Studies on the Archaeology of Ebla, 1980-2010.

Author:Meijer, Diederik J. W.
Position:Book review
 
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Studies on the Archaeology of Ebla, 1980-2010. By PAOLO MATTHIAE, edited by FRANCES PINNOCK. Wiesbaden: HARRASSOWITZ VERLAG, 2013. Pp. xi + 664, 226 pits. [euro]98.

As the title suggests, the present volume contains papers by Paolo Matthiae about various aspects of his excavations at Tell Mardikh /Ebla. The forty-two papers have been arranged by the editor and her team in a rough division of "History and Material Culture" (thirteen papers), then "Architecture: Space, Function, History" (fifteen), and third "Artistic Culture: Monuments and Traditions" (fourteen). This division is indeed a reflection of Matthiae's main interests and provides the reader with a clear guideline. The papers have been left in their original form in terms of notes and bibliographies, but the illustrations have been gathered at the end of this hefty volume and are numbered consecutively, with relevant new references inserted throughout the original texts. The book's typography is uniform, fortunately. The original publication in which a paper was printed is noted at each paper's end.

After the introduction by the editor, Professor Matthiae himself has added a short note on the history of the excavations and a word of thanks to all the people who were involved in them. Matthiae's work is very well known in Near Eastern archaeology, and this book is an emphatic witness to his high standing in the field. It is of course not feasible to comment on every paper collected in a work like this, but to this reviewer it is clear that the general subjects of architecture and iconography carry Matthiae's main interest. Thus for instance, the paper on "Architecture and Urban Planning in Old Syrian Ebla" from 1991 (pp. 259ff.) shows a deep understanding and feeling for the place of architecture also in the mind of the ancient inhabitants, and it...

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