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Discovering Dura Europos: From Breasted to the Present Day

Discovering Dura Europos: From Breasted to the Present Day

Date and time: Classes will be posted online before 9 am Central Daylight Time, Mondays, April 27-May 11, class discussion will be live every Thursday, 6 to 7 pm CST, April 30–May 14

Tickets: $147 (nonmembers), $118 (members), $59 (docents), $37 (UChicago/Lab school students)

Instructor: Tasha Vorderstrasse, University and Continuing Education Program Coordinator

One hundred years ago, in 1920, James Henry Breasted visited Dura Europos, which is now located in Syria. He had been alerted to the significance of the site by Indian troops working for the British, who had uncovered wall paintings there. Although able to visit the site for just one day, Breasted’s publication of his discoveries in Oriental Forerunners of Byzantine Painting: First-Century Wall Paintings from the Fortress of Dura on the Middle Euphrates brought considerable attention to the site. It was subsequently excavated in the 1920s–1930s and from the 1980s until 2010. The excellent preservation of the site revealed unparalleled insights into life on the Parthian and Roman frontier. This class will look at the Breasted’s important work at the site, the subsequent excavations at the site, and what this can tell us about life in Syria in this period.

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