Surrogacy and the Archaeological Object

The objects treated in this paper were all excavated in the Ancient Near East at sites that are some 200 km distant one from another. Rather more important might be their diachronic distance – a millennium separates […]


Most Popular ASOR Summer Posts

We thought we’d answer that age-old question, “What did you do this summer?” with a look back at the five most popular blog posts on the ASOR Blog. We had a lot of really great authors contribute to our blog over the last few months […]

Daniel and Cyrus Before the Idol Bel. Rembrandt van Rijn, 1633.

“Godnapping” in the Ancient Near East

This particular removal of gods, called “godnapping” by modern scholars, is attested over a long period of Mesopotamian history, from the start of the 2nd millennium through the 5th century BCE. But how can […]

Location of the Western Wall Plaza and Tel Moza, with additional sites mentioned in the text. (Map by I. Ben-Ezra)

Animal Economy in a Temple City and Its Countryside: Iron Age Jerusalem as a Case Study

Iron Age Jerusalem is the subject of perennial interest, but archaeological understanding of how the city functioned economically […]

Ramses III fighting the Sea Peoples at Medinet Habu. (Wikimedia Commons)

Ask a Near East Professional: Who are the Sea Peoples and what role did they play in the devastation of civilizations?

Who are the Sea Peoples and what role did they play in the devastation of civilizations that occurred shortly after […]

Left to right; the ka statue of King Hor (Photo, John Bodsworth), the ba bird (Illustration, Jeff Dahl) and the Akh bird.

Tomb Security in Ancient Egypt: How and Why Did the Egyptians Protect Their Tombs?

Protecting the dead from abuse is an ancient human instinct but Egypt raised this concern to levels never seen before or since. Tomb robbery […]

Damage to exterior of National Museum of Aleppo and unexploded mortar shell (DGAM; July 13, 2016)

4 Ways You Can Help Cultural Heritage

Cultural heritage is the closest thing we have to time travel. You can use cultural heritage to connect with past generations and with someone who you’ll never be able to meet. If this damage continues unchecked, we will lose more than just […]


3 Things Threatening Cultural Heritage in Syria and Iraq

ISIL is not the only forces damaging the cultural heritage of Syria and northern Iraq. Check out these three things you may not realize are contributing to the threat of cultural heritage. […]

Antiquities Coalition infographic.

Introducing the Digital Library of the Middle East

A successful Digital Library of the Middle East will present the stories of a diverse group of people whose culture is often misunderstood. We need look no further than the Cradle of Civilization to understand how important […]


Collecting and the Power of Touch

In April 2016, visitors to Trafalgar Square could touch a second century Roman triumphal arch – even though they were 4,000 miles away from where the arch was built, in the ancient city of Palmyra, now […]

Gabriel Barkay at Ketef Hinnom

New Light on the Priestly Blessing from Ancient Judah

Since this text associates this blessing with the Israelite priesthood, both Jewish and Christian traditions refer to it as the “priestly blessing.” Jewish and Christian literature shows that the blessing came to hold a central place in the liturgies of both […]

Hemispherical glass bowl (left) and bronze bowl with flared rim (right), from Nimrud. © The Trustees of the British Museum
Both these exquisite vessels were excavated in the North-West Palace at Nimrud: their appearance resembles closely the bowls used in Neo-Assyrian banquet scenes, as they were represented in reliefs and ivories.

The King’s Feast: Power and Propaganda at the Neo-Assyrian Royal Table

Banqueting is a powerful means of communication. Throughout human history, men and women have always done their best to enjoy food as much as possible in social settings in order to communicate […]

(Fig. 3) Part of the LoNAP team performing artefacts collection in the lower town of a large site (background) not far from the modern city of Duhok.

The Land of Nineveh Archaeological Project: The Ceramic Repertoire from the Early Pottery Neolithic to the Sasanian Period

The present article discusses the preliminary results of the Land of Nineveh Archaeological Project, an on-going […]


The Daily Stew? Everyday Meals in Ancient Israel

What did the ancient Israelites eat and how did they cook? Unfortunately, the Hebrew Bible doesn’t contain as much information on daily cooking and meals as one would like. The limited amount of information […]

Sue Ann McCarty with a single day’s excavation worth of pottery.  Photo by Andy Creekmore.

The Present and Future of Curating the Past

The corrugated steel garage door clamored as it rose. We stood on a dusty road in a small town in Turkey and peered into the darkness of our excavation depot. Anxious to get reacquainted with our artifacts […]

Tomb 3 Asiatic scene. Carl Richard Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Aegypten und Aethiopien, Leipzig, 1913

The Beni Hasan Tomb Painting and Scholarship of the Southern Levant

Sometimes a single image can be made to carry more weight than it was intended. For over a century, one painting in the Middle Kingdom tomb complex at Beni Hasan—located […]

The Fertile Crescent during the Iron Age II. (Map by N. Zeevi)

The Empire and the “Upper Sea”: Assyrian Control Strategies along the Southern Levantine Coast

Being the world’s first political rule to adopt an imperial structure – Assyria was a land-locked power with no real maritime experience. Ideologically, the Assyrians […]

Sites mentioned in the text. (Map by F. Höflmayer)

New Evidence for Middle Bronze Age Chronology and Synchronisms in the Levant

A sound and secure chronological framework is the backbone of history. Only when we know when certain events took place, we can try to answer the questions how and why they happened […]


Shaping Welsh identity? – Egyptian Objects and Intangible Heritage

There is a dream of anyone working in a museum to find a forgotten object or even an overlooked collection. Amazingly this dream has come true for me, twice. But once […]

The inscription at Behistun.

A Brief History of Sumerology

Sumerian is the language of ancient Sumer, that is, southern Mesopotamia, during the third millennium BCE. But what is Sumerian, really? A short glance at any modern Sumerian grammar comes across […]

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