2. Animals and History

Organizers: Raija Mattila (Finnish Institute in the Middle East) – Gabriela Kompatscher-Gufler (Leopold-Franzens University Innsbruck)





Human Animal Studies have in the past years drawn attention to the role of animals in the ancient sources. Much of the discussion so far has evolved round literary sources, including animals in fables, myths, and omen texts.

In this workshop we wish to concentrate on real animals and their role in ancient near eastern texts and history.  The viewpoint will be animal-oriented history that sees animals as agents, as co-designers of our past, and studies how animals were working in our past and how they shaped it. 

The workshop will consist of an introduction to Human Animal Studies and to the study of the role of real animals in ancient history, both Classical and Near Eastern, and to the methodological issues of this approach. The introduction will be by the workshop organizers Kompatscher-Gufler and Mattila. In addition, the workshop will include four specific papers concerning real animals in the Ancient Near East from Ur III to Late-Babylonian times.

Contact: raija.mattila@fime.fi; Gabriela.Kompatscher@uibk.ac.at