L-OR/05 - 6 CFU - 2° Semester

Teaching Staff


Learning Objectives

The study of the religious practices of ancient Near Eastern societies aims at developing a better knowledge of how to interpret ancient material culture for the students interested in following an academic path in the field of archaeology. Moreover, the subjects investigated during the course will be useful for a collaborating with national and international museum environments.

Course Structure

The course will be based on lectures with an intense interaction with students through individual presentations that will be followed by thematic essays.

Detailed Course Content

The course on the Archaeology of Religious Practices in the Near East will be dedicated to the study of the material culture of the ancient societies that have inhabited a large geographical area limited by the Mediterranean basin, to the west, and by the Indus valley, to the east, dating from prehistoric periods until the arrival of Alexander the Great in the region (330 BC). More specifically, it will investigate the archaeological and textual data related to the religious dimension of the societies inhabiting such large region that was marked by the appearance of the first ceremonial architecture of humankind, as is the case of the 10000 years old buildings discovered at Gobekli Tepe (SE Turkey), of the beginning of polytheism in southern Mesopotamia during the IV millennium BC, and, obviously, the emergence of the first form of monotheism in the Levant the first millennium BC.

Textbook Information

- Kaniuth K. Et al. (2013). Temple im Alten Orient. Harrassowitz. Circa 80 pagine estratte dai vari contributi al volume. (i.e., Pp. 33-48; 283-310; 385-406; 427-444)

- Laneri N. (a cura di, 2014) Defining the Sacred. Approaches to the archaeology of religion in the Near East Oxbow Books, Oxford. Pp. 1-250.

- Mander P. (2009). La Religione dell’Antica Mesopotamia. Carocci. Pp. 1-174.

- Oggiano I. (2005). Dal terreno al divino. Archeologia del culto nella Palestina del Primo Millennio. Carocci. Pp. 1-294.


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All the books listed in the programs can be consulted in the Library.

Open in PDF format Versione in italiano