Palaces in Ancient Egypt: Cities for Kings and Gods

Illustration of the ancient palace of Malkata The grandeur that early European explorers had come to expect in royal building programs seems to have been reserved for sacred space and funerary complexes. By Dr. Steven Snape Reader in Egyptian Archaeology University of Liverpool Introduction For early European explorers in Egypt, it was inconceivable that the massive monumental[…]

Unsentimental Vistas: Berenice Abbott and 20th-Century Interwar Urban Photography

Berenice Abbott “I am an American, who, after eight years of residence in Europe, came back to view America with new eyes.” By Ayten Tartici PhD Candidate in Comparative Literature Yale University When the American photographer Berenice Abbott returned to New York in 1929 after nearly a decade away in Paris, she came back to[…]

Accidents, Injuries, and Illness in the Ancient City

The Acropolis at Athens painted by Leo von Klenze (1784–1864) / Public Domain Reviewing short, illustrated case narratives about accidents, injuries, and occupational illnesses based on archaeological evidence from urban antiquity.  By Dr. Susan R. Holman Global Health Education and Learning Incubator (GHELI) Harvard University Ancient Egypt: Working for Pharaoh at Tell el-Amarna Archaeologist Barry[…]

Uruk: The Birth of Architecture and Urban Life

Detail of a relief at Persepolis showing a procession of subject peoples bringing gifts characteristic of their homelands as tribute for the Persian king A great transformation in human life took place in ancient Mesopotamia with the rise of the city of Uruk. By Dr. Margarete Van Ess Professor of Near Eastern Archaeology Deutsches Archäologisches[…]

Kingship Descends from Heaven: The Urban Revolution Before 4000 BCE

Sumer, in southernmost Mesopotamia, was the first true city in the world, some time not very much before 2100 BCE. By Dr. Paul Kriwaczek British Historian Eridu Leave the modern traffic, the bicycles, the cars and delivery lorries fuming along St Giles’ and Beaumont Street in Oxford, and pass through the Ashmolean Museum’s rather overblown[…]

Urban Life in Ancient Egypt

Map of Egypt showing the major sites and settlements Looking at the choices the ancient Egyptians made in the allocation of resources to different parts of the built environment. By Dr. Steven Snape Reader in Egyptian Archaeology University of Liverpool Introduction It is easy to think of ancient Egypt as a land filled with tombs and[…]

The Origins of Urbanism in Ancient Egypt

Mythical figurines from Nagada The rise of the city as an important institution can perhaps more confidently be identified as an aspect of ancient Egyptian civilization. By Dr. Steven Snape Reader in Egyptian Archaeology University of Liverpool Introduction Like the term ‘city’, ‘urbanism’ and ‘urbanization’ are not words that are easy to define in very strict terms.[…]

Urban Theory and Performative Streetscapes Looking at the urban social history of Accra through the singular Oxford Street, part of the city’s most vibrant and globalized commercial district. By Dr. Ato Quayson / 09.03.2014 Professor of Literature University of Toronto The news caused ripples on, the Ghanaian website that carries information and news on the country for both locals and those[…]

Painterly Urban Planning: Nikolaus Pevsner’s “Visual Planning and the Picturesque”

By John Hicks / 07.21.2011 Associate Editor Getty Research Institute Nikolaus Pevsner (1902–1983) was one of the 20th century’s foremost historians of British architecture. Even today, tourists wander through the historic squares of England aided by Pevsner’s The Buildings of England guidebooks, which remain in print with Yale University Press as the Pevsner Architectural Guides. A new book by Pevsner—Visual[…]