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The idea of Babylon: archaeology and representation in Mesopotamia

Seymour, MJ; (2006) The idea of Babylon: archaeology and representation in Mesopotamia. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis presents a new approach to the history of archaeology in Iraq. The representation of Babylon is taken as a case study through which social, political and cultural factors in the formation and development of European archaeology in Iraq are examined. Babylon's history as the subject of scholarly, religious and moral thought, and of artistic and literary representation, allows the development of archaeological research on the city to be analysed in relation to these other approaches. The thesis demonstrates that the production of knowledge about the past within modem archaeological discourse is inseparable from a range of non- archaeological epistemologies and traditions of representation, and that the history and historiography of archaeology are therefore vital to the understanding and evaluation of interpretative methods and disciplinary structures in the present. A diverse group of sources on Babylon are brought together, placing the rise of archaeological approaches to ancient Mesopotamia in their cultural context: well known biblical and classical sources, travel writing, poetry, theatre and fine art are all examined in terms of their impact on awareness and understanding of Babylon in modern Europe. Patterns of change and continuity traced in Babylon's historiography as a cultural entity are shown to diverge significantly from the patterns of development usually outlined in histories of archaeology, and yet to be as important in shaping the discipline itself and our knowledge of Babylon within it.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: The idea of Babylon: archaeology and representation in Mesopotamia
Identifier: PQ ETD:593237
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest. Third party copyright material has been removed from the ethesis. Images identifying individuals have been redacted or partially redacted to protect their identity.
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1445913
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