Author: Stefano Anastasio and Piero Gilento. Paperback; 175x245mm; 220 pages; 136 figures. Print RRP: £34.0. 664 2020. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781789696035. Epublication ISBN 9781789696042. |
Building between the Two Rivers aims to supply university students and scholars of Near Eastern archaeology with an introduction to 'Building archaeology' methods as applied to the context of Ancient Mesopotamia. It helps the reader understand the principles underlying the discipline, which deals with the registration and analysis of all building materials and techniques involved in the assembly and erection of a construction, and to outline what knowledge and skills are needed, beyond those that are specific to archaeologists.
The in-depth registration and analysis of building materials and techniques requires professional skills and experience, which cannot be achieved with only a standard university training in archaeology. However, archaeologists need to know the basics of the classification of building materials, their physical properties, the main techniques of their finishing, as well as the basic principles of statics. They should also be able to let architects understand how to better tune the registration of data to ensure a fruitful archaeological interpretation.
Due to the introductory nature of the book, contents are organised in didactic chapters, trying to cover all the main topics and displaying them by means of selected examples. Particular attention is given to the methods of the 'stratigraphic reading', which are discussed in a dedicated appendix authored by Piero Gilento. A thematic bibliography and a technical glossary complete the book, helping readers enhance their understanding of the subject.
About the Authors
Stefano Anastasio is an archaeologist who specialises in the Ancient Near East. He is currently storehouse-keeper of the archaeological deposits of the Superintendency for Archaeology, Arts and Landscape in Florence. He is also currently working on the implementation of the new Photo-Archive for the Archaeological Conservation Centre of the Superintendency ;
Piero Gilento is an Associate Researcher at the Research Unit UMR7041-ArScAn (France), co-director of the French archaeological mission in northern Jordan, and Principal Investigator of the ACTECH project founded by a Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship.
'This work, the English translation of a piece published in Italian in 2011 (Costruire tra i due fiumi), has an educational purpose. Its purpose is to introduce students and researchers interested in the archaeology of the Near East to the archaeology of buildings (building archaeology) specific to the context of Mesopotamia, a region extremely rich in monuments.'—Jean Jacques Pérennès, O.P., Revue Biblique, April 2021 [translated from French]
'This well-illustrated handbook will introduce students to archaeological evidence alongside epigraphical and visual documents for building materials, architectural elements, and building types in Mesopotamia from the Neolithic to the Achaemenian period, altogether spanning 10,500–333 BC.'—C. C. Mattusch, CHOICE, July 2021, Vol. 58
'Essential reading for the archeologist, Stefano Anastasio’s book will also appeal to anyone interested in how and why building techniques invented thousands of years ago still form the basis of architectural planning today. Designed to help budding archeologists determine the age and possible use of ancient buildings, Stefano Anastasio’s authoritative guide traces the evolution of architectural techniques from the 10th millennium BCE to the fourth century BCE. Beginning with a survey of the natural resources of ancient Mesopotamia, Anastasio goes on to compare the particular qualities of such building materials as brick, stone, wood, mortars and even metal and, with the help of detailed illustrations, shows the multiple ways these materials were used to erect walls, lay foundations and create serviceable roofs. He also demonstrates how with the development of the arch, “a huge technological innovation,” buildings became more stable, more spacious and far more beautiful.'—Jane Waldron Grutz, AramcoWorld, May 2021
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