“Beyond All Boundaries: Anatolia in the 1st Millennium B.C.”

International Conference
17-22 June 2018, Conference Center Monte Verità

Ancient Anatolia held a unique role as a bridge between Ancient Near Eastern and Classical Tradition and is therefore singularly well-suited to interdisciplinary approaches. Even so, accounts of her cultures, languages, history and archaeology in the 1st millennium BC remain separated by disciplinary boundaries between the respective academic fields. Further, many areas under consideration do not even belong to currently established fields of research. Differing methodologies in the disciplines involved, and a focus on minutiae rather than the larger picture mean that the potential of integrating the results of widely different modern research areas to form a coherent picture has been far from fully explored. This situation is mirrored by the available publications: outside of focus areas such as publications pertaining to a specific archaeological site, these are widely scattered and, moreover, often seriously out of date.

Call for Papers (PDF, 2.2 MB)


The aim of the proposed five-day conference is two-fold:

1) to bring together, for the first time, a large number of scholars currently active in the relevant fields, with a special focus on scholars in the early stages of their career, and

2) to publish the proceeds as a companion volume to Anatolia in the 1st millennium BC, thus filling a large gap in the scholarly record and providing a much needed appraisal of the current state of research.


Organizational Structure

The conference will be organized with a framework designed specifically to allow for and facilitate intensive exchange on both field-internal and interdisciplinary level.

Contributions will take several different forms:

(1) key note lectures by guest speakers,
(2) presentations by participants addressing specific topics,
(3) panel-led discussion of new research and points raised in (2), with active participation of the audience,

(4) workshops with presentations.

We are inviting papers for presentations. Papers should address one of the following topics. If you would like to present a paper on a different aspect relevant to the conference theme, please also get in touch. We will consider all papers that fit the general topic of the conference.


Presentation Topics

  • Archaeologies of Space
  • History Across Boundaries
  • Local History
  • Language & Text
  • Materiality of Writing
  • Archaeology & Art History
  • Technology & Culture
  • International Relations
  • Political History
  • Trade & Economy


Paper Length:                         20 mins
Languages:                             English, German, Italian, French
Submission Deadline:             1.10.2017.


Send paper title and abstract of no more than 250 wds to: ascona2018@gmail.com.
All participants will be required to hand in a short summary of their paper (max. 1 page) by May 15th 2018 for prior consultation by panel leaders.

We have a limited number of bursaries available. Please contact us if you require financial assistance.


CSF Award

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of activity of the Congressi Stefano Franscini, ETH Zurich’s conference platform at Monte Verità (Ascona, Ticino) in 2009, the Director and the Scientific Board of the Congressi Stefano Franscini decided to establish a CSF Award for young scientists
to be attributed to the best presentation which will take place during CSF-subsidized conferences. The Award corresponds to the sum of CHF 500.- together with a certificate and a small CSF memento.

The scientific committee of the conference will designate the winner of such a prize according to the following criteria:
  • best scientific oral presentation (content and form)
  • the winner should be a young scientist: a PhD student or someone who has accomplished a doctoral degree within the last 3 years, maximum age 33 years.

Participants who qualify and want to compete for this award, please apply via E-Mail to ascona2018@gmail.com, stating your age and the number of years from your PhD completion. You are also required to submit your paper in written form for prior consultation by the scientific committee by May 15th 2018.

The Award will be formally presented to the winner before the end of the conference at Monte Verità, by a representative of the organizing committee and the CSF.



The conference officially starts on Sunday, June 17th 2018, at 17.00h with a reception, the first key note lecture and a welcome dinner. We expect that participants will arrive on Sunday between 15-17.00h.

Registration information, including the link to the external registration page, will be sent out to pre-registered participants by 15th January 2018. Accommodation and board can be booked on the same page. Payment has to be made in advance, and is by credit card only. Note that the ETH Zurich collects the registration fees as collection agent for the host University of Bern and does not provide own services.

The registration fee is CHF 200.         

Please note that all participants, whether they are staying at the Hotel and Conference Centre Monte Verità or elsewhere are expected to book all meals (except breakfast) at the conference venue.


Information on Accommodation & Board

The conference centre at Monte Verità offers rooms at a special conference rate. Note that accompanying persons staying at the Hotel Monte Verità do not profit from the reduced prices. Rooms can be booked at the time of registration on the reservation page of the conference venue, the Hotel and Conference Center Monte Verità. Extra pre- and post- conference nights are possible but must be booked directly with the Hotel Monte Verità, and do not benefit from conference pricing. 

Please be aware that availability of single rooms at the Hotel Monte Verità is limited. Your chance of lodging at the Hotel Monte Verità is greater if you are willing to share a double room with another participant. If you have a suggestion for room sharing, you can indicate a name at the moment of booking.


Approximate cost for accommodation (5 nights) with full board, incl. coffee breaks:

  • double room: CHF 845
  • single room: CHF 920
  • double room (single occupancy): CHF 1120.

This is only a rough guide, the exact amount will depend on your booking options. 


For information on accommodation options in Ascona, contact the Ticino Tourist Office or check MySwitzerland.


How to register and book accommodation

More information will follow.

When artists and bohemians in the early 20th century settled at 321 m high Monte Monescia, above Ascona on Lago Maggiore in the Swiss Canton of Ticino, seeking an alternative lifestyle, they renamed it Monte Verità, literally the ‘Mount of Truth’. Founded by Henry Oedenkoven, Ida Hofmann, Lote Hattemer, Gustav Arthur and Karl Gräser, the ‘vegetarian co-operative’ essentially a Christian-communist community at Monte Verità attracted pacifists, writer, reformers, philosophers, artists and anarchists until well in to the 1940ies. Embracing a strict diet, moral code, and nudism, the community sought a life in harmony with nature, unity of body and soul, and the emancipation of women. Their ideals spread throughout Europe, and the community itself attracted many famous persons, including August Bebel, Hermann Hesse, Franziska Gräfin zu Reventlow, Else Lasker-Schüler, D.H Lawrence, Isadora Duncan, and Arthur Segal. Monte Verità was eventually purchased by the art collector Baron Eduard von der Heydt, who bequeathed it to the Canton of Ticino in the 1950ies.

Today, Monte Verità hosts a hotel complex consisting of several buildings consisting of the Bauhaus hotel, the Art Nouveau Villa Semiramis and three smaller houses. Here, the Congressi Stefano Franscini (CSF), the international conference centre of the ETH Zurich has been hosting conferences every year since 1990. The grounds include a beautiful park with panoramic views of Lago Maggiore, a museum complex, a historic tennis court and Europe's only tea plantation. Monte Verità today remains, in the words of Ise Gropius ‘A place where our minds can reach up to the heavens’.


For an impression, watch the video.


The Hotel and Conference Center Monte Verità is located in Ascona, Switzerland.

Address: Strada Collina 84, CH-6612 Ascona, Switzerland (directions).


Closest railway station:          Locarno. From Locarno, take a public bus or taxi to Ascona.

Closest Airports:                     Zurich, Milano.


Travel Information

Swiss National Railway: SBB


Annick Payne, Universität Bern
Jorit Wintjes, Universität Würzburg

Contact us


Guest Speakers

Lorenzo d'Alfonso, New York University
Mary Bachvarova, Willamette University
Birgit Christiansen, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Massimiliano Marazzi, Università degli Studi Suor Orsola Benincasa, Napoli
Mirko Novák, Universität Bern
Robert Rollinger, Universität Innsbruck
David Sasseville, Universität Marburg
Matilde Serangeli, Københavns Universitet
Šárka Velhartická, Univerzita Hradec Králové
Mark Weeden, University of London


Congressi Stefano Francini – ETH Zurich
Schweizer Nationalfond
Schweizerische Akademie der Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaften (SAGW)
Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Orientalische Altertumswissenschaft (SGOA)

Make the best out of your stay in Switzerland: visit half of it! In the days leading up to the conference, you are cordially invited to take part in the Berner Altorientalisches Forum (BAF) which will be taking place in Bern on 14-15 June 2018 (more information will follow in due course). This yearly event brings together in an informal environment of human scale researchers specialising in different areas and disciplines of the ancient Near East broadly defined (from the Aegean through Egypt, the Arabian Peninsula, Mesopotamia, Iran, Anatolia, and all the way to the Indus Valley). There is no theme. Participants are encouraged to present their latest work, ideas and projects in a sharp but simple way. Talks should last no more than 10 minutes. The talks are vidcasted and published in BAF-Online (https://bop.unibe.ch/baf) an open access, peer-reviewed citable journal which was set up with the aim of helping authors disseminate and publish their ideas prior to final results. There is no participation fee. The BAF will be followed on 16 July by its traditional hike in the mountains. 


How to get to Monte Verità from Bern? There is a direct train from Bern to Domodossola (Italy) and from there you can catch a connection to Locarno/Monte Verità. Alternatively, you may choose to make an extra train change in Zürich and actually save about half an hour's ride. Overall, the journey by train from Bern to Locarno/Monte Veritá will take you between 4 to 4.5 hours.


Contact: Dr. Johanna Tudeau