P. Roger Moorey— 1996 James R. Wiseman Book Award

Award Citation:

The Archaeological Institute of America is pleased to present the James R. Wiseman Book Award for 1996 to P. Roger S. Moorey for his book Ancient Mesopotamian Materials and Industries: The Archaeological Evidence (Clarendon Press, Oxford 1994). The book is a revision and considerable amplification of Moorey's work of 1985, Materials and Manufacture in Ancient Mesopotamia: The Evidence of Archaeology and Art (BAR 237, Oxford 1985). Ancient Mesopotamian Materials and Industries brilliantly succeeds in taking a place beside Alfred Lucas's famous Ancient Egyptian Materials and Industries (in its last edition with J.R. Harris), one of the most useful and long-lasting reference works in Egyptology and in Mediterranean, Near Eastern, and African archaeology. As is the case with the work of Lucas and Harris, we expect that Moorey–as it may become known–will be consu1ted by generations of students, scholars, and general readers. Moorey moves with ease and elegance among fields and methods as diverse as lexicography and stereoscopy, chemistry and iconography, while reviewing the state of our knowledge of ancient Mesopotamian stoneworking; manufacture of bone, ivory, and shell artifacts; metallurgy and metalworking; architectural materials and building techniques; and glazed materials and glass. He makes it look easy, but his careful and balanced reportage represents years of detailed investigation and thoughtful evaluation. Curators and conservators, archaeologists and art historians, and specialists in many other fields will find not only that Moorey has gathered and assessed the evidence but also that he has quietly shaped views of Mesopotamian material culture–and the technical practices and cultural interests that lie behind it–that will be the scholarly basis for many reflections, and, no doubt, creative polemics and new inquiries, for many years to come.

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