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Research - Education: Call for Registration
The Dionysos cup. Attic black-figure kylix, ca. 530 BC. From Vulci. Staatliche Antikensammlung, Munich.
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by Archaeology Newsroom

People on the move

Workshop, August 3-6, Switzerland

The workshop “People on the Move: Framework, Means, and Impact of Mobility across the East Mediterranean Region in the 8th to 6th c. BCE” will take place in Augst (Switzerland) on August 3-6, 2015. The workshop is organized by the University of Basel.

In the wake of the Kushite, Neo-Assyrian, Neo-Babylonian and early Achaemenid expansions to the East Mediterranean, cross-regional mobility of people and commodities increased significantly. This mobility not only affects the actual people who were leaving their homeland, its social community and the security of their cultural background for longer or even permanent stays abroad. It has also major impact on the communities left behind and those receiving the travelers on a visit or for long-term residence. During the workshop we will primarily discuss the following aspects:

Why were which routes and means of transport preferable to others? Which preparations are necessary? Who or which factors decided whether to leave or to stay? How were necessary stopovers organized?

Which motivations for traveling can be discerned? Is long-term emigration the aim or the result of traveling? Which routes were used? What could happen during the trip? Which kind of reception would one expect?

How did communities cope with the loss of specialists or of comparatively large percentages of their inhabitants? How were travelers housed? How did this effect the receiving private or institutional households? How did local ‘foreign’ communities deal with the enhancement of their numbers? How did the decision to integrate oneself into their community or to keep one’s distance effect these ‘foreign’ communities, the local society as a whole, and the policy towards ‘foreigners’?

The geographical range covers the Great Area of the East Mediterranean Region including modern-day Greece, Turkey, Eastern Libya and Egypt, the East Mediterranean islands and the area between the eastern Mediterranean coast and the Zagros mountains.

Speakers include Alexander Schütze, Idan Breyer, Thomas Staubli, Melanie Wasmuth, Charles Draper, Kamyar Abdi and Dan’el Kahn.

If you are interested to join the workshop, please contact Melanie Wasmuth at As space at the workshop venue is limited, pre-registration via e-mail is required. The registration fee will be CHF 30,—.


MONDAY, 3 AUG. 2015

14.00–14.30     Welcome reception

14.30–15.00     Introduction

15.00–15.45     Round Table I
Aims and expectations

16.00–17.00     Paper I (20mins + 40mins discussion)
Dr des. Alexander Schütze: Mobility, standard of living, and legal
institutions. New perspectives on the Judaean military colony at
Elephantine in Persian Period Egypt

17.15–18.00     Round Table II
Institutional frameworks of cross-regional mobility

TUESDAY, 4 AUG. 2015
09.15–10.15     Paper II (20mins + 40mins discussion)
Dr Idan Breier: “He Will Raise an Ensign to a Nation Afar, Whistle to
One at the End of the Earth” (Isa 5:26): The Assyrian and Babylonian
Armies as De¬scribed in the Prophetic Texts and Mesopotamian

10.30–11.15     Round Table III
Individual reasons for cross-regional mobility

11.45–12.45     Paper III (20mins + 40mins discussion)
Dr Thomas Staubli: Cross-cultural travelling between Egypt and the
Levant and the birth of secondary religions

14.15–15.00     Round Table IV
Social and emotional implications of mobility for travelers and
their surroundings

15.00–16.00     Paper IV (20mins + 40mins discussion)
Dr Melanie Wasmuth: “I saw her on the royal road…” (SAA 13 65):
Indications for individual mobility in the Neo-Assyrian sources

16.30–17.15     Round Table V
Strategies of living in a culturally diverse society

09.15–10.15     Paper V (20mins + 40mins discussion)
Charles Draper, Mphil: The Assyro-Egyptians of TIM 11

10.30–11.15     Round Table VI
Identifying multi-culturality and cultural identity

11.45–12.45     Paper VI (20mins + 40mins discussion)
Dr Kamyar Abdi: Egyptians in Achaemenid Susa

14.15–15.00     Round Table VII
Who identifies whom in a cultually diverse society?

15.00–16.00     Paper VII (20mins + 40mins discussion)
Dr Dan’el Kahn: Revisiting the Historical Setting of
Isaiah XI 11-16

16.30–17.15     Round Table VIII
The Great Area Perspective: the scope of cross-regional mobility
in the 8th–6th c. BCE

17.15–18.00     Round Table IX
Future (joint) research perspectives

Breakfast & departure

For further information visit