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Experts gather at Warwick for anniversary of controversial book

Experts will gather at the University of Warwick to mark the 20th anniversary of a controversial book which claims classical Greek culture has African roots. 

Martin Bernal’s Black Athena challenged accepted theories on the whole basis of classical civilisation. He claims classical Greek culture has deep roots in Afroasiatic cultures, rather than Central Europe. 

Bernal’s book stirred extensive debate when it was first published in 1988. As it reaches its 20th anniversary, Dr Daniel Orrells from Warwick’s Classics and Ancient History department has organised a three-day conference in November to explore ideas and issues raised by Black Athena

Dr Orrells said: “This conference does not seek to demonise or lionise Bernal’s book, but to open a dialogue on the issues it has posed. The book was so controversial when it was first published, it will be fascinating to discover how Bernal’s theories are regarded 20 years later.” 

The conference will take place from 6-8 November 2008, for more details visit http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/classics/research/africanathena/ 

Notes to editors:Journalists are welcome to attend the conference, please contact Kelly Parkes-Harrison, Communications Officer, University of Warwick, 02476 150483, 07824 540863, k.e.parkes@warwick.ac.uk