NEAF Lecture: Temple, Town and Tombs

Dr Stephen Bourke

The University of Sydney’s NEAF-sponsored excavations at Pella in Jordan have been in the field for 30 years. This lecture will highlight some of the more memorable discoveries spanning the last 10000 years of settled life at Pella. We will touch on the first evidence of settlement at Wadi Hammeh around 12000 years ago, before moving to the main tell to begin the story of settlement in and around the ancient city. The first settled villages of the Sixth and Fifth Millennia give way to the brick and stone fortified city of the Fourth Millennium Early Bronze Age, visible both on the main mound and on nearby Tell Husn. Urban life progresses through the Middle and Late Bronze Ages of the Second Millennium BCE, first as an independent city-state of Pihil, and then as one small part of the Egyptian New Kingdom Empire. Temples, palaces and rich tombs feature in this first highpoint of urban life. The post-Imperial Iron Age has turned up recent surprises bearing on the rise of the Biblical nation states, before the coming of the Greeks under Alexander gave birth to Hellenistic Pella. Roman Pella is represented by bathhouses and theatres of the Imperial age, before the Christian conversion graced Pella with its magnificent cathedral churches and a fortress atop Husn. Islamic Pella follows on from Byzantine Christianity with hardly a break, and extensive domestic dwellings, a mosque and caravanserai testify to the continuing vigour of settled life. Ottoman Tabaqat Fahl completes the picture of upwards of 10000 years of human history on one site.

Wednesday 3 November 2010
6.30-8.30 pm
General Lecture Theatre 1 Main Quad

Price: $20 Non Members, Members $15 and Student members $5
All welcome

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