11th International Congress on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East

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Workshop Hausleiter/Laursen

Bronze Age Burial Practices on the Arabian Peninsula: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Cultural Contacts and Exchange

Organizers: Arnulf Hausleiter (DAI Orient Department, Berlin) /Steffen Terp Laursen (Mosgård Museum, Højberg)


Recent results from archaeological investigations on the Arabian Peninsula stimulated the debate on cultural transfer and mobility in the context of apparently wide spread burial practices. Focusing on the Bronze Age (EBA, MBA) in a transregional perspective, burial practices will be discussed by archaeologists, historians, and bioarchaeologists. In the light of Amorite burials in Bahrain and the evidence for status burials (‘warrior graves’) in Northwest Arabian oases, the definition and permeability of cultural borders needs to be reviewed. Although the bridging of long-distances is not much surprising in the Bronze Age, the wide-spread distribution of certain communal practices needs to be explained. What can be defined local, regional, supra-regional in terms of identities? What is the impact from “abroad”? Are there certain patterns of transfer? In the workshop a number of case studies from the region will be discussed, presenting new materials from a large geographical region belonging to the Bronze Age contact zone. A further aim is to highlight the contribution of bioarchaeological approaches for the future study of burial contexts.


Wael Abu-Azizeh (University of Lyon)
Michaela Binder (Austrian Archaeological Institute, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna)
Anaïs Chevalier (University Paris 1, Pantheon Sorbonne)
Guillaume Gernez (University Paris 1, Pantheon Sorbonne)
Arnulf Hausleiter (DAI Orient Department, Berlin)
Steffen Terp Laursen (Mosgaard Museum, Højberg)
Michel al-Maqdissi (Musée du Louvre, Paris)
Gianni Marchesi (University of Bologna)
Emmanuele Petiti (Free University of Berlin)
Tara Steimer (University of Geneva)
Juris Zarins (Missouri State University)
Alina Zur (DAI Orient Department, Berlin)


9:00 Arnulf Hausleiter / Steffen Terp Laursen: At the crossroads? Investigating burial practices on the Arabian Peninsula
9:30 Juris Zarins: North Arabian Pastoral Nomads of the Early Bronze Age: Their relationship to the Frontier Cities of western Southern Mesopotamia
10:00 Emmanuele Petiti: Going global. Negotiating Identities in the Bronze Near East: Bioarchaeological case studies
10:30 Anaïs Chevalier: Spatial analysis and burial practices: new insights regarding protohistoric tombs in central and western Arabia
11:00 Coffee break
11:30 T. Steimer-Herbet, T. Hofstetter, S. al-Duweish, M. Besse: Small-scale stone monuments on the Arabian coastline during the Bronze Age
12:00 Steffen Terp Laursen: The Royal Mound of A’ali, and the burial custom of Amorite/Dilmunites in Bahrain
12:30 Gianni Marchesi: “Arabian” Amorites and Amorite burial customs: The textual evidence
13:00 Lunch break
14:00 Michel al-Maqdissi: From Ras Shamra-Ugarit to Amrith: Funeral structures on the Syrian coastal region in the Middle Bronze Age
14:30 Wael Abu-Azizeh: Research on cairns and tumuli at Mada’in Salih: Identifying a late 3rd – early 2nd millennium hitherto unknown funerary tradition of northwestern Arabia
15:00 Alina Zur: Bronze Age Burials at Tayma, NW Arabia: Defining the local
15:30 Michaela Binder, Marta Luciani: The funerary structures at Qurayyah, Saudi Arabia – Bioarchaeological approaches to life and death in Bronze Age Northern Arabia
16:00 Coffee break
16:30 Guillaume Gernez: Bronze Age ‘warrior burials’ through the Near East and Arabia
17:00 Discussion: Perspectives on the future of burial archaeology on the Arabian Peninsula