30 June, 2014

International symposium about West Asia

I joined in the international symposium on June 28-29th.

Symposium "Facilitating the Study of West Asian Civilization: what does ancient West Asia tell us?"
June 28 (Sat)
Introduction: The Aim of West Asian Civilization Studies
Session 01: Geology Based Culture?
Session 02: Paleoclimatic Changes and the Evolution of Humans and Culture in West Asia Session 03: The Birth of Major Food Sources
Session 04: Commodification of Animals
Session 05: Development of Advanced Technology in Ancient West Asia
Session 06: How Cities Came About?

These sessions of the first day was mainly shown about geology, Paleoclimatic changes, plant domestication and origins of agriculture, animal domestication and commodification, pyrotechnology, ancient cities. They were very interesting for me because I don't have enough knowledge about West Asian Archaeology.

After that, we had a drinking party at the restaurant (URL: only in Japanese). The night view from a window was very beautiful due to the height of Sunshine City

Gift from the restaurant


When I came to the Ikebukuro station, I found this notice board "Exhibition of Venomous Creature" about the forthcoming exhibition of the Sunshine City Aquarium (URL: only in Japanese).

Purple Chinese characters show "poison" in Japanese. For me, the colour and layout of the poster were so cool because
we can catch the meaning of this exhibition easily.

29th (Sun) 
Session 07: The Invention of Wold's Oldest Writing in Ancient West Asia
Session 08: The Religious Traditions of Ancient West Asia
Session 09: Seismicity and Ancient Civilization
Session 10: Archaeological Science and Conservation Science for Cultural Heritage in West Asia

Panel Discussion: Ancient West Asian Civilization as the Foundation of All Modern Civilizations

These sessions of the second day was mainly shown about cuneiform writing system, religion, ancient earthquakes, and archaeological conservation. I was very interested in cuneiform writing technology because they contained rich information about the Mesopotamian environment. Also Session 10 of archaeological conservation was interesting for me because my works and museum job are related to these kind of aspects. I strongly agree with that human being are one of factors destroying archaeological materials.

After all of sessions finished, panel discussion was conducted. Actually a comment to sessions was a little bit long to consume most of discussion time. But I was very stimulated with his talks "An Asian comparative perspective". Why do we study West Asian archaeology? The answer is shown here, I think. 

Not European, not North American, even though not West Asian. It is very meaningful that East Asian, especially Japanese researchers conduct researches about West Asia. It may lead to boost mutual understanding and relations of trust. I realised these things by this international symposium.

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