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March 2020

People of Empire: Assyrianness Through the Looking-Glass of the Neo-Assyrian State

March 5 @ 1:45 pm - 3:30 pm

In the first half of the first millennium BCE, the Neo-Assyrian state forged what Mario Liverani has called the world's "prototype empire". Empires are often associated with imperial peoples: a core population that maintains its distinctiveness and enjoys a privileged position within the imperial structure. Were the Assyrians such a people? The Neo-Assyrian state apparatus produced a great deal of textual material spanning many genres and purposes and covering much of its existence. A significant part of this material has…

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February 2020

Creating the Cult of a Goddess: Politics and Religion at Mari in the Old Babylonian Period

February 27 @ 1:45 pm - 3:15 pm
Fowler A222, 308 Charles E Young Dr N
Los Angeles, CA 90024 United States
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Traces of ancient Mesopotamian religion have been discovered by archaeologists working across the modern Middle East—temples and other religious structures, worn by time; small fragments of once-opulent cult statues and temple furnishings; clay tablets inscribed with stories of and hymns to the gods; and mundane records of administrators, concerned with tracking the many cults that could inhabit a single city. While the Assyriologist A. Leo Oppenheim cautioned that these remains were capable of revealing “only a dim reflection” of Mesopotamian…

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Pourdavoud Center: 14th Melammu Symposium

February 18 - February 20
314 Royce Hall,

“Contextualizing Iranian Religions in the Ancient World” Please click here to view the full symposium schedule. The 14th Melammu Symposium: Contextualizing Iranian Religions in the Ancient World The Pourdavoud Center for the Study of the Iranian World is convening the 14th Melammu Symposium at UCLA. The international three-day symposium held at Royce Hall will explore Iranian religions in light of ancient Near Eastern traditions and precedents. It hosts scholars whose work pertain to the interchange of ideas and practices between…

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Pourdavoud Center Lecture Series: Gil Stein

February 12 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Royce Hall Room 306, 10745 Dickson Plaza
Los Angeles, CA (CALIFORNIA) 90095
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Please join the Pourdavoud Center for the Study of the Iranian World for a lecture by Professor Gil Stein. Achaemenids or Persians?  Burials, Material Culture, and Imperial Identities in the Euphrates Valley (5th-4th centuries BCE) The Achaemenid empire was the largest empire in the world in the 5th-4th centuries BCE, encompassing numerous polities and cultural groups within its 20 satrapies. To rule this enormous empire, the Persian elites had to gain the active support of the people they governed to…

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Episodes from the Early History of Knowledge: Instruction Manuals in Cuneiform Scholarship

February 11 @ 1:45 pm
Royce 243,

This talk examines the early history of the instruction manual, focusing on cuneiform texts identified as technical procedures. Addressed to “you” as the grammatical subject, procedures—in Akkadian, nēpešum, from the verb epēšu "to make, compute”— encompassed topics ranging from mathematics, glassmaking, horse-training, perfumery, medicine, and astronomy. Over the course of two millennia, procedures would develop into one of the most long-standing vehicles for knowledge transmission in cuneiform cultures. However, the longevity of the textual format, which on its surface appears…

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Resource Mobilization, Social Engineering, and Opportunism: The Revival of Larsa in Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylonian State Project

February 6 @ 1:45 pm - 3:00 pm
365 Kaplan Hall,

When a Babylonian and Median coalition put an end to Assyrian domination over the Ancient Near East in the late 7th century BCE, the Babylonian kings set about to revitalize the heartland of their new state, the Neo-Babylonian empire. One of the cities that benefited from this imperial program of rebuilding and land reclamation was Larsa, an ancient cult center of the sun god Shamash in what is now southern Iraq. The main architect of this project was Nebuchadnezzar II.…

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January 2020

Amuzegar Lecture Series: Robert Steele

January 29 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Royce 306,

Please join the Iranian Studies Program for a lecture by Dr. Robert Steele. Ancient Persia in Pahlavi Politics: The Imperial Celebrations of 1971 and Cultural Policy under the Shah In October 1971, heads of state, political and cultural figures, business leaders, and journalists from around the world came to Persepolis at the invitation of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi of Iran. They were there to celebrate the 2500th Anniversary of the Founding of the Persian Empire by Cyrus the Great. Many…

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Armenian Personal Names

January 28 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
365 Kaplan Hall,

1. Native and Iranian Layers 2. Divine Twins in the Armenian Epic All welcome Pizza and refreshments will be served All proceedings will be in Armenian   Hrach Martirosyan is currently Lecturer in Eastern Armenian in the department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at UCLA. After receiving his MA in Philology from Vanadzor Pedagogical Institute, he pursued graduate studies under the supervision of Prof. Sargis Harutyunyan at the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the Armenian Academy of Sciences…

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Bilingual Lecture Series: Ahmad Kiarostami

January 26 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
121 Dodd Hall, 390 Portola Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095 United States
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Please join the Iranian Studies Program at UCLA for a Bilingual Lecture Series film screening of Case No. I, Case No. 2. The film and following Q&A with Ahmad Kiarostami will be in Persian.

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The Arabicization of Christian Egypt: Reframing the Debate

January 22 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
365 Kaplan Hall,

The linguistic evolution of Egypt has been studied at some length, and with the invaluable evidence offered by the papyrological sources it has been possible to make very fine and detailed observations on the chronology and distribution of linguistic change. The different linguistic balance established by the Egyptian language with the two imperial languages that entered the country by conquest and served for centuries as languages of power is very striking: while Egyptian was used alongside Greek for a millennium…

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