Honors | Introduction to the Ancient Near East
U254 | 0635 | J. Choksy

Indiana University. Spring 2004.
U254 section 0635 (undergraduate course), U520 section 0655 (graduate
3 credits.
Fulfills COAS Cultural Studies list A, and COAS Social and Historical
Studies (SHHS) requirements.
Classes meet Mondays and Wednesdays 1:00-2:15 p.m. in  BU (Business
School) 404.

Instructor: Professor Jamsheed K. Choksy.
Departments: Central Eurasian Studies, History, Religious Studies
Office: Ballantine Hall 812.
Telephone: 855-8643.
Office hours: Wednesdays 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. by appointment.

Course Description:
This course introduces students to ancient Near Eastern cultures. The
survey begins with early farming communities of 8000 B.C., at sites
like Fayum, Jericho, Çatal Huyuk, and Jarmo. It then covers the Bronze
and Iron Age kingdoms of the Sumerians, Babylonians, Assyrians,
Israelites, Egyptians, and Iranians, plus the spread of Hellenism.
Emphasis will be placed on agriculture, urbanization, state formation,
dynastic history, social stratification, literacy, legal and economic
issues, and religious developments. Archaeological and textual
information will be utilized in conjunction with visual aids.
No previous knowledge or course prerequisites are needed.

Course Requirements:
Class attendance (lectures).
Assigned readings.
Occasional participation in discussions.
Undergraduate and graduate students must meet instructor to discuss
their papers during office hours.

Grading Scheme:
Class attendance (10% of grade)
Participation in class discussions (10% of grade).
Undergraduate students must write two 4-5 page papers (each 40% of
grade), one by mid semester and the other by the end of semester, on
topics that interest them relating to the course.
Graduate Students must write a 10-12 page library-based research paper
(80% of grade) on a topic that interests them relating to the course.
Informed knowledge of materials from the lectures and readings will be
required for the discussions and papers.

Required Readings:
All textbooks are available at the Union and/or TIS bookstores.
J. A. J. Gowlett, Ascent to Civilization 2nd ed. (New York, 1992).
J. B. Pritchard, ed., The Ancient Near East, vol. 1 (Princeton, 1973).
J. Reade, Mesopotamia, 2nd ed. (London, 2000).
J. Curtis, Ancient Persia, 2nd ed. (London, 2000).
B. G. Trigger, et al., Ancient Egypt (Cambridge, 1985, 1994).

Required Readings for all  Students:
Handouts available in a packet from the CEUS department at Goodbody
Hall 157.
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Course Topics:
1. Outline of course materials and requirements.
Investigating the Past:
2. Geography of the region.
3. Methods in archaeology and history.
Rise of Civilization:
4. Early settlements and domestication.
5. Origins of writing.
6. Agriculture and irrigation.
7. Trade and record keeping.
8. Development of cities and states.
Politics and Kingship:
9. Sumerians and Akkadians.
10. Babylonians, Assyrians, and Elamites.
11. Canaanites, Israelites, and Phoenicians.
12. Egyptians in the Old, Middle, and New Kingdoms plus Late
Dynastic Period.
13. Proto-Iranians, Medes, and Achaemenians.
14. Alexander the Great, Seleucids, and Parthians.
15. Greek, Roman, and Byzantine control.
16. Sasanians.
17. Egyptians in the Persian and Greco-Roman periods.
18. Literature and art.
19. Social classes.
20. Hellenism.
Religion and Ritual:
21. Ancient beliefs and temple cults.
22. Judaism.
23. Zoroastrianism.
24. Mystery cults-Gnosticism and Mithraism.
25. Manichaeism.
26. Christianity.
27. Legacy of the Past.
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Reading Assignments for Each Topic:
The readings are intended to complement and supplement the lectures.
All students should read items listed as handouts (from the course
1. Syllabus.
2. Pritchard, map.
Reade, pp. 4-10.
Curtis, pp. 6-7.
Trigger, pp. 8-11.
Handouts (from the course packet).
3. Gowlett, pp. 8-9, 28-39, 114-115, 118-119, 122-123, 162-163, 197-
Trigger, pp. 1-8, 11-13.
Handouts (from the course packet).
4. Gowlett, pp. 152-153, 156-161, 164-165, 168-169.
Pritchard, figs. 15, 18-19, 26-27, 49, 172.
Reade, pp. 11-26.
Curtis, pp. 8-13.
Trigger, pp. 13-36.
Handouts (from the course packet).
5. Gowlett, pp. 182-183.
Pritchard, figs. 54-55, 57, 63-64, 67, 81.
Reade, pp. 26-28.
Handouts (from the course packet).
6. Gowlett, pp. 174-175, 189.
Pritchard, figs. 15-17, 20, 22.
Reade, pp. 29-32.
Trigger, pp. 36-43.
Handouts (from the course packet).
7. Gowlett, pp. 176-177, 184-185.
Pritchard, figs. 2, 21.
Reade, pp. 43-49.
Handouts (from the course packet).
8. Gowlett, pp. 178-181, 192-195.
Pritchard, fig. 61.
Reade, pp. 32-43, 70.
Trigger, pp. 44-70.
Handouts (from the course packet).
9. Pritchard, pp. 28-30, 40-75, 85-86, and figures related to the
Reade, pp. 50-58, 70.
Handouts (from the course packet).
10. Pritchard, pp. 138-167, 188-202, and figures related to the topic.
Reade, pp. 59-69, 70.
Curtis, pp. 14-19.
Handouts (from the course packet).
11. Pritchard, pp. 209-218, 279-282, and figures related to the topic.
Use any edition of the Bible (Old Testament) or Tanakh, Genesis
11-35, Exodus 20.
Handouts (from the course packet).
12. Pritchard, pp. 175-182, and figures related to the topic.
Trigger, pp. 71-92, 97-112, 137-149, 174-178, 188-242.
Handouts (from the course packet).
13. Pritchard, pp. 202-204, 206-208, and figures related to the topic.
Curtis, pp. 20-59, 90.
Handouts (from the course packet).
14. Curtis, pp. 66-69, 90.
Handouts (from the course packet).
15. Handouts (from the course packet).
16. Curtis, pp. 72-83, 90.
Handouts (from the course packet).
17. Trigger, pp. 279-346.
Handouts (from the course packet).
18. Pritchard, pp. 234-249, 252-259, and figures related to the topic.
Curtis, pp. 60-65.
Handouts (from the course packet).
19. Pritchard, pp. 250-252, and figures related to the topic.
Handouts (from the course packet).
20. Curtis, pp. 69-72.
Handouts (from the course packet).
21. Pritchard, pp. 1-5, 31-39, 80-85, 92-118, 226-230, 231-233, and
figures related to the topic.
Handouts (from the course packet).
22. Pritchard, pp. 212-214, 278-279, and figures related to the topic.
Handouts (from the course packet).
23. Handouts (from the course packet).
24. Handouts (from the course packet).
25. Handouts (from the course packet).
26. Use any edition of the Bible (New Testament), Matthew 1-2, John
Handouts (from the course packet).
27. Handouts (from the course packet).
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