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Workshop: « Memory as Capital in Iron Age Levant and Adjacent Regions »

Memory as Capital in Iron Age Levant and Adjacent Regions

Collège de France, 23–24 February 2018

Workshop Location: Fondation Hugot du Collège de France, 11 Rue de l’Université, 75007 Paris

This workshop focuses on the way in which ancient societies understood their past and how they used this knowledge to manipulate their present. The role of memory has been explored in numerous studies that have analyzed the materialization of memory in texts, rituals, monuments, and landscapes, and that have considered its ability to adapt under changing societal conditions, including duration and obliteration. Consequently, we wish to deal with memory as capital (following Bourdieu’s definition of the term as all nonmaterial resources of status, prestige, valued knowledge, and privileged relationships), and to explore its application in the study of ancient societies. We will examine how memory was used to create cohesion in the formation of group identities, and how it was used to structure social hierarchy and to replicate it; how it was kept, perceived, adjusted, and presented to the public; and how it was erased from the collective mental map for the advantage of individuals or small groups.

We will focus on the Levant and neighboring regions in the Iron Age, a formative period wedged between two eras of imperial control and characterized by the emergence of a tapestry of polities and multiple regional identities. The imperial heritage was treated in multiple ways in the former imperial heartlands and in the Levant. The memory of the imperial past was manipulated by the new social structures established in both Egypt and Mesopotamia while at the same time, Levantine societies adopted new identities and renegotiated them, and, during their later phases of existence, they encountered and resisted the emerging new imperial order.

It is against these similar historical circumstances that we will explore the similarities in the role of memory in each society while remaining aware of peculiarities of given arenas with given social structures.

Friday, February 23rd

12:45 Gathering

13:00 Introduction: Memory as Capital Ido Koch (Tel Aviv University) and Thomas Römer (Collège de France)

13:45 Shaping Collective Memory at (Collective) Grave Sites: The Representation of Death as a Tool for Creating Shared Memories in the Late Bronze Age and Iron Age Northern Levant Sarah Lange (University of Tübingen)

14:30 Coffee Break

15:00 Recycling Orthostats and Collecting Capital in the Iron Age Syro-Hittite Kingdoms Virginia Herrmann (University of Tübingen)

15:45 The Construction of a New Collective Memory in Phoenicia as a Response to Achaemenid Power: Material Culture as an “Objectified Cultural Capital” Tatiana Pedrazzi (Istituto di Studi sul Mediterraneo Antico [ISMA], CNR – Roma)

16:30 Coffee Break

17:00 Between Continuity and Change: Collective Memories of the Assyrian Elites in the 2nd and 1st Millennia Aaron Schmitt (University of Mainz)

17:45 Memories of an Empire: Egypt under the 21st–22nd Dynasties Shirly Ben-Dor Evian (Tel Aviv University and Israel Museum, Jerusalem)

Saturday, February 24th

10:00 Visibility and Invisibility: Political Landscapes in Israel and Judah Yuval Gadot (Tel Aviv University)

10:45 Consented Violence in Collective Memory: The Lachish Case in the Perspective of Epigraphical and Iconographical data Laura Battini (Collège de France) 3

11:30 Coffee Break

12:00 Memories of the Cities of the Past: Tel Reḥov and the Israelite Identity Omer Sergi (Tel Aviv University)

12:45 Cultural Forgetting: The Strategy of Fading Out Narrative in the Book of Genesis. A Suggestion for its Interpretation Regine Hunziker-Rodewald (University of Strasbourg)

13:30 Lunch Break

15:00 From Israel to Judah: Collective Memory in the Making Matthieu Richelle (Faculté libre de théologie évangélique de Vaux-sur-Seine)

15:45 Jeroboam’s Golden Calves: Constructing a Counter History of the Levites in the Books of Chronicles Jaeyoung Jeon (University of Lausanne)

16:30 Coffee Break

17:00 Concluding Remarks and Final Discussion

Memory as Capital Workshop Paris 2018

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