Making history: Geographies of the past and the very modern origins of 'Mesopotamia'

  • Date: –15:00
  • Location: Engelska parken 2-2033
  • Lecturer: Rune Rattenborg, Researcher in Assyriology
  • Website
  • Organiser: The Research seminar in Classical archaeology
  • Contact person: Emelie Byström
  • Seminarium

This talk considers the changing meanings of 'Mesopotamia' as a name for the drainage of the rivers of the Euphrates and the Tigris from c. 2,000 BCE and until the present day.

The investigation of the usage of the term through time results in the argument that the Mesopotamia that we talk of today is a product of very recent historical events centred around the First World War. As such, the application of ‘Mesopotamia’ to geographies of the distant past, a past to which it bears no inherent relation, is deeply problematic.

The talk draws on a recent article published with the Excellence Cluster Topoi in Berlin, which can be downloaded here: