The international conference on the Mesopotamian Dark Age in November 2002 (8.-9.Nov.) in Vienna will be held within the framework of the SCIEM 2000 research project. It will focus on the re-evaluation of the Mesopotamian Dark Age (after the fall of the Babylon I dynasty, transition of the Middle to the Late Bronze Age) and its implication for absolute chronology. We therefore would like to ask you to focus on chronological issues in your paper.
The conference consists of short lectures given by the seven participating scholars to introduce the material from different sites or regions ( Babylonia , Kassites, Hittites, Hurrians, Nuzi, Alalakh and Terqa) and following discussions.
Within the project special attention is also devoted to Mesopotamian chronology based on textual evidence. By establishing a reliable connection between the regional chronologies of Syria , Anatolia , the Levant , Egypt and Mesopotamia , it is hoped that a decision between the three main Mesopotamian chronologies (High, Middle or Low Chronology) can be achieved. After an evaluation of the Mesopotamian chronologies proposed, the project will try to decide which of them can be reconciled with newly published data including results from non-Mesopotamian sources. Special attention is drawn to various established synchronisms (Mesopotamia-Syria-Anatolia-the Levant-Elam) in order to disclose contacts and links relevant to refine absolute Mesopotamian chronology. The chronographic tradition of the peripheral areas is mostly incomplete; still, it is aimed to collect all known synchronisms between Mesopotamia , Anatolia , Syria , the Levant and Egypt to correlate all data relevant for relative and consequently absolute chronology. The inclusion of chronologies of the peripheral areas certainly helps to resolve problems arising within the reconstruction of 2 nd mill. chronology.
The aim of this conference is to bring together various colleagues specialized in chronology and discuss the (new) sources research results presented and their compatibility with the newly proposed "New Chronology" by Gasche et al. by taking a closer look on the so-called "Dark Age". Being aware of the numerous problems and shortcomings of the textual evidence in this respect, we still want to try to approach a reconstruction of chronology of the 2 nd mill. BC by defining the "Dark Age" once again. In this course the material's overall importance on the process of historical and chronological reconstruction is going to be presented and discussed.
It is hoped that the conference will help to establish valuable new links, interconnections and results concerning the understanding of Mesopotamian chronology, also judged from the angle of "peripheral areas" within Ancient Near Eastern Studies.
Conference Venue at:
SCIEM 2000, Strohgasse 45/7, A-1030 Wien,
Tel: ++43-1-515 81/6101
Fax: ++43-1-515 81/6114