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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Dura-Europos on Ancient and Modern Frontiers Chapter 2 Site Chapter 3 Archive Chapter 4 Text Chapter 5 Building Chapter 6 Object Chapter 7 Conclusion Bibliography

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A study of the archaeological site of Dura-Europos, with a thematic approach which integrates the history of the site within the history of the excavations.

About the Author

J. A. Baird is Reader in Archaeology at Birkbeck College, University of London, UK. Her publications include The Inner Lives of Ancient Houses: An Archaeology of Dura-Europos (2014) and Ancient Graffiti in Context (co-edited with Claire Taylor, 2011).


Baird has provided an excellent up-to-date overview of what is known about Dura-Europos. It is a lucid introduction and invaluable for the references for further reading. The greatest added value, however, comes from the author's keen sense of the way in which the history of scholarship depends on particular historical circumstances. * Journal of Roman Archaeology *
In order to properly estimate the value of Baird's short and agile monograph on Dura Europos, the reader should take into consideration the goals of the series it belongs to: Archaeological Histories ... The material remains of the past are not only presented, but also contextualized: they are placed in the society that brought them to light and interpreted them ... Baird's excellent book deals admirably with Dura Europos. It is well documented, interesting, and approachable for the non-specialist. It is also an inspiration for the scholar for deep reflection. * Ancient History Bulletin *
Dura-Europos is one of the world's most astonishing archaeological sites, a kind of Pompeii providing a remarkable snapshot of life in the Parthian and Roman Middle East when Christianity was developing, and Islam was yet to appear. Jennifer Baird's excellent new book fulfils a longstanding need, for an up-to-date overview of the remarkable archaeological discoveries made at the site, and their significance for scholarship and world heritage. Further, it places exploration of the site, initially conducted in the 1920s and 1930s, in the context of contemporary colonial politics, doing much to explain how and why Dura's treasures came to be revealed. It is also timely for grimmer reasons, as the site has recently been devastated by looters exploiting the chaos of the Syrian civil war. Understanding and disseminating the still-unfolding story of this once-thriving city on the Euphrates is a pressing need, to preserve its testimony and draw on its historical implications. Baird's highly readable book is a major contribution to this effort. * Simon James, Professor of Archaeology, University of Leicester, UK *
Ancient Dura-Europos sat at the crossroads of empires and cultures. Baird admirably reevaluates the excavations and scholarship that shaped our view of the city and reveals its people as never before. * Susan B. Matheson, The Molly and Walter Bareiss Curator of Ancient Art, Yale University Art Gallery, USA *

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