Anthony McNicoll Visiting Lecture: Nineveh on the Tigris
Anthony McNicoll Visiting Lecture
Nineveh on the Tigris: Recent Discoveries by the Iraqi-Italian Archaeological Expedition
An integrated strategy of excavations, surface surveys and geophysical prospections is revealing how this enormous (700 hectares) imperial capital was organized by king Sennacherib at the beginning of the 7th century BCE: road networks, ordinary houses, wealthy villas and even palaces are now apparent in the lower town, which was encircled by 12 km of massive fortification walls, pierced by massive gates still with intact mudbrick arches 10 m high, as well as by canals for feeding water to the city which are a marvel of hydraulic engineering.
From the destruction levels of 612 BCE we retrieved assemblages of several kinds, including both administrative toolkits (seals and sealings, tokens, economic tablets) and a unique cuneiform library of literary texts from a palace in area C. Conservation activities are being carried out in all areas, also building a protective roof over the Adad Gate – after the removal of the debris caused by terrorists’ destructions in 2016 – and a touristic center in view of the opening of an archaeological park at the site.
After famous excavations carried out between 1847 and 1990, four campaigns of archaeological excavation and conservation have been newly carried out at Nineveh in the eastern district of Mosul between 2019 and 2022 under the joint auspices of the University of Bologna and the Iraqi State Board of Antiquities and Heritage, with funding also from the Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs and from the J.M. Kaplan Fund and the Volkswagen Foundation.
Nicolò Marchetti is Full Professor of Archaeology of the Ancient Near East at the Department of History and Cultures (DiSCi) of the University of Bologna. He directs archaeological excavation projects in Turkey at Karkemish and in Iraq at Nineveh. He has also coordinated several national and international research projects, including the EU-funded ARCHAIA, HeAT, WALADU, EDUU and, currently, BANUU. He currently coordinates the Volkswagen Foundation-funded project KALAM which aims at protecting endangered archaeological landscapes in Iraq and Uzbekistan. He is the editor of the open science website.
About the Anthony McNicoll Visiting Lectureship
Dr Anthony McNicoll was senior lecturer in Middle Eastern Archaeology at the University of Sydney from 1976 until his untimely death in 1985. In the classroom, the field, and through his publications, Anthony McNicoll inspired a new generation of archaeologists while earning the respect and friendship of his academic peers.
After gaining a doctorate from Oxford University on the subject of Hellenistic fortifications, Anthony McNicoll was appointed Director of the British Institute of Afghan Studies in Kabul (1974-75). He came to Sydney with a solid background in field archaeology learnt in Turkey, Iran, Bahrain, Afghanistan and Jordan; this expertise he readily passed on to his students while Co-Director, with Professor J. Basil Hennessy, of the University’s excavations at Teleilat Ghassul and Pella in Jordan.
The Anthony McNicoll Visiting Lectureship 2022 is proudly hosted by the Department of Archaeology at the University of Sydney.
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Hosted by the School of Humanities and the Near Eastern Archaeology Foundation (NEAF)