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2024 LIST OF APPROVED SESSIONS AND WORKSHOPS

Boston & Hybrid: November 20-23

ASOR’s 2024 Annual Meeting will take place November 20-23 at the Boston Park Plaza. The meeting in November will be hybrid with both virtual and in-person participation in a similar format to the 2023 Annual Meeting.

All sessions (and workshops, when feasible) will be able to include both in-person presentations in Boston and virtual presentations online via Zoom. This is subject to change as the meeting develops.

Paper and workshop presentation proposals may be submitted per the instructions on the Call for Papers from February 15th – March 15th, 2024.

ASOR Standing Sessions

Member-Organized Sessions and Workshops Approved for the 2024 Academic Program

*Sessions (and workshops, when feasible) will be offered as part of the hybrid program with virtual and in-person participation unless otherwise noted. This is subject to change as the meeting develops.

Descriptions of Sessions & Workshops

*Sessions (and workshops, when feasible) will be offered as part of the hybrid program with virtual and in-person participation unless otherwise noted. This is subject to change as the meeting develops.

ASOR-Sponsored Sessions

Ancient Inscriptions

Session Chairs: Jessie DeGrado, University of Michigan; Madadh Richey, Brandeis University

Description: This session focuses on epigraphic material from the听ancient听Middle East, North Africa, and eastern Mediterranean. Proposals may include new readings of previously published听inscriptions听or preliminary presentations of new epigraphic discoveries,听as well as听submissions that situate written artifacts in their social contexts听and/or听engage broader theoretical questions.

Approaches to Dress and the Body

Session Chairs: Neville McFerrin, University of North Texas

Description: Traces of practices relating to听dressand听the听body are present in many ways in the archaeological, textual, and听visual records of the ancient world, from the physical remains of听dressed bodies, to images depicting them, to texts describing such aspects as textile production and sumptuary customs. Previous scholarship has provided useful typological frameworks but has often viewed these objects as static trappings of status and gender. The goal of this session is to illuminate the dynamic role of听dressand听the听body听in the performance and听construction of aspects of individual听and听social identity,听and听to encourage collaborative dialogue within the study of听dressand听the body听in antiquity.

Archaeology and Biblical Studies

Session Chair: Stephen Cook, Virginia Theological Seminary; Alison Acker Gruseke, Williams College

Description: This session is meant to explore the intersections between History, Archaeology, and the Judeo-Christian Bible and related texts.

Archaeology and History of Feasting and Foodways

Session Chair: Jacob Damm, University of California, Los Angeles

Description:听
The Archaeology and History of Feasting and Foodways session addresses the production, distribution, and consumption of food and drink. Insofar as foodways touch upon almost every aspect of the human experience鈥攆rom agricultural technology, to economy and trade, to nutrition and cuisine, to the function of the household and its members, to religious acts of eating and worship鈥攚e welcome submissions from diverse perspectives and from the full spectrum of our field鈥檚 geography and chronology.

Archaeology of Anatolia

Session Chair: James Osborne, Oriental Institute, University of Chicago

Description: This session is concerned with current fieldwork in Anatolia, as well as the issue of connectivity in Anatolia. What, for example, were the interconnections between Anatolia and surrounding regions such as Cyprus, Transcaucasia, Mesopotamia, and Europe?

Archaeology of Arabia

Session Chair: Jennifer Swerida, University of Pennsylvania

Description:
This session seeks contributions covering a wide spatio-temporal swath from the Paleolithic to the present centered on the Arabian Peninsula but including neighboring areas such as the Horn of Africa, East Africa, and South Asia. Contributions might be tied to the region thematically (e.g. pastoral nomadism, domesticates, or agricultural strategies), methodologically (e.g. Landscape archaeology, or satellite imagery technologies) or through ancient contacts such as trade along the Red Sea, Persian/Arabian Gulf or Indian Ocean.

Archaeology of the Black Sea and the Caucasus

Session Chair: Lara Fabian, Albert-Ludwigs-Universitaet Freiburg

Description: This session is open to papers that concern the archaeology of the Black Sea and Eurasia.

Archaeology of the Byzantine Near East

Session Chair: Alexandra Ratzlaff, Brandeis University

Description: This session is open to papers that concern the Near East in the Byzantine period.

Archaeology of Cyprus

Session Chairs: Kevin Fisher, University of British Columbia; Catherine Kearns, University of Chicago

Description: This session focuses on current archaeological research in Cyprus from prehistory to the modern period. Topics may include reports on archaeological fieldwork and survey, artifactual studies, as well as more focused methodological or theoretical discussions. Papers that address current debates and issues are especially welcome.

Archaeology of Egypt

Session Chair: Julia Troche, Missouri State University; Jordan Galczynski, University of California, Los Angeles

Description: This session is open to research on all areas related to the archaeology of Egypt, including current and past fieldwork, material culture, textual sources, religious or social aspects, international relations, art, and history.

Archaeology of Iran

Session Chair: Kyle Gregory Olson, University of Pennsylvania

Description: This session explores the archaeology of Iran.

Archaeology of Islamic Society

Session Chairs: Ian W. N. Jones, University of California, San Diego; Tasha Vorderstrasse, University of Chicago

Description: This session explores the archaeology of Islamic society.

Archaeology of Israel

Session Chair: Boaz Gross, Israeli Institute of Archaeology and Tel Aviv University

Description: This session seeks submissions in all areas of the archaeology of Israel: Current fieldwork and discoveries; new insights on past excavations; history, policy and methodology of the archaeology of Israel.

Archaeology of Jordan

Session Chairs: Monique Roddy, Walla Walla University; Craig Tyson, Deyouville; and Stephanie Selover, University of Washington

Description: This session is open to any research from any period relating to the archaeology of Jordan. The session is open to papers on recent fieldwork, synthetic analyses of multiple field seasons, as well as any area of current archaeological research focused on Jordan.

The Archaeology of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq

Session Chair: Jason Ur, Harvard University

Description: This session highlights research on all aspects of history and archaeology focused on the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and adjacent areas.

Archaeology of Lebanon

Session Chair: Email ArchofLebanon@gmail.com with questions

Description: This session is focused on current archaeological research in Lebanon, including the results of fieldwork and/or other research projects. Papers dealing with the archaeology of Lebanon relating to any period, or the protection and promotion of the cultural heritage of Lebanon, are welcome.

Archaeology of Mesopotamia

Session Chair: Lucas Proctor, J.W. Goethe University Frankfurt; Glynnis Maynard, Cambridge University

Description: This session seeks submissions in all areas illuminated by archaeology that relate to the material, social, and religious culture, history and international relations, and texts of ancient Mesopotamia.

Archaeology of the Near East and New Media

Session Chairs: Michael Zimmerman, Bridgewater State University; Debra Trusty, University of Iowa

Description: The papers in this session represent a multidisciplinary discussion of theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of archaeology of the Near East and New Media. The focus of the session lies in storytelling and historical education through innovative technology, be it through digital or analogue games (鈥渁rchaeogaming鈥), movies, immersive experiences, digital apps, escape rooms, or interactive museum exhibitions, for example. This session aims to present a diverse array of topics at the intersection of the archaeology of the Near East and new technologies, opening up for discussion and debate the multi-functionality of these tools for research, education, community engagement, and heritage management.

Archaeology of the Near East: Bronze and Iron Ages

Session Chair: J. P. Dessel, University of Tennessee

Description: This session is open to papers that concern the Near East in the Bronze and Iron Ages.

Archaeology of the Near East: The Classical Periods

Session Chairs: Simeon Ehrlich, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Robyn Le Blanc, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Description: This session is open to papers that concern the Near East in the Classical periods.

Archaeology of the Southern Levant

Session Chair: Sarah Richardson, University of Manitoba

Description: The focus of this session is on current archaeological fieldwork in the southern Levant.

Archaeology of Syria

Session Chair: Kathryn Grossman, North Carolina State University

Description:听This session is concerned with all areas of Syria that are illuminated by archaeology.
These include a discussion of recent archaeological excavations, history, religion, society, and texts.

Art Historical Approaches to the Near East

Session Chairs: Amy Gansell, St. John’s University; S. Rebecca Martin, Boston University

Description: This session welcomes submissions that present innovative analyses of any facet of Near Eastern artistic production or visual culture.

Bioarchaeology in the Near East

Session Chairs: Megan A. Perry, East Carolina University; Sarah Schrader, Leiden University

Description: This session welcomes papers that present bioarchaeological research conducted in the Near East. Papers that pose new questions and/or explore new methods are encouraged.

Cultural Heritage: Preservation, Presentation, and Management

Session Chair: Kiersten Neumann, University of Chicago

Description: This session explores theory and practice in the areas of archaeological site and collections conservation, presentation, education, and management. Discussion of community-engaged projects is especially welcome.

Digital Archaeology and History

Session Chairs: Tiffany Earley-Spadoni, University of Central Florida; Matthew Howland, Tel Aviv University

Description: This session will present papers that describe significant advances in or interesting applications听of the digital humanities. Topics may include public digital initiatives,听3D scanning and modelling, spatial analysis (GIS and remote sensing), social network analysis,听textual analysis, textual geographies,听digital storytelling, data management听etc. In addition to methodological topics, the session also welcomes papers that focus on broader听debates in the digital humanities.

Environmental Archaeology of the Ancient Near East

Session Chairs: Brita Lorentzen, Cornell University; Elise Laugier, Utah State University

Description: This session accepts papers that examine past human resource (flora and fauna) uses and human/environment interactions in the ancient Near East.

Gender in the Ancient Near East

Session Chairs: Stephanie Lynn Budin, Near Eastern Archaeology; Debra Foran, Wilfrid Laurier University

Description: This session pertains to on-going archaeological, art historical, and/or anthropological work and research into the construction and expression of gender in antiquity, ancient women/womanhood, masculinities (hegemonic and otherwise), Queer Theory, and the engendering of ancient objects and spaces.

History of Archaeology

Session Chairs: Nassos Papalexandrou, The University of Texas at Austin, Art and Art History; Leticia R. Rodriguez, University of California, Berkeley

Description: Papers in this session examine the history of the disciplines of biblical archaeology and Near Eastern archaeology.

Interdisciplinary Approaches to Seals, Sealing Practices, and Administration

Session Chairs: Sarah Scott, Wagner College; Oya Top莽uo臒lu, Northwestern University

Description: This session invites submissions touching on any aspect of glyptic studies. Papers may approach seals and sealings as object, text, and/or image, and rely on multiple strands of evidence.听 Applied methodologies from a variety of disciplines are encouraged. While seals and sealings form the core subject of investigation for this session, papers that rely on a wide range of comparative objects are welcome. Glyptic-related topics covering the full geographical and chronological horizon of the ancient Near East are considered

Isotopic Investigations in the Ancient Near East and Caucasus

Session Chairs: G. Bike Yaz谋c谋o臒lu-Santamaria, University of Chicago; Benjamin Irvine, British Institute at Ankara

Description: Biogeochemical research on the human condition in the ancient past is a rapidly growing field. Isotopic investigations targeting questions about climate change, human mobility, animal trade, herding strategies, crop management, diet and subsistence, and infant-feeding practices in the broader ancient Near East have increased in number over the past decade. However, biogeochemical techniques and understandings continue to develop and be re-evaluated, necessitating venues for scholarly exchange, comparison, and discussion. The objective of this session is to encourage a dialogue among researchers conducting and using biogeochemical techniques in the region, integrating analytical methods with social and historical questions. In consecutive years the session will incorporate the results of most recent and ongoing research in the region with methodological advances in techniques and approaches, in tandem with the developing agenda of the 鈥淎rchaeological Isotopes Working Group鈥 Business Meetings.

Landscapes of Settlement in the Ancient Near East听

Session Chair
: George Pierce, Brigham Young University

Description: This session brings together scholars investigating regional-scale problems of settlement history and archaeological landscapes across the ancient Near East. Research presented in the session is linked methodologically through the use of regional survey, remote sensing, and environmental studies to document ancient settlements, communication routes, field systems and other evidence of human activity that is inscribed in the landscape. Session participants are especially encouraged to offer analyses of these regional archaeological data that explore political, economic, and cultural aspects of ancient settlement systems as well as their dynamic interaction with the natural environment.

Maritime Archaeology

Session Chairs: Tzveta Manolova, Universit茅 Libre de Bruxelles; Traci Andrews, Texas A&M

Description: This session welcomes papers that concern marine archaeology in terms of methods, practices, and case studies in areas throughout the Near East.

Prehistoric Archaeology听

Session Chairs: Austin “Chad” Hill, University of Pennsylvania; Blair Heidkamp, University of Texas, Austin

Description: This session is open to papers that concern the prehistoric Near East, particularly in the Paleolithic, Neolithic, and Chalcolithic.

Reports on Current Excavations鈥擜SOR Affiliated & Non-ASOR Affiliated

Session Chair: Daniel Schindler, Bowling Green State University

Description: This session is for excavation reports from projects with or without ASOR/CAP affiliation.

Recent Work in the Archaeological Sciences

Session Chair: Zachary Dunseth, Brown University

Description: This session welcomes papers that apply one or more archaeological sciences, broadly defined, to investigate aspects of the ancient world.

Theoretical and Anthropological Approaches to the Near East

Session Chairs: Darrell J. Rohl, Calvin University; Matthew Winter, University of Arizona

Description: This session welcomes papers that deal explicitly with theoretical and anthropological approaches to ancient Near Eastern and eastern Mediterranean art and archaeology.

Member-Organized Sessions and Workshops approved for the 2024 Academic Program

*Sessions (and workshops, when feasible) will be offered as part of the hybrid program with virtual and in-person participation unless otherwise noted. This is subject to change as the meeting develops.

Africa in the Ancient World

Session Chairs: Brenda J. Baker, Arizona State University; Michele R. Buzon, Purdue University

Description: This session, co-sponsored by the , builds on the successful Reintegrating Africa in the Ancient World workshop. This session allows paper contributions on the archaeology, bioarchaeology, and history of northeast Africa, engaging with a specific theme each year to highlight the rich prehistory and history of ancient Sudan and the greater northeast Africa region. The session welcomes work on a range of ancient northeast African cultures, including but not limited to Nubia (Kush), Aksum, Garamantes, and Egypt. Themes addressed are designed to have relevance in the modern world.

In the first year (2024), we consider conflict and its consequences in both the past and present. What evidence is there for conflict in the region through time? What impact did/does conflict have on the local populace? What is the variability in interactions? The second year (2025) focuses on mobility and migration into, within, and out of Africa. Different methods for reconstructing population movements, such as funerary behavior, artifact distributions, paleogenomics, and isotope analyses, are considered.听 How might various methods be integrated to investigate identity? What circumstances may result in different mobility patterns? The third year (2026) emphasizes identity and community through time. How does identity manifest through time? What factors affect identity and formation of communities? How does archaeology contribute to community and identity formation in the present?

Altering the Narrative: End of the Middle Bronze Age in Anatolia

Session Chairs: Ya臒mur Heffron, University College London; N. 陌lgi Ger莽ek, Bilkent University; M眉ge Durusu-Tanr谋枚ver, Temple University

Description: This session focuses on the 鈥榮low鈥 turn of the 17th century BCE, corresponding to the end of the 办腻谤耻尘 period and the formative phase of the Hittite polity鈥攁 process of historical transition with implications for understanding Anatolia鈥檚 second millennium BCE as a whole. Traditional narratives of Middle Bronze Age Anatolia center predominantly on the celebrated site of K眉ltepe-Kanesh and the textual hypervisibility of the Old Assyrian trade system at the expense of other sites and communities beyond the 办腻谤耻尘 network and beyond the central plateau. Likewise, scholarly debates over Hittite state formation revolve chiefly around sequencing kings, rather than approaching it as a complex process of socio-political transformation at the Middle and Late Bronze Age interface. By broadening the discourse on this hugely consequential yet under-scrutinized period of Anatolian history, this session also aims to break from teleological explanations of continuity and change.

Building on the generative discussions from the pilot workshop, 鈥淧roblematizing the End of the Middle Bronze Age in Anatolia鈥 (ASOR 2023), we invite longer papers to further question these and other 鈥榝undamentals鈥 of time and scale, as well as methodological issues of establishing (historical) periodization and (archaeological) chronology. Possible topics of inquiry include (but are not limited to) questions around socio-political organization (e.g. Hittite state formation), occupational continuity and discontinuity, diachronic trends of architectural expression, enduring or abandoned habits in the production and consumption of material and visual culture, conservatism and novelty in ritual activity, and last but not least, writing practices across the Anatolian plateau. We invite papers presenting new knowledge and results of recent research, as well as novel engagements with legacy data that enhance, modify, correct, or even overturn canonical narratives of Anatolia during the second millennium BCE.

Ancient Languages & Linguistics

Session Chairs: Victora Almansa-Villatoro, Harvard University; Brendan Hainline, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Description:听This session invites papers engaging in a broad spectrum of topics related to ancient languages and linguistics. Potential areas of exploration include phonology, syntax, pragmatics, lexical studies, and historical linguistics. We encourage submissions that adopt innovative methods and approaches to ancient languages, incorporating the latest trends and advances in linguistics and pragmatics.

Additionally, we welcome papers that integrate linguistic insights with methodologies and evidence from other disciplines, such as archaeology or anthropology, aiming to illuminate the experiences, lives, and histories of ancient peoples. Furthermore, we invite papers that employ linguistic frameworks to analyze ancient texts, encompassing areas like (Im-)Politeness, Discourse Analysis, Speech Acts, and prosodic analysis.

We also invite explorations into the role and function of language and dialect in shaping identities and negotiating power in ancient societies. Submissions examining linguistic contact, loanwords, diplomatic correspondence, and language in multicultural settings are highly relevant as well. Overall, this session provides a platform for diverse perspectives on the intersection of linguistics and ancient cultures.

Antiochia ad Cragum (Turkey) Excavations: The First Twenty Years (2005鈥2024)

Session Chairs: Michael Hoff, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Rhys Townsend, Clark University (emeritus)

Description:听The 2024 excavation season will mark 20 years of research at the site of Antiochia ad Cragum on the south Turkish coast. The purpose of this proposed session is to bring together the research team members who have been working over the years to bring information to light regarding not only this fascinating site, but the region of Rough Cilicia as well. The Roman-era city of Antiochia ad Cragum is unremarkable historically, but in terms of archaeology the data we are retrieving is showing great significance in understanding the region in this far-flung province of the Roman Empire, particularly since very little research has so far been published from other nearby sites. The ASOR-affiliated excavations, that have been ongoing since 2005, are revealing not only the structures but the infrastructure of the ancient city. Studies include, but are not limited to, historical perspectives, architecture, conservation, human and animal remains, ceramics, agriculture, numismatics, epigraphy, hydrology, GIS, geology, and mosaics.

Research staff members will present papers that highlight the status of their particular area, over the 20 years of research. Team members are also preparing manuscripts for a preliminary report that will be published by Oxbow in 2025 and this forum offers the opportunity for team members to hear each other鈥檚 reports for potential impact on their own contributions.

Archaeology of Connectivity (CANCELLED)

Session Chair: Laura Pisanu, University of Melbourne

Description:听Current societies are involved in mutual and continuous exchanges of resources, technologies, workforce, and ideas as a result of alliances between or immigrations from different countries. Similar networks and events happened during previous millennia too, and these ancient connections can be traced through the analysis of archaeological remains, such as those found at Bronze and Early Iron Age sites across the Mediterranean shores. During this time, the Mediterranean Sea acted as a bridge rather than a barrier that linked ancient societies leading to the spread of ideas, technological innovations, and materials. This session aims at discussing connectivity between eastern and the western Mediterranean societies that resulted in the archaeological evidence found in Crete, Israel, Cyprus, south Italy, and Sardinia showing they were tied nodes of long-lasting and complex networks. Presentations may focus on issues concerning human mobility, agents involved, cultural and technological impacts on societies, and a wide range of topics may be considered in these parameters including excavation records illustrating data from Bronze and Iron Age contexts. Due to the wide chronological and geographical extent involved,听the first year (2023) will be focused on interaction networks and dynamics over the Bronze Age,听while the second year (2024) will be focused on the Iron Age.

Archaeologies of Memory

Session Chairs:听Janling Fu, Harvard University;听Tate Paulette, North Carolina State

Description:听The concept of memory has come to play an increasingly prominent role in a diverse collection of theoretical conversations that crosscut the discipline of archaeology. From the study of mortuary remains, landscapes, and object biographies to identity, heritage, and community-based archaeology, a series of subdisciplines have built up their own discourses surrounding memory, sometimes along parallel theoretical trajectories. This three-year session seeks to bring these discussions together and establish some common ground in the study of memory in the ancient Near East. The session will explore three overlapping themes, each designed to be accessible to those working with archaeological, art historical, and/or written evidence. In the first year (2022), we will think through space, place, and the built environment.听In the second year (2023), we focus on things, bodies, and assemblages.听In the third year (2024), we consider events, rituals, and routines. This lengthy engagement with memory should offer ample space for exploring the complex intermingling of past and present and the many modes of remembering and forgetting. Following the sessions, a substantive volume of proceedings is projected.

Archaeology of Petra and Nabataea

Session Chairs:听Cynthia Finlayson, Brigham Young University;听Anna Accettola, Hamilton College

Description:听The purpose of this session is to include projects not only at Petra, but also from throughout the vast Nabataean kingdom and beyond where ever Nabataeans were active (the Mediterranean, Yemen, and Mesopotamia). The capital city of the Nabataeans has been the focus of numerous recent international archaeological projects, including many ASOR projects: the Great Temple, the Temple of the Winged Lions, and the Byzantine Church in the past, and currently the North Ridge, the Hellenistic Petra Project, the Garden Pool and Terrace, and the Ad-Deir Plateau complex. The art and architecture of Petra continues to be the subject for art historians. The immediate environs of Petra (Wadi Musa, Baydh, Ba鈥檃ja, and Humayma) have also seen renewed interest. In addition, there are recent projects in the Nabataean regions of Saudi Arabia (French, Italian, Polish), Syria (French), the Negev (Israeli), and the Sinai and Egypt (French, American). New Nabataean inscriptions also continue to emerge that illuminate Nabataean culture.

Archaeology of Religion in the Levant during the Second and First Millennia BCE (POSTPONED to 2025)

Session Chairs:听Lidar Sapir-Hen, Tel Aviv University;听Ido Koch, Tel Aviv University

Description:听The Archaeology of Religion in the Levant during the Second and First millennia BCE is a three-year session aiming at fostering a scholarly stage for an interdisciplinary discussion on a wide range of approaches, perspectives, and interpretative frameworks of religion and its materiality. We encourage papers covering aspects of religion, such as belief, ritual, cosmology, and ontology, based on studies of material remains as well as their reflection in textual and pictorial sources.

The first year is dedicated to introductory papers on methodological and material aspects of the study of religion. Papers will deal with the developments in the study of religion and their impact on the archaeological discourse, the extrapolation of religious texts in the understanding of material remains, current approaches in the study of statuary and figurines, and domestic cult.
The second and third years will be thematic-based sessions: the second dedicated to human鈥揳nimal relations, and the third to sacred spaces.

The Archaeology of Rural Communities

Session Chair: Helena Roth, Tel Aviv University

Description: This session aims at placing rural communities in the center of discourse. The term “rural” is commonly used to describe the opposite of “urban” or as background to a discussion revolving around urban societies. However, and with the understanding that most of the population in antiquity was residing in rural sites, a direct and thorough investigation of these communities is overdue.

This session aims at creating a diversified discussion, unbound by geographic or temporal boundaries, to share methodologies and research approaches, and, most importantly, to outline the research potential of investigating the rural sphere. The session during the first year out of the planed three will focus on subsistence strategies and how they shape the rural communities. The second years will devote the discussion to the topic of social and spiritual rites in rural communities. The Third and final year will revolve around the social structure and complexity of rural communities, a topic which embodies, amongst others, the subjects dealt with in the first two years. This tripartite plan is this founded on firm archaeological analyses, elaborated via anthropological, textual and psychological investigations, and concluded with a synthesis of the various approaches with social studies.

The Art, Archaeology, and History of Central Asia: New Research and Findings

Session Chairs: Harrison Morin, University of Chicago; Mitchell Allen, University of California Berkley

Description: This session will focus on latest research related to the art, archaeology, and history of Central Asia and adjacent areas (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan, and听 Pakistan). For the past several decades, Central Asia has become a subject of increasing archaeological and historical interest for scholars around听 the world, both as its own individual area of inquiry as well as for the region鈥檚 connections to the Ancient Near East, Medieval Middle East, and other neighboring civilizations throughout history. The opening of post-Soviet nations to international projects has greatly increased the amount of knowledge generated.听 With the last ASOR session that specifically focused on Central Asia occurring in 2016, and with this increasing interest among ASOR members in the fields of art history, archaeology, and history, the time seems right to bring back this session and foster a new environment of inquiry and collaboration to connect current scholars of the subject. As such听 we aim to bring together scholars from various countries and disciplines and provide them with a forum to present their latest research exploring questions, issues, and themes related to these topics.

 

Biblical Texts in Cultural Context (POSTPONED to 2025)

Session Chairs: Christine Palmer, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary; Kristine Garroway, Hebrew Union College

Description: This session explores the biblical text within its ancient Near Eastern cultural and intellectual environment. Our aim is to provide a forum for collaboration and scholarship across disciplines that contextualizes the Bible in the broader world of the ancient Near East through the three overarching themes of memory construction, ethnicity and identity formation, and biblical ritual. We invite contributions that utilize a variety of approaches 鈥 archaeological (material culture), philological (comparative literature), and iconographic (visual exegesis) 鈥 to explore biblical texts as cultural products and 鈥榯extual artifacts鈥 of ancient Israel. A secondary aim is to pursue publication of the themed papers presented in the three-year session.

The first year (2023) of this multi-year session will focus on memory construction. We welcome papers that consider social memory through texts and inscriptions, monumentality, and embodied practices. The topic for year two (2024) will be ethnicity and identity formation, inviting scholarship on conceptualizations of self and the other that intersect with the biblical text. The final year (2025) will be dedicated to biblical ritual in light of ritual spaces, personnel, and practices of the ancient Near East.

Contemporary Perspectives on Near Eastern And Mediterranean Pseudoarchaeology (Workshop)

Session Chairs: Kevin McGeough, University of Lethbridge; William Caraher, University of North Dakota

Description:听Despite decades of debunking, pseudoarchaeology remains evergreen. A recent documentary series devoted to yet another pseudoarchaeologcial expedition to prove the existence of Atlantis provoked yet another chorus of outrage from archaeologists. Atlantis, in particular, appears to attract perniciously persistent perspectives anchored in Victorian racism and colonialism. At the same time, it is clear that Atlantis continues to fascinate 21st-century audiences not because of their deep attraction to Platonic rhetoric, but because it also offers a way to think about the consequences of catastrophic climate change. In general, pseudoarchaeological sites, artifacts, and explanations continue to resonate with contemporary challenges including race, identity, forced migration, millenarianism, and globalization.

In light of the ongoing relevance of pseudoarchaeology, this workshop seeks to situate specific pseudoarchaeological phenomenon in their intellectual, historical, social, and even archaeological context by considering the following questions:

1. What are the intellectual, social, political, and material contexts for pseudoarchaeology?

2. How have pseudoarchaeologists responded to normative archaeological arguments, methods, epistemologies, and institutions?

3. How have pseudoarchaeological ideas circulated? What genres, media, and institutions create space for pseudoarchaeology?

4. Have disciplinary efforts to debunk or critique pseudoarchaeology benefited or harmed the discipline?

5. How does the growing appreciation of the plurality of archaeologies create new space within the discipline to recognize and learn from pseudoarchaeological traditions?

As a workshop presenters will present a very brief pseudoarchaeological case study and address these five questions directly. These brief presentations will provide the foundation for an open discussion in the remainder of the workshop.

Crafting and Creating in Response to Cultural Collision (Workshop)

Session Chairs: Emily Miller Bonney, California State University, Fullerton; Leann Pace, Wake Forest University

Description: This session provides an opportunity to explore how an 鈥渋nvasion鈥, the sudden and sometimes hostile intrusion of one society on another, can affect the respective material cultures. Whether a military event, a sudden influx of refugees, merchant/trader colonization or some other circumstances, the sudden collision of cultures can affect profound, disruptive, and traumatic changes, compressing transformative shifts into brief time frames. 鈥淚nvaders鈥 may try to force change, insisting on subordination of the prior culture to their own. The 鈥渋nvaded鈥 may resist in an array of different media, ranging from radical shifts to insistent continuity, hybridisation to selective incorporation to outright rejection of the forces and elements involved in that change. In another scenario, the 鈥渋nvaders鈥 may lack the power to dictate cultural change and may employ a variety of strategies to cope with their outsider status: assimilation, insistent continuity, emulation, or hybridisation. The theory and discussions produced by post-colonial theory, identity, and immigration studies provide a framework for considering material culture responses to cultural collision, the fear of the other and of cultural erasure.

The chairs of this session invite contributions addressing responses to cultural collision within the ANE or broader Mediterranean. Workshop contributors are asked to prepare a presentation that is limited to 6-minutes and 6 slides focusing on a single object, small collection of objects, or phenomenon that demonstrates response to cultural collision. Lively discussion on the subjects of the presentations and the larger topic will follow the presentations.

Cultural Heritage in Crisis: People Oriented (Workshop)

Session Chairs: Tashia Dare, Independent Scholar; Jenna de Vries Morton, Umm al-Jimal Archaeological Project

Description: This multi-year workshop centers on the people behind cultural heritage before, during, and after conflict: heritage professionals and local communities. The workshop is concerned with mitigating risk, building resiliency, and forging and maintaining healthy and meaningful relationships.
The first year鈥檚 theme (2023) explores the needs of cultural heritage professionals. Questions to consider include: How do we mitigate the risks heritage professionals face? What resources are needed to protect heritage professionals? How do we prepare local heritage professionals before conflict happens? How do we build resiliency and assist heritage professionals as they move forward post-conflict?

The second year (2024) focuses on the local community. When everyday survival and livelihoods may be at risk due to conflict how do we meet the needs of local communities and the preservation of cultural heritage? What impacts does conflict have on local communities being able to access, participate, and contribute to their cultural heritage (including archaeological sites and museums)? What role do archaeologists and other related professionals have in addressing these issues and other similar concerns? How do we build resilient communities?

The third year (2025) is dedicated to cultural heritage and peacebuilding. What does cultural heritage as a peacebuilding tool look like on the ground? What issues might there be to this? What are the benefits? What can we learn from successes and failures of efforts already taken in this area? Can cultural heritage be a proactive tool to preventing conflict? If so, what does this entail?

Digging Deeper: New Perspectives on Legacy Collections

Session Chairs: Anna Luurtsema, University of Pennsylvania; Erika Niemann, Mississippi State University

Description: Given the growing curation crisis and the destruction inherent to archaeology, it is imperative to maximize the information extracted from excavations. As archaeology continues to mature as a practice and more sophisticated analytical techniques become widespread, archaeologists can glean new data from archaeological remains, unveiling narratives that were previously inaccessible. To this end, this session aims to increase the visibility of existing collections and encourage responsible research by reexamining legacy data and previously excavated sites. The session will feature papers that apply new methodological and theoretical approaches to legacy collections in order to increase our comprehension of ancient societies in the Mediterranean and Near East. In doing so, we hope to enrich our understanding of the past while addressing the contemporary ethical challenges of preservation and knowledge production. We welcome papers that are chronologically and geographically diverse in order to capture the full spectrum of perspectives offered by legacy collections.

Digging Up Data: A Showcase of Ongoing Digital Scholarship Projects (Workshop)

Session Chairs: Melissa Cradic, Alexandria Archive Institute/Open Context; Elizabeth Knott, College of the Holy Cross

Description:听This workshop, now in its third consecutive year, will highlight the individual journeys of scholars who have spent the previous year developing individual digital, data-driven, public-facing projects as a part of Digging Up Data: Turning an Idea into Digital Scholarship. Digging Up Data is a professional development and digital humanities training and mentorship program for archaeologists, art historians, philologists, and museum professionals created and sponsored jointly by ASOR鈥檚 Early Career Scholars Committee and The Alexandria Archive Institute/Open Context. Participants鈥 projects represent a range of digital methodologies and approaches that have allowed them to develop skills and practices around data literacy and digital storytelling. The Digging Up Data program will focus especially on helping participants launch and develop their planned projects; projects presented at the workshop may be works in progress. The workshop will focus on the process of building and troubleshooting their projects; storytelling for and in collaboration with multiple publics; and the practical steps needed to realize an idea in an engaging and feasible way. Participants in this workshop will benefit from the panelists鈥 discussion of their projects鈥 successes and failures, have an opportunity to interrogate digital tools and methods, and be encouraged to network with other early career scholars interested in digital scholarship. Rather than focusing on a single kind of digital project or developing a set of shared best practices, this workshop explores a range of work being done in the digital humanities, and the possibilities and challenges of entering into this ever-widening circle of practice.

Diversifying West Asian Archaeology: Accessibility Barriers and Mitigating Strategies (Workshop)

Session Chair: Neil Erskine, University of Glasgow

Description:听The lack of diversity in the archaeology of West Asia is a frequent target for critique. The discipline鈥檚 relative homogeneity hinders multivocal archaeologies, marginalises underrepresented groups, impedes decolonial work, and may contribute to the theoretical and epistemological stasis observable in our field when contrasted with other regional subdisciplines.

However, strategies for diversifying the field are frequently limited to school or museum visits, or more extensive advertising, under the assumption that individuals would be engaged by the discipline if only they were exposed to it or if its transferrable skills were sufficiently communicated. Declining enrolment on ancient West Asian-focused courses in many universities should tell us that this is insufficient.

This workshop provides a forum for critical and constructive discussions around specific accessibility barriers. It asks how contemporary West Asian archaeology鈥檚 disciplinary practice and research culture may present push factors relating to e.g. gender, disability, neurodiversity, race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic background that discourages engagement from some demographics.

By interrogating these issues, it asks those engaged in equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) to consider which projects are tackling recruitment into archaeology, which underrepresented groups they seek to target, what is working and what is not working, and to present examples of best practice, innovative strategies, and practical suggestions to mitigate barriers to accessibility.

The goal is to work toward achievable, concrete changes to create a more attractive and welcoming discipline to underrepresented or marginalized potential colleagues. By highlighting specific disciplinary push factors, and providing space for creative discussion, it will lay the groundwork for realistic and achievable solutions to our accessibility problems.

Empires of the Broader Ancient Near Eastern World: Power and Control

Session Chairs: Petra M. Creamer, Emory University; Rocco Palermo, Bryn Mawr College

Description: Studies devoted to empires and imperialism in the ancient world have long contributed to modern scholarship regarding political, economic, and cultural organization. This session serves as a space to present research on the empires of the ancient Near East, with a focus on cross-imperial comparison and perspectives. Scholars may approach the topic from a variety of methodological and theoretical standpoints. A wide geographical and chronological extent is included in this session with the aim of facilitating a larger discussion among participants on themes of imperial landscape construction and administration, subsistence strategies, and networks of power. We invite presenters to especially consider spatio-temporal trends within their subjects, in the interest of discussing similar trajectories in imperial development.

The first year (2022) will introduce conversations on settlement strategies and infrastructure within imperial spaces, particularly looking at dynamics of landscape and population. The second year (2023) narrows this conversation into methods of subsistence and its distribution employed by the empires of the ancient Near East – including both agricultural and pastoral components. Finally, the third year (2024) will center on ideas of power and control, looking at imperial mechanisms via both top-down and bottom-up approaches to understand both the immediate and lasting effects of imperial hegemony.

The Future of Ancient West Asia Collections in Museums (Workshop)

Session Chair: Pinar Durgun, Vorderasiatisches Museum

Description: Many departments and museums with ancient Western Asian collections are or will be going through renovations and interpretive updates. This workshop aims to bring together museum professionals and scholars to exchange ideas and brainstorm on the presentation of AWA collections in museums today and in the future. Following the discussions in the Museum Professionals roundtable and the Museums and Social Justice session at ASOR, the need for a working group around best practices and blindspots has become apparent. The idea of this workshop is to discuss issues that museums with AWA collections are concerned with including (but not limited to) languages, diverse perspectives, multivocality, labels, citation practices, accessibility, provenance, restitution and repatriation, community curation and engagement, interactivity, digital approaches, ethics, and political issues.

The first year of the workshop aims to discuss ongoing renovation projects and their outcomes. In the second year, the discussion will center around what is missing and what can be done to recognize and respond to the blind spots in the presentation of collections. As a result of these two year discussions, in the third year, the workshop will center big picture ideas on the future directions of AWA collections. The overall goal is to prepare a 鈥淎WA collections-museum best practices鈥 document for ASOR consideration.

Gardens of the Mediterranean and the Ancient Near East 鈥 A New Perspective

Session Chair: Rona Shani Evyasaf, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology

Description: Gardens have been part of the human habitat from the dawn of civilization, linked to gods, stories of creation, myths, kings, and laypeople. They were connected to domestic architecture as utility or pleasure gardens but also to death and burial.
In many ancient Mediterranean and Near East cultures, gardens were part of the public sphere: in temples within and outside the city walls, in the Agora and the Forum, and next to, or inside, entertainment buildings, among others.

While gardens played a part in the house鈥檚 economy, supplying necessary food for house its residents, they were also a place for entertainment and recreation, a place to grow expensive exotic imported plants.Gardens evolved into symbols of power and success of the ancient kings, rulers and upper-class nobles, thus becoming an integral part of the royal palaces and elite Villas and being used as a governing tool. Royal gardens were the main topic of last year’s session, which also focused on raising awareness of the importance of gardens and introducing new methods for garden archaeology and research. This year we would like to extend the scope of the discussion to include domestic and public-space gardens, the use and symbolism of unique elements and plants, and the evidence of cultural influences in the gardens.

Glyptic Databases: Collaboration and Integration in the Digital Humanities Transition (Workshop)

Session Chairs: Ben Greet, The University of Zurich; Nadia Ben-Marzouk, The University of Zurich

Description: As we move through the digital humanities transition, the study of glyptics in Southwest Asia and the Eastern Mediterranean is entering a new phase focused on establishing databases that foster collaborative, integrated, and standardized data to facilitate assessing broader questions of production, distribution, and other historical trends. As such, several projects have established outward-facing glyptic databases across various institutions in the Americas, Europe, and Southwest Asia, yet these projects often operate in silos, pursuing similar goals and facing the same challenges. This workshop aims to bring together both researchers involved in these projects and those working in independent databases within the broader discipline with several aims: (1) To discuss, collaborate, and troubleshoot existing databases in order to work toward establishing a shared methodology; (2) To move towards a standardized and shared descriptive glyptic typology and iconographic taxonomy that fosters robust and integrated data across platforms; (3) To broaden the potential research questions on glyptics by using these databases as new analytical tools. This workshop will be held over the course of three years, with each year focusing on a new topic as follows:

Year 1 (2023): Assessing the needs, challenges, and best practices of glyptic databases

Year 2 (2024): Toward establishing a shared and standardized taxonomic language

Year 3: Asking new questions with digital technologies: Moving towards broad glyptic studies

History and Archaeology of the Phoenician World

Session Chairs: Jessica L. Nitschke, Stellenbosch University; Helen M. Dixon, East Carolina University,

Description: The past two decades have been a boon time for Phoenician studies, with numerous monographs, articles, and colloquia shining a light on the central role Phoenicians played in ancient Mediterranean culture, economy, and politics. This session serves as a space to present research on any aspect of the history and culture of the Phoenician/Punic world, broadly conceived: from the Levant to the Atlantic, from the Bronze Age to the Roman Empire and beyond (including the reception of Phoenicians in modern times). Papers that deal with religious, economic, and political interactions are particularly welcome.听

Interconnectivity and Exchange with Northeast Africa

Session Chairs: Iman Nagy, UCLA, Berkeley; Annissa Malvoisin, Brooklyn Museum/Bard Graduate Center

Description: Northeast Africa played a pivotal role in the ancient world, actively participating and shaping major networks of trade and exchange. Its strategic location, bridging West/Central Africa with the Indian Ocean and Red Sea trade networks, and its proximity to the Near East and Southern Europe, fostered an extraordinary level of interconnectivity. This led to the exchange of motifs, ideologies, and economic practices. The region’s diverse inter-regional resources and the integration of multicultural traditions are evident not only in archaeological findings but also in belief systems and iconography. This session is dedicated to exploring these intricate networks and relationships, extending from Northeast Africa to its surrounding regions, both near and distant.

We welcome contributions that investigate intercultural relationships, encompassing more than just economic networks or ideological spheres, but also including long-distance trade and the exchange of technologies over long time spans. Our goal is to stimulate dialogue among various schools of thought, both methodological and theoretical, to deepen our understanding of Northeast Africa’s role as a crucial intersection in the global networks of the ancient world.

The Iraq Heritage Stabilization Program: Results from Six Years of Heritage Protection and Preservation

Session Chairs: Darren P. Ashby, University of Pennsylvania; Michael D. Danti, University of Pennsylvania

Description: This session provides a detailed presentation of the history, goals, and activities of the Iraq Heritage Stabilization Program (IHSP) over the past six years in northern and central Iraq. IHSP was founded in 2018 with a mission to mitigate the effects of genocide, cultural cleansing, and conflict through the maintenance and promotion of cultural memory, identity, diversity, and freedom of expression. IHSP started with projects focused on the protection and preservation of ethnic and religious minority built heritage affected by ISIS and the battle to defeat the group, but has since expanded to document, stabilize, and restore built heritage representative of and significant to a wide range of Iraqi society. IHSP works directly with Iraqi communities and stakeholders to identify and implement these projects, prioritizing local involvement and responding to local preferences to ensure that project outcomes meet local expectations and needs.

This session aims to promote the achievements of local heritage professionals and craftspeople through a series of project-focused talks that provide in-depth discussions of the goals, challenges, and outcomes of projects implemented by IHSP and its partners. In addition to results, these talks seek to present the lessons learned from working in a post-conflict and post-pandemic environment, with a particular focus on the planning and implementation of projects.

The Iron Age at Tel Hazor in Its Regional Context: A Session in Memory of Amnon Ben-Tor

Session Chairs: Igor Kreimerman, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; D茅bora Sandhaus, Ben Gurion University of the Negev

Description: From 1990 to 2023, the Selz Foundation Hazor Excavations in Memory of Yigael Yadin, under the direction of Amnon Ben-Tor, has generated an enormous corpus of data that changed our understanding of the Iron Age remains of Hazor. Furthermore, owing to the considerable horizontal exposure of the Iron Age levels, the tight stratigraphic sequence, the unique finds and the numerous publications of the expedition, Hazor has become a key site in any discussion of the Iron Age in Israel and neighboring regions. The current session will reevaluate the Iron Age strata at Hazor, from the Iron Age I and until the Neo-Assyrian period through presentation of new excavation results, reevaluation of published finds and regional studies. As Prof. Ben-Tor was always happy to engage in a scholarly debate, the session in his memory will aspire to bring together scholars holding diverse views with the clear goal of generating a lively discussion.

Islamic Society in the Western Mediterranean and Atlantic Coast

Session Chairs: Kathleen M. Forste, Boston University; Alexander J. Smith, SUNY Brockport; Helena Kirchner, Universitat Aut贸noma de Barcelona; Guillem Alcolea, Universitat Aut貌noma de Barcelona

Description: This session focuses on research on Islamic societies in the Western Mediterranean and Atlantic coast, including Spain, Portugal, Italy, Malta, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya. While the investigation of these regions is often conducted through the lenses of European or African history and architecture, recent years have seen a development of Islamic archaeology in its own right, and the application of anthropological questions and scientific methods to investigate these medieval societies. We propose this session be held for two years. For year one, we welcome papers on topics and themes including but not limited to agriculture, settlement patterns, land-use, foodways, craft/artisan economy, trade, religion, memory, empire, movement of peoples or ideas or technology, and other aspects of society, as well as methodological foci including field reports from active excavations, and papers focused on current debates or issues related to studying western Islamic societies. For year two (2024), we welcome papers comparing medieval Islamic societies, especially those in the western Mediterranean with those in the eastern Mediterranean and Middle East, those in Iberia with those in North Africa, or issues and debates in making such comparisons. We welcome papers from both young and established scholars. This session would be a complement to the standing session 鈥淎rchaeology of Islamic Society鈥, which often focuses on Levant and Middle East, and to the 3 year session 鈥淚slamic Seas and Shores: Connecting the Medieval Maritime World鈥.

Jerusalem and the Archaeology of a Sacred City

Session Chairs: Prof. Yuval Gadot, Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures, Tel-Aviv University; Dr. Yiftah Shalev, Israel Antiquities Authority

Description: This session wishes to explore the sacred past and present of Jerusalem as it revealed and manifested through the archaeology of the city and its surrounding. Jerusalem, a city that is sacred for all three major monotheistic religions, is a place were the past is ever present in the current sanctified landscape. From its inception and until nowadays Jerusalem鈥檚 natural and urban landscapes were dotted with landmarks, buildings and burial places, each of them commemorating an event or a figure and serving for ritualistic needs. As such these places were webbed within a wider narrative regarding the city鈥檚 place and within different nation鈥檚 past. Furthermore, the sacred has always been intertwined with the economy, politics and social realia, thus shaping and being shaped by all those aspects.

Aspects of architecture, landscape archaeology, archaeology of the senses, pilgrimage, temple related economy, ritualistic objects and all other manifestations of the sacred within the archaeology of the city, will be presented and discussed. We also welcome presentations related to heritage management in today’s contested city: how to conduct research in a place that is actively being worshiped and visited by tourists?

The first year (2024) focuses on studies aiming at identifying the personal experience expressions of worshipers and pilgrims who visited Jerusalem鈥檚 holly places throughout the ages. During the second year (2025) we wish to explore how the city was physically, economically and symbolically shaped by sacred sites. The focus of the third year (2026) will be the interface between heritage and worship.

Late Bronze Age Northern Levant : A Crossroad Between Worlds

Session Chair: Marwan Kilani, University of Basel

Description: It is undeniable that for historical and cultural reasons, research on the Late Bronze Age Levant has often focused primarily on the Southern Levant, resulting in the relative neglect of the northern Levant. However, the northern Levant, especially the region encompassing Lebanon, the Akkar plain, the Gaps of Homs, and inland Syria, proves to be equally, if not more, important as a crossroads connecting Egypt, Syria, and Mesopotamia, as well as the Anatolian world and the Aegean during the Late Bronze Age. This centrality has become increasingly evident in recent years, due to a series of recent discoveries across the eastern Mediterranean and Near East (such as the excavations in Pylos or the surveys in northern Lebanon) and with new analyses of excavated material (as seen in the recent publications about Avaris, emphasizing the city’s connections with the Northern Levant). Furthermore, renewed research interest over the past few years has led to several studies and projects wherein the centrality of the northern Levant prominently emerges.

This session thus aims to build on these recent trends, spotlighting the centrality of the Northern Levant in the interactions, dynamics, and sociocultural developments characterizing the Late Bronze Age Near East and Eastern Mediterranean. To achieve this, we seek to bring together scholars focusing on these aspects, providing an initial overview and initiating new discussions based on the most recent studies and discoveries.

The session will have two distinctive characteristics. First, it will have a wide geographical scope: while the Northern Levant is at the core of the session, the scope of the session is macroregional and our attention will focus primarily on how the area interacted with regions and entities outside it (as far as the Aegean or Egypt), and how they interacted with each other through the Northern Levant. In this respect, our scope is very different from those of the sessions on Lebanese and Syrian archaeology. Second, our goal of the session is primarily socio-historical: the aim is not to report or describe new archeological works and finds in the Northern Levant, but rather to explore (through archeology, genetics, linguistics, historical sources, etc.) the sociocultural phenomena and dynamics that characterized and influenced the area at the time.

New Approaches to Ancient Animals

Session Chairs: Christine Mikeska, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Theo Kassebaum, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Description: This session aims to reconsider animal life histories in the ancient world from a wide variety of disciplinary perspectives. Recent theoretical approaches emphasizing multispecies relationships and non-anthropocentric perspectives have revealed the centrality of animals to shaping human social worlds. Human-animal relationships vary depending on the characteristics of the animals involved (e.g., species, age, and sex), as well as the cultural and temporal context of the social world in question. While the study of ancient animals is traditionally approached through an economic or ecological lens, focusing on assessing the utility of the animal to their human counterpart, this session seeks to bring together new perspectives on the lives of animals in the ancient past to broaden our understanding of ancient multispecies worlds. This involves taking animals and their social relationships seriously, and critically approaching archaeological assemblages, texts, and iconography as tools to reimagine the more-than-human past.

With these discourses in mind, this session welcomes papers that apply innovative approaches to the study of ancient animals in Southwest Asia, North Africa, and the Mediterranean. Potential paper topics include everything from reconsidering the usefulness of traditional heuristic categories, reconstructing individual life histories, or recontextualizing iconographic portrayals of animals. Furthermore, this session seeks to address the siloization of knowledge dissemination that results from long held disciplinary boundaries, even between subfields focused on the same temporal or cultural context. Therefore, we invite papers that approach the theme from a wide variety of perspectives, including (but not limited to) zooarchaeology, history and philology, and art history.

Northwest Semitic Inscriptions, Languages, and Literatures

Session Chair: Simeon Chavel, The University of Chicago Divinity School

Description: This session aims to continue from last year and strengthen interest in the research profile represented by ASOR’s journal Maarav. The session will highlight Northwest Semitic verbal objects鈥攊nscriptions and inscribed material鈥攁s a complex site of inquiry that brings together a wide range of fields and scholars. Such fields include: archaeology, materiality, performance, ritual, art and iconography, epigraphy, cultures of writing, philology, literary theory and analysis, social and cultural history, empire, the ethics of modern procurement and analysis, and the technologies of decipherment and of presentation.

Not Just a Pretty Face: The Socio-Political and Economic Entanglements of the Figurines of the Mediterranean

Session Chairs: Shira Albaz, Bar-Ilan University and University of Haifa;听 Nicole Callaway, University of Haifa

Description: Figurines are a worldwide phenomenon, found in many prehistoric and historical cultures. Figurines can be made through sculpting, carving, molding, embossing, in relief, or as casted three-dimensional figures and are made from various materials. The common size of figurines suggest portability. Often, figurines have been viewed through the lens of historical art. Yet, figurines are complex, entangled objects that require interpretation, not simply description. Figurines are a beneficial鈥撯搕hough oftentimes overlooked鈥撯搕ool to track cultural changes and continuities within socio-political and economic spheres. By analyzing figurines through a multi-faceted, rather than a single-faceted perspective, we can suggest a holistic understanding of figurines as entangled objects with important cultural roles, functions, and implications. This session aims to ultimately understand and value the figurines of the Mediterranean as entangled objects with socio-political and economic indications.

The idea to hold these sessions stems from our joint research of figurines within the Southern Levant. While figurines may fall under the genre of historical art, we propose they deserve their own genre.听We want to promote the research of figurines as entangle objects, as they are another pillar for understanding material culture and how material culture can reflect varying socio-political and economic dynamics of a region.

This session is open to papers that present research on varying aspects of Bronze鈥揑ron Age figurines of the Mediterranean. We encourage submissions with innovative methods and approaches to understanding the complexity of figurines.

(Post-) Imperial Spaces in the Late Hellenistic Levant and Beyond

Session Chairs: Rotem Avneri Meir, University of Helsinki; Roi Sabar, Boston University

Description: Power 鈥 political, military, economic 鈥 draws attention. Great empires wielded power; for this (and other) reasons, they have provided the frames by which we organize history. In recent years archaeologists and historians have looked beyond and beneath those imperial frames, seeking to highlight the characters of local communities on whom that power fell. Increasingly we see those communities as crucial players. Their responses shaped imperial rule 鈥 and when that rule ended, it was their characters that shaped post-imperial space.

This session invites archaeologists and historians to explore the material and spatial realities of those spaces, to explore the interplay between political agendas and local agency, and to scrutinize overly pat explanations of cause and effect. We propose to focus on the Levant and neighboring regions in the late Hellenistic period, specifically the 2nd and 1st centuries BCE. We seek discussion that integrates the expanding body of archaeological data, epigraphic discoveries, and new readings of ancient narrative accounts. Our objective is to gain a view of the region鈥檚 power players and polities as they dissolve and coalesce. We aim for interdisciplinary dialogue that will illuminate political, social, and cultural dynamics, contribute to a deeper understanding of the ancient material record, and provide insight into ancient (and modern) concepts of sovereignty, independence, statehood, and territoriality.

Preserving the Cultural Heritage of the Madaba Region of Jordan (Workshop)

Sessio Chairs: Douglas R. Clark, La Sierra University; Suzanne Richard, Gannon University; Andrea Polcaro, Perugia University; Marta D’Andrea, Sapienza University of Rome; Basem Mahamid, Department of Antiquities of Jordan

Description: This workshop, in its second three-year iteration, seeks to encourage collaborative presentations, panel discussions, and structured conversations focused on issues in the Madaba Region of central Jordan, as defined by the Department of Antiquities: the area between southern Amman, the eastern desert, the Wadi Mujib, and the Dead Sea. Archaeological issues鈥攚hether generically archaeological, geo-political, architectural, anthropological, ethnographic, conceptual and theoretical, cultural heritage- or community-related, technological, or museum-related鈥攁re enlarged, enriched, and enhanced when approached collaboratively in a regional context. The first three-year version of this workshop began with a view toward the entire Madaba region, then Madaba itself, then the Madaba Regional Archaeological Museum (MRAM). During this second cycle, we anticipate a more integrative approach throughout, tentatively scheduled as follows:

2022 – From a broad Madaba regional perspective, this year’s workshop will focus on archaeological excavations in the region and the emerging narrative themes excavators use to provide context and interpretive content for their projects. At present, the Madaba Regional Archaeological Museum Project (MRAMP) has proposed themes deriving from “Global History” approaches; these have been defined and, for now, embedded into the museum architectural floor plans to frame exhibits and the flow of visitors. While traditional historical/chronological (geo-political) approaches will appear in the Introductory Hall near the Burnt Palace in the Madaba Archaeological Park West (II), Global History has been proposed for the new museum itself. How, this year’s workshop asks, do regional archaeological projects envision the narrative themes best describing the cultural heritage of their sites and how might these relate to those of the proposed new museum? How can we foster a regional perspective on ancient life in and around Madaba? Is a Global History approach the best suited for this task or traditional geo-political? Or something else that would help to maintain a regional perspective?

2023 – Following on discussions from the 2022 component of this workshop, this year will carry the conversation directly into the proposed new museum. We encourage presentations on galleries, layout, displays, and themes, deriving from excavation project perspectives on the one hand and the museum’s architectural concept design and display themes on the other. In what ways might excavation teams recommend displays that reflect their site themes, while at the same time maintaining a regional approach and themes, as well as coherency and consistency, in the new museum? And how, following on the outcomes of 2022 conversations, will discussions about Global History and more traditional Geo-political/Chronological approaches inform regional and museum narrative themes?

2024 – This year’s workshop will encourage presentations and conversations on the relationship between the current (DoA) Madaba Archaeological Museum and excavation projects in the region. Thanks to generous grants from the US Department of State (Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation and the Cultural Antiquities Task Force), the current museum has been repurposed and renovated into a best-practices facility for the storage and conservation of the region’s 14,000 artifacts, in addition to a smaller but more focused and enhanced interpretive display area. What would conversations among DoA personnel and excavation teams contribute to best practices in onsite artifact handling and the storage and curation of those artifacts in Madaba? How would this more intentionally framed collaboration work? And, since the newly renovated display area maintains its former arrangement, as in the past, with each display cabinet dedicated to a site in the region, how would excavation directors and teams envision their displays and how they are organized? New labeling (artifact ID labels, cabinet site labels, interpretive cabinet panels with site summaries, maps, and timelines) has been designed by partners at the American University of Madaba and implemented by the DoA/MRAMP team.

Protect and Secure. Technology of Data Protection in the Ancient Near East

Session Chairs: Jana Myn谩艡ov谩, Charles University, Prague; Jacob Lauinger, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore

Description: Presentations and discussion that took place during the Secure Your Data! Security and Data Management in the Ancient Near East session, which was held at the 2022 ASOR Annual Meeting in Boston, clearly demonstrated that data security and management are crucial topics in Ancient Near Eastern Studies that have not yet received adequate attention. In particular, issues about methods of data protection, such as baking cuneiform tablets or the production of clay envelopes for cuneiform tablets, were a common theme in the papers and generated very lively discussion. For this reason we would like to organize a second session that focuses specifically on the Technology of Data Protection in the ANE for the 2023 ASOR Annual Meeting. Submissions would be encouraged from scholars from all fields of Ancient Near Eastern Studies, and we would specifically hope for a good balance of scholars working on texts and on material culture. If 2022 demonstrated the urgency of the topic, and 2023 will focus on technological aspects, in 2024, we would hope to study cultural (dis)continuities in data security and practices.

Rebuilding Antioch: Collaborative Approaches to the Ancient City (Workshop)

Session Chairs: Nicole Berlin, The Davis Museum at Wellesley College; Elizabeth Molacek, The University of Texas at Dallas

Description: The material culture of Antioch, one of the largest cities in the ancient Mediterranean, provides tantalizing insights into the lives of those living thousands of years ago. Recent digitization of the excavation archives and museum exhibitions about the city鈥檚 mosaics have made Antioch more accessible than ever before. Pedagogically, a number of universities now offer seminars focused on Antioch and its legacy. Antioch鈥檚 cultural heritage is an especially pressing topic after the devastating 2023 earthquakes in the Hatay Province, T眉rkiye. Previously, most of the Antioch material in the United States has been relegated to museum storerooms for the last eighty years. The majority of objects have never been on view. Even scholars dedicated to the field have struggled to locate or access all of the material, due to the complex and isolated nature of archives, institutions, and museum collections.

This two-year workshop brings together researchers involved in recent Antioch-related projects, as well as scholars currently working in the Hatay Province, with the following goals: 1) To discuss approaches for researching, displaying, and teaching with material from Antioch. 2) To facilitate conversions between scholars and museum professionals working in the United States or Europe and our Turkish colleagues, especially in the Hatay Province. 3) To propose collaborative approaches that continue to make Antioch鈥檚 cultural heritage accessible and tangible. The first year (2024) focuses on current museological and pedagogical approaches to Antioch while the second year (2025) highlights the current research happening in Antakya, T眉rkiye and ways of 鈥渞e-building鈥 the ancient city, digitally or otherwise.

Repatriation in the Global Context (Workshop)

Session Chairs:听Frederick Winter, Capitol Archaeological Institute; Jane DeRose Evans, Temple University

Description: As museums, cultural repositories, dealers and collectors grapple with questions of provenance of items in their possession, they face issues that have developed in complexity and density due to questions arising from thoughts about colonial acquisitions, the changing role of universal museums, legal issues based on new understandings of international agreements, wartime appropriations, and questions of legitimacy of ownership. Focusing on the geographical areas of interest to ASOR, we invite panelists to examine a particular aspect of problems and solutions about repatriation of objects.

Ritual, Power, and the Power of Ritual in the Ancient Near East: Ritual and Kingship

Session Chairs: C茅line Debourse, Harvard University; Elizabeth Knott, College of the Holy Cross

Description: Rituals are powerful tools that can make or break the socio-political status quo, and those who command ritual hold a special kind of sway over other people. But what does it mean to wield ritual as a socio-political tool? In this two-year session, we will explore who harnessed the power of ritual, how they did so, to what aims and ends, and how reliable these ritual strategies were. During the first year we will focus on ANE kingship and its rituals (鈥淩itual and Kingship in the Ancient Near East鈥), asking what royal ritual can teach us about the institution of kingship. In the second year, we will expand our outlook to understand how any ANE person or social group could use ritual to exert and subvert social or political power (鈥淧ower and Ritual in the Ancient Near East鈥). For both sessions, we welcome papers from archaeologists, art historians, and philologists.

The 2024 鈥淩itual and Kingship in the Ancient Near East鈥 Session explores royal ceremonies, and the intrinsic links between ritual performance and kingship. Ernst Kantorowicz described the Medieval European king as having 鈥渋n him two Bodies, viz., a Body natural, and a Body politic鈥 (The King鈥檚 Two Bodies, 1957), and as one point of discussion we consider how ritual was a powerful tool for reconciling these two Bodies. Rituals were often exclusively designed for kings and kings participated in rituals as both performers and audience members. But what purposes did these ceremonies serve? What desired outcomes did they have, and how did they achieve those? What can these rituals tell us about the institution of kingship in different Ancient Near Eastern cultures? And what do they tell us about the individual who sat on the throne? In this session, we will explore royal ritual from different perspectives 鈥 through texts, ritual theories, aspects of materiality, and architecture.

The Seat of Kingship? 鈥 Royal Cities and Political Communities in Iron Age Jordan

Session Chairs: Andrew Danielson, University of British Columbia; Bruce Routledge, University of Liverpool

Description:听The Iron Age in Jordan has long been characterized in terms of the kingdoms of Ammon, Moab and Edom. However, the processes by which political authority and community were constituted within these kingdoms has received less focus. The Iron Age kings of Jordan navigated a tenuous position, exerting authority over existing social formations amidst a challenging environment and increasingly in relation to external empires. This is reflected in the tension evident in recent scholarship between the cosmopolitan signs of royal authority and the dispersed nature of political communities. This tension necessitates a renewed and updated consideration of the processes that shaped the social and political landscape of Iron Age Jordan.

This session focuses on the relationship between political authority, political communities and the built environment in Jordan during the Iron Age. Specific focus is placed on the sites wherein such power was concentrated 鈥 royal cities 鈥 but also on the ways that political power may have been extended throughout the landscape, and the degree to which such efforts were resisted, negotiated, or even unsuccessful. It will provide updated analysis of each of the Iron Age capitals of Jordan (i.e., Busayra, Dhiban and the Amman Citadel) as well as the seemingly anomalous status of political communities in northern Jordan. This session will also address key methodological and substantive questions such as: How can we track the constitution and extension of political authority in Iron Age Jordan? How did different relational networks function within and between the kingdoms of Jordan and beyond?

Teaching Ancient: Practice-Based Approaches to Learning and Engagement

Session Chairs: Carl Walsh, Institute for the Study of the Ancient World; Jen Thum, Harvard Art Museums; Lissette M. Jim茅nez, San Francisco State University; Lisa Saladino Haney, Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Description: Teaching and learning are hot topics in our field. Especially in the wake of the Covid pandemic and the rise of Generative AI, instructors of the ancient world are more motivated than ever to create learning experiences that engage learners’ personal interests, make meaningful connections between the past and present, and lean into sensitive and controversial topics. This session will focus on practice-based examples of teaching in classrooms, museums, and community spaces. We seek papers that demonstrate best practices, experimental methods, and/or reflective practices in teaching about the ancient world for a variety of formal and informal learners. Contributions to this session may discuss examples of teaching about tricky topics, teaching in the community, teaching across disciplines, teaching toward accessibility and inclusivity, or other topics that will serve as models for the many ASOR members who are teaching about the ancient world.

Ten Years of ASOR Cultural Heritage Initiatives (Workshop)

Session Chairs: Andrew Vaughn, ASOR; William Raynolds, ASOR

Description:听This workshop will reflect on the previous ten years of ASOR’s Cultural Heritage Initiatives, with consideration of our past and ongoing projects in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Tunisia, Morocco, Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali. It will also provide an opportunity for a future oriented discussion about the horizons and challenges that the ASOR community is best positioned to address.

Urbanism and Polities in the Bronze and Iron Age Levant

Session Chairs: Omer Sergi, Tel Aviv University; Daniel Master, Wheaton College; Karen Covello-Paran, Israel Antiquities Authority

Description: Urbanism and urban centers were at the heart of political and economic life during the Bronze and Iron Ages, and throughout most of this time, they constituted the basic socio-political unit of the Levant. Urban centers throughout the Levant flourished and demised in the shadow of imperial forces from Mesopotamia, Anatolia and Egypt. Yet, there are profound differences between urbanism in the northern and the southern Levant. Moreover, the face of urbanism changed in the transition from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age, bringing about new socio-political formations, at least in the southern and central Levant, which are mostly thought of in terms of territorial polities. This session aims to discuss and ponder the formation and demise of Levantine urbanism within its socio-historical context. These session will call for papers discussing the changing faces of Levantine urbanism during the Bronze and Iron Ages, and how these were related to the formation of Levantine polities. It aims to scrutinize the relations between urban landscape and political hegemony, but also between the urban centers and their rural hinterlands. Thus, we hope, to provide a holistic view of Levantine urbanism from its very inception. We intend to dedicate the first year (2024) to discuss the formation of the urban landscape of the Middle Bronze Age and its impact on socio-political life in the Levant. Special attention will also be given to the formation of 鈥淐anaan鈥 as a concept of social belonging. The second year (2025) will be dedicated to discussing Levantine urbanism under the empires of the Late Bronze Age (Mittani, Hittites, Egypt), and the third year (2026) will be dedicated to discussing the changing face of urbanism in the world of the Iron Age kin-based territorial polities.

W. F. Albright Institute Centennial Panel: Reflecting on 100 Years in Jerusalem

Session Chairs: Joan R. Branham, Providence College; Sidnie White Crawford, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Description: In 1925, the W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research–the oldest American research center for Near Eastern Studies in the Middle East–opened its doors to a new research and housing facility located on Salah-ed-Din Street in East Jerusalem.听 It had been founded in 1900 as the American School of Oriental Research (ASOR), and renamed after is most distinguished director, William Foxwell Albright, in 1980.听 In honor of the 100th anniversary of the W. F. Albright Institute鈥檚 building and campus, we present a panel on the history of the Albright鈥檚 building as well as its recent renovations, the archaeological remains in and around the grounds, a glimpse into over a century of scholarship that has been accomplished there, and an overview of the Institute鈥檚 various directors and their accomplishments, including W. F. Albright himself, Nelson Glueck, and Sy Gitin.听 This panel is proposed in conjunction with the Albright鈥檚 Centennial campaign and reception to be held by the Albright during the Annual Meeting.

What Happens after Collapse? A Panel Discussion on After 1177 BC (Workshop)

Session Chairs: Christopher Rollston, George Washington University; Assaf Yasur-Landau, University of Haifa

Description: After 1177 BC: The Survival of Civilizations (Princeton, April 2024), Eric H. Cline鈥檚 sequel volume to his best-selling 2014 book, discusses the aftermath of the Late Bronze Age Collapse in regions stretching from the Eastern Mediterranean to the Aegean during the period from the twelfth to the early eighth century BCE. In addition to presenting brief histories of the period for each area, his main focus is on questions of resilience; definitions of transformation, adaptation, and coping mechanisms; the applicability of the Adaptive Cycle and concepts such as Panarchy; and possible lessons learned. This panel of ASOR members will debate and discuss his findings and suggestions, by area and century, including the southern Levant, Egypt, Cyprus, Phoenicia, Mesopotamia, Anatolia, northern Syria.

Wonder as a Response to the Visual and Material Culture of the Ancient Mediterranean and Ancient Middle East

Session Chairs: Stephanie Langin-Hooper, Southern Methodist University; Nassos Papalexandrou, University of Texas at Austin

Description: Wonder is an affective, emotional, and embodied response to artworks (or artifacts and natural phenomenon) that overwhelm one or more of the viewer鈥檚 senses. The formal features of an artwork (intricacy, size, radiance, color, etc.) can trigger reactions of wonder, as can the physical location and social circumstances in which an artwork is encountered. Wonder could be an unmediated and spontaneous personal reaction or an intended effect of staging by others; yet, in either case, it short-circuited a person鈥檚 usual protocols of response to the world. Like the objects that inspire it, the feeling of wonder often eludes straightforward description. Building upon the foundational research of Irene Winter and Alfred Gell, as well as more recent contributions (Langin-Hooper 2023; Papalexandrou 2021), this session explores wonder in its various inflections (verbal, mental, gestural, affective) along multiple scales, materials, contexts and interactive pathways. Papers in this session examine the incitement of wonder by artworks, the cultural differences and patterns in how wonder is expressed, and how wonder becomes visible in the archaeological and textual record. Additionally, this session involves multidisciplinary approaches that examine wonder (and related feelings, such as intrigue, awe, and fascination) in cultures from around the Mediterranean and the ancient Middle East. The papers are united in a shared goal of more fully articulating this elusive affective response and emotional experience, and thereby more fully understanding the visual and material culture that inspired feelings of wonder.