This thesis deals with the formation and transformation of identities in ancient Assyria and Urartu by using H. Levebvres and E. Soja`s theoretical framework of the so called Thirdspace.


During the 1st millennium BCE, Assyria’s northern border was repeatedly the scene of armed conflicts with Urartu. The history of this Iron Age kingdom in the eastern Anatolian highlands was thus highly affected by the constant threat from the expanding empire to its south. In her thesis, Vera Egbers addresses the question of the effects of this interaction through consideration of the perception and production of space in each of these socio-political units. She will do so based on the notion of “espace vécu” developed by the Marxist philosopher Henri Lefebvre. In his book “La production de l’espace” (1974), Lefebvre asserts that “space” is not a given, but a product. Every society produces its very own (social) space, consisting of a planned idea, material reality but also lived experience (espace vécu).

Using a phenomenological approach, Vera Egbers will first reconstruct the planned experience of Urartian fortresses and Neo-Assyrian palaces. That is, she will deduce each specific understanding of space. She will then compare the differences between those culturally produced spatialities, emphasizing the question of how an Assyrian subject experienced the Urartian environment (i.e. as a prisoner of war).

This Ph.D. thesis is being written within the program Landscape Archaeology and Architecture (LAA) of the Berlin Graduate School of Ancient Studies (BerGSAS).