New Books


Karen Radner — F. Janoscha Kreppner — Andrea Squitieri (ed.)
Unearthing the Dinka Settlement Complex.
The 2016 Season at Gird-i Bazar and Qalat-i Dinka
Peshdar Plain Project Publications — Volume 2

With contributions of Mark Altaweel, Silvia Amicone, Andrei Ašandulesei, Christoph Berthold, Francesca Chelazzi, Vera Egbers, Jörg Fassbinder, Tina Greenfield, Zahra Hashemi, Jean-Jacques Herr, F. Janoscha Kreppner, Alessia Palmisano, Elsa Perruchini, Karen Radner, Melissa Rosenzweig, Marion Scheiblecker, Andrea Squitieri

This report of the 2016 activities of the Peshdar Plain Project presents new data for the occupation of the Bora Plain on the upper reaches of the Lesser Zab near the modern district centre of Qaladze in the Neo-Assyrian and Sassanian periods.
The book details the results of the first test excavations at the citadel of Qalat-i Dinka and of the on-going excavations at the settlement quarter of Gird-i Bazar. Here, a continuous excavated area of 625 m2 has been uncovered, occupied by several well-appointed multi-room houses with courtyards, wells and drainage systems and an open area around a pottery kiln, which was found complete with its last load.
The book also presents the results of the geophysical exploration of the Bora Plain: on the one hand, the continuation of the magnetometer survey of the entire Neo-Assyrian settlement, now recognised to be a complex of at least 60 hectares, and on the other hand, the new electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) investigations of the ancient qanat irrigation system that seems to be connected to the Neo-Assyrian settlement.
The three chapters on the pottery of Gird-i Bazar present a first overview of the attested chaînes opératoires, the updated fabric classification on the basis of thin section petrography analysis and the first results of the residue analysis performed on a selection of vessels. Another chapter is devoted to the small finds of the Neo-Assyrian occupation.
A chapter on the bioarchaeology of Gird-i Bazar presents preliminary results of the analysis of the animal bones and of the palaeobotanical remains from the Neo-Assyrian settlement and discusses the Sassanian-period graveyard, now dated by 14C analysis, on top of the ruins of the Neo-Assyrian occupation.

186 pages, more than 180 colored pictures — content
30 x 21 cm — Hardcover

Price: € 33,80 [D]

ISBN: 978-3-935012-28-7
© PeWe-Verlag 2016




Ralph Lübbe
Knochen- und Zahnfunde im Indusgebiet.
Betrachtungen zur Abgrenzung des Früh- und Reif-Harappa-Komplexes und seines südasiatischen Umfeldes

In the Neolithic and Chalcolithic periods as well as in the Bronze Age the culture of the Indus valley is among the first urban high cultures. Its surface area exceeds that of Egypt and Mesopotamia taken together. The largest cities were at a distance of up to 200 km from each other, while Mesopotamian towns were often just 20 km apart.
As the early phases are usually compared to the Sumerian and Akkadian cultures, the respective research is pursued not within the discipline of Indology but is subsumed under Near Eastern Archaeology.
So far the focus has been on writing and the material culture; an approach from the view-point of human biology and anthropology would provide a new understanding. It is too little known that excavations of this third high culture of Antiquity have brought to light a great variety of bones and teeth. Analyses of these finds allow an insight into continuity and breaks in the development of civilization.
The osteological analysis of bones and teeth allows to draw a picture of the way of living, the customary diet, the preparation of food, hygiene, identity and the standard of living. One has just begun to call in the assistance of genetics and molecular biology. Disease pictures have been described that will be of interest to epidemiologists. Exemplary disease symptoms and recognizable causalities offer explanations for sequential processes and socio-biological connections.
Linguistic observation cannot offer explanations for population leaps. It may, on the contrary, be more to the point to try and explain transmitted events (Aryan invasion, Rigveda) with the help of anthropometrics and gene pools.
In periods of transition the development of homo sapiens in South Asia is marked by negative adaptation of stress; a reduced diet and diminished robustness are consequences of the farmer’s increased dependence on carbo-hydrates compared to that of the hunter/gatherer. Mobility and a lower exposure to germs lie, to this day, at the bottom of a high “tribal share”.
Questions need to be answered concerning the beginning and the end of the high culture, preceding cultures have to be defined but also factors hastening the decline, such as tectonic events, lack of rain and monsoon or the salinization of arable soil.
Modern tribal structures and strict caste rules prescribing endogamy are helpful for the analysis: they allow for hypotheses based on the limited exchange of gene pools among the population groups.
In Neolithic societies, in Egypt and Babylonia war was omnipresent. Harappa in its heyday appears remarkably peaceful: no walls, no finds of weapons, no lesions on the bones. The high level of civilization ("water luxury") will be described as part of the historical development of rise and decline.
It is worthwhile to give the osteological material – “thinner” in comparison with European material – a much closer look and develop surprising hypotheses. The study is meant as a concentrated but comprehensive overview about the state of the findings, from the standpoint of a medical man and a historian of the Ancient Near East. By the way, a German study of the palaeo-pathology of South Asia is still lacking.

122 pages with 70 images — content
29 x 21 cm — Softcover

Price: € 19,80 [D]

ISBN: 978-3-935012-23-2
© PeWe-Verlag 2017




Nele Diekmann
Talbot's Tools. Notizbücher als Denklabor eines viktorianischen Keilschriftforschers.
Berliner Beiträge zum Vorderen Orient, Band 25

Much has been written about the decipherment, in the course of the 19th century, of ancient systems of writing, for instance the Egyptian hieroglyphs or the Assyrian-Babylonian cuneiform script. But rarely do we learn more about the details of the researchers’ methods when they were trying to solve an equation with many unknown quantities. How exactly did they proceed on their way to an understanding of the structure and meaning of the unknown signs? And which instruments were available towards the solution of such complex intellectual riddles?
The publication is concerned with just that question. What was the role in the research process of the numerous notebooks which the Victorian scholar William Henry Fox Talbot (1800-1877) left behind? They provide an opportunity to observe how thinking and writing supplement each other and interact to produce results on the page that could not possibly have been reached just “in the mind“. In his notebooks Talbot categorizes, orders, experiments and corrects; the publication aims at analysing those partially superimposed processes and elucidate them with many examples.
In addition to matters of script research, in general, the volume gives a detailed overview over the early history of cuneiform research: it begins with the first reports by travellers to the Middle East, continues with the successful decipherments by Henry Rawlinson (1810-1895) and Edward Hincks (1792-1866) and even includes the power and information policies among scholarly circles of the Victorian society.
The book thus touches upon several disciplines: it treats to the same degree questions of the theory of script, the history of science and of Ancient Near Eastern Studies.

294 pages with 84 images — content
24,5 x 17,5 cm — Hardcover

Price: € 33,80 [D]

ISBN: 978-3-935012-21-8
© PeWe-Verlag 2017




Johanna Sigl

Syene II. Die Tierfunde aus den Grabungen von 2000 - 2009. Ein Beitrag zur Umwelt- und Kulturgeschichte einer oberägyptischen Stadt von der pharaonischen Spät- bis in die Mameluckenzeit.
Beiträge zur ägyptischen Bauforschung und Altertumskunde, Band 19.

More than 2500 years ago, on the east bank of the Nile, opposite the Pharaonic town of Elephantine on the island of the same name, the town of Syene, predecessor of today’s Assuan, came into existence. The partner towns formed the gateway to Nubia and Central Africa. They lay on the route of most trade expeditions on their way to procure gold, ivory and other goods for Egypt and the whole Mediterranean. Due to their strategic importance at the south border of the country both towns must also be seen as permanent military strong-points undergoing continuous change in the composition of their inhabitants: soldiers and mercenaries as well as merchants of many nations lived there for shorter or longer periods and brought their respective cultural and religious traditions to the First Cataract. While Elephantine provides an almost complete insight into the first two and a half millennia of Egyptian history, the exploration of Syene builds a bridge via the Islamic Middle Ages to the Modern Era.
The examination of faunal remains from the excavations of the “Schweizerisches Institut für Ägyptische Bauforschung und Altertumskunde” in Kairo in cooperation with the Assuan inspectorate of the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities allows a deep view, from the Late Period of ancient Egypt until the 15th century A.D., into the ways that the inhabitants of Syene made use of animals. So far the archaeozoological exploration of Egypt lacks a study of skeletal material of that time span as well as of domesticated and wild animals from all families: this volume closes the gap, at least for the area around the First Cataract.
The presentation of the material according to the identified species is accompanied by a detailed description of the methodological background as well as by comparisons with faunal studies all over Egypt from Pharaonic times to the Modern Age. The ideas discussed with regard to individual species are supplemented by the interpretation of the complete material as to changes in the ways of utilizing domesticated animals, as to preferences in the diet or as to knowledge of breeding. Faunal remains are also used as a possible means of information about trade routes to and from Assuan in the course of the roughly 2500 years of the town’s history. A special attempt has been made to throw light on the questions after shelter for the animals, the supply with fodder and the size of the herds of domesticated animals needed for the meat part in the diet of Syene’s inhabitants.

328 pages, with 82 black-and-white and 24 color pictures, 1 CD-ROM — content
35 x 24,3 cm — Hardcover

Price: €  112,00 [D]

ISBN:  978-3-935012-22-5
© PeWe-Verlag 2017

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Karen Radner — F. Janoscha Kreppner — Andrea Squitieri (ed.)
Exploring the Neo-Assyrian Frontier with Western Iran.
The 2015 Season at Gird-i Bazar and Qalat-i Dinka
Peshdar Plain Project Publications — Volume 1

With contributions of Mark Altaweel, Andrei Ašandulesei, Peter V. Bartl, Jörg Fassbinder, Christoph Forster, Jessica Giraud, Tina Greenfield, Zahra Hashmi, Jean-Jacques Herr, F. Janoscha Kreppner, John MacGinnis, Anke Marsh, Karen Radner, Andrea Squitieri, Adam B. Stone, Eleanor Barbanes Wilkinson

The Peshdar district is part of the province of Sulaymaniyah in the Kurdish Autonomous Region of Iraq. In its centre lies the Peshdar Plain, surrounded by the glorious mountainscape of the Zagros and bounded in the south by the valley of the Lesser Zab, which connects the region to the Assyrian heartland and Western Iran. The international and interdisciplinary Peshdar Plain Project was inaugurated in 2015 with the goal of investigating the region in the Neo-Assyrian period (9th to 7th century BC). It formed part of the Border March of the Palace Herald which served to negotiate relations with the adjoining client kingdoms in the Zagros, most importantly Mannea (south of Lake Urmiye), Ḫubuškia in the Sardasht Plain and Muṣaṣir in the Rowanduz Plain.
Work in 2015 focused on two closely connected sites in the small Bora Plain, a sub-unit of the Peshdar Plain: the tiny single-phase site Gird-i Bazar and impressive Qalat-i Dinka, looming on a rocky outcrop high over the river, both part of the Dinka settlement complex. This book presents the results of this first season of field work. Karen Radner offers an analysis of the historical geography of the region on the basis of the textual sources, including the private contract of 725 BC found at Qalat-i Dinka. Mark Altaweel and Anke March provide a geoarchaeological assessment of the Bora Plain while Jessica Giraud presents an evaluation of the Dinka settlement complex based on the results of the survey of the Mission archéologique française du Gouvernorat de Soulaimaniah (MAFGS). Jörg Fassbinder and Andrei Ašandulesei discuss the results of their geophysical survey at Gird-i Bazar and Qalat-i Dinka. The bulk of the volume is dedicated to the 2015 excavations at Gird-i Bazar, with contributions on the fieldwork by F. Janoscha Kreppner, Christoph Forster, Andrea Squitieri, John MacGinnis, Adam B. Stone and Peter V. Bartl. Tina Greenfield introduces the bioarchaeological sampling strategy. On the basis of the analysis of 666 diagnostic ceramic sherds from key find contexts and by drawing on parallels from the Assyrian heartland and western Iran, Jean-Jacques Herr presents a first assessment of the technical aspects, the fabrics and the shapes of the pottery excavated at Gird-i Bazar. Eleanor Barbanes Wilkinson, Andrea Squitieri and Zahra Hashemi present the small finds from the 2015 excavations.
In an appendix to the volume, Jörg Fassbinder presents the promising results of the 2014 magnetometer survey in Mujeser in the Soran district of the province of Erbil, the possible site of the capital of the kingdom of Muṣaṣir, a client state of the Assyrian Empire, and its famous Ḫaldi temple.
The research presented in this book throws light on a hitherto little known eastern frontier region of the Assyrian Empire. Gird-i Bazar is the first unequivocally Neo-Assyrian site to be excavated in the region. The occupation layers beginning to be uncovered there offer the rare opportunity to explore an Assyrian non-elite settlement. Its well stratified ceramic repertoire is of special importance as it allows us for the first time to synchronise the Western Iranian pottery cultures (with the key sites Hasanlu, Godin Tepe, Nush-i Jan and Baba Jan) with the Assyrian material of the 8th and 7th centuries BC.

128 pages, more than 60 colored pictures — content
30 x 21 cm — Hardcover

Price: € 29,80 [D]

ISBN: 978-3-935012-20-1
© PeWe-Verlag 2016