Documents, cultures, history of the Mediterranean and the Ancient Orient

Director: Antonio Invernizzi

The series, founded by Giorgio Gullini and Antonio Invernizzi for Edizioni dell'Orso – Alessandria, publishes monographic works on various themes concerning ancient culture, from Mesopotamia to the Mediterranean countries, and on the interpretation of ancient artefacts thanks to modern methods of investigation. Science applied to cultural heritage and traditional research converge in Mnème in order to contribute to the historical reconstruction of the past.

A banchetto con gli eroi. La mobilia in avorio della Casa Quadrata a Nisa Partica

N. Manassero
Mnème n. 10, Edizione dell’Orso, Alessandria, 2018

The volume "A banchetto con gli eroi. La mobilia in avorio della Casa Quadrata a Nisa Partica", by Niccolò Manassero with contributions from G. Affanni and C. Lippolis, is the outcome of a research project funded by the Shelby White & Leon Levy Foundation that started in 2012. This publication presents a collection of ivories dating to the Parthian period and it includes a series of objects ranging from 5 to 70 cm in length, mainly turned on a lathe and characterized by the almost complete lack of any figurative decoration, such as chair legs, thrones, furniture and beds. These ivories were brought to light during the Soviet excavations at Old Nisa (Turkmenistan) in the late ‘40s. Already known to the scientific community for over 60 years, but never adequately published (a single 1969 short article written in Russian had a limited dissemination outside Russian-speaking countries), these artefacts are cause for reflection about their original purpose and the Arsacid royal ideology. In addition to a rich catalogue, the volume contains significant historical, archaeological and artistic considerations concerning the presented objects and aimed at favouring a deeper understanding of their original function as well as of the contexts and circumstances of their use.

Μνημεῖον. Scritti in onore di Paolo Fiorina

Μνημεῖον. Scritti in onore di Paolo Fiorina, (Mnème, 9), Alessandria 2013, p. VIII-292, con numerose illustrazioni b/n nel testo.

The volume collects several contributes in honour of Paolo Fiorina, archaeologist of the Centro Scavi di Torino and professor of Phoenician and Punic Archaeology at the University of Turin, prematurely died in 2011. Paolo Fiorina grew as an archaeologist with the archaeological expedition at Seleucia on the Tigris and Veh-Ardashir. He was field director during the excavations at Kifrin and in the Hamrin area, and scientific director of the Eski Mosul and Nimrud projects. His scientific research mainly focused on the prehistory and the neo-assyrian period of Mesopotamia.

Ambrogio Bembo. Il viaggio in Asia (1671-1675) nei manoscritti di Minneapolis e di Bergamo

Ambrogio Bembo. Il viaggio in Asia (1671-1675) nei manoscritti di Minneapolis e di Bergamo, (Mnème, 8), Alessandria 2012, p. XXIV-496.

The volume contains two different manuscripts – respectively preserved in the James Fords Bell Library of the University of Minnesota and in the Biblioteca Civica Angelo Mai of Bergamo – reporting the journey that led between 1671 and 1675 the young nobleman Ambrogio Bembo through several Asian countries. In order to make the differences between the two manuscripts immediately clear to the reader, the different versions of the travel journal are presented side by side on two columns that run parallel to each other.

Antropologia di una popolazione rurale.

Antropologia di una popolazione rurale. I resti umani della pieve di San Giovanni di Mediliano a Lu, texts by contributi di DEMEGLIO P., MICHELETTI CREMASCO M., RUMERIO E., (Mnème, 6), Alessandria 2006, p. 142, tav. 67 b/n e 1 a colori nel testo.

The anthropological study of the human remains found in the church of Mediliano was made with a systematic investigation of all the biological features relating to the palaeo-demographic features, classifications, health conditions and survival strategies. The information gathered assists in making a complete evaluation of the artefacts found, aiming for a correct, integral historical reconstruction of a human population of past times.

Il Genio Vagante. Viaggiatori alla scoperta dell'Antico Oriente

Il Genio Vagante. Viaggiatori alla scoperta dell'Antico Oriente, (Mnème, 5), Alessandria 2005, p. XIII + 608, figure 294 b/n.

The rediscovery of ancient Oriental monuments is the work of the travellers that beginning with the Middle Ages frequented for different reasons the Mesopotamian and Iranian tracks. The impressions and descriptions published in their travel reports and the relevant illustrations, before the development of the modern antiquary research in the late 18th century, are representative of the difficulties of understanding of the sites, monuments and iconographies with the sole help of the information offered by the classical and biblical tradition. The volume contains an exhaustive anthology of the descriptions of the archaeological sites of Mesopotamian and Western Iran published in these travel reports, to which the relevant illustrations are added, together with a selection of documents by contemporary geographers and cartographers. An anthology of the most important texts by Arab and Persian geographers complete the repertory.

Seleucia al Tigri. Le impronte di sigillo dagli Archivi

Seleucia al Tigri. Le impronte di sigillo dagli Archivi, texts by BOLLATI A., MESSINA V., MOLLO P. (Mnème, 3, Missione Italiana in Iraq, II), Alessandria 2004, vol. I (p. 131, tav. 67 b/n, 16 a colori)- II (p. 190, tav. 83 b/n, 12 a colori) – III (p. 222, tav. 119 b/n, 12 a colori).

This work in three volumes is the catalogue of the main iconographic types that were found on the more than 25,000 clay sealings discovered in Seleucia on the Tigris by the missions of the Centro Ricerche Archeologiche e Scavi di Torino between 1967 and 1972. This work is an absolutely necessary catalogue for studying in detail both the iconography of the seals and the issue of archival practices and the functioning of the archives, of which the excavations at Seleucia have revealed one of the most significant documentation in the Hellenistic world.

Insediamenti celtici e romani in una terra di confine.

Insediamenti celtici e romani in una terra di confine. Materiali per un Sistema Informativo Territoriale nel Verbano-Cusio-Ossola tra culture padano-italiche e apporti transalpini, Ed. INVERNIZZI A. (Mnème, 4), Alessandria 2003, p. 451, tav. fuori testo 28 b/n.

This volume provides a historical/archaeological study of the Verbanum-Cusio-Ossola in relation to the systematic study of its territory. In fact, the territory still possesses tangible elements that provide us with information on the types of settlements, modalities of anthropization and cultural and socio-economic differentiations, providing answers to basic issues such as the transformations of the landscape caused by man, demographic movements and the settlements’ evolution – with the related phenomena of abandonment, continuity of life and new foundations – in a “peripheral” area of the Roman Empire that nevertheless was not marginal in the history of ancient populations.

In viaggio per l’Oriente. Le mummie, Babilonia, Persepoli

In viaggio per l’Oriente. Le mummie, Babilonia, Persepoli, Ed. INVERNIZZI A. (Mnème, 1), Alesndria 2001, , p. 270, tav. fuori testo b/n 35.

This volume contains an unpublished manuscript by Pietro della Valle, a 17th century traveller, who left us the memories of his “archaeological visits” in several sites of Iran, Egypt and Mesopotamia. His pleasant narration leads us through several famous historical sites, seen through the eyes and with a taste for adventure typical of the 17th century erudite sensibility.

Gli edifici arcaici del Santuario delle divinità ctonie di Agrigento. Problemi di archeologia e di architettura

Gli edifici arcaici del Santuario delle divinità ctonie di Agrigento. Problemi di archeologia e di architettura, Ed. INVERNIZZI A. (Mnème, 2), Alessandria 2001, p. 166, fig. 125 b/n nel testo.

The Author re-studies the structures of the sanctuary of the Chtonian gods published by Pirro Marconi in 1933 and dated to the Archaic and Classic periods. The constructional techniques are specifically brought into the foreground. The new analysis bring evidence for a reconstruction of a number of sacred buildings and altars of the sanctuary and of the small temple south-west of the Olympieion in a period (4th-3rd centuries B.C.) following the destruction of the town by the Carthaginese in 406 B.C.

Da Terravecchia di Grammichele a Occhiolà.

Da Terravecchia di Grammichele a Occhiolà. Archeologia di un insediamento della Sicilia centro-orientale: campagne di scavo 2000-2001, Ed. INVERNIZZI A. (Mnème, 7), Alessandria 2006, p. LXIII + 508 con 115 ill. b/n, tav. 20 b/n.

The volume publishes the results of the research carried out at Terravecchia di Grammichele in the Valle dei Margi, in Sicily, and show the patterns taken by a local centre at its contact with the Greek world. The research add important evidence to the sacral and funerary documents already known, from the Archaic to the Hellenistic period. A number of discoveries in the medieval settlement at Occhiolà, destroyed by an earthquake in 1693, completes the publication.

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