public lecture schedule 2017-2018


WEDNESDAY, 1 NOVEMBER 2017
The Final Feast: artefacts and ritual action in Tomb 7, Tell Banat
Anne Porter
NMC, University of Toronto


Earth Sciences Auditorium B142, 5 Bancroft Avenue
University of Toronto, St. George Campus

Accessible entrance and washrooms available.
If you have an accommodation need
please contact csms@chass.utoronto.ca directly and 
we will do our best to make appropriate arrangements.



future lecture dates:

WEDNESDAY, 10 JANUARY 2018 - tba

WEDNESDAY, 7 February 2018 - tba

WEDNESDAY, 7 March 2018 - tba

public lecture schedule 2016-2017


WEDNESDAY, 8 MARCH 2017
Time and the Calendar in Babylonian Astrology
John Steele
Chair, Department of Egyptology and Assyriology, Brown University

It is no surprise that time played a central role in Babylonian astronomy: the beginning of the new month
was determined by the visibility of the new moon crescent; schemes were developed for the length of a
shadow cast by a gnomon at different times of day; and eclipses and other celestial events were timed by
means of water clocks or observations of the stars. But time also played a major role in Babylonian astrology.
For example, the date and time of birth of an individual formed the basis of a horoscope which could be
used to predict his or her life and, perhaps more surprisingly, the day in the year could be used to
determine the medical remedy given to a sick patient. In this talk I will examine some of the ways that time
was used to interpret the present and predict the future in Babylonia.

tablet

Wednesday, 8 March 2017, 7:00 PM
Earth Sciences Auditorium B142, 5 Bancroft Avenue
University of Toronto, St. George Campus|

Accessible entrance and washrooms available.
If you have an accommodation need
please contact csms@chass.utoronto.ca directly and 
we will do our best to make appropriate arrangements.




WEDNESDAY, 8 FEBRUARY 2017
The A.K. Grayson Lecture on Assyrian History and Culture
When Kings Attack: Tiglath-pileser I’s Handling of Babylonia in the Late Second Millennium BCE
Joshua Jeffers

Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, University of Pennsylvania


The kingdoms of Assyria in northern Mesopotamia and Babylonia in the south have always had an uneasy
relationship. Tiglath-pileser I (traditionally 1114–1076 BCE) ruled Assyria during a period of relative
non-aggression between these two powers. However, in the middle of his third decade as king, he took
up arms and for two consecutive years led campaigns against the Babylonians, ultimately raiding the city
of Babylon itself. This sudden policy reversal appears unexpectedly, but the disparate sources pertaining
to his reign allow historians to glimpse the potential causes for the conflict, while the analysis of one
recently published text might also reveal that Tiglath-pileser’s campaigns were not as successful as some
of his royal inscriptions portray.

cylinder
© Trustees of the British Museum

Wednesday, 8 February 2017, 7:00 PM
Earth Sciences Auditorium B142, 5 Bancroft Avenue
University of Toronto, St. George Campus|

Accessible entrance and washrooms available.
If you have an accommodation need
please contact csms@chass.utoronto.ca directly and 
we will do our best to make appropriate arrangements.



WEDNESDAY, 11 JANUARY 2017
The Ronald Morton Smith Memorial Lecture
Nippur in the Parthian era: the University of Chicago excavations of 1960-67
Dr Ed Keall
Curator Emeritus at the Royal Ontario Museum (West Asian Section)

In the 330s BCE Alexander the Great built a vast Asian empire. But, after his death, Iranians quickly took
advantage of squabbling by Greek generals over the inheritance of power. In Iraq we speak of the
successful Iranian authorities as Parthian; their culture was Persian. This lecture will address the question
of who was behind the massive Ist century CE investment in temple and fortress architecture construction
at Nippur. These monuments include both Babylonian and Persian elements. Was any of the construction
driven by the Parthian state? Or did it reflect, rather, both indigenous and separatist tendencies?

KEALL

Wednesday, 11 January 2017, 7:00 pm
Earth Sciences Auditorium B142, 5 Bancroft Avenue
University of Toronto, St. George Campus

Accessible entrance and washrooms available.
If you have an accommodation need
please contact csms@chass.utoronto.ca directly and 
we will do our best to make appropriate arrangements.



TUESDAY, 2 NOVEMBER 2016
Between Clay and Papyrus: The Acquisition and Use of Cuneiform Writing in Egypt
Jana Mynářová
Czech Institute of Egyptology, Faculty of Arts, Charles University

In 2012 a new project dedicated to the palaeography of the Amarna tablets started at the Charles
University in Prague. The project aims to analyze the corpus of cuneiform documents from the perspective
of palaeography, with special attention given to individual scribal traditions, idiosyncrasies and consistency of
practice, technical issues, as well as to various aspects of diplomatics. Based on this work, the present
lecture presents some suggestions concerning the role and acquisition of cuneiform writing among the
“Egyptian” scribes and attempts to place their work in the broader context of Egyptian scribal traditions.


Wednesday, 2 November 2016, 7:00 pm
Earth Sciences Auditorium B149, 5 Bancroft Avenue
University of Toronto, St. George Campus

Accessible entrance and washrooms available.
If you have an accommodation need
please contact csms@chass.utoronto.ca directly and 
we will do our best to make appropriate arrangements.




public lecture schedule 2015-2016

TUESDAY, 3 NOVEMBER 2015
Writing histories of destruction: Iconoclasm vs antiquarianism at Persepolis
Lindsay Allen
Department of Classics, King's College, London


WEDNESDAY, 13 JANUARY 2016
The A.K. Grayson Lecture on Assyrian History and Culture
Cities and Landscapes of Assyria: New Research in the Imperial Core
Jason Ur
Department of Anthropology, Harvard University


WEDNESDAY, 3 FEBRUARY 2016
The Ronald Morton Smith Memorial Lecture
The Earliest Mittanni Empire: Not Quite the Dark Age It Seems
Maynard P. Maidman
Department of History, York University


WEDNESDAY, 16 MARCH 2016
Remembering Palmyra: the devastation of Syria's cultural heritage by ISIS
Clemens Reichel
Department of Near & Middle Eastern Civilizations, University of Toronto/The Royal Ontario Museum

public lecture schedule 2014-2015

WEDNESDAY, 5 NOVEMBER 2014
The Ronald Morton Smith Memorial Lecture
Ashur, Assyria's Capital City: A century's worth of excavation, research and publications
Friedheim Pedde
Project Manager, Ashur Project, Berlin

WEDNESDAY, 14 JANUARY 2015
The A.K. Grayson Lecture on Assyrian History and Culture
Making an Empire: Neo-Assyrian Craftsmen and Other Workers
Heather Baker
Assistant Professor, Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, University of Toronto

WEDNESDAY, 11 FEBRUARY 2015
Traces of Race: Notions of the Other in Early Mesopotamian Thought
Piotr Michalowski
George C. Cameron Professor
of Ancient Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, University of Michigan

WEDNESDAY, 11 MARCH 2015
Temples, Households, and Collapse in the Heart of Nagar, 2600-2000 BC:
Excavations at Tell Brak in Northeastern Syria
Geoff  Emberling
Research Scientist, Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, University of Michigan




PUBLIC LECTURE SCHEDULE 2013-2014

WEDNESDAY, 13 NOVEMBER 2013
The Ronald Morton Smith Memorial Lecture
Servility, Family, and the State in Babylonia
Jonathan S. Tenney
Assistant Professor of Ancient Near Eastern Studies, Near Eastern Studies,
Cornell University

WEDNESDAY, 15 JANUARY 2014
The A.K. Grayson Lecture on Assyrian History and Culture
Disregarded Royalty: An investigation of the bronze coffin burials in the Nimrud Queens' Tombs
Tracy L. Spurrier
PhD Candidate, Department of Near & Middle Eastern Civilizations, University of Toronto

WEDNESDAY, 19 FEBRUARY 2014
Persian Records in Crisis:  Rescuing the Persepolis Fortification Archive
Matthew W. Stolper
John A. Wilson Professor of Oriental Studies, Oriental Institute, University of Chicago

WEDNESDAY, 19 MARCH 2014
Persians on the Euphrates? Material Culture and Elite Identity in the Achaemenid Tombs from Hacinebi, Turkey
Gil Stein
Director, Oriental Institute
Professor of Near Eastern Archaeology, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago



PUBLIC LECTURE SCHEDULE 2012-2013

WEDNESDAY, 28 NOVEMBER 2012
The Ronald Morton Smith Memorial Lecture
The Reception of Sumerian Literature
in the Western Periphery
Dr. Maurizio Viano

Post-doctoral Fellow, York University

WEDNESDAY, 16 JANUARY 2013
Tayinat's Lions and Monuments: Neo-Hittite Sculpture and the Role of Assyrian Literature
Timothy P. Harrison

Department of Near & Middle Eastern Civilizations, University of Toronto

WEDNESDAY, 13 FEBRUARY 2013
The Seleucids in Babylonia
Paul Kosmin

Assistant Professor of the Classics, Harvard University

WEDNESDAY, 13 MARCH 2013
The A.K. Grayson Lecture on Assyrian History and Culture
Women and the Domestic Economy in Babylonia During the First Millennium B.C.
Francis Joannès


PUBLIC LECTURE SCHEDULE 2011-2012

THURSDAY, 24 NOVEMBER 2011
  The Ronald Morton Smith Memorial Lecture
Logistics in the Building of the North Palace of Nebuchadnezzar at Babylon
Paul-Alain Beaulieu
Department of Near & Middle Eastern Civilizations, University of Toronto

WEDNESDAY, 18 JANUARY 2012, 8:00 pm
The Current Situation for Archaeology in Iraq and Future Prospects
McGuire Gibson
Oriental Institute, University of Chicago

WEDNESDAY, 15 FEBRUARY 2012
Lobster for Dinner, Ransom Money Assured—archaeological projects in Iraq during the 1930s
Clemens Reichel
Department of Near & Middle Eastern Civilizations, University of Toronto/Royal Ontario Museum

WEDNESDAY, 14 MARCH 2012
               The A.K. Grayson Lecture on Assyrian History and Culture
               "A Firm Yes": Divination in the Assyrian Culture of Knowledge
Francesca Rochberg
Catherine and William L. Magistretti Distinguished Professor of Near Eastern Studies, University of California, Berkeley



PUBLIC LECTURE SCHEDULE 2010-2011

WEDNESDAY, 1 DECEMBER 2010, 8:00 pm
The Ronald Morton Smith Memorial Lecture

The Merchants of Larsa in the Reign of Rim-Sin
K. Feuerherm
Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University

WEDNESDAY, 12 JANUARY 2011, 8:00 pm
In Search of Kings and Conquerors: Gertrude Bell’s Archaeological
Investigations in
Mesopotamia, 1909-1911
L. Cooper
Department of Classical, Near Eastern and Religious Studies
University of British Columbia

WEDNESDAY, 16 FEBRUARY 2011, 8:00 PM
A Ceremony against Witchcraft: Mesopotamian Magic in Action
T. Abusch
The Rose B. and Joseph Cohen Professor of Assyriology and Ancient Near Eastern Religion
Department of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies, Brandeis University

WEDNESDAY, 16 MARCH 2011, 8:00 PM
The A.K. Grayson Lecture on Assyrian History and Culture
The Nuzi Tablets and Ashur-uballit I
(or how a few boring tablets from an obscure town can change our understanding of the Amarna Age)
M. Maidman
Department of History, York University


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