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Research Fellows and Associates

Mesopotamia at Cambridge Post-doctoral and Affiliated Researchers


Dr Marie Besnier

Affiliated scholar, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research

I specialise in Mesopotamian culture, with particular reference to gardens and the divinatory series, and supervise Undergraduates in Akkadian language.


Dr Harriet Crawford

Fellow of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research

Harriet has directed fieldwork in Kuwait and Bahrain and is the author of Sumer and the Sumerians (1991, 2004), Dilmun and Its Gulf Neighbours (1998), and editor of The Sumerian World (CUP, 2012).


James Kinnier Wilson

Formerly Eric Yarrow Lecturer in Assyriology

James was the University's Assyriologist from 1955 till 1989, teaching Akkadian and Sumerian. He is author of several books, including an edition of the Etana myth.


Dr John MacGinnis

Dr John MacGinnis

Research Fellow, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research

John's academic interests revolve primarily around Mesopotamia in the first millennium BC. He is interested in work which integrates the evidence of both archaeology and epigraphy for the Neo-Assyrian, Neo-Babylonian and Achaemenid empires. For many years he has researched the Neo-Babylonian/Achaemenid archives of the Ebabbara, the temple of the sun god Shamash in Sippar (south of modern Baghdad) and has published extensively in this field. He has also been working for over a decade at the site of Ziyaret Tepe in southeastern Turkey, now identified as the Neo-Assyrian provincial capital of Tushan, where he is both project epigrapher and directs excavations in the lower town.

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Dr Joan Oates

Fellow of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research

Joan is the Director of the Tell Brak Excavation in Syria, where she has worked since 1981; she has previously excavated in Iraq at Choga Mami, Nippur and Nimrud. Her extensive publications include Nimrud, An Assyrian Imperial City Revealed (2001, with D. Oates) and Excavations at Tell Brak, Volumes 1 and 2 (1997 and 2001, with D. Oates & H. McDonald).


Dr Kathryn Stevens

Junior Research Fellow, Trinity College

Kathryn read Classics with Akkadian as an undergraduate at St John's College, Oxford, then studied for her MPhil and PhD at King's College, Cambridge. In 2012-13 she was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Assyriology at the University of Copenhagen, before returning to Cambridge in 2013 as a Junior Research Fellow at Trinity College. Her research interests include Greek and Mesopotamian cultural and intellectual history, with a particular focus on the Hellenistic period; cross-cultural connections between the Greek world and Mesopotamia; Seleucid Babylonia; Mesopotamian astrology; and libraries and scholarship in the ancient world.