The Ur III period (2112-2004 BC) is perhaps the best documented century in antiquity. Tens of thousands of clay tablets have survived documenting one of the earliest historical experiments in state formation. These cuneiform texts record a tremendous range of activities and allow for the reconstruction of urban life at the end of the Third Millennium BC. From the 21st Century BC to the 21st Century AD: The Present and Future of Neo-Sumerian Studies will take place July 22-24, 2010 in Madrid, immediately prior to the scheduled Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale in Barcelona.
After nearly a century of intensive work on the Ur III period, this conference provides a venue for scholars to reflect on these achievements, to share their ongoing work, and to work collaboratively on agendas for future research. From the 21st Century BC to the 21st Century AD: The Present and Future of Neo-Sumerian Studies features twenty-seven speakers organized into eight thematic panels on different aspects of the corpus of Ur III texts and the society it describes. The chairs of each panel will be expected to facilitate substantive discussion of the topic.