Regional Signifiers and the Many Locations of the ‘Land Between the Rivers’
Datum der Freigabe:
Rune RattenborgConfiguring Mesopotamia: Regional Signifiers and the Many Locationsof the ‘Land Between the Rivers’SummaryIt seems a travesty to reiterate exactly what we mean by ‘Meso-potamia’. The tautological qualities of Greekmésos(‘middle’, ‘inbetween’) andpotamós(‘stream’, ‘river’) often rule out furtherelaboration of its origins and the assumed self-evident natureof its current application. Yet regional concepts are not stable.Their delineation may be defined according to a complex setof attributes not related to physical borders alone. I considerhere the changing meanings of ‘Mesopotamia’ as a name forthe drainage of the Euphrates and Tigris from the 2nd millen-nium BCE until the present day. In conclusion, I argue thatcurrent notions of ‘Mesopotamia’ are a product of the FirstWorld War, and hence far from unproblematic references to adistant historical past to which they bear no inherent relation.