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Title: The idea of Babylon : archaeology and representation in Mesopotamia
Author: Seymour, Michael
ISNI:       0000 0000 4332 5850
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2006
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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.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available