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Long-Term Environmental and Social Change in Mesopotamia

05.23.2018 – 05.24.2018

Event Summary

Photo by Max Herman

The archaeological landscape of Mesopotamia is unique because it is a record of thousands of years of complex human-environment interactions. Its river systems especially have been subject to both natural and human influences. This conference assessed the interplay of environment and culture in Mesopotamia from prehistory to early modern times, based on findings from cuneiform texts and other written sources, archaeology, and natural sciences, as well as the preliminary findings from Neubauer Collegium–funded fieldwork and analyses. While evidence from all of Mesopotamia (the Tigris-Euphrates watershed) was considered, the conference focused on southern Iraq (ancient Sumer and Akkad).


Zaid Alrawi (Pennsylvania State University)

Mark Altaweel (University College London)

James Armstrong (Oriental Institute)

Isacar A. Bolaños (Ohio State University)

Steven Cole (Northwestern University)

Dominik Fleitmann (University of Reading)

Hermann Gasche (Belgian Expeditions in Iraq and South-Khuzestan, Iran)

McGuire Gibson (Oriental Institute)

Abdulameer Hamdani (Durham University)

Carrie Hritz (University of Maryland)

Faisal H. Husain (Georgetown University)

Jaafar Jotheri (University of Al-Qadisiyah, Iraq)

Stephen F. Lintner (King’s College London)

Anke Marsh (University College London)

Jennifer Pournelle (University of South Carolina)

Hervé Reculeau (Oriental Institute)

Stephanie Rost (New York University)

Piotr Steinkeller (Harvard University)

Magnus Widell (University of Liverpool)

This conference was co-sponsored by the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago.