Anna H. Walas
American Journal of Archaeology 124.2
Publication year: 2020

With the 100th anniversary of the European discovery of Dura-Europos approaching in 2020, the publication of Jennifer Baird’s latest synthesis of the site marks an important milestone in the scholarship on this ancient city. Published in Bloomsbury’s Archaeological Histories series, the book offers an accessible, up-to-date overview of the site, focusing particularly on the history of scholarship, the development of interpretations of the key categories of evidence, and the process of the production of archaeological knowledge. The long and complex history of work on Dura and the vast quantities of archaeological data produced have meant that large-scale attempts at synthesizing, reinterpreting, and presenting the site under a single narrative have been few. Monographs have tended to focus on the extensive catalogue of art from the site, the discovery of the site, or particular aspects of Dura’s architectural history, such as the author’s earlier monograph on the houses.

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