Academic year
2021/2022 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
FT0010 (AF:331945 AR:189396)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Bachelor's Degree Programme
Educational sector code
4th Term
Go to Moodle page
The course belongs to the "Core educational activities" of the archaeological curriculum of the Bachelor's Degree Programme in "Conservation of Cultural Heritage and Performing Arts Management" and corresponds to the second part of the 12 CFU exam of "Near Eastern archaeology and art history".
It will present the students with an in-depth analysis of a specific theme or topic in the field of Near Eastern archaeology. Compared to the first part of the course, the object of study will be widened from Mesopotamia to the surrounding regions as well. The aim of the course is that students acquire, a.o. by reading scientific contributions in languages other than Italian, a knowledge of the subject exceeding a purely handbookish level, and that they become aware of the methods and processes through which archaeological data contribute to the reconstruction of a specific aspect of past civilisations and become familiar with the international terminology of a particular field of study. The object of this year's course will be "Ivories of the Iron Age (earlier 1st millennium BC)"
At the end of the course students will have a thorough knowledge of earleri 1st millennium BC Near Eastern ivories: the main groups of finds, the function, the origin of the raw material, working techniques, styles, iconographic themes and their meaning, interregional circulation. Through the case-study of ist millennium ivories, they will become aware of the evolution, in the curse of time, of the aims and methods applied to the study of a cathegory of artefacts and of the process which from the collection phase of archaeological data lead sto historical reconstruction. They will have a good command of Italian and international terminology concerning the topics discussed during the course, and will be able to read and critically evaluate short studies, in Italian, French and English, on the subject.
Besides this, there are no other pre-requirements for this course, although it is advisable to have a basic knowledge of methods and themes of archaeological research. This can be also acquired by following other archaeological disciplines at the same time as this one.
Students interested in the civilisations of the Ancient Near East may also choose: History of the Ancient Near East; Egyptology; Phoenician-punic archaeology; Prehistory and protohistory of Eastern Mediterranean; Islamic Archaeology and Muslim Art History, Assyriology; Sumero-akkadian epigraphy, Semitic Philology, History of Religions I
The course will deal with the ivories of the Iron Age (early first millennium BC). It will present the main sites and groups of finds and describe the sources of the raw material and the main working techniques. After a short introduction about the ivories of the 2nd millennium, it will analyse the main artefacts types and their uses and discuss their centres of production, traditions and "schools", iconography and style. Finally, it will reflect on the interregional circulation of these portable luxury goods and on the meaning conveyed by their decoration
Notes taken during the lessons and displayed PP presentations (downloadable from the Moodle platform)

Suggested readings:
- P. MATTHIAE, La storia dell'Arte dell'Oriente Antico. I primi imperi e i principati del Ferro, Milano 1997, pp. 216-223, 236-242, 276-280.
- P. MATTHIAE, La storia dell'Arte dell'Oriente Antico. I grandi imperi, Milano 1996, pp.89-91, 124-126, 191-194.
- M. H. FELDMAN, Communities of Style Portable Luxury Arts, Identity, and Collective Memory in the Iron Age Levant, Chicago 2014
- J. ARUZ, S.B. GRAFF, Y. RAKIC, Assyria To Iberia at the Dawn of Classical Age, New York 2014, pp. 141-156.
- R. BARNETT, Ancient Ivories in the Middle East and Adjacent Countries, Qedem 14, Jerusalem.
- S.M. CECCHINI, S. MAZZONI, E. SCIGLIUZZO (eds.) Syrian and Phonenician Ivories of the Early First Millennium BCE, Pisa 2009.

During the course, a list of articles will be provided, the reading of two of which is requested for the exam
Students who are unable to attend the lessons are invited to ask the instructor for a different program and bibliography.
The exam will be oral, and will consist of: 1) a discussion about some of the topics dealt with during the lessons and 2) the presentation, by the student, of one of the selected articles. The student may be asked to comment some of the slides shown during the course. The evaluation will take into account both the degree of comprehension and knowledge of the subject acquired by attending the lessons and through individual study, and the ability to present a topic in an articulated way and by making use of an appropriate terminology.
Erasmus students with insufficient knowlegdge of Italian language wil be offered the possibility to take the exam in English
Frontal lessons with display of Power Point presentations (downloadable from the Moodle Platform) + reading of selected texts
The lessons may be integrated by lectures on specific subjects by Italian or foreign experts and other activities (guided visits to museums and exhibitions, seminaries and exercises)
The course corresponds to the first part of the 12 CFU exam.
Students are strongly advised to attend the lessons (lectures by invited scholars and other activities included).
An alternative program can be agreed upon for those for whom this is impossible to attend the lessons

Ca’ Foscari applica la Legge Italiana (Legge 17/1999; Legge 170/2010) per i servizi di supporto e di accomodamento disponibili agli studenti con disabilità o con disturbi specifici dell’apprendimento. Se hai una disabilità motoria, visiva, dell’udito o altre disabilità (Legge 17/1999) o un disturbo specifico dell’apprendimento (Legge 170/2010) e richiedi supporto (assistenza in aula, ausili tecnologici per lo svolgimento di esami o esami individualizzati, materiale in formato accessibile, recupero appunti, tutorato specialistico a supporto dello studio, interpreti o altro) contatta l’ufficio Disabilità e DSA
Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 01/08/2021