Published in honour of P.R.S. Moorey, one of the foremost Near Eastern scholars of his generation, Culture through Objects brings together nineteen studies by leading international specialists on aspects of the archaeology of the ancient Near East. The volume focuses on three main themes that have been central to Moorey's extensive contributions to the field: tracking cultural transfers, understanding images and the study of ancient materials and manufacture.
Ranging widely in space and time from Egypt to Central Asia and from the Neolithic to the Sasanian period, the studies are linked by their shared methodology, namely a commitment to the crucial role played by objects in the reconstruction of past cultures and the recognition of the importance of contextual analysis in evaluating the material evidence.
The papers present the results of current research on a variety of topics, including the origins of pharaonic iconography, the spread of writing, stone vessels, prehistoric figurines, the iconography of seals, early metallurgy, ancient cuisine and the use of works of art in ancient societies. Together they provide a useful survey of some of the most active areas of ancient Near Eastern archaeology and will be of interest to both students and scholars.