Workshop on identities and late Mesopotamian archives

The Centre of Excellence in Ancient Near Eastern Empires (ANEE) organizes the workshop "Construction of Identities and late Mesopotamian archives (after 539 BCE)" on March 12-13, 2020, in Helsinki. The workshop is open to all interested parties. The workshop builds on and expands the work of ANEE Team 1.

ANEE Team 1 utilizes recent advances in the digital humanities to examine multiple social group identities present in the Neo-Assyrian, Neo-Babylonian, Persian, Hellenistic, and early Roman/Parthian empires and their margins. Building contextual semantic models from primary sources offers novel possibilities for understanding first millennium BCE Mesopotamia from an emic perspective.

This workshop focuses on the second half of the first millennium. Our aims are twofold:

  • Outline and discuss the available sources after 539 BCE. Additionally, we hope to build a comprehensive overview of already digitized materials that might be available for digital approaches (e.g. SNA or language technology).
  • Discuss how we can research different facets of identity in these late sources. We hope to identify promising areas of research for digital as well as for traditional methods.

The workshop is held on March 12-13th at the University of Helsinki City Centre campus, in the Athena building (Siltavuorenpenger 3A).


Thursday, 12.03.2020
Athena 302 (Siltavuorenpenger 3A)

09:00–09:30 Sebastian Fink & Saana Svärd (University of Helsinki): Welcome and Introduction
09:30–10:15 Jason Silverman (University of Helsinki): Mesopotamia as Part of the Persian Empire
10:15–11:00 Tero Alstola (University of Helsinki): The Continuation of Babylonian Archives after the Persian Conquest

11:00–11:30 Break

11:30–12:15 Reinhard Pirngruber (University of Vienna): Us and them. Babylonia and its Rulers in the Seleucid and Parthian Periods
12:15–13:00 Martin Lang (University of Innsbruck): The Graeco-Babyloniaca

13:00–14:45 Lunch

14:45–15:30 Kerstin Droß-Krüpe (University of Kassel): Changing Mesopotamian Identities through Graeco-Roman Eyes: the Case of Semiramis

15:30–15:45 Break

15:45–16:30 Paola Coro (University of Venice) / Laurie Pearce (University of California, Berkeley): Non-Babylonians' identity construction and social location: insights gained from prosopography and SNA


Friday, 13.03.2020
Athena 167 (Siltavuorenpenger 3A)

09:00–09:45 Martti Nissinen (University of Helsinki): Changing Identities in Mesopotamia through Biblical Eyes
09:45–10:30 Ingo Kottsieper (University of Göttingen): Beyond Identity: Aramaic in the ANE

10:30–11:00 Break

11:00–11:45 Rocio Da Riva (Universitat de Barcelona): Why Did They Write Down Temple Rituals in the Late Babylonian Period?
11:45–12:30 Michael Jursa (University of Vienna): Identity Construction in Hellenistic Babylonia: Late Babylonian Priestly Literature

12:30–15:30 Lunch break and visit to the Helsinki University Museum

15:30–16:15 Sebastian Fink (University of Helsinki): The late Emesal-archives and Scribal Identity in the First Millennium
16:15–17:00 Willis Monroe (University of British Columbia): School Friends and Family Relations: Quantifying Relationships and Identities in Late Babylonian Scribal Culture

17:00–17:45 Saana Svärd (University of Helsinki): Response and final discussion

19:00- Conference dinner