Marian Feldman

Near Eastern Studies, Berkeley
Fellowship: 01.04.–31.07.2013


Marian Feldman is associate professor in the Departments of the History of Art and Near Eastern Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. She received her PhD in Art History at Harvard University in Ancient Near Eastern Art and concentrates on the arts of the second and first millennium BCE in the Near East and Eastern Mediterranean. Her interests range from questions regarding the role of the arts in cultural interactions to issues of object agency and materiality. Most recently, Professor Feldman has been a Getty Foundation »Connecting Art Histories« Visiting Professor at Bogaziçi University, Istanbul, a visiting professor at the University of Heidelberg and a fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behaviorial Sciences at Stanford University. She is currently finishing a book that examines the ways communities form around — and by means of — art objects, focusing on portable luxury items (ivory and metalwork) in the first half of the first millennium BCE (to be published by the University of Chicago Press in late 2014).


Fields of Research

  • Ancient Near East
  • Eastern Mediterranean
  • Cultural interactions
  • Materiality
  • Agency
  • Style
  • Communities of practice
  • Bronze and Iron Ages


Publications (Selection)


  • Diplomacy by Design: Luxury Arts and an International Style‹ in the Ancient Near East, 1400-1200 BCE. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006.
  • Ancient Near Eastern Art in Context: Studies in Honor of Irene J. Winter by Her Stu-dents. Co-edited with J. Cheng. Leiden: Brill, 2007.
  • Representations of Political Power: Case Histories from Times of Change and Dissolving Order in the Ancient Near East. Co-edited with M. Heinz. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2007.



  • The Practical Logic of Style and Memory in Early First Millennium Levantine Ivo-ries. Pp. 198-212 in Materiality and Social Practice: Transformative Capaci-ties of Intercultural Encounters, ed. Joseph Maran and Philipp W. Stockham-mer. Oxford: Oxbow Books, 2012.
  • Assyrian Representations of Booty and Tribute as a Self-Portrayal of Empire. Pp. 135-150 in Interpreting Exile: Displacement and Deportation in Biblical and Modern Contexts, ed. Brad E. Kelle, Frank Ritchel Ames, and Jacob L. Wright. Ancient Israel and Its Literature 10. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2011.
  • Object Agency? Spatial Perspective, Social Relations, and the Stele of Hammurabi.Pp. 149-165 in Agency and Identity in the Ancient Near East: New Paths Forward, ed. S. Steadman and J. Ross. London: Equinox, 2010.
  • Objects of Prestige? Chariots in the Late Bronze Age Eastern Mediterranean and Near East, with Caroline Sauvage, Ägypten und Levante/ Egypt and the Levant 20 (2010): 67-181.
  • Classification and Contextualization of 2nd Millennium Ivories: The Case of Ugarit. Pp. 337-356 in Syrian and Phoenician Ivories of the Early First Millennium BCE: Chronology, Regional Styles and Iconographic Repertories, Patterns of Inter-Regional Distribution, ed. Serena Maria Cecchini, Stefania Mazzoni, and Elena Scigliuzzo. Acts of the International Workshop, Pisa, December 9th-11th, 2004. Ricerche di archeologie del Vicino Oriente 3. Pisa: Edizioni ETS, 2009.
  • Hoarded Treasures: The Megiddo Ivories and the End of the Bronze Age, Levant 41/2 (2009): 175-194.
  • Knowledge as Cultural Biography: Lives of Mesopotamian Monuments. Pp. 40-55 in Dialogues in Art History, from Mesopotamia to Modern: Readings for a New Century, ed. Elizabeth Cropper. Studies in the History of Art Series 74, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, Symposium Papers LI, National Gallery of Art, Washington. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2009.