Material Worlds: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Contacts and Exchange in the Ancient Near East

Workshop organized by Arnulf Hausleiter (ISAW Visiting Research Scholar)

Based on the most recently obtained late 3rd/early 2nd millennium BC evidence from excavations on the Arabian Peninsula, a number of distinguished scholars will discuss the interdependencies between and different views on material culture, contacts and exchange in the Middle East. The workshop, focusing on selected data sets, will tackle interdisciplinary questions of archaeological-historical as well as socio-economic significance in one of the most dynamic contact zones of the ancient world. Chronologically covering the Middle Bronze to Iron Age periods (20th to 7th century BC), the following case studies are the subject of lectures, responses, and discussions: Economic framework(s) of the Ancient Near East; textual records as evidence for contacts; Egyptian sea trade; economic and cultural exchange from the Middle to Late Bronze Ages in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Levant and Arabia; material culture and technology at the margins of the Neo-Assyrian empire.


Arnulf Hausleiter (ISAW; DAI Berlin)


The Old Assyrian Trade as a Model of Long-distance Interaction in the Middle Bronze Age
Gojko Barjamovic (Harvard University)

Response: Lorenzo d’Alfonso (ISAW)

Chair: Nancy Highcock (New York University)


Coffee Break


Production of Knowledge in Contact Zones: Mari and Tigunanum in the Old Babylonian Period
Beate Pongratz-Leisten (ISAW)

Chair and Discussant: Jonathan Valk (ISAW)


Lunch Break


The MBA/LBA Transition at Tell el-Ajjul in the Light of Economic Exchange Between Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean
Celia Bergoffen (Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York)

Transitions in the Material Culture of 2nd Millennium BCE in North Arabia
Marta Luciani (ISAW; University of Vienna)

Discussant: Robert Homsher (Harvard University)

Chair: Irene Soto (ISAW)




Saww: The Middle Kingdom Harbor of the Pharaohs to the Land of Punt
Kathryn Bard (Boston University)

Chair and Discussant: Lisa Haney (University of Pennsylvania)


Tea Break


Middle Grounds, Contact Areas, and the Assyrian Empire: The Case of the Syrian Lower Euphrates Valley, Iron II Period
Maria Grazia Masetti-Rouault (Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes; Sorbonne, Paris)


Tel Jemmeh: Social Identity at a Cultural Crossroads
Alice Hunt (University of Georgia, Center of Applied Isotope Studies)

Chair and discussant: Arnulf Hausleiter (ISAW; DAI Berlin)

4:40 pm


5:00 pm


6:00 pm

Qasr Shemamok – Kilizu in the Erbil Region: A Contact Area in Northern Mesopotamia? The First Four Campaigns of a French Mission (2010-2014)
Olivier Rouault (Université de Lyon)

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Registration is required at