Wednesday, February 14, 2018 - 18:15 to 19:15
The British Academy, 10 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AH

Dr Franco D'Agostino on the Italian Archaeological Mission at Abu Tbeirah in Southern Iraq

The lecture will introduce and explore the fieldwork of the last seven campaigns (2012-2017) undertaken by the Iraqi-Italian Archaeological Mission at Abu Tbeirah, Southern Mesopotamia, the first mission to engage in activities after the Second Gulf War in Iraq. Beyond a general introduction to the site and its environment, the talk will focus on the activities in the main excavated areas and on the results for the reconstruction of many aspects of the Mesopotamian daily life in ancient Sumer. The human and natural environment in the 3rd millennium BC in south-western Mesopotamia will be highlighted, as well as the strong connections of the material culture of the inhabitants of ancient Abu Tbeirah with the people of the Mada'in, who now live in the Marshlands in the south of Iraq. 

Dr Franco D'Agostino is a professor of Assyriology in Sapienza, University of Rome, and an expert on 3rd-millennium Sumerian administrative documentation. Dr D'Agostino is co-director of the Iraqi-Italian Archaeological Mission in Abu Tbeirah. 

Dr Licia Romano is a Research Fellow in Archaeology and History of Art in the Ancient Near East at Sapienza, University of Rome, and is an expert on Sumerian art and iconography. Dr Romano is co-director of the Iraqi-Italian Archaeological Mission at Abu Tbeirah. 

Abu Tbeirah Excavations I. Area 1 Last Phase & Building A

Available on Open Access: http://www.editricesapienza.it/node/7845

This book presents the results of the archaeological activities and specialistic studies carried out at the site of Abu Tbeirah - Iraqi-Italian Mission in Sumer (Nasiriyah, Iraq) by the Iraqi-Italian joint mission of the Iraqi State Board of Antiquities and Heritage and of Sapienza, led by F. D’Agostino and L. Romano (Dipartimento – Istituto Italiano di Studi Orientali). In the volume the accomplishments of the first seven campaigns (2011-2016) are introduced together with an assessment of the palaeo-environment and landscape surrounding the site. After an introduction to the reasons that led to start the archaeological activities in Abu Tbeirah, written by HE Dr A. Al-Hamdani, Minister of Culture of the Republic of Iraq, the diggings in the south-eastern Area 1 are presented (the cemetery and the other activities identified immediately under the top-soil and the last phase of Building A). A preliminary assessment on the Early-Dynastic III/Akkadian Transition pottery horizon (2450-2150 BC) is presented as well. At the same time, the multifaceted analyses and studies, carried out on Abu Tbeirah’s site and findings, are included in the volume.