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Oriental Institute Seminars (OIS)

OIS 9.

Heaven on Earth: Temples, Ritual, and Cosmic Symbolism in the Ancient World
Edited by Deena Ragavan

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Oriental Institute Seminars 9

The volume is the result of the eighth Annual University of Chicago Oriental Institute Seminar, held on March 2-3, 2012. Seventeen speakers, from both the US and abroad, examined the interconnections between temples, ritual, and cosmology from a variety of regional specializations and theoretical perspectives. The seminar revisited a classic topic, one with a long history among scholars of the ancient world: the cosmic symbolism of sacred architecture. Archaeologists, art historians, and philologists working not only in the ancient Near East, but also Mesoamerica, Greece, South Asia, and China, re-evaluated the significance of this topic across the ancient world.

Table of Contents

Introduction
1. Heaven on Earth: Temples, Ritual, and Cosmic Symbolism in the Ancient World. Deena Ragavan

Part I: Architecture and Cosmology
2. Naturalizing Buddhist Cosmology in the Temple Architecture of China: The Case of the Yicihui Pillar. Tracy Miller
3. Hints at Temple Topography and Cosmic Geography from Hittite Sources. Susanne Görke
4. Images of the Cosmos: Sacred and Ritual Space in Jaina Temple Architecture in India. Julia A. B. Hegewald

Part II: Built Space and Natural Forms
5. The Classic Maya Temple: Centrality, Cosmology, and Sacred Geography in Ancient Mesoamerica. Karl Taube
6. Seeds and Mountains: The Cosmogony of Temples in South Asia. Michael W. Meister
7. Intrinsic and Constructed Sacred Space in Hittite Anatolia. Gary Beckman

Part III: Myth and Movement
8. On the Rocks: Greek Mountains and Sacred Conversations. Betsey A. Robinson
9. Entering Other Worlds: Gates, Rituals, and Cosmic Journeys in Sumerian Sources. Deena Ragavan

Part IV: Sacred Space and Ritual Practice
10. “We Are Going to the House in Prayer”: Theology, Cultic Topography, and Cosmology in the Emesal Prayers of Ancient Mesopotamia. Uri Gabbay
11. Temporary Ritual Structures and Their Cosmological Symbolism in Ancient
Mesopotamia. Claus Ambos
12. Sacred Space and Ritual Practice at the End of Prehistory in the Southern Levant. Yorke M. Rowan

Part V: Architecture, Power, and the State
13. Egyptian Temple Graffiti and the Gods: Appropriation and Ritualization in Karnak and Luxor. Elizabeth Frood
14. The Transformation of Sacred Space, Topography, and Royal Ritual in Persia and the Ancient Iranian World. Matthew P Canepa
15. The Cattlepen and the Sheepfold: Cities, Temples, and Pastoral Power in Ancient Mesopotamia. Omur Harmansah

Part VI: Images of Ritual
16. Sources of Egyptian Temple Cosmology: Divine Image, King, and Ritual Performer. John Baines
17. Mirror and Memory: Images of Ritual Actions in Greek Temple Decoration. Clemente Marconi

PART VII: Responses
18. Temples of the Depths, Pillars of the Heights, Gates in Between. Davíd Carrasco
19. Cosmos and Discipline. Richard Neer

  • Oriental Institute Seminars 9
  • Chicago: The Oriental Institute, 2013
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-885923-96-7
  • Pp. viii+463; 174 illustrations
  • $29.95

Revised: October 9, 2013

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