University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Ashby, Darren

Darren Ashby
Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations
Elected 2013

Darren graduated magna cum laude from Boston University in 2008, where he received a B.A. in Archaeology and Anthropology. He is currently a doctoral candidate in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations under the supervision of Senior Fellow Richard Zettler. Darren's primary research interest is Early Dynastic Southern Mesopotamia; increasingly, his secondary focus is the Early Iron Age in northeastern Iraq and northwestern Iran. In his dissertation, entitled "Late Early Dynastic Religious Architecture at Tell al-Hiba, ancient Lagash," Darren is reassessing the forms and functions of Late Early Dynastic religious architecture through the study of architecture uncovered in three different areas at Tell el-Hiba in southern Iraq. His committee consists of Senior Fellows, Richard Zettler, Holly Pittman, and Stephen Tinney.

Darren excavated for five summers (2005, 2007–2010) at the site of Tell es-Sweyhat in northern Syria. In 2006, he conducted CRM work in central and west Texas. Most recently, he served as the Field Director for the Rowanduz Archaeological Program (RAP), under the general direction of Michael Danti of Boston University, during its first season in northeastern Iraq in the summer of 2013. He returned to the site in summer 2014.

In 2011, Darren presented a paper at the ASOR Annual Meeting in San Francisco, and he presented another paper at the 2013 Annual Meeting in Baltimore in November. In October 2013, Darren discussed the preliminary results from RAP's fieldwork at the International Congress of Young Archaeologists, which was sponsored by and held at the University of Tehran. In summer 2013, Darren gave a talk on American contributions to the study of the Early Dynastic period in southern Iraq to a collection of students and professors from Mosul University at a workshop held by the Mosul Archaeology Program. In the fall of 2014 he presented "A View from the Mountains: The Rowanduz Archaeological Program 2013–14" at the Douglas G. Lovell, Jr., Annual "Reports from the Field" at the museum, and in April 2015 he presented "Feeding the Gods: The Material Remains of the ED III Bagara Temple Complex at Tell al-Hiba, Ancient Lagash" at the Kolb Junior Fellows Spring Colloquium.

Darren was invited to become a member of Phi Beta Kappa in 2008. In 2013, he received a Harris Grant from ASOR in order to conduct excavations at the site of Qalaat Mudjesir in northeastern Iraq. Currently, he is a Graduate Teaching Fellow for the Critical Writing Program at the University of Pennsylvania. Recently, he received a University Fellowship through NELC for dissertation research for the academic year 2015–2016.


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