CIOA Press Author Awarded G. Ernest Wright Award at ASOR

Friday, 17 November 2017_
Boston, Massachusetts

The Cotsen Institute of Archaeology is extremely happy to announce that Glenn M. Schwartz, the editor and principal author of Rural Archaeology in Early Urban Northern Mesopotamia: Excavations at Tell al-Raqa’i, published by the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press in 2015, has just been awarded the G. Ernest Wright Award of the American Schools of Oriental Research at the ASOR annual meeting. It recognizes the author of the most substantial volume dealing with archaeological material, excavation reports, and material culture from the ancient Near East and eastern Mediterranean. An excerpt from the nomination text follows:

The publication and documentation of data and research in archaeology of Syria and Iraq is even more important now, in view of the recent destruction of cultural materials and sites in this region. Rural Archaeology in Early Urban Northern Mesopotamia presents the results of the extensive excavation of a small, rural village from the period of emerging cities in upper Mesopotamia (modern northeast Syria) in the early to middle third millennium BC.

This volume has been well praised for its author’s emphasis on the small village, and what its study can tell us. Glenn Schwartz deftly examines aspects of human community, showing how early social complexity developed. The small settlements in the Near East have remained in the shadows of the great urban centers with their complex architecture and troves of artifacts, and especially, their written records. The research presented here represents part of a move to rectify that imbalance.

Among the author’s most important contributions was identified by a reviewer as “its consideration within a matrix of the research and publication on all the other Khabur rescue sites excavated by various teams during the 1980–1990s…” Today, the meaning of “rescue sites” has an added urgency.

Glenn M. Schwartz is the Whiting Professor of Archaeology and Chair of the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Johns Hopkins University.