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University of Turin

Talk: A reluctant servant: Ugarit under foreign rule during the Late Bronze Age

Bio: Elena Devecchi is a Researcher in History of the Ancient Near East at the Department of Historical Studies of the University of Turin. After receiving her PhD at the University of Venice, she worked in Germany (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, München and Julius-Maximilians-Universität, Würzburg), Belgium (KU Leuven) and Austria (University of Innsbruck), where she carried out postdoctoral projects and taught classes on Akkadian and Hittite. Her scientific interests focus on the international relations during the Late Bronze Age, in particular in historical and diplomatic texts from Anatolia and Syria (see Trattati internazionali ittiti, Brescia 2015), and on the economic and administrative institutions of Babylonia during the Kassite period (ca. 1500-1100 B.C.). Currently she is preparing the edition of a group of unpublished middle Babylonian documents housed at Cornell University. She is epigraphist of the archaeological mission conducted by the University and by the “Centro Scavi” of Turin at the site of Tulūl al-Baqarat (Iraq).


University of Lethbridge

Talk: “The Men of Ura are a Heavy Burden Upon Your Subject!”: The Administration and Management of Strangers and Foreigners in Ugarit.

Bio: Kevin McGeough is an archaeologist and historian interested in the relationship between textual and material culture evidence for economic, religious, and political practices in the Bronze and Iron Age. He is the author of two books on economics at the site of Ugarit. Kevin is also interested in the history and reception of archaeology, and has recently published three books on the reception of ancient Near Eastern studies in the Nineteenth century. With Elizabeth Galway, Kevin is investigating the reception of the Near East in children’s literature. He is also finishing a project on the presentation of archaeology in film. Kevin is the current editor of the Annual of the American Schools of Oriental Research and previously the editor ASOR’s Archaeological Report Series.


Charles University

Talk: Are You an Egyptian? Are You a Stranger?

Bio: Jana Mynářová is an Assyriologist and Egyptologist (Ph.D. 2004, Charles University) interested in various aspects of the relations between Egypt and the Ancient Near East in the 2nd millennium BC, with special attention given to documents in Peripheral Akkadian from the Late Bronze Age. She is the author and co-author of several books and studies on the topic (Language of Amarna - Language of Diplomacy, Prague 2007). Presently, she carries a research project devoted to the study of Amarna cuneiform palaeography and recently she became a member of a multidisciplinary research project dealing with the collection of the Old Assyrian tablets at the Charles University. She is the main organiser of the Crossroads conferences (Prague 2010, 2014, 2018) devoted to study of interrelations among the ANE societies in the Bronze Age.


Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg

Talk: The Contact Zone along the Middle Euphrates during the Late Bronze Age: Movement, Interaction, and Transaction

Bio: Regine Pruzsinszky is a Professor at the Institute of Ancient Near Eastern Archaeology at the University of Freiburg. Her research interests focus on cuneiform records from the late Bronze Age, the chronology of Mesopotamia, Ancient Near Eastern onomastic and
musicians. She is the author of Die Personennamen der Texte aus Emar (Bethesda, 2003), and Mesopotamian Chronology of the 2nd Millennium BCE, An Introduction to the Textual Evidence and Related Chronological Issues (Wien, 2009). Among other edited books she has edited a volume on Policies of Exchange, Political Systems and Modes of Interaction in the Aegean and the Near East in the 2nd Millennium B.C.E. (Wien, 2015) together with Birgitta Eder.


University of Toronto

Talk: “Human instincts, canine intelligence, and monkey features”: the Gutians and other “mountain people” in Mesopotamian and 20th century scholarly perspectives.

Bio: Clemens Reichel is an Associate Professor for Mesopotamian Archaeology (Ph.D. 2001, University of Chicago) at the University of Toronto’s Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations and an Associate Curator for the Ancient Near East at the Royal Ontario Museum (Mesopotamia: Inventing our World, 2013). His research focuses predominantly on problems of complex societies, state formation, evolution of urbanism, bureaucracy, social and art history, and history of conflict and warfare. He has excavated and surveyed extensively on sites in Turkey, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt. Since 1999 he has been the director of the Diayala Project, aiming to publish an extensive collection of objects from the excavations of the Oriental Institute (University of Chicago) in the Diyala Region during the 1930’s in an online database. Since 2004 he has been directing the Hamoukar Expedition in a joint project between the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute and the Syrian Department of Antiquities.

Talk: On Aliens and Alienation: the “stranger” as an historically particular concept

Scientific Committee



University of Chicago

Bio: Seth Richardson (Ph.D. Columbia University 2002) is an Assyriologist and historian who has worked on the political and cultural history of Mesopotamia.  His most recent work is the book he co-edited with Clifford Ando entitled Ancient States and Infrastructural Power (University Pennsylvania, 2017), but his other current work addresses topics of ancient state collapse, divine emblems, imperial problems of distance, hunger and food security, animals and personhood, elite recognition, slaves and distraint, concepts of eternity, and ancient scholarship.  He is currently preparing a book about the ideological formation of ancient states, as well as a new set of editions of Old Babylonian texts.

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