!

  • Rescuing Syriac Manuscripts in Iraq
  • The Invention of Judaism: Torah and Jewish Identity from Deuteronomy to Paul
  • Were YHWH and Dionysus Once the Same God?
  • Sunlight and Shade in the First Cities: A Sensory Archaeology of Early Iraq