Tim Harrison Sea Peoples Tayinat

Sea Peoples in North Syria and the Mediterranean Coast

Who were the Philistines? The Israelites’ greatest enemy, and their relationship to the Sea Peoples at the end of the Late Bronze Age, continues to fascinate scholars and the public alike. But new interpretations of […]

David and Solomon Fig 1

The Return of David and Solomon?

Buried beneath the houses of Silwan, a small neighborhood south of the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem, lie the remains of four thousand years of human history. As elsewhere in the Middle East, in Silwan history is counted by ages […]


A Bibliography that Matters

In our final podcast introducing the Syrian Heritage Initiative, we’re speaking with former Cultural Heritage Specialist, Kurt Prescott about an important aspect of the Syrian Heritage Initiative … the bibliography. While it may not be as flashy as conservation, maps, or networking by using social […]


Conservation and Heritage Preservation of the Syrian Heritage Initiative

In continuing our discussion on the cooperative agreement between the U.S. Department of State and ASOR, known as the Syrian Heritage Initiative, we’re discussing the preservation projects of the initiative […]


“Cultural Heritage Monitoring and the Syrian Heritage Initiative,” Featuring Dr. Michael Danti

In continuing our discussion on the cooperative agreement between the U.S. Department of State and ASOR, known as the Syrian Heritage Initiative, we spoke with Syrian Heritage Initiative […]

Susan Podcast

“Syrian Heritage Initiative a Natural Fit for ASOR,” Featuring Dr. Susan Ackerman

Last year ASOR had two firsts – our first female president, and a $600,000 cooperative agreement with the Department of State. At the 2014 ASOR Annual Meeting, I sat down with ASOR President […]


Syrian Heritage Initiative Symposium – Luncheon Presentation [VIDEO]

On November 23rd, the Syrian Heritage Initiative hosted a public Symposium at the 2014 ASOR Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA. The more than 80 attendees included ASOR members, representatives of other groups […]

Location of Jebel Sinjar showing recent clashes and population displacements.

Political Landscapes along the Central Euphrates River, Then and Now

Headlines across media outlets of all types remind us of the troubling events in Syria and Iraq. Yet when reading the stories behind the headlines, it quickly becomes apparent that modern […]


Extensive Recent Looting Revealed

The very important ancient site of Mari (Tell Hariri) in Deir ez-Zor, Syria, which appears on the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, has recently seen a pronounced increase in looting under ISIL control. […]

Baal cycle tablet, Louvre Museum

The Current State of Ugaritic Studies

No other language and culture of Northwest Semitic – the family of languages and cultures used in the Levant including Hebrew, Phoenician and Aramaic – prior to the appearance of the Hebrew Bible has offered a similar corpus of linguistic […]

Harry Ettlinger. All figures courtesy of Patty Gerstenblith.

The 1954 Hague Convention at 60

The tragic events unfolding in Syria and Iraq are taking an immense human toll. But the costs to culture are also mounting. The U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield (USCBS) is a non-profit organization committed to the protection […]

Mass grave in cave Lachish showing skulls of some individuals buried after the Assyrian conquest of Lachish under Sennacherib in 701 BC (from Lachish III, Pl. 4).

Horrors of War in the Ancient Near East

War in the Middle East seems ever-present. But the study of war has been neglected, no more so than in the ancient Near East, and especially its impact on non-combatant populations. After the Second World War, military history became a marginal discipline […]


7 Things You Should Know About ASOR’s Syrian Heritage Initiative

Beginning August 4, 2014, the American Schools of Oriental Research entered into a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of State to monitor, document, and report on cultural heritage damage in Syria.

pedro paper.Still001

Architecture and Archaeology: What an Architect Does Among Archaeologists

At the 2013 ASOR Annual Meeting, Pedro Azara, of Escola Tècnica Superior d’Arquitectura de Barcelona, presented his paper. His paper, “Architecture and Archaeology: What an Architect…

Neo-Assyrian statue from Tell Ajaja flanked by ISIS members. Photo courtesy Michel al-Maqdissi.

Syrian Archaeology, ‘Scale of the Scandal’

By : Michel Al-Maqdissi Introduction The Syrian crisis has recently become noticeably more serious, and has turned into one of the most alarming situations in the Near East since the end of the Iraq War. The consequences to archaeology will be seen in the short and long term. In the short-term, damage is occurring due to […]


The Inner Lives of Ancient Houses: An Archaeology of Dura-Europos

By: J.A. Baird Dura-Europos, on the Syrian Euphrates, is one of the best preserved and most extensively excavated sites of the Roman world. It is justly famous for its elaborately painted synagogue, early church, and Mithraeum, inscriptions in many languages, and the first evidence of chemical warfare. To judge from the range of languages present, the multicultural […]

Valerie Schlegel at an excavation.

Breaking In: Women’s Representation in Archaeology

By: Valerie Schlegel Undergraduate Judaic Studies Major at The University of Arizona March is Women’s History Month, which highlights the achievements women have made in a variety of disciplines. When thinking about women in the field of archeology, one wonders how often are women found in leadership positions. To answer this question, I have been […]

Figure 1. Shrine of Hussein within the Great (Umayyad) Mosque, Damascus (Photo copyright 2005 Frederik Questier and Yanna Van Wesemael)

Hussein’s Head and Importance of Cultural Heritage

By: Michael Press, Research Fellow at the Center of Advanced Spatial Technologies University of Arkansas In recent years archaeologists have sounded a nearly continual warning about threats to cultural heritage, from artifacts to buildings to sites, in the Middle East. This began with Iraq and now, after the events of the Arab Spring, continues especially […]


Near Eastern Archaeology in Malta

By: Anthony J. Frendo The Maltese archipelago lies practically at the centre of the Mediterranean, roughly midway between the eastern and the western Mediterranean Sea, and between the island of Sicily to its north and Libya to its south. Given this unusual location – between the Near East and Classical worlds and at the epicenter […]


Archaeology after the Arab Spring

By: Jesse Casana The transformative political events in the Middle East over the past two years have had, among many other unexpected outcomes, profound effects on the direction of research in Near Eastern archaeology.  War and civil unrest act as both a carrot and a stick, forcing the cessation of fieldwork in some areas, while […]

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