Mini-conference: “What Is ‘Ethnicity’ and Who Belongs to a ‘Minority’ in the Fertile Crescent?” (Helsinki, April 21)

Migration is an age-old phenomenon. Also the Fertile Crescent got its demography and cultures shaped by migration, whether by so-called ‘forced migration’ (deportation) or so-called ‘barbarian invasions’ (mass migration of nations) or by other migration phenomena. Such diversifications, especially when seen over several generations, lead to questions about belonging and calls for reflection on the definition of terminology, in particular ‘ethnicity’ and ‘minority’. These issues are addressed with a focus on the first millennium BCE in a conference, entitled: “What Is ‘Ethnicity’ and Who Belongs to a ‘Minority’ in the Fertile Crescent?” 

Date: 21 April 2015
Venue: Theology Faculty of the University of Helsinki, Vuorikatu 3, Faculty room TS-524 on the 5th floor (Fabianinkatu wing)
Keynote speakers: Prof. Angelika Berlejung (University of Leipzig), Dr. Stefan Münger (University of Bern), Prof. Martti Nissinen (University of Helsinki)
Host: CSTT Team 1 ‘Society and Religion in the Ancient Near East’


14:00-15:00 Angelika Berlejung, University of Leipzig
A new life, new joys, and new friends in exile: A social history of the exiles in Babylonia
15:00-16:00 Stefan Münger, University of Bern
Ethnicity and Identity in Northern Palestine during the Early Iron Age: Tel Kinrot as a Test Case
16:00-16:30 Tea break
16:30-17:30 Martti Nissinen, University of Helsinki
Westeners in Assyria, or: West Assyrians?
17:30-18:00 Final discussion

You are most welcome to join us. if you are not a member of the CSTT, please contact Izaak J. de Hulster ( to register.