Call for Papers – Archaeology of Texts

The Institute of Ancient Near Eastern Studies at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic, invites paper proposals for the international workshop titled “Archaeology of Texts,” scheduled to take place in Prague on June 4 and 5, 2024.

The diffusion of cultural elements from Mesopotamian centers to the peripheries during the third and second millennia BCE constitutes a pivotal moment in the cultural and linguistic history of the ancient Near East. This intricate and layered process can be examined from various perspectives. The dissemination of cuneiform writing, serving as a tool for transmitting cultural and literary traditions across multiple languages, played a fundamental role in this phenomenon. Structurally, the process can be analyzed across three closely interconnected levels, whose joint interpretation offers a comprehensive understanding. The first level concerns the technological aspect, focusing on the transmission of the written record itself. The second level involves linguistic transmission, exploring how Mesopotamian languages spread to the western and eastern peripheries. The third level examines the transmission of literary traditions, encompassing their transformation and societal role.

The workshop aims to generate engaging discussions by centering on the theme of transmission. While expecting papers to touch on various aspects of transmission, particular interest lies in the following themes:

Theme #1: Technology of transmission;
Theme #2: Transmission of languages;
Theme #3: Transmission of literary traditions.

Proposals, with a maximum of 300 words, will be accepted until February 15, 2024. Abstracts should be sent to Notifications are expected to be dispatched at the beginning of March, allowing participants ample time for travel arrangements. The official language of the conference is English, and each presentation is allotted 25 minutes, with an additional 5 minutes designated for discussion.

For inquiries, please contact:
Jana Mynářová (

The workshop is supported by the Czech Science Foundation Project No. 23-05181S “Archaeology of Texts. Tradition, Transmission, and Transformation in the Ancient Near East.”

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