DUSANE 2021 – Dutch Symposium of the Ancient Near East – 22 April


Date: 22 April 2021

Location: online, through Zoom

Credits: 1 ECT

It is our pleasure to announce the 12th edition of DUSANE, the Dutch Symposium of the Ancient Near East. DUSANE is organized by a collaboration of students who are part of Nabu Na’id, a subgroup of the study association for Archaeology L.A.S. Terra, linked to Leiden University.

It’s often common for passionate academic communities to isolate themselves, utterly focused on their own research. Therefore, people from Archaeology, Egyptology, Assyriology, Islamic Studies and other relevant disciplines rarely have a chance to meet, share their research and exchange perspectives and experiences. Our aim is to bridge this gap by bringing together different researchers who work in different regions and specializations within Near Eastern Studies. Therefore, during this symposium, several researchers from various specializations will present their latest research related to the ancient Near East. Anyone with an interest in the several civilizations and cultures of the Near East is welcome to attend.


13:00-13:15 Word of Welcome

13:15-13:45 G. Russo MA: “Pottery-making in the late prehistoric Balikh Valley: preliminary results”

13:45-14:15 Dr. W.J.I. Waal: “It is not a deer. It is a…  A new interpretation of some Hittite fables”

 14:15-14:45 Coffee Break and Poster Session

14:45-15:15 R.C.A. Geerts MA: “From dedication to dereliction. Recent research in the Isis temple in Berenike (Egypt)”

15:15-15:45 dr. R. Palermo: “Landscape and Settlements of Northern Mesopotamia: The Erbil Plain Archaeological Survey”

15:45-16:00 Coffee Break

16:00-16:30 Prof.dr. J.K. Zangenberg: “Walking with Jesus along the Lake Shore. Recent archaeological discoveries on everyday life in ancient Galilee”

16:30-16:40 Closing of the Symposium

16:40-18:00 Drinks

Programme PDF >>


Giulia Russo “Pottery-making in the late prehistoric Balikh Valley: preliminary results” 

In the Balikh Valley, Syria, research conducted by the University of Amsterdam and the University of Chicago has traced the development of occupation in the region over the Ubaid and the Late Chalcolithic 1-2 (ca. 5300-3900 BCE). In particular, excavations at Tell Hammam et-Turkman, and more recently at Tell Zeidan, have provided ceramic sequences for these periods. Yet, we are still trying to grasp a comprehensive understanding of the region as to how pottery-making practices and resulting ceramic assemblages developed over time. This calls for a study of ceramic technology at a regional scale.

This paper presents the preliminary results of ongoing research on the technology of the published Tell Hammam et-Turkman IV-V and the unpublished Balikh IV-V Survey pottery. Based upon the premises of the chaîne opératoire approach, this contribution will discuss the developments in ceramic production in the Balikh Valley over the Ubaid and Late Chalcolithic 1-2 periods.

Dr. W.J.I. Waal “It is not a deer. It is a…A new interpretation of some Hittite fables” 

Fables are timeless and universal. The beginnings of this genre are usually associated with the Greek poet Aesop (7th/6th c. BCE), but textual and iconographic evidence from the ancient Near East shows that short, didactic stories about animals are much older, dating back to at least the second millennium BCE. This early material is extremely valuable; it not only reveals the venerable age and remarkable persistence of some of these narratives, but it also informs us about the morals and beliefs of the ancient societies in which they circulated. This paper will zoom in on a number of fables found in Hattusa, the capital of the Hittite Empire (ca. 1650-1180 BCE) and explore their meaning and function from a comparative perspective.

Roderick Geerts “From dedication to dereliction. Recent research in the Isis temple in Berenike (Egypt)” 

Berenike (Egypt) was a thriving portin the Greco-Roman period. In the Ptolemaic period a temple was constructed, which was rebuild and embellished during the Roman period. After several seasons of excavations almost the entire temple and its courtyard has been excavated, with many interesting results. Many statues and inscriptions show the history of the temple but also reveal its importance for various officials and nearby kingdoms.

Dr. Palermo “Landscape and Settlements of Northern Mesopotamia: The Erbil Plain Archaeological Survey”

This talk discusses the preliminary results of the Erbil Plain Archaeological Survey (EPAS), an ongoing project operating in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The survey, directed by Jason Ur (Harvard University) and co-directed by R. Palermo (Groningen) and P. Creamer (UPenn) debuted in 2012 with the aim of mapping the rich and complex archaeological landscapes around the modern city of Erbil. With the aid of satellite and aerial data, survey evidence, and GIS-based analyses, I will discuss cycles of urbanization and contraction in settlement patterns, land use, imperial interventions as well as the preservation and valorisation of the modern cultural heritage of this region of Iraqi Kurdistan.

Dr. Zangenberg “Walking with Jesus along the Lake Shore. Recent archaeological discoveries on everyday life in ancient Galilee”

Don’t worry – this presentation will not come as another “sword and sandal movie” or a new “Life of Brian”. Indeed, the walk we are taking will lead us along quite trodden paths around a lake whose waters many consider holy – “Jesus country” some might call it. A region full of myths, claims and preconceptions, so quite a dangerous area for any academic with a still sound, critical mind. But exactly because there are so many images swirling around, research IS necessary – and possible! The area around Lake Tiberias, i.e., Eastern Galilee and the neighboring regions have always been and still are first of all parts of the Eastern Mediterranean world and therefore very diverse, always in flux and full of surprises. New methods of looking at the Galilee as a region and many new finds from the Greco-Roman period are dramatically changing traditional perceptions of Galilee as a rural backwater in which Jesus preached a romantic message to poor and naive peasants. Next to villages, we have harbors, cities, trade and dramatic social transformations that also impacted on religious figures such as Jesus of Nazareth. O.k., I might exaggerate a bit, but never mind, come and see for yourself.

Credits: 1 EC for participation and an elaborate reflection report. 1 EC stands for 28 hours of study work, so the reflection report needs to be more than just a sum-up of the day. Incorporate literature and reflect on the theories and research presented during the day. Read more about the reflection report here.

Language: English

Registration: In case you want to hand in a report and receive credits, please also inform ARCHON of your attendance by sending an email to secretary@archonline.nl. Link to the webinar: https://universiteitleiden.zoom.us/j/65508576527?pwd=VE9EZVBzK1VtaHBwV3lLMVJ2R2sxZz09