Professor Lloyd Weeks from the University of New England
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London, 26/07/2014

The MBI Al Jaber Lecture, BFSA Seminar for Arabian Studies

Copper Re-Configures Arabia’s Role in the Early Bronze Age

Professor Lloyd Weeks from the University of New England, New South Wales, delivered the MBI Al Jaber Lecture at the Seminar for Arabian Studies (SAS) at the British Museum on Saturday, 26th July, 2014. He presented his research on the location of the ‘Land of Magan’, sometimes referred to as the ‘Copper Mountain of Magan’, using some fascinating archaeological evidence and rigorous scientific data as well as ancient Mesopotamian textual sources. It is interesting to note that more than 4000 years before petroleum re-configured Arabia’s role in the modern world, copper played a similar part in its development during the Bronze Age.

Professor Weeks discussed the social, technological and economic roles of metals in the early complex societies of the ancient Near East, identifying the ways in which a Bronze Age copper ‘boom’ in south-eastern Arabia underpinned its integration into the long-distance exchange systems and cultural encounters that characterised the Bronze Age world. Large scale copper production in the 3rd millennium BC changed Bronze Age society in south-eastern Arabia as the region became more closely connected, both economically and culturally, with other civilisations in the greater Persian Gulf region, from Mesopotamia to Iran, and even the Indus Valley.

The public lecture is part of the Seminar for Arabian Studies, a three-day event organised by the British Foundation for the Study of Arabia (BFSA) and supported by both the British Museum and the MBI Al Jaber Foundation, a British registered charity which aims to promote cultural dialogue and exchange between the Middle East and wider world.


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