ISAW announces the publication of Ancient Western Asia beyond the Paradigm of Collapse and Regeneration (1200–900 BCE)

By David Ratzan

The Institute for the Study of the Ancient World and NYU Press are pleased to announce the publication of the latest volume from ISAW Monographs, Ancient Western Asia beyond the Paradigm of Collapse and Regeneration (1200–900 BCE), edited by Maria Grazia Masetti-Rouault, Ilaria Calini, Robert Hawley and Lorenzo d’Alfonso

Ancient Western Asia beyond the Paradigm of Collapse and Regeneration (1200–900 BCE) presents select essays originating in a two-year research collaboration between New York University and Paris Sciences et Lettres. The contributions here offer new results and interpretations of the processes and outcomes of the transition from the Late Bronze Age to the Iron Age in three broad regions: Anatolia, northern Mesopotamia, and the Levant. Together, these challenge the notion of a uniform, macroregional collapse throughout the Eastern Mediterranean, followed by the regeneration of political powers. Current research on newly discovered or reinterpreted textual and material evidence from Western Asia instead suggests that this transition was characterized by a diversity of local responses emerging from diverse environmental settings and culture complexes, as evident in the case studies collected here in history, archaeology, and art history. The editors avoid the particularism to which case studies are susceptible by adopting a regional organization, with the aim of identifying and tracing similar processes and outcomes emerging locally across the three regions. Ultimately, this volume reimagines the Late Bronze–Iron Age transition as the emergence of a set of recursive processes and outcomes nested firmly in the local cultural interactions of western Asia before the beginning of the new, unifying era of Assyrian imperialism.

This book will be of interest primarily to specialists in the art history, philology, and archaeology of the Ancient Near East.


Lorenzo d’Alfonso is Professor of Western Asian Archaeology and History at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University and Chair of Archaeology and Art History of Ancient Western Asia at the University of Pavia. He has been leading archaeological research in south Cappadocia for more than fifteen years. His current research focus is on the archaeology of sovereignty applied to the Late Bronze and Iron Age in Anatolia and Syria.

Ilaria Calini is a postdoctoral researcher at the École Pratique des Hautes Études / Paris Sciences & Lettres University and studies the cultural interactions in the Assyrian world and between Assyria and ancient Greece. 

Robert Hawley is a research fellow of the Orient & Méditerranée laboratory at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique. He has published widely on Akkadian, Ugaritic, Syriac and Arabic. Hecurrently holds the Chair of Religions and Cultures of the Ancient Levant in the Religious Sciences Section of the École Pratique des Hautes Études.

Maria Grazia Masetti-Rouault is Chair of Religions of the Syro-Mesopotamian World, Section Sciences Religieuses at École Pratique des Hautes Études / Paris Sciences & Lettres University. She is the director of the French archaeological mission at Qasr Shemamok (Kurdistan, Iraq), and of the Syro-French archaeological mission at Tell Masaikh /Terqa region (Syria).


Ancient Western Asia beyond the Paradigm of Collapse and Regeneration (1200–900 BCE) is the 17th volume to be published in the ISAW Monographs series, a joint publication project with NYU Press. ISAW Monographs publishes authoritative studies of new evidence and research into the texts, archaeology, art history, material culture, and history of the cultures and periods representing the core areas of study at NYU's Institute for the Study of the Ancient World. The topics and approaches of the volumes in this series reflect the intellectual mission of ISAW as a center for advanced scholarly research and graduate education whose aim is to encourage the study of the economic, religious, political, and cultural connections between ancient civilizations, from the Western Mediterranean across the Near East and Central Asia, to China.

As with ISAW Papers, ISAW's born-digital journal, ISAW is committed to publishing all volumes of ISAW Monographs free and online for the interested public and scholarship community in a timely fashion. Currently, five volumes of ISAW Monographs are available free online via the ISAW Publications page. 

Information about previous volumes, including how to order them in both print and online versions, is available via the ISAW Publications page and the NYU Press website. For information or questions about ISAW Monographs and ISAW's publishing projects, please email David M. Ratzan: To request review copies, please email Leah Baxter:

Ancient Western Asia beyond the Paradigm of Collapse and Regeneration (1200–900 BCE)
Proceedings of the NYU-PSL International Colloquium, 
Paris Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art, April 16–17, 2019

Edited by

Maria Grazia Masetti-Rouault
Ilaria Calini
Robert Hawley
Lorenzo d’Alfonso

640 Pages | 161 illustrations | 8.5 x 11 in.
$85.00 | ISBNS 9781479834624 (Hardcover), 9781479834631 (ebook)

Publication date: May 7, 2024 |