For the first time in January 1998, an afternoon-meeting with two lectures on Biblical Hebrew took place at the University of Mainz. This was a spontaneous idée fixe to increase the audience for a hebraistic guest-lecture by Prof. Ernst Jenni from Basel and happened under the auspices of the 'Forschungsstelle für Hebräische Syntax', which was at that time the name of the now "Reseach Unit on Ancient Hebrew & Epigrapgy". Personal invitations had been sent out both at home and abroad. Due to the unexpected interest that overran even the invited coverage, the organisers felt prompted to carry out a second colloquium already in autumn of the same year. Subsequently, six times a so-called 'Mainzer Hebraistisches Kolloquiumâ (MHK) followed annually until 2003 and developed to a regular small-topic segmental conference in Mainz. Besides invited speakers both from Germany and from abroad, even short papers from junior-scholars (i.e. postgraduates and PhD students) were explicitely included in the programme. With the intent to create a realm of non-onceited dialogue they were given the opportunity to present and discuss their projects in a both personal and cooperative atmosphere, which is often not possible at large international congresses with a wider range of topics.
Increasing international popularity and the extension of subject matter to the specialist areas of adjacent languages and the linguistic environment of Ancient Hebrew (Aramaic, Pheonician, Ugaritic etc) eventually caused a transformation of the MHK. Since the seventh meeting in November 2004 it evolved to what nowadays is known as the 'Mainz International Colloquium on Ancient Hebrew' (MICAH), a bi-annual and two-or-three-day event and now counting the 12th from the very beginning in 1998.
Today, the 'Mainz Internationa Colloquium on Ancient Hebrew' with its well-established acronym MICAH is being organized in co-operation with Dr. Anna Elise Zernecke (University of Bern) with the help and further assistance of student volunteers who got addicted to the Idea of making it feel fine to dive together into Ancient Hebrew & West Semitic.
The 2018 Mainz International Colloquium on Ancient Hebrew will be held in November 2018, 2nd — 4th, at Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz.