Welcome to the online portion of the hybrid course, Ancient Near Eastern Culture, that I am teaching at Houston Baptist University, Spring of 2013. This is a master’s level course within the Master of Liberal Arts program. Starting in January, each week I will upload lectures, readings, pictures, etc. relating to a selected topic. All materials posted here are open access and free to use and download. Along with the curated content, I will also post a short video introducing each topic and the resources relating to it.
This course will survey the history and culture of the civilizations that inhabited the areas from Iran to Egypt from the Neolithic period (ca. 10,000 BC) to Alexander the Great (ca. 323 BC). Topics of study include art, literature, religion, law, politics, geo-political effects of climate change, health care, economics and commerce, war and peace, and women. Special attention will be given to exploring the significance of the study of the ancient world for contemporary society as well as biblical interpretation.
Salima Ikram, Ancient Egypt: An Introduction (Cambridge University Press, 2009).
Benjamin Foster and Karen Foster, Civilizations of Ancient Iraq (Princeton University Press, 2009).
David Wengrow, What Makes Civilization? The Ancient Near East & the Future of the West (Oxford University Press, 2010).
- Read: “The Manufacture of Metal Statuary: ‘Seeing the Workshops of the Temple’” by Deborah Schorsch, pages 189-199, in Gifts for the Gods: Images from Egyptian Temples.
- Read: “Popular Art at Susa” by Agnes Spycket, pages 183-196, and “Susa in the Achaemenid Period,” pages 215-252, in The Royal City of Susa: Treasures in the Louvre.
- Introductory Video: Literature
- Read: The Gilgamesh Epic (Here is a picture and short description of a tablet from the Epic housed in the British Museum)
- Read: Sinuhe
- Read pages 2-22 and 447-464 in Reading Akkadian Hymns and Prayers.
- Read A. Leo Oppenheim’s essay, “Golden Garments of the Gods.”
- A humorous introduction to Old Testament law can be found at The Brick Testament (this is not required reading)
- Hammurabi’s law (the introductions are not required)
- Ugaritic manumission and marriage contract
- Old Assyrian marriage contract
***Online Seminar with Seth Sanders of Trinity College, CT. on Google Hangout. Dr. Sanders will discuss scribal culture of ancient Israel and registered students of the course can join the seminar live. All others are invited to view the recorded session on YouTube.
Geo-Political Effects of Climate Change
Economics and Commerce
War and Peace
- “Aspects of the Royal Female Image During the Amarna Period” by Dorothea Arnold, pages 85-120, in The Royal Women of Amarna: Images of Beauty from Ancient Egypt.
- Karen Nemet-Nejat “Women in Ancient Mesopotamia“