Open Access

Size Matters - Understanding Monumentality Across Ancient Civilizations


Cite this publication as

Federico Buccellati(Hg.), Sebastian Hageneuer(Hg.), Sylva van der Heyden(Hg.), Felix Levenson(Hg.), Size Matters - Understanding Monumentality Across Ancient Civilizations (2019), transcript Verlag, Bielefeld, ISBN: 9783839445389

Tracked since 05/2018


Description / Abstract

When talking about monuments, size undeniably matters - or does it?
But how else can we measure monumentality?
Bringing together researchers from various fields such as archaeology, museology, history, sociology, Mesoamerican studies, and art history, this book discusses terminological and methodological approaches in both theoretical contributions and various case studies. While focusing on architectural aspects, this volume also discusses the social meaning of monuments, the role of forced and free labour, as well as textual monumentality. The result is a modern interdisciplinary take on an important concept which is notoriously difficult to define.


Federico Buccellati, Near Eastern Archaeologist, is a researcher at the Freie Universität Berlin as well as at the Alexandria Archive Institute. He has served as Field Director of the Mozan/Urkesh Archaeological Project since 2008, and is deputy-director of the International Institute for Mesopotamian Area Studies (IIMAS). His research interests lie in 3rd and 2nd millennium Syro-Mesopotamia, particularly architecture and the archaeological record, as well as theoretical and digital aspects of archaeology.
Sebastian Hageneuer, Near Eastern Archaeologist, works as a research assistant at the Archaeological Institute at the Universität zu Köln. In 2010, he received his degree in Near Eastern Archaeology. Since 2013, he is part of a research group that focuses on the significance of size in the architecture of the Ancient Near East. His research focuses on the history and current methods of architectural reconstruction.
Sylva van der Heyden is an art historian with special interests in the 18th and 19th century, reception history, graphic prints and objects made of unusual material. She was part of a research group in the Excellence Cluster TOPOI (Berlin), which dealt with the topos of the greatness of ancient Rome and worked in this context on her doctoral thesis with the support of a scholarship from TOPOI.
Felix Levenson, Near Eastern Archaeologist, studied Religious Studies and Near Eastern Archaeology at the Freie Universität Berlin. During his PhD research he held the Elsa-Neumann scholarship of the Land of Berlin. He has done fieldwork in Syria, Jordan, Azerbaijan, Saudi Arabia and Iraq. His research interests reach from architectural energetics over pottery technology to social and cognitive archaeology, as well as heritage management. He is currently focused on »networks of knowledge« between Mesopotamia and Ancient Iran in the 4th millenium BCE and on memory work and the creation of historical narratives in the Ancient Near East.


Open access statement

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

Table of content

  • Cover
  • Content
  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • Part I Theoretical Framework and Methodology
  • Monuments and Monumentality – different perspectives
  • Monumentality: Research Approaches and Methodology
  • Perceiving monumentality
  • Responses to the Theoretical Framework and Methodology
  • Part II Case Studies
  • The Social Meaning of Big Architecture, or the Sociology of the Monumental
  • Monumental Negligence: the Difference between Working and Alienated Labor
  • Zerstörungswut – The Deliberate Destruction of MonuMentality in Ancient and Modern Times
  • The operation of monumentality in low occupation-density settlements in prehistory: a regional scale view
  • The Massif Rouge and Early Dynastic high terraces: Dynamics of monumentality in Mesopotamia during the 3rd millennium BCE
  • La grandeur de Babylone: étude des inscriptions royales
  • The monumental Late Antique cisterns of Resafa, Syria as refined capacity and water-quality regulation system
  • Monumentality, Building Techniques, and Identity Construction in Roman Italy: The Remaking of Cosa, post-197 BCE
  • Monumentality of the Landscape: the Coixtlahuaca Valley Archaeology and the Lienzo Seler II
  • Monumentality by numbers
  • Texts in the City: Monumental Inscriptions in Jerusalem’s Urban Landscape
  • Contributors

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