Born in Australia.
Home— Scottish Borders.
Near Eastern archaeologist. Previously served as director of excavations at the British School of Archaeology, Iraq; has worked on archaeological digs in Jordan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan.
James Henry Breasted Prize for history, 2000, for Rome in the East: The Transformation of an Empire.
(With Antony Hutt)Persian Landscape: A Photographic Essay, Scorpion Publications (London, England), 1978.
(With Jean-Claude Gardin)Archaeological Gazetteer of Afghanistan/Catalogue des sites archéologiques d'Afghanistan, Editions Recherche sur les civilisations (Paris, France), 1982.
Syria: A Historical and Architectural Guide, Scorpion Publications (Essex, England), 1994, Interlink Books (New York, NY), 1998.
(With Anthony McNicoll)Excavations at Kandahar, 1974 and 1975: The First Two Seasons at Shahr-i Kohna (Old Kandahar) Conducted by the British Institute of Afghan Studies, Tempus Reparatum (Oxford, England), 1996.
Rome in the East: The Transformation of an Empire, Routledge (New York, NY), 2000.
(Illustrator) A.D.H. Bivar,Excavations at Ghubayra, Iran, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London (London, England), 2000.
(Editor, with Leonard Harrow)Cairo to Kabul: Afghan and Islamic Studies Presented to Ralph Pinder-Wilson, Melisende (London, England), 2002.
(Editor)Ancient Settlement in the Zammar Region: Volume 1, Archaeopress (Oxford, England), 2003.
Warwick Ball was born and raised in Australia, but eventually moved and settled in the Scottish Borders. An archaeologist specializing in Near Eastern artifacts and civilizations, he has participated in numerous digs in the Middle East, beginning with his first trip to Syria in 1972. He has visited a range of countries, including Iran, Iraq, Jordan, and Afghanistan, where he has excavated at various sites. During part of this period, Ball served as the director of excavations for the British School of Archaeology in Iraq. In 2000, Ball was awarded the James Henry Breasted Prize for history for his book,Rome in the East: The Transformation of an Empire. Ball is a prolific author of books and journal articles, and has published extensively on the subject of archaeology. Rome in the East offers readers a look at the ways in which the East affected the development and policies of Rome. Ball stresses the physical influ-ences in particular, based on his own personal experiences excavating in the region. Portions of the book provide a general overview of the relationship between the two regions of the world, while individual chapters go in-depth to address specific aspects of the ways in which the East influenced Rome.
Overall,Rome in the East was well received by critics and academics alike. They praised the more general section of the volume, which offers readers a look at how Rome's influence stretched into the Near East. Geoffrey Greatrex, writing for the Bryn Mawr Classical Review Online, remarked of the more general chapters that "this large section of the work—a book in its own right—can undoubtedly be recommended as a stimulating assessment of the East's impact on the Romans and vice versa." Greatrex went on to note an inconsistency in the overall tone of the book, as well as a lack of definitions for many of the terms Ball uses over the course of the work. Greatrex concluded of the book: "Ball's work is both stimulating and useful. In offering an account of the Near East from an archaeological and architectural standpoint, it fills a gap left by Millar's Roman Near East. But it is written in a somewhat journalistic style and contains not a few basic errors of fact, not to mention typographical slips." Ultimately, however, he acknowledged it was "an ambitious attempt to highlight the influence the East exerted upon the Roman empire."
In Syria: A Historical and Architectural Guide, Ball takes a look at the first nation in which he participated in an archaeological dig, offering readers the benefit of his years of research and investigation to provide a picture of the history of the nation, along with a visual description of its architecture and ruins. Unlike other countries, where ruins merely hint at the glory of its past cities, Syria boasts complete palaces and castles, remnants of towns, and diverse structures, including theaters, mosques, temples, and churches that speak to the religious and cultural background of the nation. Not only does the book provide an historical guide, but it does so from the standpoint of a modern traveler, taking into consideration everything from political situations to recent updates in the architectural discoveries. By linking past to present, Ball goes a long way in proving that the Middle East served as the incubation site for civilization as we know it today. Fred Rhodes, in a review for the Middle East, commented that the book presents readers with "a strong case for reassessing its importance in our perception."
Ball has written or collaborated on a number of other volumes based on his research and archaeological digs, including Persian Landscape: A Photographic Essay, Archaeological Gazetteer of Afghanistan/Catalogue des sites archéologiques d'Afghanistan, Excavations at Kandahar, 1974 and 1975: The First Two Seasons at Shahr-i Kohna (Old Kandahar) Conducted by the British Institute of Afghan Studies, Excavations at Ghubayra, Iran, and Cairo to Kabul: Afghan and Islamic Studies Presented to Ralph Pinder-Wilson.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Choice, September, 2000, J.A.S. Evans, review of Rome in the East: The Transformation of an Empire, p. 191.
Greece & Rome, October, 2000, P. Walcot, review of Rome in the East, p. 267.
International History Review, June, 2002, C.S. Lightfoot, review of Rome in the East, p. 381.
Middle East, December, 2006, Fred Rhodes, review of Syria: A Historical and Architectural Guide, p. 65.
Times Literary Supplement, January 19, 2007, Barnaby Rogerson, review of Syria, p. 28.
Bryn Mawr Classical Review Online,http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/ (October 28, 2007), Geoffrey Greatrex, review of Rome in the East.
Melisende Web site,http://www.melisende.com/ (October 28, 2007), author profile.