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Animals in Ancient Material Cultures

The Allard Pierson Museum, the archaeological museum of the University of Amsterdam, is pleased to announce a two-day, international conference on the theme of Animals in Ancient Material Cultures, broadly in the Mediterranean world, from ca. 2500BCE to 500 CE. Registration is now open and scholars, students and interested members of the public are cordially invited to attend the conference to be held on 15–16 October 2015.

The keynote speakers at the conference will be Dr S. Lewis (University of St Andrews) and Prof L. Llewellyn-Jones (University of Edinburgh). Presentations will also be given by Prof E. de Jong (University of Amsterdam, Artis) and J. Mulder, MSc (curator of the Artis Library). The conference will be chaired by Dr B.F. van Oppen de Ruiter (Allard Pierson Museum) and Dr J. Bakels (curator Groote Museum, Artis) will serve as primary respondent. An excursion to Artis Zoo is included on the morning of the second day.

The Allard Pierson Museum contains a vast repository of ancient representations of animals from the Near East, Egypt, Greece and Rome. Animals have been part of everyday human life, imagination and religion from prehistoric times to the present day. In antiquity, many human pursuits from plowing the field to fighting on the battlefield, and from consuming food to sacrificing to the gods relied on a symbiotic or interdependent relationship with animals. They were hunted, tamed, kept for entertainment or even worshipped. Visual materials can offer important evidence as representations and illustrations of ancient peoples’ ideas and attitudes about the animal world which surrounded them.

For more information about the programme and registration for the conference please visit


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