Cultural Connections Between ancient Mesopotamia and India

Three-day conference on Mesopotamia, the 'land between the rivers'.

Mesopotamia, the 'land between the rivers', is in European scholarly thought part of the 'Orient', the Eastern civilizations. The 'Oriental' influence on classical civilizations has long been recognized, yet Mesopotamia had, from early on, also connections with civilizations farther to the East, in particular to ancient India. Ancient Mesopotamian civilization is often seen as a 'precursor' to the Bible and to Christianity.

This conference will focus on the Eastern connections of ancient Mesopotamian civilization.

This will be explored in a twofold manner: in some cases direct connections and contacts can be established, either via material or textual cultures. In other cases, a comparative approach has the potential of enhancing our understanding of these two ancient civilizations.

In bringing together specialists of ancient Mesopotamia and ancient India, the conference will gather evidence and draw comparisons with the goal of re-orienting both Mesopotamian and Indian studies and offer a fresh perspective on the intellectual, religious, and material cultures of these two ancient civilizations.

The conference will take place at the University of Copenhagen, Humanities campus (KUA)

The conference is co-organized by Nicole Brisch (Assyriology, UCPH) and Kenneth Zysk (Indology, UCPH) and is funded by the generous contributions of the Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen, and the Carlsberg Foundation.