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Programme in previous years

Easter term 2016

Apr 26, 2016 from 05:30 PM to 06:30 PM —McDonald Institute Seminar RoomMarie-Françoise Besnier (McDonald Institute, Cambridge) - How to understand the unseen: images for the primary stages of life in Tablet 1 of šumma izbu

May 10, 2016 from 05:30 PM to 06:30 PM —McDonald Institute Seminar RoomDaniela Arroyo-Barrantes (University of Cambridge) - Tell Majnuna: the origins of urban production in Mesopotamia


Lent Term 2016

Jan 19, 2016 from 05:30 PM to 06:30 PM; South Lecture Room, Division of ArchaeologyPatrick Michel (University of Geneva): Relations between the Sumero-Akkadian elite and Seleucid power in Babylon and Uruk.

Feb 02, 2016 from 05:30 PM to 06:30 PM; McDonald Institute Seminar RoomGösta Gabriel (Graduate School for Humanities, Göttingen): Interchanging stories - the mutual dependency of the Sumerian King List and the Sumerian Flood Story.

Feb 16, 2016 from 05:30 PM to 06:30 PM; McDonald Institute Seminar RoomMark Altaweel (University College London): The dawn of empires in the Ancient Near East: a dynamic systems approach.

Mar 01, 2016 from 05:30 PM to 06:30 PM; McDonald Institute Seminar RoomJohannes Haubold (University of Durham): After Babylon: Mesopotamian and pseudo-Mesopotamian literature in the Roman empire.

Michaelmas Term 2015 

Oct 13, 2015 from 05:30 PM to 06:30 PM; South Lecture Room, Division of ArchaeologyChristopher Metcalf (University of Oxford):Old Babylonian religious poetry in Anatolia: from solar hymn to plague prayer.

Oct 27, 2015 from 05:30 PM to 06:30 PM; South Lecture Room, Division of ArchaeologySelena Wisnom (University of Oxford): Old English stress patterns in Akkadian poetry: a comparative approach.

Nov 05, 2015 from 05:30 PM to 06:30 PM; South Lecture Room, Division of ArchaeologyFrançois Desset (University of Tehran / UMR 7041 ArScAn): Linear Elamite and geometric (Jiroft) writings : the state of the art about some undeciphered Iranian writing systems of the 3rd millennium BC.

Nov 17, 2015 from 05:30 PM to 06:30 PM; McDonald Institute Seminar RoomOlga Vinnichenko (University of Cambridge): The Aramaization of the Assyrian empire as evidenced by language.

Dec 01, 2015 from 05:30 PM to 06:30 PM; McDonald Institute Seminar RoomFrank Simons (University of Birmingham): While we’ve got the brazier out, we may as well do Šurpu ...

Easter Term 2015

April 28th from 5.30-6.30 PM, McDonald Institute Seminar Room 
Dr N. İlgi Gerçek, Affiliated Lecturer in Akkadian, Istanbul University 
The Steepest Places: Rebellion and Political Dissent in Hittite Records

Lent Term 2015

January 27th from 05:30 PM to 06:30 PM — McDonald Institute Seminar Room, 
Dr Christoph Bachhuber, POINT Fellow, Freie Universität Berlin 
The Presence of a Hittite Past 

February 3rd from 05:30 PM to 06:30 PM — McDonald Institute Seminar Room, 
Prof. Haskel Greenfield, Professor of Anthropology, University of Manitoba & Visiting Fellow, McDonald Institute 
Early Urban Neighbourhoods in the Southern Levant: The Early Bronze III at Tell es-Safi/Gath, Israel 

February 10th from 05:30 PM to 06:30 PM — McDonald Institute Seminar Room, 
Dr Wendy Matthews, Lecturer in Archaeology, University of Reading 
New Insights into Early Sedentism and Resource Management: The Central Zagros Archaeological Project 

February 17th from 05:30 PM to 06:30 PM — McDonald Institute Seminar Room, 
Dr Kathryn Stevens, Lecturer in Classics, University of Durham & Junior Research Fellow, Trinity College Cambridge 
Preserving the Past or Predicting the Future? Late Babylonian Scholars and Enūma Anu Enlil 

February 24th from 05:30 PM to 06:30 PM — McDonald Institute Seminar Room, 
Dr Gül Pulhan, Director of Gre Amer Excavations, Turkey 
North of the Tur Abdin but Still in the Loop: Excavations at Gre Amer, Garzan 

March 3rd from 05:30 PM to 06:30 PM — McDonald Institute Seminar Room, 
Dr Ulf-Dietrich Schoop, Lecturer in Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology, University of Edinburgh 
The Role of Technology in Chalcholithic Anatolia

Michaelmas Term 2014

Oct 14, 2014 from 06:00 PM to 07:00 PM — McDonald Institute Seminar Room, 
Dr Birger Ekornåsvåg Helgestad (The British Museum) 
The Ur Project: Digitally Reunifying the Finds and Archives from the City of Ur 

Oct 28, 2014 from 05:30 PM to 06:30 PM — McDonald Institute Seminar Room, 
Prof. emer. Michael Roaf (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München) 
30-day Months and 10-day Weeks 

Nov 04, 2014 from 05:30 PM to 06:30 PM — McDonald Institute Seminar Room, 
Dr Sophie V. Moore (Newcastle University) 
Bodies of Evidence at First and Second Millennium AD Çatalhöyük: Identity, Memory and Knowledge 

Nov 11, 2014 from 05:30 PM to 06:30 PM — McDonald Institute Seminar Room, 
Prof Cécile Michel (CNRS Nanterre) 
The Economic Activities of the Aššur Women According to Kaneš Private Archives (19th century BCE) 

Nov 18, 2014 from 05:30 PM to 06:30 PM — McDonald Institute Seminar Room, 
Dr Mark Jackson (Newcastle University) 
Innovation in the Byzantine Dark Age

Lent Term 2014

14 January, 2014
Dr. Michael Danti, Boston University
Searching for Musasir: The Rowanduz Archaeological Program 2013 in Iraqi Kurdistan

21 January, 2014
Prof. Douglas Baird, Liverpool University
A tale of two villages: The spread of farming in Neolithic Central Anatolia and the antecedents of Çatalhöyük: Excavations at Pinarbasi and Boncuklu

4 February, 2014
Prof. Andrew George, SOAS
On house drains and street lamps: textual evidence for some Babylonian civic amenities

11 February, 2014
Prof. Grant Frame, University of Pennsylvania
Lost in the Tigris: Trials and Tribulations in Editing the Royal Inscriptions of Sargon II of Assyria

25 February, 2014
Prof. Amélie Kuhrt, UCL
A Persian View of the Achaemenid Empire

11 March, 2014
Prof. Karen Radner, UCL
Brain drain: Foreign experts in the Assyrian heartland

Michaelmas Term 2013

15th October 2013
Dr. David Kertai, Institute of Archaeology, University College, London
Kalḫu’s royal palaces of the Late Assyrian period 

21st October 2013 (*Monday*)
Dr. Seth Richardson, Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
Sennacherib at Jerusalem: The First World Event

29th October 2013
Dr. Barbara Böck, Institute for Languages and Cultures of the Mediterranean and Near East, CSIC, Madrid
On Religious Thought in Ancient Babylonian Medicine: Medicinal Plants and Diseases Associated with the Healing Goddess Gula

12th November 2013
Dr. Martin Worthington, Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge
Miscellanies in Neo-Assyrian grammar

26th November 2013
Prof. Johannes Haubold, Department of Classics and Ancient History, University of Durham
Seleucid euergetism: Greek and Babylonian perspectives 

Lent Term 2013

Prof. Eliezer Oren (Ben Gurion University): Canaanite Temples, Rites and Rituals: Archaeological Evidence from Tel Haror, Israel

Prof. Nicholas Postgate (Cambridge): Three Gentlemen of Assyria: Inside Middle Assyrian Government Circles

Dr Paul Collins (Ashmolean Museum): Contract and Narrative in the Art of Mesopotamia 


Jennie Bradbury (Durham University): Living and Dying in the the 4th-3rd millennium BC Levant

Nicholas Reid (Oxford University): TBC

Heather Baker (University of Vienna): At Home in the Babylonian City: new light on domestic housing and urban living conditions

Alan Greaves (Lecturer in Archaeology, University of Liverpool): John Garstang's Work in Turkey - and the New Exhibition at the University of Liverpool (31st January)

Graham Philip (Professor of Archaeology, Durham University): Exploiting the Landscape of the Levant: a long-term perspective (7th February)

Caroline Waerzeggers (Lecturer in the Ancient Near East, UCL): Babylonia in the 1st Millennium (14th February)

Karen Sonik (Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles): Frontality and the Gaze in Mesopotamian Art (21st February)

Greta Van Buylaere (Research Fellow, Assyrian-Babylonian Scholarly Literacies, University of Cambridge): Assyrian and Babylonian Scholarly Literacies (6th March)

Assaad Seif (Co-ordinator of Archaeological Research, Ministry of Culture, Lebanon): Paradigm Shifts and the Politics of the Past in Lebanon: Urban Archaeology in the Making (13th March)

Ruth Horry (HPS, University of Cambridge): Doctors, divination and museum displays: the multiple lives of a Babylonian clay liver model (1st May)

DT Potts (Edwin Cuthbert Hall Professor of Middle Eastern Archaeology, University of Sydney): From sedentism to nomadism: Transformations in Iranian history and prehistory (8th May)

Mark Altaweel (Lecturer in Near Eastern Archaeology, UCL): New Investigations in the Iraqi Hilly Flanks: Social-Environmental and Historical Investigations from 2009-2012 (15th May)

Professor Elizabeth Stone and Professor Paul Zimansky (State University of New York, Stony Brook): Tell Sakhariya and the Urban Matrix of Mesopotamia (12th June) 


Tony Wilkinson (Professor of Archaeology, University of Durham): Upper Mesopotamian Trajectories: Settlement and Community within a Fragile Environment (25th January)

David Wengrow (Reader in Comparative Archaeology, UCL): Why did cross-cultural trade matter in the ancient Near East? (1st February)

Alasdair Livingstone (Reader in Assyriology, University of Birmingham): Hemerologies (15th February)

Ronan Head (Research Fellow in Ancient Law, Brigham Young University): The Babylonian Merchant-Slave (22nd February)

Frances Reynolds (Shillito Fellow in Assyriology, University of Oxford): Chaos in Akkadian Myth and Ritual (1st March)

Yoram Cohen (Dept of Archaeology and Near Eastern Cultures, Tel Aviv University): The Emar Scribal School (10th May)

Jon Taylor (Assistant Keeper of the Cuneiform Collections, British Museum): Squeezed, broken and lovingly preserved: Neo-Babylonian copies of ancient inscriptions (24th May)

Ilya Yakubovich (Fellow in Indo-Iranian Philology at the University of Oxford): Reconstructing multilingualism in ancient societies (11th October)

Christopher Metcalf (University of Oxford): New parallels in Hittite and Sumerian praise of the Sun (18th October)

Johanna Tudeau (University of Cambridge): Architectural planning in Assyria according to the royal inscriptions, state archives and omen series (1st November)

Marie-Françoise Besnier (Research Fellow, The Geography of Knowledge in Assyria and Babylonia, University of Cambridge): The Transmission of Divinatory series and their "Standardization" throughout second and first Millennia: the Examples of šumma izbu and ālu Series (22nd November)

David Wengrow (Reader in Comparative Archaeology, UCL): Images between worlds: Egypt and Mesopotamia in the fourth millennium BC (29th November)


Andrew George (Professor of Babylonian, SOAS, University of London): Translating Gilgamesh (1st February)

Yağmur Sarıoğlu (Doctoral Candidate, Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Cambridge): Texts Meet Archaeology: Ritual Vessels in Anatolian Domestic Cults in the 2nd Millennium B.C. (8th February)

John MacGinnis (Research Fellow, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge): Sun readers are not all the same: investigating the archives of the Neo-Babylonian Shamash Temple in Sippar (22nd February)

Luis Siddall (Doctoral Candidate SOAS, University of London): A New(ish) stele of the Assyrian king, Adad-nirari III and what it can tell us about text genre and chronology (1st March)

Jacob Lauinger (Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Research Fellow, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge): Following the Man of Yamhad: Alalakh and Syria in the Late Old Babylonian Period (26th April)

Stephanie Dalley (Senior Research Fellow in Assyriology, Faculty of Oriental Studies, Oxford University): Kish according to Cuneiform Sources: Overview of an Overview (10th May)

Roger Matthews (Professor of Near Eastern Archaeology, Institute of Archaeology, UCL): The Central Zagros Archaeological Project: new research into Neolithic society of west Iran (24th May)

Francesca Rochberg (Professor of Near Eastern Studies, Department of Near Eastern Studies, University of California, Berkeley): Cultural Matrix for Babylonian Astral Science in the Hellenistic World (31st May)

Nicole Brisch (University Lecturer in Assyriology, University of Cambridge): Letters to the Gods: Royal Letters of Petition as a Genre of Sumerian Scholarly Literature (26th October)

Jacob Dahl (University Lecturer in Assyriology, University of Oxford): Early Writing in the Ancient Near East (2nd November)

Johannes Haubold (Senior Lecturer in the Department of Classics and Ancient History, University of Durham): The Barbarian Writes Back: Reading Berossos (16th November)

Mark Weeden (British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellow, SOAS): Tabal and the Limits of Assyrian Imperialism (23rd November)