Erhan Tamur

Undergraduate Discipline

Art History

BA, Bogaziçi (Bosphorus) University. MA, Freie Universität Berlin. MA, MPhil, PhD, Columbia University. Special interests in ancient Mesopotamian, Anatolian, and Egyptian art, art historical and archaeological theory, politics of archaeology and museology. Currently Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow (2022-24) at The Metropolitan Museum of Art; co-curator of “She Who Wrote: Enheduanna and Women of Mesopotamia (3400-2000 BC)” at the Morgan Library and Museum in New York. Articles published in Res: Anthropology and Aesthetics, Forum Kritische Archäologie, and The Journal of the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Foundation; co-author of She Who Wrote (New York, 2022); current book project, titled Site-Worlds: Art, Politics, and Time In and Beyond Tello (Ancient Girsu), under contract with the University of Chicago Press. Recipient of fellowships from the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA) of the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Sakip Sabanci Center for Turkish Studies, and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). SLC, 2023–

Previous Courses

Art History

The Votive: Art and Religion in Ancient Mesopotamia and the Modern Museum

Sophomore and Above, Seminar—Spring

What does it mean to create artworks out of exquisite materials and with painstaking artistry only to leave them out of sight for eternity? This seminar will focus on the votive—the practice of dedicating or offering an object to a deity. In ancient Mesopotamia, where the first-known cities and religious centers were established, votive objects constituted a foundational genre of artistic production. Following an overview of ancient Mesopotamian deities, temples, and religious practices, we will examine the ways in which people of various backgrounds engaged with the divine through votive objects. In addition to close visual analyses of individual works of art and architecture across three millennia, we will pay special attention to the social, political, and economic contexts of votive offerings. Finally, we will turn to modern engagements with ancient votive objects by investigating the intricacies of curating and displaying them in museum settings. This aspect will lead us to examine the role of archaeological and anthropological thought in the formation of the modern “universal” museum. This course will include sessions at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Morgan Library & Museum.