Schedule for 1st International Conference in June, 2016, in Leipzig

The schedule for the First International Conference of the RIAB Minerva Center is now ready, and it can be found below. This meeting has a wide range of fascinating talks on a broad range of topics. If you are interested in participating, please do notify the center directors (Aren Maeir or Angelika Berlejung).

Below is the schedule – hope to see you at the meeting!


Dependency and Autonomy in Intercultural Relations: Israel and Aram as a Case Study

June 5th-9th, 2016

Institut für Altes Testament der Universität Leipzig, in Cooperation with Bar Ilan University, Israel

at the Bibliotheca Albertina, University of Leipzig


Sunday, June 5th (at the Faculty of Theology, Martin-Luther Ring 3, SR1)

10:00–17:00: Pre-Conference Workshop on Maresha Aramaic Inscriptions (Chair – Esther Eshel, Ramat-Gan)

Participants: Joachim Quack (Heidelberg), Mark Geller (Berlin), Holger Gzella (Leiden), Hans-Werner Fischer-Elfert (Leipzig), Christa Mueller-Kessler (Jena), Michael Langlois (Strasbourg) and Minerva Center Members from Germany and Israel

Coffee/tea and a light lunch will be provided at the venue

18:00 – Dinner for Participants



Monday, June 6th

11.00-14.00 Registration (Foyer) and Coffee/Tea

14:00–16:15: Opening Session: Greetings (Chair – Aren Maeir/Ramat Gan)

Musical Interlude

14:15-16:00 Welcoming Talks

Prof. Dr. Beate Schücking, Rector, University of Leipzig

His Excellency, Mr. Yakov Hadas-Handelsman, Israeli Ambassador to Germany

Mr. Burkhard Jung, Lord Mayor of Leipzig

Prof. Miriam Faust, Rector, Bar-Ilan University (represented by Prof. S. Shpiro/Ramat-Gan)

Prof. Dr. Matthias Schwarz, Vice Rector, University of Leipzig

Prof. Dr. Gert Pickel, Dean of the Faculty of Theology, University of Leipzig

Prof. Dr. Angela Friederici, Director, Minerva Stiftung

Ms. Angelika Lange-Gao, Director, Minerva Stiftung

Ms. Gabriele Hermani, Scientific counsellor, German Embassy in Israel

Prof. Dorothea Weltecke, Director, NISIBIN Intitute, Konstanz (15 min)

Prof. Marie-Claire Foblets, Director, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle (15 min)

Musical Interlude

16:15-18:30 Public Papers (Chair: Angelika Berlejung/Leipzig)

16:15-17:00 Public paper: Johny Messo (Leader, World Council of Arameans) – Syrians in Exile and the Religious Situation in Syria

17:00-17:45 Public paper: Markus Hilgert (Direktor Vorderasiatisches Museum/Berlin) – Protecting and Developing the Archaeological Heritage of Iraq and Syria: Political and Institutional Responsibilities

17:45-18:30 Public Paper: Shlomo Shpiro (Bar-Ilan University/Ramat-Gan) – The Political Background of the Destruction of Antiquities

18.30 Reception

19.30 Conference Dinner for the Speakers and Special Guests: Restaurant Ratskeller


Tuesday, June 7th

9:00–12:30: Section I: Cultural Autonomy and Independence in the Historical Sciences (Chair – Andreas Schuele/Leipzig)

9:00-9:45: Jan Dietrich (Aarhus) – Autonomous Decision Making in the Ancient World: A General Introduction and Comparison

9:45-10:30:  Paul Weirich (Columbia, MO) – Models of Cultural Transmission

10:30-11:15: Christoph Wulf (Berlin) – The Implicit Decision Making in Rituals

11:15-11:45 Coffee/Tea Break

11:45-12:30 David Smith (Glasgow) – National-cultural Autonomy in Ethnically Diverse Societies: Theoretical Approaches and Practical Challenges in Modern and contemporary Europe

12:30-14:30 Lunch Break

14:30-18:45: Section II: Aram and Israel in the Biblical Sources (Chair – Israel Finkelstein, Tel Aviv)

14:30-15.15: Eckart Otto (München) – The Arameans in the Book of Deuteronomy

15:15-16:00: Yigal Levin (Ramat-Gan) – Aram and Arameans in the Book of Chronicles

16:00-16:45: NN – Hazael & David: The Shaping of the Davidic-Solomonic Kingdom

16:45-17:15 Coffee/Tea Break

17:15-18:00: Thomas Römer (Paris/Lausanne) – The Strange Conversion of Naaman, Commander of the Aramean Army (2 Kgs 5)

18:00-18:45: Nili Wazana (Jerusalem) –  From Joshua to Zakkur: Biblical and Aramaic Descriptions of Military Coalitions

19:00-20:00 Public Paper (Chair – Jan Dietrich/Aarhus): Israel Finkelstein (Tel Aviv) – Israelite Identity Formation in the 10th-8th cent. BCE

20:15 Dinner for Participants


Wednesday June 8th  

8:00-12:15: Section III: Archaeological Perspectives on the Arameans in the Northern Levant (Chair – Gunnar Lehmann/Beer-Sheva)

8:00-8:45: Dominik Bonatz (Berlin) – The Myth of Aramaean Culture

8:45-9:30: Martin Makinson (Bern/Paris) – Identity and Material Culture: Looking for the Elusive Iron Age I and II Aramaeans in Northern Syria through Archaeological Lenses

9:30-10:15: Mirko Novák (Bern) – Guzana (Tell Halaf) and the ‘Cultural Code’ of Aramaean Architecture

10:15-10:45: Coffee/Tea Break

10:45-11:30: Daniele Morandi Bonacossi (Udine) – Aramaeans in Central-Western Syria: The Material Evidence from Iron Age Mishrifeh

11:30-12:15: David Schloen (Chicago) – Neo-Hittite Styles and Aramean Kingship in Iron Age Sam’al

12:15-14.00 Lunch Break

14:00-19:30: Section IV: Archaeological Perspectives on the Aramean/Israelite Inter-relations in the Southern Levant (Chair: David Schloen/Chicago)

14:00-14:45 Shuichi Hasegawa (Tokyo) – En Gev in the Iron Age: Material Culture and Political History

14:45-15:30: Nava Panitz-Cohen (Jerusalem) – Excavations at Tel Abel Beth Maacah and Their Contribution to Understanding Southern Aram and Northern Israel

15:30-16:30: Adi Eliyahu and Vanessa Workman (Ramat Gan) – Workshop I: Comparative Metallurgy in the Iron Age Levant

16:30-17:00 Coffee/Tea Break

17:00-17:45: Yifat Thareani (Jerusalem) – The Archaeology of Imagined Community? Tel Dan in the Iron Age IIA

17:45-18:30: Gunnar Lehmann (Beer-sheva) – Hazael in the South

18:30-19:30: Assaf Kleiman (Tel Aviv) – Workshop II: The Excavations at Tel Hadar – Work in Progress

20.00 Dinner at the Restaurant AM COSPUDENER SEE


Thursday, June 9th

8:30–13:00: Section V: Historical Perspectives on Aramean-Israelite Interactions (Chair – Michael Streck/Leipzig)

8:30-9:15: Omer Sergi (Tel Aviv) – The Kingdom of Geshur and the Expansion of Hazael into the Northern Jordan Valley: Archaeological and Historical Perspectives

9:15-10:00: Karel van der Toorn (Amsterdam) – Cultural (or Religious) Interaction between Arameans and Israelites in Papyrus Amherst 63

10.00-10.30 Coffee/Tea Break

10:30-11:15: Christian Frevel (Bochum) – The Role of Hazael‘s Expansion in the Birth of a Judahite State

11:15-12:00: Herbert Niehr (Tübingen) – The Relations between the Kingdoms of Hamath and Israel (10th to 8th cent. BCE)

12:00-13:00: Cornelia Wunsch (London), Johannes Hackl (Leipzig), Amena Fadhil (Baghdad) –Workshop III: New Texts from al-Yahudu in Iraq

13.00-14:30 Lunch Break

14:30-18:00: Section VI: Historical Perspectives on Later Periods (Chair – Angelika Berlejung/Leipzig)

14:30-15.15: Leeor Gottlieb (Ramat-Gan) – From Translation to Midrash: On the Role of Aramaic Targum towards the End of the First Millennium CE

15:15-16:00: Marco Frenschkowski (Leipzig) – Are Syrians Aramaeans? Syriac Ethnic Identity in Hellenistic and Roman Times

16:00-16:30 Coffee/Tea Break

16:30-17:15: Stefan Schorch (Halle) – Aramaic Prayers of the Samaritans, and their Contribution Towards a History of Aramaic Literature

17:15-18.00: John Healey (Manchester) – Aramaic and “Arameans” in Transitions: Hellenization and the Roots of Aramaic Christianity

18:00 Departure or Cultural Event


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