Egbers, Vera

Freie Universität Berlin / TOPOI

Research Title: Thirdspace in Assyria and Urartu

Ms. Egbers is a PhD candidate in Ancient Near Eastern Archaeology at Freie Universität Berlin. Her study at ANAMED will be dedicated to the interpretive part of her doctoral thesis, in which she uses a sensory archaeology approach to analyze the relationship between Urartu and the Neo-Assyrian Empire (1st mill. BCE). How did the perception and production of space of each sociopolitical unit shape the contours of this often military encounter? Building on the notion of “Thirdspace” developed by the theorists Henri Lefebvre and Edward Soja, she asserts that “space” is not a given, but a product. Every society produces its own social space, consisting of a planned idea, material reality, ad also lived experience (or Thirdspace). Using methods from the emergent field of sensory archaeology, she first analyzes the planned experience of the Urartian fortresses Bastam and Ayanis as well as the Neo-Assyrian palaces in Khorsabad and Nineveh (South-West palace) in order to reconstruct the production of space at each site. She then compares and contrasts these culturally specific spatialities, emphasizing how an Assyrian subject experienced the Urartian environment (i.e., as a prisoner of war) and vice versa.