From February 29 to March 2, 2024 an online, free workshop on “Bioarchaeology in Mesopotamia” will showcase state-of-the-art bioarchaeological research in Mesopotamia.
“Bioarchaeology” is a broad umbrella term for research on biological remains recovered from archaeological contexts. Bioarchaeologists provide information on human health, diet, workload, mobility, and more. They reconstruct past ecologies and reveal ancient changes in climate. They illuminate economies and social structures, revealing how foods were produced, homes were furnished, and cities were cleaned (or not). They contribute information vital to understanding why people in the past settled where they did, and why they abandoned settlements.
Mesopotamia, often hailed as the cradle of civilization, holds a treasure trove of secrets waiting to be uncovered. Nestled between the mighty Tigris and Euphrates rivers, this ancient land witnessed the rise and fall of empires, the birth of writing, and the dawn of agriculture. Yet, many questions linger about the daily lives, diets, health, and habits of its inhabitants.
What is Bioarchaeology?
Bioarchaeology is the key that unlocks these mysteries. By studying biological remains unearthed from archaeological sites, bioarchaeologists paint a vivid picture of ancient civilizations. From analyzing ancient bones and teeth to scrutinizing plant and animal remains, every artifact tells a story – a story waiting to be heard.
What to Expect
The workshop bring together an esteemed lineup of international experts in fields such as archaeobotany, archaeozoology, biological anthropology, geoarchaeology, isotope geochemistry, and ancient DNA analysis. Through a series of engaging presentations and panel discussions, you’ll journey through the diverse landscapes of ancient Mesopotamia.
Panel A: Archaeobotany Discover the ancient secrets hidden within plant remains. From deciphering agricultural practices to exploring culinary traditions, delve into the fascinating world of ancient Mesopotamian flora.
Panel B: Archaeozoology Uncover the role of animals in ancient society. Explore changing patterns of animal exploitation, the significance of livestock, and the complexities of ancient diets through the lens of archaeozoology.
Panel C: Biological Anthropology (Osteoarchaeology) Peer into the lives of ancient Mesopotamians through their bones. Learn how skeletal remains provide insights into health, diet, and mobility, offering a glimpse into the daily struggles and triumphs of ancient peoples.
Panel D: Isotope Geochemistry Unlock the secrets of ancient diets and migration patterns through isotopic analysis. Explore how geochemical signatures reveal the movements and dietary habits of Mesopotamia’s ancient inhabitants.
Panel E: Palaeoenvironment/Landscape Journey through the changing landscapes of ancient Mesopotamia. From geological formations to environmental reconstructions, uncover the natural forces that shaped the lives of ancient civilizations.
Panel F: Ancient Cities, Houses, and Family Structures Peer into the urban landscapes of ancient Mesopotamia. Explore the architecture, social structures, and familial dynamics of ancient cities, shedding light on the daily lives of Mesopotamia’s inhabitants.
Abstracts available here
How to Join
Ready to embark on this unforgettable journey through time? Simply sign up through the website to receive the Zoom link for the workshop. Whether you’re an academic, history enthusiast, or simply curious about the past, everyone is welcome to join our quest to unlock the secrets of ancient Mesopotamia.
Information and photos from the workshop website