The Core of a New Age: Northern Mesopotamia and Syria in the Late Bronze Age

Workshop organized by Beate Pongratz-Leisten (ISAW) and Lorenzo d'Alfonso (ISAW)

During the Late Bronze Age Northern Mesopotamia consists of two major regions that highly differ in political trajectories: East of the Euphrates, two major powers grew prominent, one after the other, and became major players in what is known as the Age of Diplomacy: one is the kingdom of Mitanni, the other is Assyria. West of the Euphrates, instead, we see a fragmented political landscape with local kingdoms wavering between the major powers. The two regions, however, strongly interacted from early times in history; with the Late Bronze Age, the expansion of the kingdom of Mitanni and of Assyria to the West promoted and intensified the interaction between local interests and external hegemonic pursuits in the administrative, political, cultural, and economic spheres.

The workshop aims at reflecting on the conceptualization, organization, and cultural expressions of power, as well as circulations of people, goods, and knowledge in Northern Mesopotamia and Syria. The central question to be explored is how and in which contexts we can observe some kind of common ideology reflecting the multiple intersections of political, economic, and social frameworks of the Club of the Great Powers. Simultaneously, the focus will be on the peculiarities of the local dynamics shaping the relations East and West of the Euphrates during the Late Bronze Age.


9:30am - À la recherche d’une culture perdue: Upper Mesopotamia and Northern Syria during the Late Bronze Age. Introductory Remarks
Beate Pongratz-Leisten (ISAW, NYU) 

10:00am - Mitannians, Hittites and Alalakh: Struggles for Regional Dominance
K. Aslihan Yener (University of Chicago)

11:00am - Coffee Break

11:30am - Assyria in the Late Bronze Age and the Palimpsest of Political Landscapes in Upper Mesopotamia
Eva Cancik-Kirschbaum (Freie Universität, Berlin)

12:30pm - A Manifestation of Imperial Claim: The Middle Assyrian Glyptic of Tell Sheikh Hama/Dur Katlimmu
Harmut Kühne (Freie Universität, Berlin) 

1:30pm - Lunch Break

2:30pm - Carchemish: The Face of Hittite Power in Syria
Daniel Fleming (New York University) 

3:30pm - Coffee Break

4:00pm - Religion and Society in Late Bronze Age Emar
Betina Faist (Ruprecht-Karls-Universität, Heidelberg)

5:00pm - The Impact of Hittite Hegemony in Syria: A Re-Assessment
Lorenzo d’Alfonso (ISAW, NYU)

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