NEAF | ‘Ideology and Belief’ Saturday series – School of Humanities NEAF | ‘Ideology and Belief’ Saturday series – School of Humanities

NEAF | ‘Ideology and Belief’ Saturday series

10 June 2023


Lecture 1: Neo-Elamite Royal Ideology in the shadow of the Neo- Assyrian Empire

Dr Elynn Gorris
Sydney: Saturday 10 June 2023 | 10am-11am

Abstract: During the early to mid-first millennium BCE, the Ancient Near East was dominated by the Neo- Assyrian Empire, led by powerful rulers who had built their legacy and authority on a well-designed royal ideology. The creation of this royal narrative did not only justify the king’s position of power, but also served as a tool for supporting the king’s long-term political ambitions. These political ambitions often clashed with rulers of neighbouring states, especially with those of the Neo-Elamite kings who had a fundamentally different perception of royal power. In this lecture, we will explore the royal ideology of the ‘Kings of Anshan and Susa’. We will take a closer look on how these kings transformed the Neo-Elamite royal narrative into a tool that united a politically and ethnically diverse landscape resulting in centuries of resistance against the Neo-Assyrian Empire.

Dr. Elynn Gorris is currently a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Global Research Fellow in Ancient Near Eastern Studies at Macquarie University (Sydney, Australia). She works mainly on the history of the Persian Gulf during the early to mid-1st millennium BC. More specifically, in her monograph “Power and Politics in the Neo-Elamite Kingdom” (2020) she studied the diplomatic ties and political treaties between Elam and Mesopotamia. Currently, dr. Gorris investigates the commercial networks between the ancient Persian Gulf states (Mesopotamia, Elam, Dilmun, Magan), for which she has conducted extensive fieldwork in the Middle East (Iran, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates).


Lecture 2: A Monumental Obsession: Bit hilanis in the Southern Levant

Pru Sheaves
Sydney: Saturday 10 June 2023 | 11am-12pm

Abstract: Monumentality is expressed in the northern Iron Age Levant through large public buildings commonly known as bit-hilanis. A bit-hilani is a specialised palace structure found in Aramaean and Luwian city-states in a wide geographical arc from the Mediterranean coast to upper Mesopotamia. This talk will examine the bit hilani at Tell Halaf and the bit hilani at Zincirli. Using these as archetypes, the palace in Area B at Bethsaida and Palace 6000 at Megiddo will be reconsidered and their possible identification as bit hilanis re-examined.

Pru Sheaves is a PhD candidate at the University of Sydney. Her thesis will examine Gilead in the Iron Age to assess the potential development of a distinctively Gilead polity. Pru has been a volunteer at the University of Sydney Pella Excavation Project since 2015 and has previously volunteered at the University of Sydney Central Asia Program in Uzbekistan. She is also a Board Member of the Near East Archaeology Foundation (NEAF). Her research interests include funerary practices, women in the Iron Age Near East, monumentality in the Iron Age and the domestication of the horse.

The seminars will be held online on Zoom



Click here to register

You can register for the whole series at a discount, or book for specific Saturdays.

Individual lecture $20 | Entire series $60

Non Members
Individual $30 | Entire series $90

All students are free 

Click here for full seminar details

Please note – a minimum of 20 attendees is required for each lecture for this series to run – our upper limit is 300 per lecture.


Once payment is received a receipt, Meeting ID and non-transferrable password will be sent to you.

On admission to the Zoom lecture, participants will be matched to names of financial participants. Please ensure your zoom log-in screen name correctly identifies you. If you are dialling in via telephone, please ensure the number listed when booking on our website is the same used when connecting via telephone.


Our Introduction will start at 9.55am.

The lecture will start at 10am and the second lecture will begin at 11.05am and finish at 12 noon.

There will be opportunity for questions following the lectures, time permitting.


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Hosted by the Near Eastern Archaeology Foundation (NEAF)




Jun 10 2023


10:00 am - 12:00 pm




+61 2 9351 4151

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