PEOPLE ON THE MOVE: Framework, Means, and Impact of Mobility across the East Mediterranean Region in the 8th to 6th c. BCE

3–6 August 2015

Landgut Castelen (near CH-Basel)
Römerstiftung Dr. René Clavel
Giebenacherstrasse 9
4302 Augst BL

In the wake of the Kushite, Neo-Assyrian, Neo-Babylonian and early Achaemenid expansions to the East Mediterranean, cross-regional mobility of people and commodities increased significantly. This mobility not only affects the actual people who were leaving their homeland, its social community and the security of their cultural background for longer or even permanent stays abroad. It has also major impact on the communities left behind and those receiving the travelers on a visit or for long-term residence. During the workshop we will primarily discuss the following aspects:

Why were which routes and means of transport preferable to others? Which preparations are necessary? Who or which factors decided whether to leave or to stay? How were necessary stopovers organized?

Which motivations for traveling can be discerned? Is long-term emigration the aim or the result of traveling? Which routes were used? What could happen during the trip? Which kind of reception would one expect?

How did communities cope with the loss of specialists or of comparatively large percentages of their inhabitants? How were travelers housed? How did this effect the receiving private or institutional households? How did local ‘foreign’ communities deal with the enhancement of their numbers? How did the decision to integrate oneself into their community or to keep one’s distance effect these ‘foreign’ communities, the local society as a whole, and the policy towards ‘foreigners’?

The geographical range covers the Great Area of the East Mediterranean Region including modern-day Greece, Turkey, Eastern Libya and Egypt, the East Mediterranean islands and the area between the eastern Mediterranean coast and the Zagros mountains.

Speakers include Alexander Schütze, Idan Breyer, Thomas Staubli, Melanie Wasmuth, Charles Draper, Kamyar Abdi and Dan'el Kahn.

If you are interested to join us, please contact Melanie Wasmuth at 


Call for papers [PDF (45 KB)]

Preliminary program [PDF (76 KB)]

Registration: For participation, registration via e-mail is required as space at the venue is limited. The registration fee is CHF 30.-


recommended by the administrators of the workshop venue >>> [PDF (27 KB)]

Restaurants close to the workshop venue >>> [PDF (15 KB)]

Location [PDF (606 KB)]