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The Architecture of Late Assyrian Royal Palaces$
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David Kertai

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198723189

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198723189.001.0001

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(p.xviii) (p.1) 1 Introduction
The Architecture of Late Assyrian Royal Palaces

David Kertai

Oxford University Press

The introduction sets out the basic framework of the book. It discusses the nature of the sources on which the book will be based and describes its main concepts. Generally, Late Assyrian palaces (i.e. Neo-Assyrian palaces) are often divided into a public–private duality (often using the Akkadian terms babanu and betanu), emphasizing seclusion and based on ideas about Oriental kingship. The Introduction argues against these concepts and focuses on the importance of access in the spatial organization of Late Assyrian palaces. It introduces a new typology of palatial suites, based on the concept of agglutination (replacing Geoffrey Turner’s typology from 1970). By defining functional cores, a dynamic typology emerges that is better equipped to describe changes through time. The chapters ends with a short description of the architecture of the preceding centuries, suggesting that the architectural tradition of Late Assyrian palaces probably originated around 1100 during the reign of Tiglath-pileser I.

Keywords:   Neo-Assyrian palaces, Late Assyrian palaces, Oriental kingship, seclusion, Geoffrey Turner, babanu—betanu

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