“Intercultural Transfers” in Innsbruck

Top researchers – researchers at the top. From left to right: Robert Rollinger, Jaakko Hämeen-Anttila, Ilkka Lindstedt, Josef Wiesehöfer, Marie Oellig, Saana Svärd and Sebastian Fink.

In January, the IHANE project members gathered to the beautiful city of Innsbruck for a two-day workshop titled “Intercultural Transfers.” The event was hosted by Zentrum für Alte Kulturen of the University of Innsbruck. In addition to Helsinki and Innsbruck, we also heard presentations from colleagues from Padova and Kiel.

The fourteen presentations kept with the theme “Intercultural Transfers” admirably. The atmosphere was collegial and the discussions on papers were conducted in a lively and friendly manner. Instead of attempting to comment each paper, I have chosen to highlight the wide chronological and geographical stretch that was enclosed.

Happily, many of the papers covered more than one period. Chronologically speaking, the widest difference was in the two papers examining the relations between Arabic world and Mesopotamia (Jaakko Hämeen-Anttila and my own paper together with Inka Nokso-Koivisto). Interesting presentations were also heard relating to the ancient Near East in general (Simone Heimerl) and Neo-Assyrian Empire specifically (Salvatore Gaspa and Raija Mattila). The paper presented by Sebastian Fink and Kordula Schnegg discussed the possible connection between the Sumerian gala and the Greek galloi. The presentations of Marie Oellig and Irene Madreiter discussed the influence of Neo-Babylonian Empire to the later Hellenistic and Seleucid world. Matthias Hoernes’ discussion bridged the beginning of Common Era, examining the Hellenistic heritage in the numismatics in Arsacid Iran and the Greco-Bactrian kingdom. Arab-Islamic period was approached by Ilkka Lindstedt in his presentation regarding the transmission of historical narratives in the ninth century AD. The latest texts to be examined in the conference were the Hebrew zemirot-hymns of the Middle Ages (Riikka Tuori) and the discussion on Hobbes’ Neo-Latin Poem “De mirabilibus Pecci carmen” from 1627 (Johanna Luggin). The geographical reach of the workshop was completed with the presentation of Walter Kuntner who discussed some new archaeological results in Transcaucasia and Urartu.

River Inn

In many presentations, methodology was discussed and a desire to conduct comparative research in a careful manner was expressed. Possible cultural transfers in ancient world need to be examined in detail and documented before research results can be concluded.

Because of the wide chronological and geographical reach of the workshop, the discussion was fruitful and exciting and both days continued during dinner following the workshop. The colleagues in Innsbruck were excellent hosts, both in providing the academic environment and in showing us around Innsbruck. For me, one of the highlights of the trip was visit to the Seegrube (1905 m.) and Hafelekar (2269 m). Once the mists cleared, the view to the Innsbruck below was truly spectacular.

View from the top

Melammu Symposia 7

The Assyrian and Babylonian Intellectual Heritage Project (Melammu) investigates the continuity, transformation and diffusion of Mesopotamian culture throughout the ancient world from the second millennium BC until Islamic times. It is the perfect partner for the IHANE project. The symposia have in the past been important forums and now, after a pause of five years, professor Robert Rollinger and Dr Erik van Dongen (see an earlier post regarding them) have undertaken to organize the 7th symposia in Austria. “Mesopotamia in the ancient world: Impact Continuity, Parallels” will take place in Obergurgl, Tyrol, November 4-8th 2013.

The web pages of the conference have been opened here, and more information regarding the Melammu project you can find here.

Welcome to Helsinki-Tartu Workshop in Intercultural Studies

We are eagerly awaiting visitors from Padua and Tartu for our workshop in Helsinki (March 12-13). The presentations are open to public and everyone interested is very welcome to attend. The presentations will discuss many interesting topics relating to ancient Mediterranean. See below for exact time and place.

Tuesday 12 March (Unioninkatu 40 sali 13)

10.15-11.00      Opening lecture: Giovanni B. Lanfranchi (Padua): The Weapons Sent by Assur to the Assyrian King
11.00-11.45      Thomas Kämmerer (Tartu): Zur Königsideologie des Weltschöpfungsepos Enuma Elish

Lunch Break

13.15-14.00      Mait Köiv (Tartu): The Image of Archaick Greek Tyrants
14.00-14.45      Robert Rollinger (Helsinki): Assyria and the Fringes of the Empire – the Far West: The Aegean world
14.45-15.00      Vladimir Sazonov (Tartu): Royal Ideology of Esarhaddon: Royal Titles and Epithets

Wednesday 13 March (Unioninkatu 40 sali 27)

10.15-11.00      Jaakko Hämeen-Anttila (Helsinki): Assyro-arabica: On the Transmission of Mesopotamian Material to the Arabs
11.00-11.45      Saana Svärd (Helsinki): Women, Agency and Text in Mesopotamia

After lunch Break in Unioninkatu 40 sali 32

13.15-14.00      Peeter Espak (Tartu): The Position of Eridu in Sumerian Royal Ideology
14.00-14.45      Sergej Stadnikov (Tartu): Der Allher in der ‘Lehre des Amenemhat I
14.45-15.30      Raija Mattila (Helsinki): The Nabû Temple Archive in Calah