Margaret Cool Root

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Margaret Root

Curator of Greek and Near Eastern Collections

Office Location(s): Kelsey Museum
Phone: 734.647.4119
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  • About

    Margaret Cool Root is Professor of Near Eastern and Classical Art and Archaeology at the University of Michigan, holding teaching appointments in the Department of the History of Art and in the Interdepartmental Program in Classical Art and Archaeology. She is also Curator of Near Eastern and Greek Collections at the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, where she has mounted many exhibitions on a wide range of topics (with accompanying publications). Her many awards include a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Her research focuses on issues of art, social history, and historiography particularly involving studies of iconography, style, and identity politics. Specialist realms of analysis are the Achaemenid Persian empire and its complex interactions with ancient Greece. More broadly, she pursues studies both in traditions of monumental art, in traditions of seals as vehicles of stylistic and symbolic agency, all with special attention to problems of understanding intersecting circles of cultural engagement across time, place, and historiographically charged perception.



    The Persian Empire: Continuity and Change (Achaemenid History 8). Leiden: Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten 1994 (with A. Kuhrt and H. Sancisi-Weerdenburg).

    Seals on the Persepolis Fortification Tablets. Volume I: Images of Heroic Encounter. Chicago: Oriental Institute Publications 117, 2001 (with M.B. Garrison). Volumes II and III, forthcoming.

    Medes and Persians. Reflections on Elusive Empires, Editor and Contributor. Ars Orientalis 32 (2002).

    Handbook to Life in the Persian Empire. New York: Facts-on-File for 2005.

    This Fertile Land: Signs + Symbols in the Early Arts of Iran and Iraq. Ann Arbor: Kelsey Museum of Archaeology 2005.

    Persia and the Parthenon: Comparative Essays on the Art of Empire,forthcoming.

    Selected Articles/Chapters:

    "Replicating, Inscribing, Giving: Ernst Herzfeld and Artaxerxes' Silver Phiale in the Freer Gallery of Art" (with A.C. Gunter). Ars Orientalis 28 (1998) 3-40.

    "The Cylinder Seal from Pasargadae: Of Wheels and Wings, Date and Fate." Iranica Antiqua 34 (1999) 271-303.

    "Animals in the Art of Ancient Iran." In A History of the Animal World in the Ancient Near East (ed. B.J. Collins) 169-209. Leiden: E.J. Brill 2002.

    Hero and Worshipper at Seleucia: Re-inventions of Babylonia on a Banded Agate Cylinder Seal of the Achaemenid Empire." In Culture through Objects. Ancient Near Eastern Studies in Honour of P.R.S. Moorey (ed. M. Roaf, D. Stein, and T. Potts) 249-283. Oxford: Griffith Institute 2003.

    "The Lioness of Elam. Politics and Dynastic Fecundity at Persepolis." Achaemenid History 13 (2003) 9-32.