Herausgegeben von Ute Pietruschka und Michael P. Streck in Verbindung mit Beate Eschment

Symbolische Repräsentation und Wirklichkeit nomadischen Lebens

17.0 x 24.0 cm, 216 p., 39 illustrations b/w, hardback
68,00 €

ISBN: 9783895006579
Table of Contents

Short Description

This essay collection brings together contributions from two research colloquia of the Collaborative Research Center “Difference and Integration. The interaction between nomadic and settled forms of life in the civilizations of the Old World”, based at the Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg and the University of Leipzig. The colloquium “Symbolic Representations of Nomadic Identities” examined to what extent the representation of nomadic life from the “external” perspective of settled communities and the nomadic “internal” perspective has taken a symbolic form. The colloquium “Camel, Horse and Reindeer - Herd Animals and the Mobility of Nomads” engaged with the topic of nomad herd animals, which symbolically represent nomadic life and are also an essential element of the reality of nomadic life.


Camels, horses, reindeers - these herd animals are an essential element within the reality of nomadic life and also represent meaning-giving symbols of nomadism. In two colloquia of the Collaborative Research Center “Difference and Integration. The interaction between nomadic and settled forms of life in the civilizations of the Old World” based in Halle and Leipzig, these symbols, seen as an integral part of the interaction between nomads and settled peoples, have been examined in relation to various aspects and in a wide temporal and geographic context. The essay collection offers a view into the work of a large, international and unique research alliance dealing with the relationship between nomadic and settled peoples. It discusses the results of research regarding the meaning of symbols for nomadic identity, as well as the very real function of herd animals in nomadic life. It also emphasizes that the “decoding” of the symbols of nomadic life depend on the respective cultural, social and religious context.

About the Contributions
Ute Pietruschka engages with Syrian and Greek texts that deal with the symbolism of the desert. Bertram Schmitz discusses the symbol of the tent in Israeli religion. Ines Stolpe elucidates in her contribution the importing of the Soviet star in Mongolia. Elif Daðyeli examines the visualizing of symbols upon felt carpets in Kyrgyzstan. Renate Heckendorf shows in her essay the difficulties that Archeology is confronted with when attempting to examine the symbolic content of pre-historical cave drawings. Uta Schilling enquires about the linguistic norms marking the term “nomad” in Kazakh (köšpendí) within the Kazakh-speaking community of Mongolia. Judith Rosenhouse deals with Bedouin dialects in Israel. Michael Herles examines the camel in archeological sources from the years 300 to 100 B.C. in ancient Mesopotamia. Herbert Eisenstein’s contribution engages with the cultural significance of the camel in the classical Arabic-Islamic period. Anna Akasoy’s essay is dedicated to the description of camels in old Arabic poetry in Ka‘b ibn Zuhayr’s work. The collection is directed towards Orientalists, Ethnologists, Historians and Archeologists who deal with the topic of Nomadism.

Biographical Note

Michael P. Streck
PhD in Ancient Near Eastern Studies in 1992, Post-doctoral Habilitation 1998, Heisenberg Scholar of the German Research Foundation 1999-2003, winner of the Jonas C. Greenfield Prize for Younger Scientists of the American Oriental Society 2003, since 2003 chair for Ancient Near Eastern Studies at the University of Leipzig. Since 2004 editor of the “Reallexikon der Assyriologie und Vorderasiatischen Archäologie” and member of the Collaborative Research Center “Difference and Integration. The interaction between nomadic and settled forms of life in the civilizations of the Old World”.

Ute Pietruschka
PhD in the Languages and Cultures of the Middle East 1986, Research interests: Oriental Christianity, transmission of Greek philosophy in the Middle East, Member of the Collaborative Research Center 586 (2004-2008). Since 2009 director of the project “Corpus of Arabic and Syriac Gnomologia”.

Beate Eschment
PhD in East European History at the University of Hanover. Research interests: Russian and Soviet history as well as contemporary developments in the Central Asian Republics of the CIS. Member of the Collaborative Research Center 586 (2004-2008). At the moment academic at the Research Center for Eastern Europe at the University of Bremen.


Anthropology (75) || Beduinen (5) || Biography & non-fiction prose (112) || Cultural & media studies (265) || Cultural studies (247) || Kulturelle Identität (6) || Literary essays (61) || Middle East (362) || Nomaden (15) || Nomadismus (4) || Sesshaftigkeit || Social & cultural anthropology (73) || Society & culture: general (358) || Sociology & anthropology (104) || Vorderer Osten