June 16, 2016
Dr. Kiersten Neumann, Curator for the Oriental Institute Museum, has won the biannual Donny George Youkhana Dissertation Prize for her 2014 University of California, Berkeley, dissertation Resurrected and Reevaluated: The Neo-Assyrian Temple as a Ritualized and Ritualizing Built Environment. The prize is awared by the American Academic Research Institute in Iraq (TAARII). TAARII praised Dr. Neumann's work in their press release, stating: "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." Resurrected and Reevaluated can be downloaded with a subscription to ProQuest at this link.