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2016 ASOR Annual Meeting Sessions - The ASOR Blog

2016 ASOR Annual Meeting Sessions

The 2016 ASOR Annual Meeting will be held in San Antonio, TX from November 16th to 19th at the La Cantera Hill Country Resort. The Annual Meeting brings together ASOR’s vibrant academic community to present their current findings and discuss their research. The conference attracts over 1,000 scholars and enthusiasts of archaeology, linguistics, geography, epigraphy, anthropology, and other fields related to the study of the ancient Near East.

Check this page often! We will add new sessions every week leading up to the Annual Meeting, and be sure to use #ASOR16 when tweeting about the event!

Ancient Texts and Modern Photographic and Digital Technologies

Chairs: Christopher Rollston, George Washington University and Annalisa Azzoni, Vanderbilt University

Description: The purpose of this session is to showcase some of the most recent and innovative technologies for the study of ancient inscriptions from the ancient Near Eastern and Mediterranean worlds.  Some of the technologies will be photographic in nature (e.g., RTI, multi-spectral imaging), some will focus on manipulation and enhancement via software (e.g., Photoshop, Autocad), and some of the technologies will focus on digital drawing and the application of such technologies in classroom contexts.


Christian Casey (Brown University), “New Frontiers in Language Research” (25 min.)

Nathaniel Greene (University of Wisconsin-Madison), “On the Persistence of Tradition: The Impact of LB and Early IA Epigraphic Evidence on Understanding Early Levantine Cultural Development” (25 min.)

Michael Langlois (University of Strasbourg), “Mobile Multispectral Imaging of Ancient Ink Inscriptions” (25 min.)

Annalisa Azzoni (Vanderbilt University), “New Readings from the Persepolis Fortification Archive” (25 min.)

Antioch — A Legacy Excavation and its Afterlife

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

Eighty years ago the Antioch excavations led by Princeton University produced a remarkable wealth of finds that opened novel, albeit problematic vistas onto a city that played a fundamental role in the shaping of politics and cultures in the Greek and Roman East for more than a millennium. While the cosmopolitan and classical zest of this unique community has been thoroughly addressed by various scholars, questions about the town’s built environment, how it was perceived, experienced and resisted and its relationship with the countryside on a regional scale must be now brought into focus for all periods of history. These queries can redefine what is traditionally understood about Hellenistic and Roman Antioch, and at the same time, unveil three major and previously overlooked periods of history that must be closely examined to understand the city’s transformative processes: Late Antiquity, the Early Islamic period, and the Medieval period of Middle Byzantine, Saljuq, and Crusader rule. As new historical frameworks, key archaeological data, and reexamination of the collections at Princeton University come to the fore, we propose a 3 year forum where the city’s continuous becoming, its shifting agencies and actors can be discussed from a variety of angles.


Alan Stahl (Princeton University) “Antioch — a Legacy Excavation and its Afterlife” (20 min.)

Gunnar Brands (Martin-Luther Universität Halle-Wittenberg), “Antioch Revisited: Early Excavations and New Surveys” (20 min.)

Asa Eger (University of North Carolina, Greensboro), “Transformations of Urban Space in Antioch from the Hellenistic to Crusader Periods: The Pilot Project of Sector 17-O” (20 min.)

Ani Eblighatian (University of Geneva), “A Tale of Antioch-Salamis. What The Lamps May Reveal about These Two Cities?” (20 min.)

Brian Muhs (University of Chicago), “A Funerary Association at Antioch: Contextualizing the Mnemosyne Mosaic” (20 min.)

Archaeologists Engaging Global Challenges

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Chairs: Catherine Foster, Ancient Middle East Education and Research Institute; Erin Darby, University of Tennessee

Description: This session will facilitate research among scholars of the ancient Near East to provide long-term viewpoints on global challenges facing humanity in the 21st century. The United Nation’s Millennium Project (www.millennium-project.org) has identified 15 Global Challenges including peace and conflict, energy, sustainable development, and democratization. Participants will tackle these issues through their original research and explore ways archaeologists can contribute uniquely informed, deep-time perspectives to international efforts by governments, international organizations and futurists addressing these challenges. This session will raise awareness about the role archaeology can play in overcoming the Global Challenges, provide case studies for direct engagement with one or more of the issues at hand, and create an interface between archaeologists and policy makers.


Catherine P. Foster (Ancient Middle East Education and Research Institute), Opening Remarks (5 min.)

Howard Cyr (University of Tennessee), “Methods for Examining Social-Environmental Interaction within the Archaeological Record; An Example from `Ayn Gharandal, a Late Roman Fort in Southern Jordan” (25 min.)

Paul Christians (Stanford University), “Restoring Ancient Umm el-Jimal’s Reservoir System: Archaeology, Water, Resilience, and Community Building in Northern Jordan” (25 min.)

Katie Paul (Antiquities Coalition), “New Methodologies in Visualizing Data: Identifying Patterns and Solutions for Culture Under Threat” (25 min.)

Oystein LaBianca (Andrews University), “Archaeology Engaging the Anthropocene” (25 min.)

Archaeology of the Crusaders and their Neighbors

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Chairs: Tasha Vorderstrasse, Oriental Institute, University of Chicago and Tracy Hoffman, Independent Scholar

This session seeks to examine the evidence for the archaeology of the Crusader period as well as those with whom they interacted, such as the Fatimids, Mamluks, Byzantines, and others.


Tasha Vorderstrasse (University of Chicago) “Between Byzantium, the Crusaders, and the Islamic World: Medieval Settlement in the Qoueiq Valley” (20 min.)

Ian Jones (University of California, San Diego), “Fatimid and Crusader Settlement in Southern Jordan: Neither Fatimid nor Crusader?” (20 min.)

Michael Fuller (St. Louis Community College), “Crusader Burials and Material Culture from Area C at Caesarea Maritima” (20 min.)

Robyn Le Blanc (University of North Carolina, Greensboro), “The Glass from Crusader Ashkelon” (20 min.)

John Marston (Boston University), “The Animal and Plant Economies at Islamic and Crusader Ashkelon” (20 min.)

The Archaeology of Feasting and Foodways

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

The Archaeology of Feasting and Foodways supports the recovery and inquiry of all matters related to the production, distribution and consumption of food, beverages and all forms of sustenance. 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—this area of investigation is a highly productive one in which to further our understanding of significant and highly interconnected facets of the ancient world.

We wish to serve as a venue for excavators and scientists to present the results of their current researches, as well as for those whose synthetic work seeks to advance collaborative discussion and interpretation of what our growing bounty of data means. To these ends, we propose a thematic session in 2016 surrounding the topics of excess in food and drink, over-consumption and intoxication.


Tate Paulette (Brown University), “Where the Beer Flowed Like Wine: Brewing and Intoxication in Bronze Age Mesopotamia” (20 min.)

Jennie Ebeling (University of Evansville), “Wine, Beer, and the Daily Grind at Jezreel” (20 min.)

Elizabeth Arnold (Grand Valley State University), “Animal Production Over-Consumption? How Stable Isotopes of Animal Remains can Address These Questions” (20 min.)

Tina Greenfield (University of Manitoba), “Late Bronze Age Feasting in Canaan: A View from Tel Burna” (20 min.)

Stephanie Brown (University of California, Berkeley), “Eating Like Elites? Domestic Foodways at Busayra” (20 min.)

Career Options for ASOR Members: The Academy and Beyond I

Chair: Susan Ackerman (Dartmouth College), Presiding

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.


John Paul Christy (American Council of Learned Societies), “Extending the Reach of the Humanities PhD” (20 min.)

Frederick Winter (F. A. Winter Associates), “Looking Beyond the Campus for Career Options in the Humanities, Archaeology, and Ancient Near Eastern and Mediterranean Studies” (20 min.)

Michael Smith (Atkins North America), “Cultural Resources Management: Reconciling Past and Future” (20 min.)

Suzi Wilczynski (Dig-It! Games), “From the Known to the Unknown: Utilizing Archaeology in Software Development” (20 min.)

Mitchell Allen (Mills College), “Scholarly Publishing as an Archaeological Career” (20 min.)

Career Options for ASOR Members: The Academy and Beyond II


Chair: Emily Bonney, California State University Fullerton

Theme: Careers in Museums and Conservation


Geoff Emberling (University of Michigan), “Ways to Work in Archaeology: Shifting Perspectives” (20 min.)

Susan Braunstein (The Jewish Museum), “The Archaeologist as Curator” (20 min.)

Jack Green (Corning Museum of Glass), “Building a Career in Museums: Opportunities and Challenges” (20 min.)

Sarah Kielt Costello (University of Houston-Clear Lake), “The Long and Winding Road” (20 min.)

Jeanne Marie Teutonico (Getty Conservation Institute), “Careers in the Conservation of Cultural Heritage” (20 min.)

Cyber-archaeology in the Middle East Today

Chairs: Thomas E. Levy, Univerisity of California-San Diego; Neil G. Smith,  King Abdullah University of Science and Technology

Cyber-archaeology is a transdisciplinary endeavor that melds archaeology with computer science, engineering and the natural sciences to investigate the past. By transdisciplinary, we mean ‘team science.’ As such, cyber-archaeology provides a framework for marshalling the power of the information technology revolution for exploring new dimensions of the past in a more integrated interdisciplinary fashion. Large-scale projects at Middle Eastern sites such as Catalhoyuk (Turkey), the Edom Lowlands Regional Archaeology Project (Jordan), and smaller projects around the Middle East have provided test-beds for fielding all the elements that characterize state-of-the-art cyberarchaeology on the world scene. The workshop takes the pulse of new develops in data acquisition, curation, analyses and dissemination in the Middle East.


Neil Smith (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology), “New Approaches to UAV Based Aerial Scanning of Cultural Heritage Sites in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia” (25 min.)

Stephen Batiuk (University of Toronto), “The Computational Research on the Ancient Near East (CRANE) Project: Large-Scale Data Integration, Analysis, Visualization and Models for Data Sharing” (25 min.)

Sandra Schloen (University of Chicago), “More Than Just a Pretty Geodatabase: Spatial Data Integration Using the Online Cultural and Historical Research Environment (OCHRE)” (25 min.)

Sandra Whitcher Kansa (Open Context / The Alexandria Archive Institute), “Open Context Turns Ten: A Retrospective” (25 min.)

Developing Isotopic Investigations in the Ancient Near East and Caucasus

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

Theme: This session brings together papers on recent isotopic investigations on ancient diet, and mobility. To initiate a web-based, collaborative research platform called “Eurasian Archaeology Isotope Research Group” is among the objectives. In 2017 and 2018 our sessions will focus on “Post-Marital Residence and Generational Change,” and “Current Agendas and New Routes.”

In recent years, isotopic investigations in the archaeology of the Near East have gained pace. Multi-isotopic analyses can be employed to investigate ancient climate, diet, herding practices, residential mobility, migrations, and many other aspects of life in the ancient world. The objective of this session is to highlight the utility of isotopic investigations in current scholarship and to initiate a web-based, collaborative research platform called ‘Eurasian Isotope Research Group.’ Our session themes will be Environment and Mobility in 2016, Post-marital Residence and Generational Change in 2017, and Current Agendas and New Routes in 2018.


Hannah Lau (University of California, Los Angeles), “Herding Practices at Halaf Domuztepe: Implications for Mobility, Cooperation and Emergent Political Complexity” (15 min.)

Benjamin Arbuckle (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), “Isotopic and Zooarchaeological Approaches to Reconstructing Land Use and Mobility at Chalcolithic Köşk Höyük, Turkey” (15 min.)

Benjamin Irvine (Freie Universität Berlin), “Multi-Isotopic Investigations of Diet in Anatolian Early Bronze Age Populations” (15 min.)

Selin E. Nugent (Ohio State University), “Isotopic Perspectives on Transhumance and Landscape Use in Middle Bronze Age Naxçıvan, Azerbaijan” (15 min.)

David Meiggs (Rochester Institute of Technology), “Strontium Isoscapes in Central Anatolia: Archaeological Implications of Bioavailable 87Sr/86Sr Isotope Ratio Distributions” (15 min.)

Bike Yazıcıoğlu Santamaria (Independent Researcher), “Eurasian Archaeology Isotope Research Group: Goals, Perspectives, and Suggestions” (15 min.)

Archaeology of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq I

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Chair: Glenn Schwartz, John Hopkins University

Description: The primary aim of this session is to disseminate results of recent research conducted in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq to a larger audience. Given the difficulties (or impossibility) of conducting archaeological fieldwork in many areas of the Near East, such as Syria, Iran, most of Iraq, Lebanon, and (even) Turkey, the opening of Iraqi Kurdistan has resulted in the region becoming the focus of intense archaeological attention in the past five years. Four American projects are now working in this area, as well as many American individuals dealing with the cultural heritage and history of this region. A session devoted to Iraqi Kurdistan will enable scholars to disseminate their latest results, share ideas, and receive feedback. A secondary aim is to encourage participation among scholars working in neighboring regions, particularly western Iran, northern Iraq, and eastern Turkey; scholarship currently suffers from the artificial intellectual barriers presented by political boundaries.


Hasan Qasim (Director of Antiquities in Dohuk), “A New Neo-Assyrian Palace at Girê Sêmêl: Rescue Excavations in the Duhok Region” (25 min.)

Luca Colliva (Missione Archeologica Italiana nel Kurdistan Iracheno–MAIKI) “HCECR and MAIKI Joint Activities on the Erbil Citadel” (25 min.)

Alexia Smith (University of Connecticut), “Bronze and Iron Age Plant Use in Iraqi Kurdistan: Archaeobotanical results from Kurd Qaburstan and Gund-i Topzawa” (25 min.)

Kyra Kaercher (University of Pennsylvania), “Ghabrestan-i Topzawa: An Achaemenid Tomb in Iraqi Kurdistan” (25 min.)

Archaeology of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq II

ChairKyra Kaercher, Boston University


Jesse Casana (Dartmouth College), “Exploring Settlement and Land Use History in the Borderlands of Mesopotamia: Archaeological Survey in the Upper Diyala/Sirwan River Valley, Kurdistan Region of Iraq” (25 min.)

Florian Janoscha Kreppner (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München), “Peshdar Plain Project 2015: Investigating the Assyrian Province of the Palace Herald on the Frontier to Iran” (25 min.)

Allison Cuneo (Boston University), “From Prosperity to Austerity: Cultural Heritage Management in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq” (25 min.)

Michael Danti (ASOR-CHI Academic Director), Discussant (25 min.)

Archaeology of Monasticism

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Chairs: Asa Eger, University of North Carolina at Greensboro; Darlene Brooks-Hedstrom, Wittenberg College, and Fotini Kondyli, University of Virginia

Description: The ultimate purpose for the three-year series of panels is to encourage scholars working on the archaeology and material remains of monastic communities to discuss what is the nature of monastic archaeology and whether there is anything inherent unique to the study of monastic settlements, site formation processes, and the research questions used to examine monastic sites. A larger question in looking at monastic archaeology is whether it is a field of study that fully illustrates the study of the archaeology of religion (Timothy Insoll, Kit Welser, etc.). To examine the challenges of studying monastic settlements and assessing whether there is an archaeology of religion to consider, three sessions will have the following topics to problematize the nature of monastic settlements: 2014: “Why and where did monastic settlements emerge?” 2015: “Interactions between and within Monastic Settlements.” 2016: “Monastic Builders, Construction Methods, Resources.”


Sarah Craft (Florida State University), Monasteries, Pilgrimage, and Settlement Patterns in a Late Antique Landscape” (20 min.)

Jordan Pickett (University of Michigan), “The Hydraulic Context of Monasticism in Late Antique Palestine” (20 min.)

Giorgos Makris (Columbia University), “Making a Connection: Interaction between Monasteries and Environment in Byzantine Thrace” (20 min.)

Alessandra Ricci (Koç University), “The Byzantine Monastery’s ‘Long Durée’: Natural Environment and Physical Spaces” (20 min.)

Encoding Data for Digital Collaboration

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Chairs: Amy Gansell, St. John’s University and Vanessa Juloux, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes

Data encoding entails an analog-to-digital conversion in which the characteristics of an object, text, 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 encoded data is open-source, 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. Crowdsourcing may also be employed to gather and annotate more data than the members of a research team, themselves, could pursue.

This session offers a venue for the presentation of methodologies, projects, and discoveries based on encoding or encoded data. We aim to describe and demonstrate a wide spectrum of research that might include studies of stratigraphy, object typologies, provenance, cultural heritage, lexical databases, and prosopography. Ultimately this session aims to demonstrate the value of encoded data and digital collaboration as powerful resources for revealing otherwise imperceptible information about the ancient Near East.

This session will be using Polemic Tweet alongside the presenters.


Alessandro Di Ludovico (Sapienza Università di Roma), “For a Critical Debate about the Use of Quantitative Methods in Western Asiatic Studies: Approaches, Concrete Targets, and Proposals” (15 min.)

Sveta Matskevich (University of Haifa),“A Conceptual Framework for Archaeological Data Encoding” (15 min.)

Shannon Martino (School of the Art Institute, Chicago), “A Quantitative Method for the Creation of Typologies for Qualitatively Described Objects: A Case Study of Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age Figurines from Anatolia and Southeastern Europe” (15 min.)

Darren Joblonkay (University of Toronto), “Association Mining Algorithms for Elucidating Community-Based Practices in the Ancient Near East: A View from Tell Mastuma, Syria” (15 min.)

Émilie Pagé-Perron (University of Toronto), “Data Mining Cuneiform Corpora: Get Relational” (15 min.)

Terhi Nurmikko-Fuller (University of Oxford), “Publishing Sumerian Literature on the Semantic Web” (15 min.)

Forty Years of Excavation at Tell Halif

Chairs: Joe Seger, Mississippi State University (Emeritus)

The Lahav Research Project initiated its field work at Tell Halif in Southern Israel in 1976 and has conducted 19 excavation seasons during four phases of research efforts.  Five volumes of final reports have been published, with a sixth currently in press, and four others in advanced stages of preparation.  The session will be organized to feature some of the main results of the Project’s 40 years of research and to summarize the long history of occupation at the site which spans more than 5000 years from the Chalcolithic Period to the modern era. Featured will be papers on the Early Bronze I, Early Bronze III, Late Bronze/Iron I, Iron II, Hellenistic, and 20th century CE periods of settlement and use.


J. P. Dessel (University of Tennessee), “The Late Bronze Age Settlement at Tell Halif” (15 min.)

Michael Stewart (Independent Scholar), “Iron Age to Roman Occupations Inside Tell Halif’s Defense Walls” (15 min.)

Susan Arter (San Diego Natural History Museum), “An Ethno-Zooarchaeological Study at Khirbet Khuweilifeh (Northen Negev, Israel)” (15 min.)

Annie Brown (University of Manitoba), “From Stone to Metal: Changes in Animal Butchering Technology at Tell Halif” (15 min.)

Oded Borowski (Emory University),“Lahav Research Project: Phase IV—A Summary” (15 min.)

Cynthia Shafer-Elliott (William Jessup University), “The Daily Bread at Tell Halif: An Overview of Food Production and Consumption” (15 min.)

Israel’s Exodus in Transdisciplinary Perspective

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Chairs: Thomas Schneider, University of British Columbia; Larry Geraty, La Sierra University; Thomas Levy, University of California-San Diego; and Brad Sparks

The Editors of “Israel’s Exodus in Transdisciplinary Perspective” (Springer, 2015) cordially invite the ASOR community to discuss and interact with the Editors in reviewing the findings, outcome and future implications of the groundbreaking work of more than 50 international scholars participating in the Exodus Conference at University of California, San Diego, in 2013.

Proceedings were published in April 2015, in the monograph, “Israel’s Exodus in Transdisciplinary Perspective,” eds. Thomas E. Levy, Thomas Schneider, W.H.C. Propp, Brad C. Sparks.

We invite assessments of the state of Exodus scholarship in light of the “Israel’s Exodus” volume and investigation of new avenues for future research, from the angle of archaeological, historical, textual, cultural and geoscientific disciplines. The session contributions will outline what a more integrated debate on the topic of Israel’s Exodus (“Exodus Studies”) may look like.

We plan on reserving the final 30-minute time slot for open panel discussion with the audience, if time permits.


Thomas Schneider (University of British Columbia), “The Names of Moses: Assessing Their Meaning and the Exodus Narratives” (15 min.)

Alison Acker Gruseke (Yale University), “Moses the Mesopotamian: The Birth of Moses, Social Space, and the Formation of Israelite Identity” (15 min.)

David Falk (University of Liverpool), “Ritual Processional Furniture as Context for the Ark of the Covenant: An Egyptological Perspective” (15 min.)

Manfred Bietak (Austrian Academy of Sciences), “Sojourn and Exodus from an Egyptological Perspective” (15 min.)

Malcolm Wiener (The Institute for Aegean Prehistory), “Dating the Exodus: Recent Evidence Concerning the Beginning and End of the Late Bronze Age” (15 min.)

Brad C. Sparks (Archaeological Research Group, Los Angeles-San Diego), “Exodus Historicity: Beginning a Re-evaluation” (15 min.)

Landscapes of Settlement in the Ancient Near East

: Jesse Casana, Dartmouth College and Emily Hammer, Oriental Institute, University of Chicago

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.


Kathryn Franklin (University of Chicago), “Settlement and Water Management Patterns in Spin Boldak, Afghanistan” (15 min.)

Maurits Ertsen (Delft University of Technology), “Agencies of the Assyrian Empire” (15 min.)

Marco Ramazzotti (La Sapienza, Rome), “A Neural Spatial Analysis of the Ur and Eridu Subregional Settlement System” (15 min.)

Eric Rupley (University of Michigan), “Games of States: Toward a Dynamics of Settlement Structure in Late Chalcolithic Protostates” (15 min.)

James Fraser (British Museum), “A New Model for Understanding the Relationship Between Dolmens, Settlement, and Geology in the Southern Levant in the Fourth Millennium B.C.” (15 min.)

Ralph Hawkins (Averett University), “Settlement in the Jordan Valley during the Iron Age I” (15 min.)


Catherine Kearns (University of Chicago), “Messy Countrysides: Discerning the Landscape Practices of Emerging Iron Age Communities” (15 min.)

Francesca Chelazzi (University of Glasgow), “Narratives in the Landscape: Second Generation Analysis in Bronze Age Southwestern Cyprus” (15 min.)

Jonathan White (University of Buffalo), “Cities in Bronze: Cyprus and Shang” (15 min.)

Pinar Durgun (Brown University),“‘My Lands Are Where My Dead Lie Buried’: Mortuary Landscapes and Memories in Bronze Age Anatolia” (15 min.)

Rolland Long (University of Chicago), “Mapping Historical Geography in Hittite Anatolia” (15 min.)

Yuval Gadot (Tel Aviv University), “Assyrian Influence on Jerusalem’s Rural and Urban Landscape” (15 min.)

Locating Mesopotamian Civilizations in Highland-Lowland Encounters

: Claudia Glatz, University of Glasgow and Matthew Rutz, Brown University

As in many other parts of the world, highlands and lowlands in ancient Mesopotamia are presented in past and present political and popular discourse as a fundamental dichotomy. A flamboyant rhetoric of alterity simultaneously makes lowland civilization and produces its highland anti-thesis. This conceptual framework has profoundly shaped historical and modern perceptions of highland and transitional societies as well as their contributions to the developmental processes that underlie the grand narratives of civilization. The binary highland-lowland nexus has also played an influential role in directing disciplinary practices in Assyriology and Near Eastern archaeology.

The aim of this session is to move away from rhetorical difference and the pervasive academic discourses of centrality and marginality it has nurtured. We propose that highland-lowland encounters and interactions are “good to think” when it comes to defining anew what we conceive of as civilization in Mesopotamia and elsewhere, and what and where its sources lie. We welcome contributions that grapple with the highland-lowland problem in discipline-specific and interdisciplinary ways using the data, methods, and theoretical approaches of archaeology, art history, and Assyriology.


Steve Renette (University of Pennsylvania), “The Zagros Interaction Sphere at the Beginning of the Bronze Age” (20 min.)

Holly Pittman (University of Pennsylvania), “Mesopotamia and the Iranian Plateau: Separate but Equal Partners in the Bronze Age of Exchange” (20 min.)

Claudia Glatz (University of Glasgow) and Jesse Casana (Dartmouth College), “Degrees of Separation: Geographical and Cultural Connectivity in the Zagros-Mesopotamian Interface” (20 min.)

Matthew Rutz (Brown University), “Imagined Mountains of Babylonia: Education and Commemoration” (20 min.)

Andrea Squitieri (Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich), “Neo-Assyrian Stones and Mountains: an Indestructible Link” (20 min.)

Material Culture and Identities in Eastern Mediterranean 

Chairs: Helen Malko, Columbia University and Serdar Yalcin, Parsons School of Design, The New School

The concept of identity is complicated, paradoxical, and culturally situated in time and place. Identity is both imposed by others and self-imposed, and is continuously asserted and reasserted in ways that are fluid and fixed. It can lie at the individual level and on a broader scale as it defines a person both a part of a group and as an individual. By recognizing the notion of material culture as integral to human action and the recurring nature of the relationship between objects and people, the proposed session aims at understanding different identities through the examination of personal artifacts, inscriptions, built environment, etc. It explores various facets of identity through the examination of material and visual culture throughout the Eastern Mediterranean from as early as the 3rd millennium B.C. to the Islamic Period over two sessions at ASOR 2016-17. The 2016 session will focus on the 3rd- 1st millennium B.C., bringing together scholars working in regions such as Anatolia, the Levant, Cyprus, and Mesopotamia, while the 2017 session will examine case studies dating to Late Antiquity and the Islamic periods. The goal is to gain a diachronic and cross-cultural understanding of individual and community lives along lines of profession, gender, ethnicity, class, age, etc.

Material Culture and Identities in Eastern Mediterranean I Presenters

Maggie Beeler (Bryn Mawr College), “The Social Dynamics of Early Helladic Sealing Practices” (20min.)

Joanna S. Smith (University of Pennsylvania), “Seals as Measures of Individual and Group Identity on Late Bronze Age Cyprus” (20 min.)

Serdar Yalcin (Parsons School of Design), “A Kassite Seal in the Hands of an Assyrian: Reused Artifacts and Identity Creation through Appropriation in the Ancient Near East” (20 min.)

Leticia R. Rodriguez (The University of Texas at Austin), “Ionian (Re)Vision: Shifting Perspectives and Identities of an East ‘Greek’ Sanctuary” (20 min.)

Erin Darby (University of Tennessee, Knoxville), “Manipulating Identities: What Figurines Actually Reveal about Identity Formation in the Ancient Near East” (20 min.)

Material Culture and Identities in Eastern Mediterranean II Presenters

Nathanael Shelley (Columbia University), “The Language of Difference: Ethno-Symbolic Identities in Greek, Hebrew, and Babylonian Texts” (15 min.)

Helen Malko (Columbia University), “Defining and Identifying the Kassites of Babylonia” (15 min.)

Jonathan Valk (New York University), “The Aramaization of Assyria: Linguistic Identities in Flux” (15 min.)

Lisa Saladino Haney (University of Pennsylvania), “Royal Identity during the Reign of Senwosret III” (15 min.)

Aaron Schade (Brigham Young University), “‘I Am Azatiwada … and May This City Possess Grain and Wine’: Altruistic Identity in the Phoenician/Luwian Bilingual Inscriptions of Azatiwada” (15 min.)

Maxwell Stocker (Texas Tech University), “Identity and Tomb Decoration in the Theban Necropolis: A Study of the Tomb-Chapel of Neferhotep (TT50)” (15 min.)

Material Culture and Identities in Eastern Mediterranean III Presenters

Thaddeus Nelson (Stony Brook University), “Fabric of Whose Land? Geographic Origins of Textiles in Neo-Assyrian Texts” (20 min.)

Nancy Highcock (New York University), “Identities on the Move: Material Culture and Mobility in the Old Assyrian Period” (20 min.)

Yagmur Heffron (University College London), “Factoids of Old Assyrian Visibility: A Historiographical Analysis” (20 min.)

Louise Hitchcock (University of Melbourne), “Pulp Fiction or Tangible Connections?” (20 min.)

Orit Peleg-Barkat (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), “Archaeology and Cultural Identity in Rural Sites of Judaea/Provincia Judaea in the Early Roman Period: The Case of Horvat ʿEleq” (20 min.)

Materiality of Communication

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Chairs: Emily Cole, Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, NYU and Alice Mandell, UW-Madison, Wisconsin

The purpose of this session is to investigate how the material of inscribed artifacts provides information as to how they were used as objects of communication. By examining various aspects of aesthetic, form, placement, context, medium, or execution, new opportunities for interpreting and understanding the text can appear. In many cases, form and content were inherently connected as a text needed to conform to a given surface or space. The papers that are given in this session will offer a variety of ways in which the physical material into which an inscription is carved can shed new light on the communicative function of the text, both in linguistic and non-linguistic ways. The session will offer new work on the materiality of writing, while shifting the focus onto the means by which inscribed texts were used as social tools in the different regions of the Ancient Near East.

Materiality of Communication I Presenters:

Jacob Lauinger (Johns Hopkins University), “The Look and Shape of Things: Extra-Linguistic Features of the Statue of Idrimi Inscription as Metadiscursive Phenomena” (15 min.)

Eric Wells (University of California, Los Angeles), “Recontextualizing Religion: Depicting Local Practice on Votive Stelae in New Kingdom Egypt” (15 min.)

Jody Washburn (Walla Walla University), “The Family Tomb as an Inscribed Artifact: A Material and Spatial Analysis of the Beit Lei Inscriptions” (15 min.)

Catherine Bonesho (University of Wisconsin-Madison), “Aesthetics of Empire: The Importance of Presentation in Palmyrene and Latin Bilingual Inscriptions” (15 min.)

Elizabeth Wueste (University of California, Berkeley), “Managing Multiple Conversations: The Multileveled Communication of Late Antique Honorific Monuments and Epigraphy” (15 min.)

Materiality of Communication II Presenters:

Rita Lucarelli (University of California, Berkeley), “Ancient Egyptian Magical Spells in 3D and the Materiality of the Book of the Dead” (15 min.)

Foy Scalf (Oriental Institute, University of Chicago), “The Pragmatics of Interment: How the Placement of Funerary Papyri Embodied the Divine in Roman Egypt” (15 min.)

Emilia Mataix-Ferrándiz (University of Southampton), “Rethinking the Roman Epigraphy of Merchandise: A Metapragmatic Approach” (15 min.)

Willis Monroe (University of British Columbia), “Looking Through the Cracks: Tracing Damage on Cuneiform Tablets” (15 min.)

Marian Feldman (Johns Hopkins University), “Inscribing Cosmic Space on the Babylonian Map of the World” (15 min.)

Methods of Historiography in the Study of Ancient Israel and the Levant – Joint Session with SBL

Chairs: Matthew Suriano, University of Maryland and Lauren Monroe, Cornell University

The program will address the methods and theories used by scholars of the ancient Near East and the Hebrew Bible. For 2016, the session’s theme will focus specifically on memory and history, in the material and textual records, and the methodological questions that underscore this dialectic. The major work on the subject, beginning in the twentieth century with Maurice Halbwachs, treated history and memory as discrete yet interrelated categories. But with Near Eastern studies in general, and biblical studies in particular, the analysis of history and memory often assumes, without problematizing, the latter while focusing on the literary qualities of the former. This approach founders upon questions of how cultural memory was constructed in the ancient Levant in part because memory is inherently tied to the material world. Archaeologists are well attuned to the matter of memory, and the ways by which it could be given substantive form, monumentalized, and even fixed in the local topography. But correlating the material record with the textualization of memory and the production of historical narratives is often highly fraught. Therefore, this year’s joint session with SBL will address the complex issues of history and memory by facilitating dialogue between scholars of texts and artifacts.


Lauren Monroe (Cornell University), “History and Memory: An Introduction” (10 min.)

Ron Hendel (University of California, Berkeley), “Cultural Memory, the Exodus, and the Conquest of Canaan: Biblical Archaeology in a New Key” (15 min.)

James Osborne (University of Chicago), “In Big Things Remembered: Memory and Counter-Monumentality” (15 min.)

Deirdre Fulton (Baylor University), “Memorializing Sacrifice in Text and Artifact” (15 min.)

Anne Katrine de Hemmer Gudme (University of Copenhagen), “Material Memories: Ensuring Divine Remembrance in the Pentateuch and in Aramaic Dedicatory Inscriptions” (15 min.)

New Insights Into the History of Sepphoris from the Sepphoris Regional Project

Chairs: Eric Meyers, Duke University and Carol Meyers, Duke University

The aim of the session is to update the field on the revised and expanded interpretations of the history of Sepphoris that will be reflected in the final published reports of the western summit excavations of Duke University. These presentations will highlight the conclusions of the recently published lamp volume by Eric C. Lapp, and new insights gained from the stratigraphic and small finds reports that have been written and submitted.  Among the topics to be considered are: the royal presence on the western summit (Herod Antipas); evidence for domestic dining and feasting in the large domiciles there including the Dionysos Mansion; household goods and cultural exchange; and seating capacity in the Byzantine synagogue.


Benjamin Gordon (University of Pittsburgh), “A Fortress on the Western Summit? A New Look at the Development of Sepphoris under Royal Judean Auspices” (25 mins.)

Sean Burrus (Duke University), “Household Goods and Cultural Exchange at Roman Sepphoris” (25 mins.)

Alan Todd (Coastal Carolina University), “The Social Functions of Feasts: Evidence from Unit II and the Dionysos Mansion” (25 min.)

Chad Spigel (Trinity University), “Synagogue Seating and the Jewish Population of Sepphoris” (25 min.)

New Light on Old Collections

Chairs: Chairs: Patrick Degryse, KU Leuven and Andrew Shortland, Cranfield University

Collections derived from archaeological excavations in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries are preserved in many local, national and university museums. This session aims to showcase how the use of novel analytical techniques, often non or minimally invasive in nature, can be applied to the study of these historical collections. It will illustrate how using the latest advances in analytical technology can generate exciting new information that will have an impact in the wider study of Near Eastern archaeology and history. It will aim to show that this new interest can be at a scholarly level, with advanced techniques such as isotope and trace element geochemistry providing information on provenance and manufacture. However, it is also capable of creating visual displays and interpretations accessible to the general public as a whole, especially through new imaging techniques such as micro-CT combined with modern software. The session will demonstrate the continuing importance of maintaining these collections, as sometimes the only surviving testimony to an ancient culture.


Patrick Degryse (KU Leuven), “A Lost Metal/A Metal Lost: Antimony Through The Looking Glass” (15 min.)

Andrew Shortland (Cranfield University), “Using CT to Image and 3D print Cuneiform Tablets without Removing Them from Their Envelopes” (15 min.)

Marc Walton (Northwestern University), “Reconstructing the Social and Ethnic Identity of Ancient Roman Egyptians through the Analysis of Their Mummy Portraits” (15 min.)

Dennis Braekmans (Leiden University), “Ubiquitous Ceramics in Unique Museum Collections: The Integration of Past and Present Archaeometric Analyses” (15 min.)

Eric Kansa (Open Context, San Francisco), “Carthago Reciperanda Est: Online Data Publication of the ASOR Punic Project Excavations at Carthage” (15 min.)

Véronique Van der Stede (Royal Museums of Art and History, Brussels), “Hidden Heritage: Opening Up and Restudying Collections from Old Belgian Excavations in the Near East” (15 min.)

Glass in the Ancient Near East

Chairs: Katherine Larson, University of Michigan/Corning Museum of Glass and Carolyn Swan, University College London, Qatar

The Near East is the heartland of ancient glassmaking: from the earliest production of glass vessels in the second millennium BCE Mesopotamia and the innovation of glassblowing in the first century BCE Levant, to largescale industrial production of the Late Roman-Byzantine eras and the artistic finesse of the Islamic period. Despite this rich history, synthetic discussion of the contributions of glass to the Near Eastern social, political, and economic landscapes have largely been lacking. Glass scholars have traditionally limited their research to typologies and dates, but this trend has been steadily changing over the last decade.  Our goals of this session are thus twofold: to raise the profile of glass scholarship in the ASOR community, and to encourage glass scholars to ask more complex historical and archaeological questions of their glass assemblages.  Papers in this session will go beyond presenting basic excavation data and instead engage with larger questions of concern to other Near Eastern scholars, including the role of glass in daily life, trade and exchange, workshop organization and artistic production, as well as sociocultural aspects like identity and taste.


Katherine Eremin (Harvard Art Museums), “The Origins of Glass: the Near East or Egypt?” (15 min.)

Eduardo Escobar (University of California, Berkeley), “Glass-Making as Scribal Craft” (15 min.)

Katharina Schmidt (Ludwig-Maximilians Universität München), “Innovations in Iron Age Mesopotamian Glass Technology” (15 min.)

Allison Sterrett-Krause (College of Charleston), “But Is It A Bottle? Statistical Insights into Fragmentary Assemblages of Roman Glass” (15 min.)

Hallie Meredith (Washington State University), “Contextualising Çadir Höyük: Investigating Cross-Regional Variations in Turkish Domestic Glassware” (15 min.)

Julian Henderson (Nottingham University), “New Evidence for Glass Production and Trade on the Middle Eastern Silk Road” (15 min.)

New Light on Persian Period Judah – The Archaeological Perspective

Chair: Oded Lipschits, Tel Aviv University

The “Persian period” is a well-defined period from the historical point of view, but is still not clear enough from the archaeological perspective. Since during the last few years many new archaeological finds from Persian period Judah were excavated and published, the goal of the 2016 session (second in a three-year ASOR sessions) is to deal with “Judah in Transition from the Persian to the Hellenistic Period.”


Oded Lipschits (Tel Aviv University) “New Light on Persian Period Judah: The Archaeological Perspective; Judah in Transition from the Persian to the Hellenistic Period (General Introduction)” (20 min.)

Noa Shatil (Tel Aviv University), “The Persian and Early Hellenistic Pottery from Tel Azekah (Israel)” (20 min.)

Debora Sandhaus (Tel Aviv University and Israel Antiquities Authority), “Pottery Horizons in Judah: Toward a New Understanding of the Transition between the Fourth and Third Centuries B.C.E.” (20 min.)

Nitsan Shalom (Tel Aviv University), “Changes in Settlement Patterns in Judah between the Persian and Hellenistic Periods” (20 min.)

Jose Balcells (Badè Museum, Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley), “Household and Family Ritual and Religion in Persian Period Tell en-Nasbeh” (20 min.)

New Research in Pre-Islamic Central Asia

Chairs: Jeffrey Lerner, Wake Forest University and Charlotte Maxwell-Jones, The Asia Foundation

This panel looks broadly at the changing human landscape of Central Asia, where urbanism and nomadism coincided for millennia.  We focus on the modern countries of Afghanistan, eastern Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, encompassing the Achaemenid, Hellenistic, nomadic, Kushan, Sasanid, Hephthalite, and Turkic periods. The increasing volume of new archaeological and textual information (ostraka, inscriptions &.) unearthed each year has provided the opportunity to further our understanding of this complex region. It allows new questions to be asked and long-running assumptions to be challenged about the nature of Central Asia in Antiquity. How did the frequent political upheavals and the movement of goods, peoples, and ideas affect cultural continuity? Has the lack of political continuity created common characteristics among the seemingly different cultures? This panel seeks to explore these issues and invites contributions from a range of disciplines, including but not limited to Archaeology, Art History, History, Indology, Central Asian, Middle Eastern, and Near Eastern studies, Numismatics, and Sinology. Papers exploring aspects of Central Asia within the period running from the mid-1st millennium BCE to the mid-1st millennium CE are particularly welcome, but papers relating to earlier periods will certainly be considered.


Jeffrey Lerner (Wake Forest University), “The Silk Road Fortresses of the Vakhan Valley” (20 min.)

Emily Hammer (The University of Chicago), “Pre-Islamic Fortresses of the Balkhab River Valley (Northern Afghanistan)” (20 min.)

Wu Xin (University of Pennsylvania), “Investigating the Transition from the Achaemenid to the Hellenistic Period in Central Asia: Kyzyltepa as a Case Study” (20 min.)

Fahim Rahimi (National Museum of Afghanistan), “Museums of Afghanistan: Preservation, Presentation, and Future Plans” (20 min.)

Charlotte Maxwell-Jones (The Asia Foundation), “Greek Material Culture at Ai Khanoum and Bactra” (20 min.)

Object, Text, and Image: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Seals, Sealing Practices, and Administration

Chairs: Sarah Scott, Wagner College and Oya Topcuoglu, University of Chicago

When studied from an interdisciplinary perspective, seals and sealing practices can genuinely contribute to our understanding of ancient Near Eastern society.  Rather than take a broad look at seals and sealing practices, these sessions will specifically examine the relationships between text and image, and the roles symbols play in administration. Papers will reflect recent developments in the functional, stylistic, and iconographic analysis of seals and sealings as well as new methodologies in seals studies. Research particularly combines art historical, archaeological, historical, and philological perspectives. Participant will address a variety of topics and questions, including but not limited to: 1) Seals as archaeological objects and/or text-bearing artifacts, 2) How the imagery of seals identifies, complements, or replicates associated texts and vice versa, 3) Seals and sealing practices as reflections of individual/collective identity, gender, professional affiliation, social status, belief systems, ideologies, political and social affiliation, 4) Practical and symbolic function of seals, 5) Seals and sealing practices as evidence of foreign contacts and exchange, 6) Seals and sealing practices as chronological markers, 7) Current issues and challenges in the study of seals and sealing practices.

Object, Text, and Image: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Seals, Sealing Practices, and Administration I PRESENTERS:

Anastasia Amrhein (University of Pennsylvania), “What Does the Materiality of Seals Evince about the Materiality of the Divine in the Context of the Neo-Assyrian Empire?” (20 min.)

Benedetta Bellucci (University of Pavia), “The Two-Headed Eagle on Ancient Near Eastern Seals” (20 min.)

Gina Konstantopoulos (Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, NYU), “The Role and Function of Nonmirrored Inscriptions on Cylinder Seals” (20 min.)

Andrew McCarthy (CAARI), “Flip the Script: Early Egyptian Seals and the Bidirectionality of Hieroglyphs” (20 min.)

Karen Sonik (Auburn University), “Myth in Miniature: Word, Image, and the Cylinder Seal” (20 min.)

Object, Text, and Image: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Seals, Sealing Practices, and Administration II PRESENTERS:

Vanessa Boschloos (Ghent University, Royal Museums of Art and History), “Egyptianizing Seals in Syro-Mesopotamia and the Levant” (20 min.)

Katrien De Graef (Ghent University), “Seals on Heels: The Sealing Practice of Female Economic Actors in Old Babylonian Sippar” (20 min.)

Gregg Jamison (University of Wisconsin-Madison), “Inscribed Unicorn Seals of the Indus Civilization: A Diachronic Comparative Study of Style, Technology, and Socio-Political Organization” (20 min.)

Véronique Pataï (Université Lumière Lyon 2, Laboratoire Archéorient), “Texts and Seal Impressions at Nuzi: The Case of the Scribe Taya Son of Apil-Sîn” (20 min.)

Matteo Vigo (University of Copenhagen), “The Two-Headed Eagle on Seal Impressions of Hittite Dignitaries: A Prosopographical Approach” (20 min.)

Object, Text, and Image: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Seals, Sealing Practices, and Administration III PRESENTERS:

Katherine Burge (University of Pennsylvania), “Maintaining Imperial Ties: Networks of Interaction in Northern Mesopotamia Post-Shamshi-Adad” (20 min.)

Emmanuelle Honoré (McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research / St John’s College), “A Chronological Perspective on the Evolution of the Manufacture of Cylinder Seals and Sealing Practices at the Dawn of Writing at Uruk-Warka and Susa” (20 min.)

Vera Müller (Austrian Academy of Sciences, OREA – Institute of Oriental and European Archaeology, Department Egypt & Levant), “The Diversity of Sealing Practices in the Tomb Equipment of the First Dynasty King Den at Abydos/Egypt” (20 min.)

Maria Victoria Almansa Villatoro (Brown University), “Six Recently Uncovered Egyptian Scarabs at Ayamonte (Spain): Eastern Fascination in the Westernmost Phoenician Necropolis” (20 min.)

Luc Watrin (GREPAL), “Decoding the Seal Impressions from Cemetery-U at Abydos (Egypt): Urukian Influences and Local Developments Between 3300 and 3150 B.C.” (20 min.)

Recent Discoveries from the Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon

Chair: Daniel Master, Wheaton College

The Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon excavated in the field from 1985-2016, with 2016 as the final season. This session will discuss some of the most recent discoveries at the site.


Janling Fu (Harvard University), “Identifying A Philistine Burial Assemblage in The Iron IIA-IIB at Ashkelon” (20 min.)

Bridget Alex (Harvard University), “Radiocarbon dating of human remains from Ashkelon Iron Age cemetery” (20 min.)

Michal Feldman (Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History), “Untangling the Ancestry of the Philistines through Ancient DNA” (20 min.)

Adam Aja (Harvard Semitic Museum), “Ashkelon’s Philistine Cemetery” (20 min.)

Sherry C. Fox (Eastern Michigan University), “The Contextual Study of the Human Skeletal Remains from the Philistine Cemetery at Ashkelon” (20 min.)

Senses and Sensibility in the Near East

Chair: Kiersten Neumann, Oriental Institute, University of Chicago

The emergence of phenomenological approaches to landscape and the built environment has encouraged the present and ever-growing interest in sensorial experience and affectivity in the fields of archaeology, anthropology, art history, and text studies (Merleau-Ponty 1962; Tilley 1994; Hamilakis 2013). Questions of the tactile, auditory, olfactory, and gustatory phenomena of objects, spaces, and practices are starting to be explored with as much ardor as the visual, visuality being the most accessible sense for archaeologists and historians to reconstruct. Such pursuits benefit from a treatment of the senses and sense-making not as isolated passive encounters of an individual moving through the world, but rather as being intricately connected and constituted by a person’s active cultural and social context and memory.

Contributions to this session will take a multiplicity of theoretical and methodological approaches that individually yield insight into representation, reception, and interaction in the ancient world, the traces of which are preserved and accessible in both material and textual forms. This broad spectrum of papers will help bring to light culturally meaningful sensory experience, as well as the social and political dynamics of past worlds and human encounters.

Senses and Sensibility in the Near East I PRESENTERS:

Elke Friedrich (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), “A Semantic Examination of Akkadian Verbs of Perception” (20 min.)

Shiyanthi Thavapalan (Yale University), “Colorful Persuasion: Evoking Luxury in Ancient Mesopotamia” (20 min.)

Allison Thomason (Southern Illinois University Edwardsville), “The Sensory Experience and Biopolitics of Royal Banquets in Assyria” (20 min)

Anne-Caroline Rendu Loisel (University of Toulouse Jean Jaurès, University of Strasbourg), “Meeting the Divine in Rituals: Substances, Material, and Multisensory Experiences in Cuneiform Texts” (20 min.)

Rick Bonnie (University of Helsinki), “How Would Jews have Experienced the Early Synagogues?” (20 min.)

Senses and Sensibility in the Near East II PRESENTERS:

Stephanie Langin-Hooper (Southern Methodist University), “Miniatures at the Multiple Intersections of Vision and Touch: Seals, Figurines, and Jewelry in Hellenistic Babylonia” (20 min.)

Melissa Cradic (University of California, Berkeley), “Scents and Sensibility: The Sensorial Roles of Lamps in Funerary Rituals during the Second Millennium B.C.E” (20 min.)

Helen Dixon (University of Helsinki), “Perfuming the Dead: Evidence for the Use of Aromatic Oil and Resins in Phoenician Mortuary Practice” (20 min.)

Lissette Jimenez (San Francisco State University), “The Sixth Sense: Multisensory Encounters with the Dead in Roman Egypt” (20 min.)

Sicily and the Levant

Chairs: Randall Younker, Andrews University and Elisabeth Lesnes, Andrews University

This session will show various trade and cultural ties between the central Mediterranean and the Levant through time.


Lorenzo Nigro (Sapienza University of Rome), “Across the Sea: Phoenicians at Motya and Mediterranean Interconnections in the Second and First Millennia B.C.” (15 min.)

Rossella Giglio (Direttore del Servizio per i Beni Archeologici pressola Soprintendenza per i Beni Culturali ed Ambientali, Trapani, Italy),“Byzantine Presences in Lilibeo” (15 min.)

Justin Singleton (Andrews University), “The Cultural Adaptation of a Semipalatial System at Mokarta, Sicily” (15 min.)

Giorgia Lanzarone (San Miceli Project, Salemi, Trapani, Italy), “The Sacredness of the Water between Paganism and Christianity: The Movement of a Symbol from the Near East to Sicily” (15 min.)

Elisabeth Lesnes (Andrews University and San Miceli Project, Salemi, Trapani, Italy ), “Monitoring Syria’s Cultural Heritage via Time-Sequenced DigitalGlobe Satellite Imagery” (15 min.)

Randall W. Younker (Andrews University), “The Emergence of Christian Culture in Western Sicily” (15 min.)

The Iron Age I in the Levant: A View from the North

Chairs: Hanan Charaf, University of Paris I and Lynn Welton, Oriental Institute, University of Chicago

The transition from the Late Bronze Age to the Iron Age I in the northern Levant has received increasing attention in the last decade or so, and has been the focus of multiple workshops.  However, conferences and volumes dedicated to examining this transitional period have often focused on either the coastal region or on southeastern Anatolia and inland Syria, and the inter-relationships between these two zones have not been comprehensively examined.  This session aims to bring together researchers from these regions to discuss their relationship during the Iron Age I in order to form a better understanding of this period in the northern Levant.  We aim to focus on the evidence of material culture, including ceramics and evidence of textile production, as well as archaeozoological and palaeobotanical data, in order to address themes such as continuity, change, and cultural regionalism during this transition.


Sara Pizzimenti (Sapienza University of Rome), “The Iron Age I at Karkemish: New Results from Areas C, G, and S” (25 min.)

Doga Karakaya (University of Tübingen), “Agricultural Patterns at Tell Tayinat and Beyond: The Archaeobotanical and Stable Carbon Isotope Evidence” (25 min.)

Eric Jensen (University of Arkansas), “Destruction, Recovery, and Renewal: The Late Bronze to Iron Age Transition at Tell Qarqur” (25 min.)

Elisabeth Wagner-Durand (Albert-Ludwigs-University, Freiburg), “Rural Peace after City Life? Kamid el-Loz during the Iron Age” (25 min.)

The Middle Bronze Age in the Southern Levant Revisited: Chronology and Connections

Chairs: Felix Höflmayer, Austrian Academy of Sciences and Susan Cohen, Montana State University

The Middle Bronze Age of the southern and central Levant is characterized by a process of renewed urbanization (after the de-urbanized Early Bronze IV or Intermediate Bronze Age) that culminated in highly fortified sites and increased settlement spread throughout the southern and central Levant, increased international trade with Egypt and the eastern Mediterranean in general, and an influx of Aegean art, as exemplified at Tel Kabri. The end of this era is marked by abundant destruction horizons that have been either attributed to the Egyptians in their pursuit of the retreating Hyksos or the military campaigns of the early New Kingdom pharaohs, depending on which chronology is applied.

A sound absolute chronology is the backbone of history and necessary to understand the Middle Bronze Age Levant in the broader context of the eastern Mediterranean. Recent radiocarbon dating projects challenge long-held chronological synchronisms and call for a renewed interpretation of the interregional connections between the Levant and Egypt and the eastern Mediterranean based on scientific data. This session intends to present and discuss the most up-to-date chronological data and to analyze its implications on the history and archaeology of the Middle Bronze Age.

The Middle Bronze Age in the Southern Levant Revisited: Chronology and Connections I PRESENTERS: 

Felix Höflmayer (Austrian Academy of Sciences), “Introductory Remarks” (5 min.)

Susan Cohen (Montana State University), “Reevaluation of Connections between Egypt and the Southern Levant in the Middle Bronze Age” (25 min)

Steven Falconer (University of North Carolina – Charlotte), “New Radiocarbon Sequences at Tell Abu en-Ni`aj and Tell el-Hayyat, Jordan, and Their Implication for Bronze Age Chronology” (25 min)

Felix Höflmayer (Austrian Academy of Sciences), “A New Middle Bronze Age Chronology and its Implications for Egypt and the Levant” (25 min)

Sturt Manning (Cornell University), “Middle Bronze Age Anatolian Dendrochronology and Levantine Chronology” (25 min)

The Middle Bronze Age in the Southern Levant Revisited: Chronology and Connections II PRESENTERS:

Susan Cohen (Montana State University), “Introductory Remarks” (5 min.)

Assaf Yasur-Landau (University of Haifa), “The Relative and Absolute Chronology of the Kabri Palace and the Chronology of Aegean-Style Wall Paintings in the East” (25 min)

Shlomit Bechar (The Hebrew University, Jerusalem), “The MB-LB Transition: Architectural Evidence from Tel Hazor” (25 min)

Katharina Streit (The Hebrew University, Jerusalem), “A Maximalist Interpretation of the Execration Texts – Archaeological and Historical Implications of a High Chronology” (25 min)

Manfred Bietak (Austrian Academy of Sciences), Discussant, “Tell el-Dab`a and Chronology” (25 min)

The Tandy Institute for Archaeology (Fort Worth TX) – A Decade of Research

Chairs: Steven Ortiz, Tandy Institute for Archaeology and Thomas Davis, Tandy Institute for Archaeology

As ASOR comes to San Antonio, the Tandy Archaeological Research Institute, a Texas Research Institute, and ASOR member wants to celebrate a decade of robust academic development and research. In this session we will highlight our three active archaeological field projects, Tel Gezer Excavations, Kourion Urban Space Project, and the Gezer Regional Survey; review our expanding museum research collection; and present future directions of the Tandy. A report on the current status of the SWBTS Dead Sea Scrolls publication project, as well as preliminary results of the research into these particular fragments, will be presented. Prospective Tandy projects will be announced involving Egypt and Central Asia. Welcome to the Republic.


Thomas Davis (Tandy Institute for Archaeology), “The Kourion Urban Space Project: Retrospects and Prospects” (20 min.)

Eric Mitchell (Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary), “The Gezer Regional Survey” (20 min.)

Steven Ortiz (Tandy Institute for Archaeology), “The Tel Gezer Excavations: The Transformation of a Border City in the Late Bronze and Iron Ages” (20 min.)

Sidnie White Crawford (University of Nebraska), “The Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Dead Sea Scroll Fragments” (20 min.)

Mark D. Janzen (Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary), “Forthcoming Epigraphic Work at the Cour de la Cathette at Karnak Temple” (20 min.)

The Fourth Expedition to Lachish, 2013-16: A Report on the First Four Seasons

Chairs: Yosef Garfinkel, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Michael Hasel, Southern Adventist University

This session will present the results of The Fourth Expedition to Lachish sponsored by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Southern Adventist University and consortium institutions, involving 115-120 staff and participants every season. The focus will be primarily on the last two seasons of excavations, but will give an overview of all four seasons. Papers will focus on reports of the different excavation areas (Areas AA, BB, and CC) as well as on methodology, specific find categories, and special finds.

The Fourth Expedition to Lachish, 2013-16: A Report on the First Four Seasons I PRESENTERS:

Yosef Garfinkel (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem), “The Fourth Expedition to Lachish: Results of Seasons 2013-2016” (30 min.)

Michael G. Hasel (Southern Adventist University), “The Elite Houses of Area AA and the Date of the Palace-Fort of Tel Lachish” (25 min.)

Martin G. Klingbeil (Southern Adventist University), “Four Judean Bullae from the 2014 Season at Tell Lachish” (25 min.)

Saar Ganor (Israel Antiquities Authority), “The Six-Chambered Gate and Shrine of Level III at Lachish” (25 min.)

The Fourth Expedition to Lachish, 2013-16: A Report on the First Four Seasons II PRESENTERS:

Hoo-Goo Kang (Seoul Jangsin University), “The Area CC Fortifications at Tel Lachish” (20 min.)

Itamar Weissbein (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem), “The Recently Discovered Late Bronze Age Temple at Tel Lachish” (20 min.)

Igor Kreimerman (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem), “The Destruction Process of the Newly Discovered Late Bronze Age Temple at Tel Lachish” (20 min.)

Shifra Weiss (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem), “The Judean Shephelah in the 7th Century B.C.E. in Light of New Results from Tel Lachish” (20 min.)

Daniel Perez (The University of Nevada, Las Vegas), “Mapping and Modeling at Tel Lachish” (20 min.)

The Tel Dan Excavations at Fifty

Chairs: Jonathan Greer, Grand Rapids Theological Seminary and David Ilan, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

In celebration of 50 years of excavation at Tel Dan, this session aims to:
1) summarize the last 50 years of excavation
2) present findings from the renewed 2005-2016 seasons
3) describe current aims and new questions for future seasons


David Ilan (Hebrew Union College, Jerusalem), “Tel Dan: New Insights from the Last Ten Years: the Early Bronze and Middle Bronze Ramparts, an Unfinished Iron Age Gate, and an Eighth Century B.C. Earthquake” (25 min.)

Yifat Thareani (Hebrew Union College, Jerusalem), “Physical Manifestations of an Imperial Enclave: A Neo-Assyrian Governor’s Residence at Tel Dan” (25 min.)

Jonathan Greer (Grand Rapids Theological Seminary), “Bones and the Bible: Recent Zooarchaeological Research from Tel Dan and Implications for Biblical Studies” (25 min.)

Levana Zias (Hebrew Union College, Jerusalem), “From High Place to No Place: Tel Dan in the Hellenistic and Roman Periods” (25 min.)

Theoretical and Methodological Approaches to the Study of Dress and the Body: Dress and Gender Identity

Chair: Megan Cifarelli, Manhattanville College

Dress plays an essential role in the iterative performance of gender in antiquity, subtly shaping bodies, modifying movements, and providing templates for socially sanctioned gendered identities. The traces of these gendered identities, the “rules” they establish, and their impact on the body are present in the archaeological, textual and visual records of the Ancient Near East. The goal of this session is to provide an opportunity to discuss different theoretical and methodological strategies for the interpretation of the part played by dress in the construction and negotiation of gendered identity, and to encourage collaborative dialogue within the field. Rather than simply presenting case studies, this session will feature papers that articulate the theoretical underpinnings of their research, as well as the methodological strategies employed.


Cynthia Colburn (Pepperdine University), “Colorful Meaning(s) in Bronze Age Men’s and Women’s Dress” (20 min.)

Kathleen McCaffrey (Independent Researcher), “The Clothes Make the Man: Male and Female Cross-Dressing in Mesopotamia” (20 min.)

Neville McFerrin (Sweet Briar College), “Embodied Meanings: Gendered Biases, Semiotic Slippage, and the Functions of Adornment in Achaemenid Persia” (20 min.)

Maura Heyn (University of North Carolina at Greensboro), “Dressed by Whom? Interpreting Agency and Identity in the Costume Choices for Palmyrene Women” (20 min.)

Aliza Steinberg (Independent Researcher), “Gender, Status and Dress Code as Reflected on the Mosaics Pavement within the Historical-Geographic Area of Eretz Israel toward the End of Late Antiquity” (20 min.)

Yerushalayim, Al Quds, Jerusalem: Recent Development and Problems in the Archaeological and Historical Studies from the Bronze Age to Medieval Periods

Chairs: Yuval Gadot, Tel-Aviv University and Gideon Avni, Israel Antiquity Authority

This session will be devoted to the presentation of new archaeological and historical research related to the political, social and economic history of Jerusalem from the Bronze Age to the Medieval periods. The importance of Jerusalem for the history and archaeology of the Southern Levant cannot be overestimated. For over three millennia the city has stood as a center of political, economic and religious affairs. As such it has attracted the attention and imagination of scholars across the globe and finds from the city and its region echo in the public realm. The session will present an assortment of studies relating to the most recent finds from the many excavations conducted within the city and its hinterland, focusing on several major topics in which significant contribution to the knowledge of Jerusalem’s history has been made. In its first year, the session will focus on the political and cultural diversity of Jerusalem in the Iron, Persian and Hellenistic periods and on the relationship between the city and its hinterland in the Classical periods.

Yerushalayim, Al Quds, Jerusalem: Recent Developments and Dilemmas in the Archaeological and Historical Studies from the Bronze Age to Medieval Periods I PRESENTERS:

Doron Ben-Ami (Israel Antiquities Authority), “Has the Acra Citadel Been Discovered in Jerusalem?” (20 min.)

Moran Hagbi (Israel Antiquities Authority), “The Nature of Roman Building Projects: A View from the Western Wall Foundations” (20 min)

Helena Roth (Tel-Aviv University), “Jerusalem’s Arboreal Environment and Wood Economy during the Early Roman Period” (20 min.)

Ilana Peters (Bar-Ilan University), “Food Remains from Jerusalem During the Second Temple and Its Destruction” (20 min.)

Jodi Magness (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) Discussant (15 min.)

Yerushalayim, Al Quds, Jerusalem: Recent Developments and Dilemmas in the Archaeological and Historical Studies from the Bronze Age to Medieval Periods II PRESENTERS:

Ortal Chalaf (Israel Antiquities Authority), “The Dynamic Nature of the Ayyubid Settlement in Jerusalem: A View from the Western Wall Plaza” (20 min.)

Johanna Regev (Dangoor Research Accelerator Mass Spectrometer Radiocarbon Laboratory, Weizmann Institute of Science), “Microarchaeologically Sampled Radiocarbon Dates from the City of David Excavations” (20 min.)

Joe Uziel (Israel Antiquities Authority), “Absolute Dating of the Spring Tower and its Implications on the Fortification Systems of Jerusalem in the Bronze and Iron Ages” (20 min)

Gary Knoppers (University of Notre Dame), “Jerusalem in the Persian Period: A Disjunction between the Archaeological Finds and the Biblical Literature?” (20 min.)

Thomas E. Levy (University of California, San Diego), Discussant (15 min.)

Levantine Ceramics Project Workshop

Chair: Andrea Berlin, Boston University

The Levantine Ceramics Project (LCP) is a crowd-sourced website designed to communicate, link, and expand the use of archaeological data in order to advance research. The project website is devoted to information on ceramic wares, petro-fabrics, individual vessels, petrographic analyses, and kiln sites from anywhere in the Levant, meaning the modern countries of Turkey, Syria, Cyprus, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, anytime from the Neolithic era (c. 5500 B.C.E.) through the time of Ottoman rule (c. 1920 C.E.). I propose a series of LCP workshop sessions, focused on specific regions and periods, such as Bronze Age Cyprus, Iron Age Jordan, early Islamic/Medieval Syria, etc. in which specialists can present data they have submitted to the site, and address points of overlap and disagreement. The site’s architecture allows entries to be edited, thus preserving and communicating new conclusions and understandings. Together the LCP website and workshops function as an ongoing research collaborative, dynamic archive, and flexible scholarly forum, connecting scholars with scholarship old and new. The initial workshop will be devoted to defining, describing, and comparing petro-fabrics of the southernmost Levant, meaning southern Lebanon and Israel.


Kamal Badreshany (Durham University), “Petro-Fabrics of Southern Lebanon” (15 min.)

Anastasia Shapiro (Israel Antiquities Authority), “Petro-Fabrics of the Galilee and Northern Coastal Plain, Israel” (15 minutes)

Paula Waiman-Barak (Haifa University), “Petro-Fabrics of the Carmel Coast, Israel” (15 min.)

Barak Monnickendam-Givon (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem), “Southern Phoenician Wares: A Ceramicist’s Perspective” (15 min.)

Anat Cohen-Weinberger (Israel Antiquities Authority), “Petro-Fabrics of the Judaean-Samarian Mountains, Israel” (15 min.)

David Ben-Shlomo (Ariel University), “Petro-Fabrics of the Shephelah and Southern Coastal Plain, Israel” (15 min.)

Object Biography for Archaeologists III: A Multivocal Narrative (Workshop)

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CHAIRS: Nancy Serwint, Arizona State University; and Rick Hauser, IIMAS International Institute for Mesopotamian Area Studies; Visiting Research Fellow, Department of Asian Languages and Literatures, University of Minnesota, Presiding

Description: This interactive workshop considers how those of us in Near Eastern studies present the objects we excavate to others. Speculative object biographies for one of four objects chosen by the workshop organizers will be proposed by specialists from different fields. Objects (absent a known life history) may be viewed here.


Sarah Kielt Costello (University of Houston-Clear Lake), “Object Biography: Materiality” (5 min.)

Massimiliano Pinarello (University College London), “The Perpetual Platypus” (5 min.)

Emily Miller Bonney (California State University-Fullerton), “Hiding Small Animals from View” (5 min.)

Brent Davis (University of Melbourne), “A Temple Foundation Peg” (5 min.)

Annelies Van de Ven (University of Melbourne), “The Role of Object Biographies in Museology” (5 min.)

Erin Averett (Creighton University), “The ‘Authentic’ and the Digital: 3D Imaging Technologies and Object Biography” (5 min.)

William Caraher (University of North Dakota), “Excavating in the 21st Century: A Fictional Biography Mediated by Technology” (5 min.)

Morag Kersel (DePaul University) “Context Matters: Objects, Materiality, and Law” (5 min.)

Observations & Tentative Conclusions (45 min.)

Ancient Inscriptions 

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

Description: The focus of this session is epigraphic material from Syria, Palestine, Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Anatolia. Paper proposals that consist of new readings (of previously published inscriptions) or constitute preliminary presentations of new epigraphic discoveries are of special interest.

Ancient Inscriptions I PRESENTERS:

Douglas Petrovich (Wilfrid Lauier University), “Hebrew as the World’s Oldest Alphabet: Palaeography and Translation of the Proto-Consonantal Inscriptions of Egypt’s Middle Kingdom (Sinai 115, Wadi el-Hol 1 and 2, and the Lahun Bilingual Ostracon)” (20 min.)

Aren Wilson-Wright (The University of Texas, Austin), “A Previously Unrecognized Early Alphabetic Inscription from Egypt in the Hibbard Collection” (20 min.)

David Z. Moster (Bar-Ilan University), “The Four Lands of Mesha: An Analysis of Jordanian Geography during the Iron Age” (20 min.)

Adam Bean (Johns Hopkins University), “The Inscribed Incense Altar from Khirbet Ataruz: An Update” (20 min.)

Gareth Wearne (Australian Catholic University), “The Second Rubric in the Deir ʿAlla Plaster Texts as an Instruction for the Oral Performance of the Text” (20 min.)

Ancient Inscriptions II PRESENTERS:

Jacco Dieleman (University of California, Los Angeles), “The Materiality of Textual Amulets in the Ancient World” (20 min.)

Jessie DeGrado (University of Chicago), “An Inscribed Pazuzu Statuette at the Ashmolean Museum” (20 min.)

Bezalel Porten (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), “Presenting a Textbook of Aramaic Ostraca (TAO), Volume 2” (20 min.)

Masoumeh Bagheri Hassankiadeh (Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman), “A New Approach in the Literary and Content Analysis of the ‘daiva Inscription’ of Xerxes” (20 min.)

Archaeology of Arabia I

Session Chair: Michael Harrower, Johns Hopkins University, Presiding

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 Arabia I PRESENTERS:

Geoffrey Ludvik (University of Wisconsin-Madison), “Bead Curation in West Asia: Stone and Glass Beads from the Tell el-Hesi Bedouin Cemetery” (20 min.)

Jonathan Mark Kenoyer (University of Wisconsin-Madison), “Production, Trade, and Reuse of Stone Beads in Oman during the Fourth to First Millennia B.C.E.” (20 min.)

Matthew Jameson (Bryn Mawr College), “Ubaid Interaction in the Arabian Gulf in the Light of New Research on the Origin and Technology of Ubaid and ‘Local’ Pottery from Dosariyah (Saudi Arabia)” (20 min.)

William Zimmerle (Dhofar University), “The Archaeological Biography of Small Bronze Shaft-Hole Axeheads from MAGAN: An Ethnographic Case-Study on Metal Craftsmanship from the Musandam Peninsula (Sultanate of Oman) and Ras al-Khaimah (United Arab Emirates)” (20 min.)

Peter Magee (Bryn Mawr College), “Qanat/Falaj Irrigation in the Longue Durée of Arid Zone Occupation in the Ancient Near East.” (20 min.)

Archaeology of Arabia II PRESENTERS:

Session Chair: Peter Magee, Brynn Mawr College, Presiding

Kristina Pfeiffer (German Archaeological Institute, Berlin), “Where Are The Settlements? A Survey in the Emirate of Fujairah” (20 min.)

Eva Kaptijn (Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences), “Between Fishers and Pastoralists: Animal Exploitation at ed-Dur (U.A.E.)” (20 min.)

Jennifer Swerida (Johns Hopkins University), “House and Household in the Umm an-Nar Period” (20 min.)

Abigail F. Buffington (Ohio State University), “A Phytolith Reference Assemblage for Agriculture in Al-Dhahirah, Oman: Results from the ArWHO 2015 Field Season” (20 min.)

Michael Harrower (Johns Hopkins University), “The Archaeological Water Histories of Oman (ArWHO) Project: Results of Archaeological Survey and Satellite Imagery Analysis” (20 min.)

Archaeology of Anatolia I

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

Theme: This session focuses on current archaeological research in Anatolia and presents the results of excavations and surveys.

Archaeology of Anatolia I PRESENTERS:

Arkadiusz Marciniak (University of Poznan), “The Late Neolithic Çatalhöyük: After 15 years of Excavations” (15 min.)

Barbara Horejs (Institute for Oriental and European Archaeology & Austrian Academy of Sciences), “The Way to Regional Identities in Neolithic Western Anatolia” (15 min.)

Levent Atici (University of Nevada, Las Vegas), “Emergence and Development of Early Agropastoral Economy on an Island Setting: New Insights from Uğurlu Höyük, Gökçeada, Turkey” (15 min.)

Suzanne E. Pilaar Birch (University of Georgia), “Neolithization of Europe: Integrating Zooarchaeological and Stable Isotope Evidence from Uğurlu Höyük, Gökçeada, Turkey” (15 min.)

Christoph Schwall (Institute for Oriental and European Archaeology & Austrian Academy of Sciences), “Interweaving Contacts? Evidence of Intensifying Connectivity during the Middle and Late Chalcolithic Period in Western Anatolia” (15 min.)

Ralf Vandam (Koç University), “Exploring the Late Prehistoric (8000–2000 B.C.) Remains in the Western Taurus Mountains, Southwestern Turkey: The First Results of the Dereköy Archaeological Survey Project” (15 min.)

Archaeology of Anatolia II PRESENTERS:

Sharon R. Steadman (SUNY Cortland) and Gregory McMahon (University of New Hampshire), “The 2016 Season at Çadır Höyük in North Central Anatolia” (20 min.)

Stephanie Selover (University of Washington), “Women’s Work? A Study of Gender and Weapons in Burial Contexts from Early Bronze Age Central and Southeastern Anatolia” (20 min.)

Scott Branting (University of Central Florida), “The 2016 Season at Kerkenes Dağ” (20 min.)

Virginia Herrmann (University of Tübingen), “Zincirli Höyük, Turkey: Recent Results from the Chicago-Tübingen Excavations” (20 min.)

Akiva Sanders (University of Chicago), “A GIS-Based Evaluation of the Pastoralist Hypothesis for the Spread of the Kura Araxes Phenomenon” (20 min.)

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.


Tiffany Earley-Spadoni (University of Central Florida), “Preliminary Results from the 2016 Vayots Dzor Survey Project (Armenia)” (20 min.)

Hilary Gopnik (Emory University), “Moving Up? The Middle to Late Bronze Age Transition in Naxçıvan, Azerbaijan” (20 min.)

Walter Crist (Arizona State University), “Playing in the Periphery: The Game of 58 Holes in Azerbaijan” (20 min.)

Hannah Chazin (Stanford University), “The (Pre- and Postmortem) Social Lives of Herds: A Zooarchaeological and Isotopic Analysis of Late Bronze Age Pastoralism in the South Caucasus” (20 min.)

Nathaniel Erb-Satullo (Harvard University), “Craft Production in Iron Age Fortress Complexes: New Fieldwork at Mtsvane Gora, Southern Georgia” (20 min.)

Archaeology of the Byzantine Near East

Session Chair: Melissa Bailey, Northwestern University

Theme: This session focuses on current archaeological fieldwork or broader research concerning the Near East in the Byzantine period.


Debra Foran (Wilfrid Laurier University), “The Villagers and Monks of Nebo during the Byzantine Period” (25 min.)

Marica Cassis (Memorial University of Newfoundland), “Searching for Anatolia in the Middle Byzantine and Seljuk Periods” (25 min.)

Kenneth G. Holum (University of Maryland, College Park), “Christianizing Caesarea: A Narrative from Archaeology Alone” (25 min.)

Ian Randall (Brown University), “Material Shifts and Island Connections: Assembling Cyprus from the Seventh to the Tenth Centuries C.E.” (25 min.)

Archaeology of Cyprus

Session Chair: Nancy Serwint, Arizona State University

Archaeology of Cyprus I PRESENTERS:

Alan Simmons (University of Nevada, Las Vegas), “No Neolithic Is an Island: Cyprus’s Role in the Neolithic Revolution” (20 min.)

Laura Swantek (Arizona State University), “The Emergence of Social Complexity on Cyprus during the Prehistoric Bronze Age: A Small-World Network Approach” (20 min.)

Alexander Donald (La Trobe University), “Socio-Political Structure in Late Bronze Age Cyprus: The Evidence from Glyptic” (20 min.)

Caroline Sauvage (Loyola Marymount University), “The Textile Industry at Enkomi” (20 min.)

Simon Jusseret (University of Texas at Austin), “Renewed Excavations at Pyla-Kokkinokremos (Cyprus): First Results from the 2014–2016 Campaigns” (20 min.)

Archaeology of Cyprus II PRESENTERS:

Pamela Gaber (Lycoming College), “The 2015 Season of the Lycoming College Expedition to Idalion, Cyprus” (20 min.)

R. Scott Moore (Indiana University of Pennsylvania), “Late Roman D or Cypriot Red Slip: An Examination of Form 11” (20 min.)

Lucas Grimsley (Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary), “The Preliminary Results of the Fifth Season of the Kourion Urban Space Project” (20 min.)

Ann-Marie Knoblauch (Virginia Tech University), “Plaster Casts of Cypriot Sculpture in 19th Century Collections” (20 min.)

Archaeology of Egypt

Session Chair: Greg Mumford, University of Alabama

Theme: “Sea Peoples, Philistines and Egypt”

Archaeology of Egypt I PRESENTERS:

Donald B. Redford (Penn State University), “The Medinet Habu Records of the Foreign Wars of Ramesses III” (20 min.)

Dan’el Kahn (University of Haifa), “Ramesses III’s Northern Wars against Palestine and the Asiatics” (20 min.)

K. Lawson Younger (Trinity International University–Divinity School), “Problems with Philistines in North Syria?” (20 min.)

James K. Hoffmeier (Trinity International University–Divinity School), “The Possible Location of the Sea and Land Battles of the Sea Peoples in North Sinai” (20 min.)

Shelley Wachsmann (Texas A&M University), “‘Sea Peoples,’ Ships and the Urnfield Culture Connection” (20 min.)

Archaeology of Egypt II

Theme: Topics in Egyptian Archaeology

Session Chair: Krystal V. L. Pierce (Brigham Young University), Presiding


Caroline Arbuckle MacLeod (University of California, Los Angeles), “Art, Politics, Chaos, and Wood: Reassessing the Significance of the Rishi Coffin in Egypt’s Second Intermediate Period” (20 min.)

Amber Hutchinson (University of Toronto), “The Dialectical Interaction between State Initiatives and Nonroyal Endeavours at Provincial Sites during the Eighteenth Dynasty” (20 min.)

Federico Zangani (Brown University), “Amarna and Uluburun: Patterns of Exchange in the Late Bronze Age Mediterranean” (20 min.)

Laurel Darcy Hackley (Brown University), “Lions, Dwarves, and Angry Eyes: Apotropaic Tradition in Egypt and Beyond” (20 min.)

L.S. Baker Jr. (Andrews University), “War Propaganda? A Comparative Analysis of Iconographic Depictions of Assyrian and Egyptian Military Camps” (20 min.)

Archaeology of Egypt III

Theme: “American Research Center in Egypt: Cultural Heritage Preservation through Conservation, Training and Community Involvement”

Session Chair: Michael Jones (American Research Center in Egypt), Presiding


Gerry Scott (American Research Center in Egypt), “The Conservation and Training Efforts of the American Research Center in Egypt, 1995-2016” (25 min.)

Michael Jones (American Research Center in Egypt), “Archaeology and Anastylosis at the Red Monastery Church, Sohag” (25 min.)

John Shearman (American Research Center in Egypt), “ARCE Luxor: Site Improvement, Job Creation and Conservation Projects on Egyptian Cultural Heritage Sites” (25 min.)

Mark Lehner (Ancient Egypt Research Associates), “On the Cutting Edge: How Hypotheses Help Teach Field Schools at the Pyramid Builders’ City” (25 min.)

Archaeology of Iran 

Session Chair: Holly Pittman (University of Pennsylvania), Presiding

Archaeology of Iran I PRESENTERS:

Fereidoun Biglari (National Museum of Iran), “Middle Paleolithic Assemblage Variability in Zagros: New Evidence from Kermanshah and Isfahan” (25 min.)

Kyle Olson (University of Pennsylvania),“Three Narratives, Three Approaches: Trade, Exchange, and Interaction in Third Millennium Iran” (25 min.)

Benjamin Mutin (Harvard University), “Southern Iran in the Second Millennium B.C.E.” (25 min.)

Tobin Hartnell (American University of Iraq), “The Identification of Ayadana (Ritual Places) in Achaemenid Persia (550–330 B.C.)” (25 min.)

Archaeology of Iran II PRESENTERS:

David Stronach (University of California, Berkeley), “Lost or Found? The Missing Face of Cyrus the Great” (25 min.)

Emily Wilson (University of Chicago), “Itinerant Iconography: Travel and the Individual in the Persepolis Fortification Archive” (25 min.)

Mehrnoush Soroush (New York University), “Archaeological Research in the Urban Landscape of Askar Murkam, the Misr of Khuzistan” (25 min.)

Mohammad Esmaeil Esmaeili Jelodar (University of Tehran), “Identification of Mahrūbān Port on the Northern Coast of the Persian Gulf” (25 min.)

Archaeology of Islamic Society

Session Chair: Beatrice St. Laurent (Bridgewater State University), Presiding

Archaeology of Islamic Society PRESENTERS:

Jeffrey Blakely (University of Wisconsin-Madison) “Is Wadi el-Hesi Really the Wadi el-ʾAsi?” (20 min.)

Hussein Al-Sababha (Bonn University and Yarmouk University), “Islamic Pottery and its Distribution in Agricultural Fields as a Marker of Land Use Throughout the Islamic Period in Northern Jordan” (20 min.)

Beatrice St. Laurent (Bridgewater State University), “Muʾawiya’s Urban Vision for Jerusalem (638–680): Origins in the Regional Periphery and Arabia” (20 min.)

Bethany Walker (University of Bonn), “Regionalisms in Settlement and Land Use in Late Medieval Syria: Highlands as Hinterlands” (20 min.)

Tareq Ramadan (Wayne State University), “The Umayyads and their Administrative Legacy in Jordan: The Numismatic and Paranumismatic Records as Evidence of an Evolving State” (20 min.)

Archaeology of Lebanon

Session ChairHelen Dixon (University of Helsinki), Presiding

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


Hermann Genz (American University of Beirut), “Renewed Excavations at the Early and Middle Bronze Age Site of Tell Fadous-Kfarabida (Lebanon): Results from the 2014 to 2016 Seasons” (25 min.)

Tomasz Waliszewski (University of Warsaw), “Jiyeh (Porphyreon) and Chhim: Recent Research on Rural Settlements in the Sidon Hinterland” (25 min.)

Hélène Sader (American University of Beirut), “Wine Industry at Iron Age Tell el-Burak?” (25 min.)

Jack Nurpetlian (American University of Beirut), “Coin Finds from Ancient Beirut: The Wadi Abu Jmil District” (25 min.)

Archaeology and Biblical Studies

Session Chair: Jonathan Rosenbaum (Gratz College), Presiding

Description: This session explores the intersections between and among history, archaeology, and the Jewish and/or Christian Bibles and related texts.


Wolfgang Zwickel (Johannes Gutenberg-University of Mainz), “The Land of Geshur in the Light of Settlement History” (20 min.)

Peter Feinman (Institute of History, Archaeology, and Education), “Canaanite Myth in the Hebrew Epic: The Elyon Case Study” (15 min.)

Chris McKinny, (Bar-Ilan University), “Struck Down for Error: A Discussion of Two Early Iron Age Israelite Temples and Their Possible Connection to the Movements of the Ark of Covenant in Samuel” (20 min.)

Zachary Thomas (Macquarie University), “The Archaeology of the United Monarchy: Reconsidering Interpretive Frameworks” (20 min.)

David Clint Burnett (Boston College), “When the Twain Do Not Meet: Material Culture and Paul’s Letters” (20 min.)

Archaeology and Biblical Studies II:

Critical Reviews of Beyond the Texts: An Archaeological Portrait of Ancient Israel and Judah by William G. Dever

This session will consist of critical reviews of Beyond the Texts presented by senior biblicists and archaeologists. The book is unique in offering a history of ancient Israel from ca. 1200–600 B.C.E. that takes the comprehensive archaeological evidence—not the biblical texts—as the “primary data.” It then examines the relevant biblical texts as secondary sources, and accordingly evaluates the biblical narratives on a continuum from “proven” to “disproven,” with some falling into such intermediate categories as “possible,” “probable,” or “unlikely.” Beyond the Texts will be published by SBL Press.


Ziony Zevit (American Jewish University), “Dever, Deduction, and the Invention of New Knowledge” (20 min.)

Susan Ackerman (Dartmouth College), “Some Thoughts on W. G. Dever’s Beyond the Texts: An Archaeological Portrait of Ancient Israel and Judah” (20 min.)

Ann E. Killebrew (The Pennsylvania State University), “A History of Ancient Israel and Judah without Texts: A Critique” (20 min.)

Lawrence Stager (Harvard University), “Archaeology and Biblical History: A Critique of Beyond the Texts” (20 min.)

William G. Dever (Lycoming College), A Response (15 min.)

Discussion: Panel and Audience (20 min.)

Archaeology of Israel

Session Chair: J.P. Dessel (University of Tennessee), Presiding


Elizabeth Hestand (Independent Scholar), “Reinterpreting a “Dumping Ground”: Amphorae from the C-Field at Caesarea Maritima” (15 min.)

Yael Abadi-Reiss (Israel Antiquities Authority), “The Tenth Kilometer Persian Fort, Nativ HaAsara” (15 min.)

Philip Webb (Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary), “Recent Excavations and the Late Bronze Age at Gezer: Interpreting a Composite Reconstruction” (15 min.)

Oded Lipschits (Tel Aviv University), “Azekah after Five Seasons of Excavations: Fresh Results and their Historical Implications” (15 min.)

Aren Maeir (Bar-Ilan University), “Excavation Results at Tell es-Safi/Gath and their Implications: An Update for the 2015 and 2016 Seasons” (15 min.)

Robert Mullins (Azusa Pacific University), “Results of the Fourth Season of Excavations at Tel Abel Beth Maacah” (15 min.)

Archaeology of Israel: The 2011-2016 Excavations at Huqoq

Session Chair: Jodi Magness (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), Presiding


Matthew Grey (Brigham Young University), “The 2015–2016 Seasons of Excavations at Huqoq” (15 min.)

Martin Wells (Austin College), “The Architecture of the Huqoq Synagogue” (15 min.)

Karen Britt (Western Carolina University), “Recent Mosaic Discoveries from the Huqoq Synagogue: Local and Regional Perspectives” (15 min.)

Ra’anan Boustan (University of California, Los Angeles), “The ‘Elephant Panel’ from the Huqoq Synagogue: Historical Memory in a Late Antique Jewish Community” (15 min.)

Daniel Schindler (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), “The Late Roman and Byzantine Pottery from Huqoq” (15 min.)

Carolyn Swan (University College London, Qatar), “The Glass from Huqoq” (15 min.)

Archaeology of Jordan I

Session ChairJesse Long , (Lubbock Christian University), Presiding

Theme: This session highlights social and material-cultural aspects of the Bronze and Iron Ages.


Carroll Kobs (Trinity Southwest University), “Early Bronze Age Domestic Structures in Field LA, Tall el-Hammam, Jordan” (15 min.)

Gary Byers (Trinity Southwest University), “Intermediate Bronze Age (EB IV) Domestic Structures in Field LA, Tall el-Hammam, Jordan” (15 min.)

Douglas R. Clark (La Sierra University), “The 2016 Excavations at Tall al-ʿUmayri, Jordan” (15 min.)

(Rev.) Amanda Hopkins (Madaba Plains Project), “Viticulture on the Rocks: An Investigation of Wine Production and Distribution at Site 84” (15 min.)

Mark Green (Indiana State University), “By the Sweat of Your Brow: Quarrying, Dressing, and Transporting Stone on Central Jordan’s Karak Plateau” (15 min.)

Craig Tyson (D’Youville College), “Central Jordan in the ninth–eighth Centuries B.C.E.: Emerging Polities in Competition” (15 min.)

Archaeology of Jordan II: Ritual Practices in Ancient Jordan

Session Chairs: Debra Foran (Wilfrid Laurier University), Presiding

Theme: Religion has played an important role in the development of culture and tradition in Jordan. Throughout antiquity, people worshiped a variety of deities both local and imported. This session will explore the nature of ritual practices in Jordan from the Chalcolithic through Roman periods.


Max Price (Harvard University), “Early Rituals on the Margins: Excavations at Khirbet Risqeh, Jordan” (20 min.)

Abelardo Rivas (Andrews University), “Figurines of Jalul Field G: What Is Left of Domestic Religion?” (20 min.)

Chang-Ho Ji (La Sierra University), “The Ataruz Inscription and Iron II Temple at Khirbat Ataruz: New Light on Stratigraphy, Chronology, and Cultic Activities” (20 min.)

Annlee Dolan (San Joaquin Delta College), “The 2016 Excavations at the Ancient Town of Nebo (Khirbat al-Mukhayyat, Jordan)” (20 min.)

Husam Hjazeen (Department of Antiquities of Jordan), “Hercules Temple (Great Temple of Amman) Marcus Aurelius time (A.D. 161–166)” (20 min.)

Archaeology of Jordan III: Material Culture of Southern Jordan

Session Chairs: Steven Edwards (University of Toronto), Presiding

Theme: This session highlights the material culture of southern Jordan in the Roman and Nabataean periods


Craig A. Harvey (University of Michigan), “The Military Camp Wall Paintings from Humayma (Ancient Hauarra), Jordan” (20 min.)

Barbara Reeves (Queen’s University), “Humans, Animals, and Gods in Humayma’s Hills: The Petroglyph Corpus” (20 min.)

Leigh-Ann Bedal (Penn State Behrend), “In Small Things Assembled: A Late Forst Century B.C.E. Assemblage Beneath the Petra Garden and Pool Complex” (20 min.)

Sarah Wenner (University of Cincinnati), “The Ceramic Corpora of Petra North Ridge’s Nonelite Tombs” (20 min.)

David Graf (University of Miami), “The Revision of a Nabataean Inscription from Ba’aja (I) near Baidha”

Archaeology of the Near East: The Classical Periods I

Session ChairLisa Çakmak (Saint Louis Art Museum), Presiding


Zeev Weiss (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem), “Shaping the Urban Center: Recent Excavations in Roman Sepphoris” (20 min.)

Avraham Tendler (Israel Antiquities Authority), “Settlement and Agriculture in the Hills of Modiin: Ḥorvat Ashun as a Case Study” (20 min.)

Jonathan David (Gettysburg College), “The 2015 JVRP Excavations of the Castra of the Roman VIth Ferrata Legion (Legio, Israel)” (20 min.)

Robert Darby (University of Tennessee), “The Last Fort Standing: The Late Roman Army at ʿEn Hazeva” (20 min.)

Byron R McCane (Wofford College), “Excavations in the Synagogue at Horvat Kur, 2010–2016: Preliminary Report” (20 min.)

Archaeology of the Near East: The Classical Periods II PRESENTERS:

Jane DeRose Evans (Temple University), “Seleucid Sardis: the Problem of Political Control and the Third Century B.C. Mint” (20 min.)

Jennifer Gates-Foster (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), “A Roman Ritual Assemblage from the Upper Galilee” (20 min.)

Michael Zimmerman (Bridgewater State University), “A Lamp Manufactory at Caesarea Maritima” (20 min.)

Ilan Sharon (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem), “Ekistics at Dor: The Story of a Public Square” (20 min.)

Simeon Ehrlich (Stanford University), “Public, Private, and Intermediate Spaces in Ancient Near Eastern Cities” (20 min.)

Archaeology of the Near East: Bronze and Iron Ages I

Session ChairEric Welch (University of Kansas), Presiding


Haskel Greenfield (University of Manitoba), “The Early Bronze Age Domestic Neighborhood at Tell es-Safi/Gath, Israel: An Update on Recent Research” (15 min.)

Shira Albaz (Bar-Ilan University), “Foundation Deposit as Domestic Ritual in EB III at Tell es-Safi/Gath” (15 min.)

Michael Homan (Xavier University of Louisiana), “The Copper Foundation of Social Stratification: Imperial Metal Source Shifts from Oman and Jordan to Cyprus in the Middle Bronze Age” (15 min.)

Ido Koch (University of Zurich), “Southwest Canaan in the 12th Century B.C.E.” (15 min.)

Josephine Verduci (University of Melbourne), “Metal Jewelry of the Southern Levant and its Western Neighbors: Surprising Results Concerning Cross-Cultural Influences during the Early Iron Age” (15 min.)

Jeffrey Chadwick (Brigham Young University Jerusalem Center), “The 54 cm Canaanite Cubit in Bronze Age Canaan and Iron Age Israel, Judah, and Philistia” (15 min.)

Archaeology of the Near East: Bronze and Iron Ages II PRESENTERS:

Steven Karacic (Florida State University), “Production and Consumption of Cypro-Geometric Pottery in the Amuq Valley” (20 min.)

Gilad Itach (Bar-Ilan University), “The Wedge-Incised Bowl and the Assyrian Deportation” (20 min.)

Avshalom Karasik (Israel Antiquities Authority), “‘Revealing A Palm (Tefach) and Covering The Rest’: On Ancient Measurements, Gender, and The Laws of Purity in the Production of Iron Age Storage Jars” (20 min.)

Nancy Serwint (Arizona State University), “The Zoomorphic Head from Khirbet Summeily” (20 min.)

Rami Arav (University of Nebraska at Omaha), “Symbols of Authority: Bethsaida During the Tenth Century B.C.E.” (20 min.)

Archaeology of the Southern Levant

Session ChairGeorge Pierce (Brigham Young University), Presiding


Casey Sharp (University of Haifa), “In the Shadow of Tel Nami: A Newly Examined MB IIA Settlement on the Carmel Coast” (15 min.)

Nurith Goshen (University of Pennsylvania and the Israel Museum, Jerusalem), “Making Sense of a Construction Site” (15 min.)

Itzhaq Shai (Ariel University), “Two Cypriot Pithoi from Late Bronze Age Tel Burna” (15 min.)

Phillip Silvia (Trinity Southwest University), “When Data Defy Demagogy: What We Have Learned from Tall el-Hammam and Its Neighbors” (15 min.)

Owen Chesnut (Andrews University), “The Hellenistic Period at Tall Safut” (15 min.)

Brita Lorentzen (Cornell University), “Anatolian Forests on the Sea: Dendrochronological Dating and Timber Sourcing of the Akko Tower Shipwreck” (15 min.)

Archaeology of Mesopotamia

Session ChairLauren Ristvet (University of Pennsylvania), Presiding


Rebecca Nicole Reeves (University of Central Florida), “Daily Respites: We All Need Them” (15 min.)

Darren Ashby (University of Pennsylvania),“Beer for Ningirsu: Archaeological Evidence for Brewing at Tell al-Hiba, Ancient Lagash” (15 min.)

Reed Goodman (University of Pennsylvania), “Modeling the Cultural Landscape at Lagash in the Bronze Age” (15 min.)

Paul Zimansky (Stony Brook University), “Ur’s Akitu, Tell Sakhariya, and GA.EŠ” (15 min.)

Elizabeth Stone (Stony Brook University), “New Excavations at Ur” (15 min.)

Michael Fisher (University of Chicago), “The Development of Social Complexity During the Late Chalcolithic 1 Period (ca. 4500–4200 B.C.) at Tell Zeidan, Syria” (15 min.)

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

Session ChairsMadelynn von Baeyer (University of Connecticut), Mellisa Rosenzweig (Miami University)


Madelynn von Baeyer (University of Connecticut), “It Takes a Village (to Harvest a Crop): Plant Use during the Late Chalcolithic at Çadır Höyük, Turkey” (15 min.)

Andrew T. Creekmore III (University of Northern Colorado), “The Specialized Animal Economy at Early Bronze Age Kazane Höyük, Turkey” (15 min.)

Sarah E. Adcock (University of Chicago), “(Ursa) Major Findings in the Bronze Age: The Roles of Bears in the Ancient Near East” (15 min.)

Jennifer Ramsay (SUNY College at Brockport), “Evidence of Destruction at the End of the EB III Period at Khirbat Iskander: An Archaeobotanical Perspective” (15 min.)

Louise Bertini (American University in Cairo), “Changes in Environment and Caprine Husbandry Practices Using Linear Enamel Hypoplasia (LEH): The EB III–IV Transition at Khirbat Iskander” (15 min.)

Tiffany Rawlings (SUNY College at Brockport), “A Preliminary Look at the Zooarchaeology of the Roman Period Occupation at Humayma, Jordan” (15 min.)

Art Historical Approaches to the Near East I

Session ChairsKiersten Neumann (Oriental Institute, University of Chicago), Presiding

Theme:  Iconography and Objects


Steele Brand (The King’s College, New York), “A Sumerian Phalanx? What Comparative Art Tells Us about Martial Democracy in Mesopotamia” (20 min.)

Petra Creamer (University of Pennsylvania), “The Apotropaism of Old Babylonian Terracotta Plaques” (20 min.)

Linda Meiberg (University of Pennsylvania), “Decorative Motifs on Philistine Pottery and Their Cretan Connections” (20 min.)

Celia Bergoffen (Fashion Institute of Technology), “Ashdoda Figurines as Anthropomorphized Objects” (20 min.)

Christian Frevel (Ruhr-University Bochum), “Clay Messengers: Understanding Iron Age Cult Stands as Media” (20 min.)

Art Historical Approaches to the Near East II

Session Chairs: Allison Thomason (Southern Illinois University Edwardsville), Presiding

Theme: Architecture, Space, and Decoration


Stefanie Elkins (Andrews University), “The Khirbet ʿAtaruz Iron IIA Cult Stand” (25 min.)

Moise Isaac (University of California Los Angeles), “Iconization in Neo-Assyrian Representations of Israelite and Judean Exiles” (25 min.)

Tracy Spurrier (University of Toronto), “Battles in the Bedroom, Demons at the Door, and Horses in the Hall: An Access Analysis Study of Various Themes Depicted in the Reliefs of Sennacherib’s ‘Palace Without a Rival’” (25 min.)

Emily Drennan (Brown University), “The Life-Giving Sun Disk: Amenhotep IV and Beyond” (25 min.)

Bioarchaeology of the Near East I

Session Chairs: Lesley Gregoricka (University of South Alabama), Presiding


Sean P. Dougherty (Milwaukee Area Technical College), “The Pašittu-Demon among the People: Infant Mortality and Maternal Health in Neolithic Syria” (20 min.)

Brenda J. Baker (Arizona State University), “Archaeological and Historical Evidence of Leprosy in the Circum-Mediterranean Region” (20 min.)

Lesley A. Gregoricka (University of South Alabama), “Status, Power, and Place of Burial at Early Bronze Age Bab adh-Dhraʾ: A Biogeochemical Comparison of Charnel House Human Remains” (20 min.)

Kirsi O. Lorentz (The Cyprus Institute), “Complex Ancient Knowledge of Human Anatomy: Revolutionizing Our Understanding of Chalcolithic Mortuary Practices in Cyprus” (20 min.)

Susan Guise Sheridan (University of Notre Dame), “Bioarchaeology of Prayer: Repetitive Motion Disorders Associated with Excessive Genuflection at the Byzantine St. Stephen’s Monastery, Jerusalem” (20 min.)

Bioarchaeology of the Near East II


Kristina Reed (La Sierra University), “Aging Ancient Human Remains from the EB IB Dolmen at Tall al-ʿUmayri, Jordan (20 min.)

Nicholas Herrmann (Texas State University), “Bioarchaeological Studies of Hellenistic to Roman Period Tombs from the Ayioi Omoloyites Neighborhood in Nicosia, Cyprus” (20 min.)

Daniella Tarquinio (Quinnipiac University), “A Radiological and Macroscopic Reassessment of Pathology in Skeletons from Tell el-Hesi” (20 min.)

Kathryn E. Marklein (Ohio State University), “Between the Red River and Pontic Way: Bioarchaeological Research in the Roman Period Black Sea Region, Turkey” (20 min.)

Margaret A. Judd (University of Pittsburgh), “Hear No Evil: Middle Ear Disease among Byzantine Monastics at Mount Nebo, Jordan” (20 min.)

Cultural Heritage Management: Methods, Practices, and Case Studies

Session Chairs: Glenn Corbett (American Center of Oriental Research-ACOR), and Suzanne Davis (Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, University of Michigan), Presiding

Theme: This session focuses on cultural heritage management theory and method, including practices and case studies at sites throughout the Near East.


Glenn Corbett (American Center of Oriental Research-ACOR), “Sustainable Cultural Heritage through Engagement of Local Communities: ACOR’s USAID SCHEP Initiative” (15 min.)

Allison Mickel (Stanford University), “Lucrative Nonknowledge in Petra: A Case Study Connecting Labor Relations, Local Expertise, and Cultural Heritage Management” (15 min.)

Jenna Morton (Pax Foundation, Morton Group) and Bert De Vries (Calvin College), “The Umm el-Jimal Interpretive and Hospitality Center: Heritage Preservation through Museum-Programmed and Community-Operated Visitor Services” (15 min.)

Kaelin Groom (University of Arkansas), “A Preliminary Assessment of Rock Art Stability and Heritage Management in Wadi Hassan, Jordan” (15 min.)

Shay Bar (Haifa University), “Tel Esur: A Unique Archaeological Community Project” (15 min.)

Lisa Graham (University of Edinburgh), “Experimenting with Public Archaeology: A Microeconomic Approach to Site Preservation and Community Engagement” (15 min.)

Gender in the Ancient Near East

Session Chair: Stephanie Langin-Hooper (Southern Methodist University), Presiding

This session explores the art, archaeology, and texts of the Ancient Near East through the lens of gender issues and the study of gender groups in antiquity.


Laura Mazow (East Carolina University), “Combat or Weaving Swords, and the Complexities of Reconstructing Gender in the Bronze and Iron Age Levant” (25 min.)

Krystal V. L. Pierce (Brigham Young University), “Gender as a Life Cycle Process: Predynastic Cemetery N7000 at Naga-ed-Der in Egypt” (25 min.)

Saana Svärd (University of Helsinki), “Arabian Queens: Constructs of Gender and Ethnicity in the Neo-Assyrian Empire” (25 min.)

Brandelyn M. Andres (Arizona State University), “Expressions of Power: The Appropriation of Royal Masculine Iconography by Dynasty 18 Egyptian Queens” (25 min.)

GIS and Remote Sensing in Archaeology

Session Chair: Kevin Fisher (University of British Columbia), Presiding

Theme:  Reports on archaeological research on the ancient Near East using geospatial or remote sensing technologies.


Alon Shavit (The Israeli Institute of Archaeology), “GIS Reconstruction of Ancient Lod Settlement Patterns” (20 min.)

Georgia Marina Andreou (Cornell University), “Coastal Erosion Management in Archaeology (CEMA): Recording Rapidly Vanishing Antiquities in a GIS Environment” (20 min.)

Anthony Lauricella (University of Chicago), “Spatial and Temporal Analysis of Looting Patterns in Afghanistan using Satellite Imagery” (20 min.)

Christopher Fletcher (University of Arkansas), “Trade and Transport in the Dead Cities” (20 min.)

Austin Hill (University of Connecticut), “Drones and Looting: Site Monitoring at Fifa, Jordan” (20 min.)

History of Archaeology

Session Chair: Kevin McGeough (University of Lethbridge), Presiding


Matthew J. Adams (W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research), “The Myth of Memphis: Myth, History, Archaeology, and the Founding of Egyptian Memphis” (25 min.)

Christina Olson (East Carolina University), “Lost Among Treasures: An Analysis of Forgotten Pots in the Albright Attic” (25 min.)

Samuel Wolff (Israel Antiquities Authority), “Alan Rowe: An Almost-Forgotten Episode at Tel Gezer” (25 min.)

Charles Jones (Penn State University), “The History of the Study of Antiquity Through the Lens of Autobiography: A Project Report” (25 min.)

Maritime Archaeology

Session Chair: Caroline Sauvage (Loyola Marymount University), Presiding


Marine Yoyotte (IFAO) “Ancient Fluvial Harbors in Late Bronze Age Egypt: a Major Interface between Terrestrial and Maritime Roads” (20 min.)

Ehud Arkin Shalev, (University of Haifa), “Coastal and Underwater Bronze Age Assemblages from Tel Dor” (20 min.)

Linda Hulin, (University of Oxford), “Down to the Sea: Mariner Networks in Ports across the Late Bronze Age Eastern Mediterranean” (20 min.)

Giorgos Bourogiannis (Museum of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities), “From Almost Null to Plenty: Evidence for Seaborne Connections in the Southeast Aegean during the Early Iron Age” (20 min.)

Christopher Davey (Australian Institute of Archaeology), “Sailing to Windward in Roman Times: The Spritsail Legacy” (20 min.)

Prehistoric Archaeology

Session Chair: Yorke Rowan (University of Chicago), Presiding


Yorke Rowan (University of Chicago), “Excavation and Survey in the Wadi al-Qattafi, Jordan: Results of the 2016 Season” (15 min.)

Kathleen Bennallack (University of California, San Diego), “How Green Was My Valley: New Insights into the Late Neolithic of Jordan” (15 min.)

Jarrad W. Paul (University of Melbourne), “The Leg Bone’s Connected To This Whole Zone: What Worked Bone Can Tell Us About Early Farming Communities in Northwestern Anatolia and the Surrounding Region” (15 min.)

Michael Danti (American Schools of Oriental Research–Cultural Heritage Initiatives), “Introduction to Hasanlu VII Period” (15 min.)

Joshua Walton (Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon), “The Late Chalcolithic-Early Bronze I Transition on the Southern Levantine Coast: New Data from Recent Excavations by the Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon” (15 min.)

Alison Damick (Columbia University), “Preliminary Analysis of the Microbotanical Remains from Early Bronze Age Tell Fadous-Kfarabida, Lebanon” (15 min.)

Reports on Current Excavations—ASOR Affiliated

Session Chair: Jack Green (Corning Museum of Glass), Presiding


Cynthia Finlayson (Brigham Young University), “The Coins of Ad-Deir: New Numismatic Evidence from the Ad-Deir Plateau at Petra, Jordan” (25 min.)

S. Thomas Parker (North Carolina State University), “Uncovering Petra’s Nonelite Population: The 2016 Season of the Petra North Ridge Project” (25 min.)

Jesse Long (Lubbock Christian University), “Expedition 2016 to Khirbat Iskandar, Jordan” (25 min.)

Daniel Schowalter (Carthage College), “Omrit Settlement Excavations: Report on the 2014–2016 Seasons” (25 min.)

Reports on Current Excavations—Non-ASOR Affiliated

Session Chair: Robert Homsher (W. F. Albright Institute for Archaeological Research), Presiding


 Robert Homsher (W. F. Albright Institute for Archaeological Research), “A Preliminary Report on the First Two Seasons of Regional Survey Conducted by the Jezreel Valley Regional Project” (20 min.)

Daniel Warner (New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary), “Is It Just Water? Six Seasons of Excavations at Tel Gezer Water System” (20 min.)

David Vila (John Brown University), “Excavating Abila of the Decapolis: The 2016 Season” (20 min.)

Alexandra Ratzlaff (University of Haifa), “A New Byzantine Basilica at Tel ʿAfar, Israel” (20 min.)

Nicholaus Pumphrey (Baker University), “Tel Akko Total Archaeology Project: Seven Seasons of Excavation and Survey” (20 min.)

Technology in Archaeology: Recent Work in the Archaeological Sciences

Session Chair: Andrew Koh (Brandeis University), Presiding


Jody Michael Gordon (Wentworth Institute of Technology), “Mobilizing the Past: A Review of Current Developments in Mobile Computing and Digital Workflows in Near Eastern Archaeology and Beyond” (20 min.)

Tatjana Mirjam Gluhak (Johannes Gutenberg University), “The Provenance of the Iron Age Basalt Vessels from the Workshop at Tel Hazor: Results from a Comparative Geochemical Study of Basalt Vessels and Geological Samples” (20 min.)

Brady Liss (University of California, San Diego), “Get to the Copper! Using XRF to Explore Copper Smelting Practices at Khirbat al-Jariya, Faynan, Jordan” (20 min.)

Bruno Soltic (Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary), “A Look From Above: The Comparison of UAV Photography Through Three Seasons at Tel Gezer (2014–2016)” (20 min.)

Bradley Erickson (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), “Stepping into the Past at Bet Alpha:  Exploring Research Methodology and Pedagogy with 3D Modeling and Virtual Reality” (20 min.)

Theoretical and Anthropological Approaches to Archaeology I

Theme: Exploring the Mortuary Realm

Session Chair: Leann Pace (Wake Forest University), Presiding


Tara Ingman (Koç University), “Changing Funerary Rituals and Metal Grave Goods in the Late Bronze Age at Tell Atchana, Ancient Alalakh” (25 min.)

Amanda Wissler (Arizona State University), “Exploring Personhood in Predynastic Egypt” (25 min.)

Tasha Dobbin-Bennett (Oxford College of Emory), “‘He Who Is Green of His Flesh’: Reinterpreting the Green-Faced Osiris” (25 min.)

Susan Braunstein (The Jewish Museum), “Children and Bangles in the Late Second Millennium B.C.E. Southern Levant” (25 min.)

Theoretical and Anthropological Approaches to Archaeology II

Theme: Action in Space and Time

Session Chair: Emily Miller Bonney (California State University Fullerton), Presiding


Rick Hauser (IIMAS-The International Institute for Mesopotamian Area Studies; University of Minnesota), “The Archaeological Artifact as Actant” (20 min.)

Sharon Mattila (University of North Carolina at Pembroke), “A Hellenistic–Early-Roman Samaritan Archaeological Land Survey Reinterpreted in Dialectical Comparison with Documentary Land Surveys and Declarations from Egypt and the Dead Sea” (20 min.)

Steven Edwards (University of Toronto), “Creating Better Maps for Visualizing Territoriality in Ancient States” (20 min.)

Michele Rau (Independent Scholar), “Neuroarchaeology and Levantine Architecture: Human Neurology as a Tool in the Interpretation of Architecture” (20 min.)

Philip Johnston (Independent Scholar,), “Fragments of Identity: Ceramic Analysis, Production, and the Phoenician-Iberian Colonial Encounter” (20 min.)

Theoretical and Anthropological Approaches to Archaeology III

Theme: Theoretical Lenses

Session Chair: Leann Pace (Wake Forest University), Presiding


Neil Erskine (University of Glasgow), “Religiosity in the Iron Age Negev: A Deleuzo-Guattarian Approach to the Archaeology of Religion” (20 min.)

Andrea Creel (University of California, Berkeley), “Movement, Connectivity, and Senses of Liminality: Meshworking and Networking ‘On the Road’ in the Iron Age II Southern Levantine Drylands” (20 min.)

Vanessa Juloux (École Pratique des Hautes Études), “For Modeling Power Relationships between Animated Entities in Ancient Literature: Framework of Deontic Power” (20 min.)

Fredric Brandfon (Expedition to the Coastal Plain of Israel), “Black Box Wars:  The Use of Cognitive Archaeology and Mentalities to Understand Famine in Iron Age II Israel” (20 min.)

Lennie Jones (University of Florida), “Applying Behavioral Contract Theory to Real Property Transactions in the Ancient Near East” (20 min.)

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