Jan Tavernier is Professor of Ancient Near Eastern Studies at the Université Catholique de Louvain (Belgium). He obtained his PhD in 2002 at the KU Leuven with a thesis on Iranian proper names and loanwords in non-Iranian texts dated to the Achaemenid period (c. 550-330 BCE). This thesis was published in 2007 in a monograph. His research axes are inter alia: Elamite and Old Persian languages, linguistic history of the Achaemenid Empire and interaction between the Arabian peninsula and Mesopotamia
The role of the Eastern Arabian Peninsula in the History of the Ancient Near East
The Pre-Islamic history of Mesopotamia is quite well documented by a large number of cuneiform tablets discovered all over the Mesopotamian territory. To the contrary, a smaller number of historical sources gives us insight into the history of the Eastern Arabian peninsula (modern Kuwait, Eastern Saudi Arabia and Bahrain). This is also the reason why not very much scientific attention has been given to this area, at least until recently.
This lecture will have a closer look at the political, socio-economic and religious history of the Eastern Arabian peninsula. Special attention will be given to the close relations between this area and the rest of the Ancient Near East and particularly Southern Mesopotamia. The chronological framework of the lecture is from the 3rd Millennium BCE to the 3rd century CE. The sources discussed will be both textual and archaeological ones.