Symposium: Water of Life

A symposium organized by the Danish Institute in Damascus and the Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies in celebration of the 80th birthday of Peder Mortensen.

November 27th - 28th , 2014, Ceremonial Hall, Main Building, University of Copenhagen

The symposium is a cross-disciplinary event with focus on the use and meaning of water in human adaptation to the environment in the Near East and Northern Africa from the earliest traces of human activities to modern times. The symposium brings together scientists of culture and nature in order to shed light on the most crucial challenge for survival, access to and use of water - physically as well as metaphorically.

Key note speakers are Prof. emer. Hans J. Nissen (Freie Universität Berlin) and Prof. Zheng-Tian Lu (University of Chicago)

Twenty invited experts present their papers followed by questions and comments.
See list of speakers and titles here.

The symposium is open to the public, but because of a very limited number of seats pre-registration is required no later than November, 12th. Confirmation will be sent a few days later.


After the symposium the papers are expected to be published for a broad audience in the series Proceedings of the Danish Institute in Damascus.

Organizers and editors

John Kuhlmann Madsen
Chairman, Board of the Danish Institute in Damascus

Nils O. Andersen
Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen

Ingolf Thuesen
Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen


Mads Vesterager Nielsen - or
Pia Frandsen -