S06 – Landscapes


  1. Marco Ramazzotti (Sapienza Università di Roma)
  2. Alessandro Di Ludovico (Sapienza Università di Roma)
  3. Ahmad Karbotly (Sapienza Università di Roma)
  4. Edoardo Zanetti (Sapienza Università di Roma / Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)

Paper Titles and Abstracts

To view the abstracts, please click on the titles:

Complementary Grammars for the Atlas of the Ancient Near East (AANE) Mesopotamian Cosmic Geography, Historical Geography and the Modern Geographies of the Pasts
Marco Ramazzotti (Sapienza Università di Roma)

In the present contribution, we intend to trace a history of the Earth starting from the topological centrality of the Babylon and debating thematically, from the protohistoric to historical periods, some of the ancient Near Eastern spatial perceptions mainly inspired by the so called mythopoeic thought. Indeed, to select, detail, and integrate some figurative and textual aspects of the ancient Mesopotamian spatial perceptions is important to define different perceptual maps of the landscapes. Moreover, the transformations of these cognitive maps through the millennia can be used to record the distances between modern geographies (based upon an artificial translation of both natural and anthropic features) and the ancient perceptions of space and time, mainly inspired by cosmic geographies. The epistemic framework of the Atlas of the Ancient Near East (AANE), a Great Athenaeum project of the Department of Classics and Ancient History at Sapienza University of Rome, started in 2016. It would support, in a multidisciplinary way, the encoding, the analysis and the simulation of the ancient Near Eastern settlements and landscapes integrating the complementary grammars of the mythopoeic, historical and digital approaches. 


A Geographical Perspective on the Reign of the Third Dynasty of Ur
Alessandro Di Ludovico (Sapienza Università di Roma)

In the 21st century BCE the rulers of the Third Dynasty of Ur developed a new political entity in Mesopotamia. This led to deep changes in the organisation of the communication network and the arrangement of the administrative structures of the region. From the archaeological and environmental points of view there are quite few clues to reconstruct and outline the general frame of such a system.
In this contribution the author wants to introduce the main issues related to the understanding of Ur III settlement and infrastructural systems. This serves to sketch the basis for dealing with the geography of the ancient Ur III kingdom from the point of view of archaeological data, including, as far as it is possible, the most important information related to cultural life. 

Toponyms Localizations for the Third Millennium Northern Syria: Nirar, Burman, Lumnan, Luban, Arugadu in the Region around Ebla – Tell Mardikh (Syria)
Ahmad Karbotly (Sapienza Università di Roma)

There are many toponyms mentioned in the Ebla texts but so far, even after more than 40 years of studies, very few of them are identified with modern sites. In my PhD dissertation, discussed some months ago in Rome, I tried to identify some of these toponyms: Nirar, Burman, Lumnan, Luban, Arugadu. These cities are among the closest allies of Ebla. Using the references to these sites quoted in the Ebla published and unpublished texts (put at my disposal by prof. M.G. Biga) and my experience of field work in several excavations in Syria in the region around Ebla, I propose some possible identifications for these sites. 

Hydraulic Reports and Landscape Reconstruction in Ĝirsu (Ur III)
Edoardo Zanetti (Sapienza Università di Roma / Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)

In the ancient times, the natural events of the water’s action gave birth to an engineering approach ante litteram. Since the III millennium BC the “engineer before the engineers” has studied in Sumer in order to avoid the tragic episodes of rivers braking their banks, the digression of the riverbed and also erosion phenomena. Then, during the Ur III period, the writing system has imposed a specific planning model for the maintenance interventions. Especially for the Preliminary Hydraulic Reports the geographical coordinates were indispensable to organize the construction and operation phase. At the same time, the description of the landscape focused the main interactions between the works and the context. The proposal is based on the case study of Ĝirsu (Ur III) and on the data of my PhD. 

Nach oben scrollen