Cracking Bones, Gnawing Flesh, and Pondering Hearts: Body, Mind, and Medicine in Ancient Mesopotamia

Tue., Sep. 19, 2017, 6:00 pm
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Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street, Cambridge
Free
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September 19

The human body has not changed significantly during recorded history—we share sensory faculties, metabolism, sexuality, aging, and mortality with even our distant ancestors. Concepts of body and self, on the other hand, evolve as cultural and historical constructs that vary widely between time and place. Drawing upon ancient texts and visual representations, Ulrike Steinert will discuss how categories of “body” and “mind” were construed in Mesopotamia more than three thousand years ago and will consider social aspects of the body at the intersection of cultural norms, ideals, and gender.

Ulrike Steinert, Research Associate, Babylonian Medicine, Department of History and Cultural Studies, Freie Universität Berlin