December 20, 2017
Reference - 92 Pages
ISBN 9781138067486 - CAT# Y332305
Series: Studies in the History of the Ancient Near East
SAVE ~$5.50 on each
In the Ancient Near East, cutting off someone’s head was a unique act, not comparable to other types of mutilation, and therefore charged with a special symbolic and communicative significance. This book examines representations of decapitation in both images and texts, particularly in the context of war, from a trans-chronological perspective that aims to shed light on some of the conditions, relationships and meanings of this specific act. The severed head is a “coveted object” for the many individuals who interact with it and determine its fate, and the act itself appears to take on the hallmarks of a ritual. Drawing mainly on the evidence from Anatolia, Syria and Mesopotamia between the third and first millennia BC, and with reference to examples from prehistory to the Neo-Assyrian Period, this fascinating study will be of interest not only to art historians, but to anyone interested in the dynamics of war in the ancient world.
List of Illustrations
I.1. From the Distant Past to the Recent Past
I.2. An Unrepeatable Act
I.3. The Headless Body: Anonymity/Identity
III.1. What Happens to the "Coveted Object"?
III.3. Exhibition and Multivalence
IV.1. Severed Heads and Birds of Prey
IV.2. Eannatum of Lagash and the Birds of Prey
IV.3. Mari and the Birds of Prey
IV.4. Sargon I of Akkad and the Birds of Prey
IV.5. Dadusha of Eshnunna and the Birds of Prey
IV.6. The Assyrians and the Birds of Prey
V.1. Moving Through Space and Time
V.2. How Does the Head Travel?
VI.1. "Other" Decapitations in Times of War
VI.2. What Happens to the Severed Heads of Statues?
VI.3. Moving Through Space and Time