Mind the Gap
Research into the ancient Near East (we include Egypt within our conference remit) has a rich history. However, the term ‘ancient Near East’, and the research therein, appear often to lack coherence. Boundaries between periods, areas, and sub-disciplines retain a disproportionate focus in scholarly research, thus inhibiting a comprehensive understanding of ancient Near Eastern societies. Some periods remain poorly studied, with the transitional periods between them lacking adequate research.
Similarly, a clear understanding of the area known as the Near East is complicated by questions surrounding its geographic boundaries. Whilst the region has existed throughout time within a wider network of connectivity, it is often discussed as if isolated from its neighbouring regions.
In addition, 20th-century borders are frequently projected onto the past, effectively segregating regions which were deeply connected. Partitioning is also observed between the various sub-disciplines of Near Eastern studies, which include textual, biological, material, and digital studies. Integrating older data sets with newer evidence and new methodologies also remains a challenge.
Bridging these gaps within the research of the ancient Near East remains a major challenge we invite researchers to address at BANEA 2019 in this Call for Papers and sessions.
Key Note, Friday 22 February Professor Ian Hodder; ‘25 years of excavation and research at Çatalhöyük’
Also Friday 22 Feb: UK Punic Network Graduate Workshop
Proposed sessions/workshops to date:
- Domestic/settlement archaeology
- Archaeology of religion, rituals and temples
- The dead and the living: integrating the evidence
- What makes people move? Settlement dynamics in the Iron Age
- The origins of sedentism
- Epipalaeolithic Near East
- Archaeological traditions, borders and gaps
- Archaeology of food in the Ancient Near East
- Screening and panel discussion of documentaries relating to destruction of cultural heritage in the Near East
- Sumerian beer tasting