TAARII Awards Best Dissertation on Ancient Iraq

TAARII is pleased to announce the recipient of its bi-annual awards for the best U.S. doctoral dissertations on Iraq.

The Donny George Youkhana Dissertation Prize for the best dissertation on ancient Iraq was awarded to Dr. Kiersten Ashley Neumann of the University of California, Berkeley, for her dissertation entitled: “Resurrected and Reevaluated: The Neo-Assyrian Temple as a Ritualized and Ritualizing Built Environment.”

Neumann’s lengthy dissertation is a deep investigation into the ritual aspects of the Neo-Assyrian temple, and follows a new wave of highly theoretical approaches to the built environment and materiality in the politico-religious aspects of the Mesopotamian record. Her work is interdisciplinary, expertly combining art historical, anthropological, philological, and archaeological approaches, thereby engaging with all available source material to provide a thorough presentation of the construction and use of Assyrian temples. Neumann successfully brings these buildings to life as places that, with their shiny, glazed, painted, and metallic surfaces, strange carved creatures, and exotic smells were indeed wondrous ritualized spaces for their intended audience to experience.

TAARII will hold its next dissertation award competition in 2017 for dissertations defended during the 2015–2016 and 2016–2017 academic years. Submissions are invited from any discipline for the study of any time period. The competitions are open to U.S. citizens at any university worldwide and any student at a U.S. university. The amount of each award is $1,500.

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