Hellenistic Identity in the Northern Levant, Anatolia and Northern Mesopotamia
Conference, University of Bern, June 9–10 2023
In older studies, the "Hellenization" of the Northern Levant and Cilicia has commonly included the adaption of “Greek culture” in the Orient, starting with the conquest of Alexander the Great, yet excluded contemporary Persian influence or local traditions. Recent research indicates there was no break between the Late Iron Age and the Hellenistic Period regarding material culture, but rather a continuity of local traditions with an adaption of "Hellenistic" elements. This continuity in the material culture from the Iron Age to the Hellenistic period complicates understanding the term "Hellenization" as an active process of acculturation, and the usability of the term needs to be discussed. This conference seeks to bring scholars from different fields of ancient studies together to improve the understanding of the cultural position of the Northern Levant and Cilicia populations in the Hellenistic period.
The conference, jointly organised by the Swiss Society for Ancient Near Eastern Studies and the Institute for Archaeological Sciences of the University of Bern (IAW) and funded by the Swiss Academy for Humanities and Social Sciences, will start with a keynote lecture about the term “Hellenism”.
The conference consists of four panels, where invited guests will present their research in 30-minute-long speeches followed by a panel discussion:
- Small Finds
Presentations should focus on the transition from the Iron Age to the Hellenistic Period based on individual research. The conference will end with a final discussion with a focus on methodology and terminologies (such as “Hellenistic identity” or “Hellenistic culture”). Methods for analysing cultural transmissions and exchanging material culture will be reviewed. The aim will be to redefine the term “Hellenism” and the period between 330 to 50/30 BC based on the new understanding gained during the conference.
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There is no conference fee, only if you want to participate at the dinner you have to pay 40 Swiss Francs.
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Fabrizio Bätscher Institute for Archaeological Sciences, University of Bern
Joëlle Heim Institute for Archaeological Sciences, University of Bern
Silvana Hunger Institute for Archaeological Sciences, University of Bern
Dr. des. Selin Gür Institute for Archaeological Sciences, University of Bern
Sophia Marxer Institute for Archaeological Sciences, University of Bern and Archäologisches Seminar - Philipps Universität Marburg