Infecting the Ancient Mesopotamian Cosmos 

April 29th – 30th 2022, Wolfson College, Leonard Wolfson Auditorium 

Friday, 29th of April

         9.00-9.45             Registration and refreshments in the Buttery     

         9.45-10.00           Welcome

Session 1 (Chair: Moudhy Al-Rashid)

         10.00-10.30         Nils Heeßel (Philipps-Universität Marburg)

Comprehending plague. The Mesopotamian effort to understand epidemics

         10.30-11.00         Ulla Koch (University of Copenhagen)

‘Nergal will Devour’: What presaged an epidemic? How was it described and how was it averted according to Divination

         11.00-11.30         Break and refreshments in the Buttery

         11.30-12.00         Marta Iommelli (Università di Napoli)

‘The Asakku-demon who rolls in on the earth like a storm.’ Analyzing demons who attack humans and cattle and a search for correlations

         12.00-13.00         Lunch in the Buttery

Session 2 (Chair: Kathryn Stevens)

         13.00-13.30         Barbara Böck (CSIC, Madrid) 

 A lexical study of the terms for being ill and infected

         13.30-14.00         Troels P. Arbøll (University of Oxford)

A sick world: Exploring the epidemic disease called šibṭu 

         14.00-14.30         Break and refreshments in the Buttery

         14.30-15.00         JoAnn Scurlock (Elmhurst University)

Gods of Plague or Friends of Man?: The Curious Case of the Ancient Mesopotamian Gods Marduk and Nergal

         19.00                   Conference dinner, venue TBA

Saturday, 30th of April

         9.00-9.30             Refreshments in the Buttery

 Session 3 (Chair: Ulla Koch)

         9.30-10.00           Adam Howe (University of Cambridge)

From Dirt to Demon: Sewage and Household Waste as Vectors of Contagion in Udug-ḫul

         10.00-10.40         Annie Attia (Journal des Médecines Cunéiformes, Paris)

The epidemics, how were they experienced in day-to-day life in Mesopotamia?

         10.40-11.00         Break and refreshments in the Buttery

Session 4 (Chair: Nils Heeßel)

         11.00-11.30         Robert Arnott (University of Oxford)

Disease and medicine along the trade routes between Mesopotamia, the Gulf and the Indus Civilisation in the late third millennium BC

         11.30-12.00         Eckart Frahm (Yale University)

Pandemics, Climate Change, and the Birth of Empire: Assyria in the Mid-eighth Century

         12.00-13.00         Lunch in the Buttery

         13.00-14.00         Final discussion