Foto: Matthias Friel
The seminar is in collaboration with Off-University which has built up the secure digital learning platform Coworkingsquares. The seminar will take place on this platform. When registration is open, you can register for the seminar on the platform through the Off-University website. After registration, you will be able to join the seminar, see the reading materials, and communicate with your instructors and classmates on the platform. The reading materials and questions will be uploaded five days prior to the class to the weekly class folders.
Archaeology under Fire. Nationalism, Politics and Heritage in the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East. Edited by Lynn Meskell (1998). London: Routledge.
Bahrani, Zainab; Çelik, Zeynep and Eldem, Edhem (2011). Scramble for the Past: A Story of Archaeology in the Ottoman Empire, 1753-1914. Istanbul: SALT Galata.
Student Tasks to qualify for writing the final paper:
Each student should deliver a short presentation and write one short essay to be qualified to write the long final essay.
Presentations in groups: Participants will be divided into groups to work on a specific subject The presentation should be discussed with the instructors in advance. The presentation should be around 20 min.
Short essay: Each participants should write a short essay by his choice. The essay should be maximum 1000 words.
Long final essay: After making the presentation and the short essay, participant should submit a long final essay which is due September 30th, 2022. It is between 15 – 25 pages (5000 words and 6500 words) in length, (do check your Studienordnung if you are a University of Potsdam student). The topic of the essay should be discussed with the instructors and could be on the same topic of the presentation but must be written in an academic and referenced way.
Week 1: Introduction to the Seminar. The Formation of the Middle Eastern States
(Kzzo and Darwich)
The first session provides a brief overview of the seminar. A general historical and geographic introduction to the Middle East is also provided. It will offer a view of the formation of the Middle Eastern states after the First World War.
Week 2: Identities, Orientalism, and Archaeology
This session will spotlight the different aspects of identity, such as religious identity, ethnic/national identity, and cultural identity. In addition, the session will highlight the history of orientalism and its relationship with archaeology.
Week 3: The Beginning of Archaeological Excavations in Egypt
This session will offer the participants a panoramic view about the beginning of the interest to explore the Near East by Western countries, starting from Napoleon’s Campaign to Egypt and the publication of La Description de l'Égypte.
Week 4: Archaeological Excavations in the Middle East before the First World War
This session will concentrate on the beginning of the excavations in Iraq, Anatolia, Iran, and the Levant in the mid-19th century. In addition, it will deal with the issue of how the local governors and European empires dealt with the excavations in the Near East.
Week 5: Ancient Languages: Writing and Deciphering
Language is the principal tool to distinguish cultures, nations, and identities. As a result of the excavations in the Near East, we gained knowledge about forgotten languages such as ancient Egyptian and its Hieroglyphic writing, Sumerian and Akkadian and their cuneiform writing.
This session will concentrate on discovering and deciphering these languages.
Week 6: Peoples and Languages
As a consequence of the previous session, this session will offer a more extensive view of the languages in the Near East and their classifications.
Week 7: This session will be dedicated to presentations and discussions.
This session will be dedicated to participants’ presentations and discussions about the different arguments related to the previous sessions.
Week 8: Middle Eastern Museums from Nationalism to Universalism
This session will focus on the first museums (such as Egyptian Museum, Iraq Museum, and Damascus Museum) in the Middle East, founded during the colonial period, and their relationship with the national identity.
Then we will move to the more recent museums founded in the Arab Gulf countries, especially Louvre Abu Dhabi, where another identity was emphasized (universalism).
Week 9: Education Systems and Archaeology
The session will concentrate on the education systems in Syria, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. It will display how history became narrated in the history textbooks of these countries.
Week 10: Manuscripts and Archaeology
At the beginning of the ancient Near Eastern archaeology, the Bible and classical history writings, such as Herodotus, were the primary resources. Instead, the medieval manuscripts or writings in local Middle Eastern languages were ignored. This session will offer the occasion to spotlight the most important Middle Eastern manuscripts and writings that deal with antiquities.
Week 11: Political Parties and their Views on History and Archaeology
Political parties are the result of the societies’ movements and reflect the orientation of their community. In the Middle East , different political parties exist, which have their own view of history. For example, the Syrian Social Nationalist Party distinguishes the “Greater Syria” (Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, and Cyprus) as a cultural unit historically separated from the other Arab countries.
This session will focus on the political currents in the Middle East, such as Ocalanisim (from Abdullah Ocalan), Arabism, Syrianism, and Islamism and their position from history.
Week 12: Biological Identity in the Archaeological Studies
This session will be dedicated to the most recent research in biological anthropology and epigenetics variations analyses in archaeology. So it will spotlight the biological identity and its contribution to archaeology and rewriting history.
Week 13: Destruction and Reconstruction of Cultural Heritage
(Darwich and Kzzo)
This session will concentrate on archaeology and cultural heritage during the recent conflicts in Syria and Iraq. In addition, it will spotlight other habits and accidents destruction for cultural heritage.
It will also spotlight the methods used for preservation and restoration and their impact on the social texture, such as the reconstruction of Beirut. In addition, it will highlight the latest technologies used for restoration, such as 3D reconstruction and Real Virtual.
Week 14: Summary and New Perspectives for Cultural Heritage and Identity
Discussion and review of the seminar and new perspectives on cultural heritage and its contribution to social peace and diversity co-existence.
Week 15: An invited professor will give a speech related to the topic.
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