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CALL. 11.05.2019: Ancient Jericho - Tell es-Sultan. From first settlers to an urban site in changing




LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: The Archaeological Society of Finland (Helsinki, Finland)




The conference aims to focus on past excavations and finds that were made at ancient Jericho - Tell es-Sultan from the 19th century until recent years and how the site could be protected and preserved. Jericho is an oasis site, now situated in a desert landscape in the Palestinian territories northwest of the Dead Sea in the Jordan valley. It is in the border area that has been the place of movement and a conflict zone for millennia. The purpose is to view the site from the signs of first settlers and to its urban emergence and development through millennia. It is interesting to pay attention to the impact of mobile hunter-gathers and pastoral nomads and their processes of sedentarization in various periods over time. Such questions as emerging settled life and domestication, definition of an urban site, monumental architecture, rituals, professional specialization and status distinction are of interest in studying Jericho. It is also important to look at the question of the urban character of Neolithic Jericho in a wider context of the Ancient Near East taking into account the contemporary Neolithic sites in Israel, Jordan, Syria and Turkey. The questions of newcomers in various periods have also been a subject of debates on Jericho, the conflicts between pastoral nomadic and urban cultures through the Bronze Age and the theories of movements and conquests. From the past explorations of the tell Kathleen M. Kenyon's excavations at Jericho in the 1950s revolutionized archaeology. It is important to go through this period with application of new excavation methods and how her excavations with radiocarbon datings affected our understanding of the Ancient Near East and archaeology in general. An overall report of the latest excavations by the Italians and the Palestinian authority at Jericho will update the situation with new finds. As the site is now in the Palestinian territories, such questions as the protection and preservation of the ancient tell will be addressed. Also such problems as how much environmental questions and chosen excavation methods such as trenching and the stratigraphical methods have influenced the site structure, archaeological interpretations and the site preservation today will be assessed. The use of the site as a tourist attraction as well as the questions of carrying capacity of the site will be dealt with, too. The late professor Aapeli Saarisalo, a Finnish orientalist, archaeologically surveyed Palestine during the British Mandate period and collected pottery from various sites, some also deriving from Jericho. In addition, he participated in the Tell Beit Mirsim excavation team. He wrote his PhD dissertation on historical geography of Palestine using archaeology to define tribal borders as one of the basis of his arguments. The conference will include an optional weekend visit to his and his wife's former manor house Bergvik in Salo (ca. 100 km west of Helsinki) for an extra cost of 120 euros that includes transportation, accommodation, meals and a sauna bath at a lake. There will be a short meeting and discussion on Saarisalo's work and historical geography of the Holy Land at Bergvik. The registration fee for the conference is 80 euros, the optional excursion is 120 euros to be paid with the participation fee. For students the registration fee is 60 euros. Day tickets will be available for the public for 25 euros (not for the registered presenters), and for separate lectures 10 euros at the venue. If there are extra places left for the excursion, the vouchers for it can be purchased at the venue. The planned venue is the House of Sciences and Letters in Helsinki. The abstracts will be peer-reviewed, as will be the submitted papers for the proceedings. There can be both oral and poster presentations. The abstracts in English using Word and Times New Roman font (12 points) of max. 800 signs including the spaces and the title (in block letters) should be submitted to the e-mail address: by the 11th of May, 2019. The acceptance of the abstracts will be informed by the 14th of May, and the conference registration fee should be paid by the 21st of May. The information of the bank account will be provided with the acceptance of the abstract The proceedings will be primarily published electronically and in an open access form, evidently in the Monographs of the Archaeological Society of Finland. The date for the submission of the papers for a review is due to the end of September. Both oral presentations and posters can be submitted as a paper. The papers are asked to follow the detailed instructions of a layout and format that will be provided with the acceptance of the abstract. This facilitates that a camera ready version of the paper will be published after the peer-reviewing and acceptance by the end of 2019. The Archaeological Society of Finland may publish some hard copies in due course.

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