Aim of the course is to introduce the students to the archaeology of ancient western Asia, and to the critical discussion of the analysis of the archaeological evidence. The ultimate goal is to become aware of a stream of early cultural traditions and become able to integrate them in the wider discourse on memory and identity within the ancient Mediterranean and the study of the Ancient World.
The 2020 course will count 6 classes devoted to the introduction of the main archaeological phases of ancient western Asia and their correlates, in preparation to the final exam.
The remaining 12 classes are devoted to a thematic monographic course on Wine production and consumption in Ancient western Asia. Among the agricultural products, wine occupies from its very origin a special role in ancient Mediterranean societies. This role originates in the climatic and geo-physical requirements for the cultivation of grapevine as well as in the toxic properties of wine, both essential for determining its high value. The seminar aims at introducing the participants to the basic botanic and agricultural notions beyond wine production, as well as to the evidence and methods available for its study in antiquity. From there the course will move to explore the origin, the techniques of cultivation of grapevine in ancient western Asia, and the storage and production of wine. Above all, the course will focus on use, circulation, and value in the different historical contexts of ancient western Asia from the Neolithic to the definition of the archaic symposion
First class: Thursday, April 16, 2020