09/26/2018 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall

Ancient Iran in Muslim Eyes

The Fate of Persian History in the Islamic World

Robert Hoyland

Note: We are now fully booked for this event and are only accepting names for the wait-list. Medieval Muslim historians wishing to write about ancient Iran drew on texts that were composed in the period 750–850 bearing the title "The History of the Kings of the Persians." These works served a growing audience of well­-to­do Muslim bureaucrats and scholars of Persian ancestry who were interested in their heritage and wished to make it part of the historical outlook of the new civilization that was emerging in the Middle East, namely Islamic civilization. This talk (and the book that it is based on) explores the question of how knowledge about ancient Iran was transmitted to Muslim historians, in what forms it circulated and how it was shaped and refashioned for the new Perso­-Muslim elite that served the early Abbasid caliphs in Baghdad, a city that was built only a short distance away from the old Persian and Hellenistic capital of Seleucia­-Ctesiphon.
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10/11/2018 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall

ARCE Lecture: Understanding Ancient Egyptian Comics

Conversations, Quarrels, and Songs in Ancient Egyptian Tombs

Stephen Harvey

Since Egyptian hieroglyphs could first be read again in the modern era, it has been recognized that texts recorded on tomb walls include conversations, speeches, songs, and exclamations. The discovery of the tomb of Paheri at El Kab by the French expedition in 1799 was followed by the recognition by Champollion as early as 1828 that a "Song of the Threshers" might be recognized amidst the other texts accompanying the agricultural scenes, an identification that was met at first with skepticism. A series of other songs, speeches and conversations are featured in the scenes illustrating the seasons of Planting and Harvest on the west wall of Paheri's burial chamber, and form a revival in the earliest New Kingdom of an important aspect of Old and Middle Kingdom tomb decoration.
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10/22/2018 10:30 AM ISAW - 15 East 84th Street

Prospective Student Open House

ISAW's open house for prospective doctoral students will include coffee with ISAW students, faculty, and scholars; an information session about our academic program; a tour of ISAW and the ISAW Library; a Q&A session with current students; and an opportunity to attend an ISAW graduate seminar.
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10/25/2018 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall
Photograph of the lecturer: Kimberly Cassibry

Exhibition Lecture: Seeing the Supernatural

Art and Religion in Roman Gaul

Kimberly Cassibry

This talk explores the role of art in Gallic religion before, during, and after Caesar’s conquest. The Gauls themselves left few written documents about their religious beliefs, possibly because the druids insisted on the oral transmission of knowledge. The material record reveals that they had not necessarily imagined their gods in human form before conquest, though they were accustomed to appeasing supernatural forces with gifts of exquisitely crafted metalwork. After annexation, the inscribed and sculpted stone monuments that they began to dedicate bear witness to a fascinating era of experimentation, when their newly imagined gods were represented alongside Greek and Roman ones for the first time. In reassessing the role of art in Gallic religion, this talk sheds new light on the rich cultural heritage of the Roman Empire’s provinces.
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10/26/2018 09:15 AM ISAW Lecture Hall
3D model of sculptured bust from the Yale University Art Gallery

Conference: Digital Approaches to Teaching the Ancient Mediterranean

Digital resources have become an essential part of studying the languages, history, and material culture of the Ancient Mediterranean. This one-day conference looks at how this disciplinary turn is being integrated into both undergraduate and graduate courses. There will be sustained attention during the day on current practice in recent courses, and the speakers all have considerable teaching experience. Speakers will also address the goals of using digital methods, tools and resources in a wide range of pedagogic and institutional settings. Digital approaches to teaching do not merely replicate earlier methods so that new possibilities for expanding the scope of curricula will be an important topic. The day will end with a panel discussion and we will welcome input from all who are in attendance.
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10/30/2018 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall

From Hebrew Bible Studies to the Studies of the Ancient Near East

Approaches Towards a History of Religion of Mesopotamia

Beate Pongratz-Leisten

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11/06/2018 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall

Defining ‘Xian’

Methodological Approaches and Questions to the Study of Zoroastrianism in Medieval China

Pénélope Riboud

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11/08/2018 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall
Headshot of Monica L. Smith

12th Annual Leon Levy Lecture: Urbanism and the History of Architectural Restlessness

Monica L. Smith

Note: Registration for the general public will begin on 9/21/18. The world’s first cities started only 6,000 years ago, and in that short amount of time have become the dominant form of human settlement. Among the many alterations of daily life, evident in even the first cities, was the creation of a purposeful built environment resulting in distinct patterns of residence, commerce, ritual engagement, transportation, and entertainment. Yet one of the most interesting things about urban architecture is its high rate of turnover compared to the conservatism of rural settlements. Through archaeological examples from both the Classical world and ancient India, this lecture will explore the implications of the ways in which urban residents are constantly renewing, upgrading, and redefining their place in the city through architectural change, and the way in which architectural restlessness carries forward into the present day of our own urban experiences.
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11/10/2018 05:30 PM ISAW Galleries
Photograph of Joan Chiverton

Exhibition Gallery Event: Sketch Night

Joan Chiverton

Please join illustrator and teaching artist Joan Chiverton for an evening of sketching in the galleries in conjunction with the exhibition Devotion and Decadence. Develop your drawing skills and discover a new way of seeing as you sketch Roman silver masterpieces and other ancient luxury objects. Following a brief introduction and tutorial, Ms. Chiverton will circulate the galleries and provide individual coaching, if desired. All skill levels are welcome, from beginner to advanced. Participants should bring their own drawing pad or paper with a board. Gallery specific pencils will be provided by ISAW. For conservation reasons pens, pastels, charcoal, and paints need to be kept at home.
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11/15/2018 06:00 PM ISAW Galleries
Photograph of Wendy Yothers

Exhibition Gallery Talk: Ancient Silversmithing and Modern Practice

Wendy Yothers

The Berthouville Treasure showcases the sophisticated silversmithing technologies employed by ancient artisans to create sumptuous silver sculpture and vessels. Found by chance in the 19th century, this collection has recently undergone extensive conservation and study using modern imaging technologies that revealed new information about the practice of individual artists and that of workshops in Gaul and Rome. Although silversmithing has evolved from how it was practiced in antiquity, much remains startlingly the same. Please join silversmith Wendy Yothers for a gallery conversation about the materials and processes used in ancient silversmithing and how Roman techniques compare with present-day metalworking practices.
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11/29/2018 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall
Photograph of Kenneth Lapatin

Exhibition Lecture: A Roman Temple Treasure

The Berthouville Silver and Its Contexts

Kenneth Lapatin

Discovered accidentally by a farmer in rural Normandy in 1830, the spectacular hoard of gilt silver statuettes and exquisitely crafted vessels known as the Berthouville Treasure was originally dedicated to the Gallo-Roman god Mercury. After four years of painstaking conservation by Getty Museum conservators, viewers can now appreciate the splendor of these artifacts and the insights they provide about ancient art, religion, technology, and cultural exchange. This lecture explores those topics, and more, offering a fresh look at these rare survivals of ancient Roman metal work.
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12/04/2018 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall

Site Under Construction

A Century of Monuments at Thuburbo Maius, Tunisia

J. Andrew Dufton

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