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IRAQ BEYOND THE HEADLINES History, Archaeology, and War
by Benjamin R Foster (Yale University, USA), Karen Polinger Foster (Yale University, USA), & Patty Gerstenblith (DePaul University, USA)
Table of Contents (85k) Preface (102k) Chapter 1: Beginnings, Modern and Ancient (318k) About Benjamin R Foster About Karen Polinger Foster About Patty Gerstenblith This book is the first authoritative and up-to-date survey of the history of Iraq from earliest times to the present in any language. It presents a concise narrative of the rich and varied history of this land, drawing on political, social, economic, artistic, technological, and intellectual material. It also includes excerpts from works of ancient, medieval, and modern literature written in Iraq, some of which are translated for the first time into English. The final chapters provide an introduction to the history of archaeology in Iraq, set in the wider context of the development of archaeology into a scientific discipline. A special section highlights selected objects from the Iraq Museum, with emphasis on their cultural significance and current status in the aftermath of the looting in April 2003. The last chapter offers a unique guide to the complex international and national legal regimes for the protection of cultural heritage. The American-led invasion and occupation of Iraq are a turning point in Iraq's modern history, with important cultural consequences for all periods of its past. For all who seek to understand more fully the current situation, this book includes discussion of cultural and legal issues of the war and occupation, placing recent events in their full context.
Benjamin R Foster (AB 1968, Princeton; MA 1973, MPhil, 1974, PhD 1975, Yale), Laffan Professor of Assyriology and Babylonian Literature and Curator of the Yale Babylonian Collection, was appointed to the Yale faculty in 1975. His research interests focus on two main areas: Mesopotamian, especially Akkadian, literature, and the social and economic history of Mesopotamia. In the area of Akkadian literature, he is the author of Before the Muses (1993, 1996, 2005), a two-volume anthology of annotated translations from Akkadian literature of all periods. An abridged, paperback version of this work appeared as From Distant Days (1995). He translated the Akkadian Epic of Gilgamesh for the Norton Critical Editions series, The Epic of Gilgamesh (2001), and is author of more than twenty articles on various aspects of Akkadian
literature. In the area of history, especially social and economic history, he is the author of two books, Umma in the Sargonic Period (1982) and Administration and Use of Institutional Land in Sargonic Sumer (1982), as well as about forty articles, most of them dealing with the third millennium B.C.E. He is also active in the publication of primary source material, including one book, Sargonic Tablets from Telloh in the Istanbul Archaeological Museum (1982), and about twenty articles of text publications. In addition, he is the author of four small monographs and translations, various brief philological notes, and about sixty book reviews. His current research includes a history of oriental scholarship in the United States, of which four preliminary studies have appeared in periodicals. His teaching experience includes all periods and text types of Sumerian and Akkadian and all periods of Mesopotamian history from the fourth millennium B C E to the Muslim conquest. Karen Polinger Foster (AB 1971, Mount Holyoke College; MA 1974, MPhil 1974, PhD 1976, Yale) specializes in the art and archaeology of the Bronze Age Aegean, with particular interests in interconnections with Egypt and the ancient Near East. She is the author of Aegean Faience of the Bronze Age (1979) and Minoan Ceramic Relief (1982). Her current major research project involves the final preparation of a book on the treatment of exotic flora and fauna in the art of the ancient Near East and Aegean, considered in the wider context of such material from classical to modern times. She is the author of over twenty articles on various aspects of Bronze Age art and iconography, including several studies of the wall painting programs from Thera. She has recently completed a trilogy of articles dealing with volcanic imagery in art and literature, beginning with the Thera eruption and concluding with the Villa of the Mysteries at Pompeii. In addition, she has written over thirty book reviews and participates regularly in scholarly conferences, symposia, and panel discussions, in the US and abroad. In 1999 she published The City of Rainbows: A Tale from Ancient Sumer, the first Sumerian folktale to be retold for children. The book is illustrated with the author's own cut-paper mosaics, based on actual works of Sumerian art. She has co-edited, with Robert Laffineur of the University of Liege, METRON: Measuring the Aegean Bronze Age, the proceedings of the 9th International Aegean Conference, held at Yale University in April 2002 (published 2003). Her course offerings range from introductory surveys of the art of the ancient Near East and Aegean to seminars concentrating on specific issues and areas. In recent years, she has taught such undergraduate courses as The Art of Ancient Palaces, Buried Cities: Thera, Pompeii, and Herculaneum, and Ancient Painting and Mosaics. Her graduate courses have dealt with Bronze Age interconnections. Patty Gerstenblith is a Professor and Director of the Program in Art and Cultural Heritage
Law at DePaul University College of Law. She received her PhD degree From Harvard University and J D Degree from Northwestern University School of Law. She is the President of the Lawyers' Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation (current), co-chair for the International Cultural Property Committee, and is also a member of the American Bar Association (current) and of the President's Cultural Property Advisory Committee, US Department of State (2000–2003). She is also Editor-in-Chief for the International Journal of Cultural Property (1995–2002). Contents: ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● Beginnings, Modern and Ancient Early City States and Empires The Age of Hammurabi A Babylonian Nation State The Assyrian Achievement Babylon and Her Empire Mesopotamia Between Two Worlds Iraq Between Iran and Arabia The Muslim Conquest of Iraq The Age of Baghdad and Samarra Iraq in the Ottoman Empire Colonization and Monarchy The Republic of Iraq Archaeology Past and Present in Iraq The Iraq Museum and the Future of the Past International and National Legal Regimes for the Protection of Archaeological Heritage Appendix: ○ Iraqi Libraries, Research Centers, and Centers for the Arts
Readership: General audience interested in the history of Iraq, in particular its archaeological past.
Yale Professors Write Guide to the Archaeology and History of Iraq Published: December 22, 2005 New Haven, Conn. — In this illustrated 275-page book, titled “Iraq Beyond the Headlines,” Benjamin R. Foster and Karen Polinger Foster of Yale University and Patty Gerstenblith of DePaul University provide a concise and readable account of Iraq’s rich history and sound an alarm for the toll the war has taken on the country’s archaeological treasures. In Chapters 1-13, Benjamin Foster, the William M. Laffan Professor of Assyriology and Babylonian Literature, presents a vivid and highly readable history of a region to which much of Western culture traces its genesis. The invention of writing, the birth of cities, the rise of the world’s first empires, the codification of law under Hammurabi and the Epic of Gilgamesh are among the monuments of ancient Mesopotamian civilization that inform our own. In the time of the caliphs, Baghdad was not only one of the greatest cities in the Middle Ages, it was also the most important center for the transmission of Classical Greek philosophy and science to Western Europe. In addition, Iraq provides an object lesson in an ultimately unsuccessful colonial policy after World War I. In Chapters 14-15, Karen Foster, who teaches ancient art and archaeology, traces the history of archaeology in Iraq from the early quest for biblical connections to the foundation of Iraqi antiquities organizations to the current rampant looting and destruction of museums, libraries and archaeological sites, many of which have never been scientifically excavated. Chapter 15 offers an illustrated guide to major pieces that have been stolen, damaged, or are still missing from the Iraq Museum in Baghdad since April 2003. In the final chapter, Gerstenblith, who teaches cultural heritage law at DePaul University College of Law, reviews international and national laws and conventions for protecting objects of cultural heritage from theft and illegal trade. “Iraq Beyond the Headlines: History, Archaeology and War” is published by World Scientific (Singapore) and is part of its series on the Iraq war and its consequences. http://opac.yale.edu/news/article.aspx?status=301&id=2649
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