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The Melammu Project

The Heritage of Mesopotamia and the Ancient Near East

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From Athens to Samarqand:

Spatial Perception in Antiquity from the Eastern Mediterranean to the Taklamakan Desert

Twentieth Workshop of the Melammu Project
17-19 January 2024

Organisers: Florian Posselt, Alexander Steiner, Clemens Steinwender

The Call for Paper is available here.

Spatial perception in antiquity is a fruitful and intriguing research area that has already received attention since the late 18th century. The development of separate disciplines dealing with different cultures and sources has, however, led to an often-isolated treatment of such topics in the specific fields of History, Philology and (Historical) Linguistics. This conference intends to provide the opportunity to overcome such isolated treatment and to strengthen the cooperation between the fields by establishing interdisciplinary discussions. The conference will cover two millennia (1st millennium BCE – 1st millennium CE) and the vast geographical area of Afro-Eurasia. The workshop will focus on Spatial Perception in an Imperial Historical and Linguistic Context. The aim is to investigate the impact of Empires on the conceptualisation of various regions and its reflection in imperial language and sources. Borderlands as dynamic regions of constant exchange and mobility serve as suitable environments for the transmission and transformation of ideas. Connecting and challenging different prospects and approaches is one of the key goals of the conference. Our leading questions will be: How are various regions conceptualised through the lens of empire on the one hand and through the lens of imperial Borderlands on the other? How are these frameworks realised in language? What are the consequences of territorial disputes for the conceptualisation of later geographical frameworks? How do Borderlands, their boundaries and their conceptualisations change in relation to trade, mobility and complex processes of exchange?.

Further information will follow in due time.