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Teaching Staff

Mesopotamia at Cambridge

University teaching in Akkadian and Sumerian language, literature and culture is given by Dr. Martin Worthington. University teaching in Mesopotamian archaeology and history is given by Dr. Augusta McMahon. These staff members also give many of the College undergraduate supervisions in ancient Near Eastern subjects, supplemented by assistance from advanced PhD students and post-doctoral scholars. All staff members have ongoing research projects in the archaeology, social history and languages of Mesopotamia and are able and willing to supervise M.Phil and Ph.D students in a wide range of topics.


Augusta McMahon

Dr Augusta McMahonAugusta McMahon is Reader in Mesopotamian Archaeology in Archaeology and a fellow of Newnham College

She has excavated in Iraq, at the major sites of Nippur and Nineveh, and also in Syria, Turkey, Egypt and Yemen. Since 2006 she has been Field Director of the Tell Brak Excavation in northeast Syria and previously was Co-Director of excavations at Chagar Bazar in Syria from 1999 to 2002.

Her research interests include urbanization and early complexity, early warfare, sensory archaeology, and material culture. Her recent publications include Nippur V: The Early Dynastic to Akkadian Transition (2006) and Once There Was a Place: Settlement Archaeology at Chagar Bazar, 1999-2002 (2009). She is currently a member of the Council and Chair of the Publications Committee of the British Institute for the Study of Iraq and has recently been on the Managing Committee of the Council for British Research in the Levant.

Contact :  Further information here.


Nicholas Postgate

Prof Nicholas PostgateNicholas Postgate is Emeritus Professor of Assyriology in the Division of Archaeology and a Fellow of Trinity College. He works on the social and economic history of Mesopotamia, especially Assyria. He was Director of the British School of Archaeology in Iraq (Baghdad) during the 1970s and conducted excavations at the Sumerian city of Abu Salabikh, in southern Iraq, from 1975 to 1989.

From 1994 to 1998, he directed the excavation of the Bronze and Iron Age site of Kilise Tepe in southern Turkey, and this project resumed in 2007-2012.

Apart from excavation reports and editions of cuneiform texts, his books include The First Empires (1977) and Early Mesopotamia: society and economy at the dawn of history (1992). He is currently on the Council of the British Institute for the Study of Iraq.

Contact :  Further information here.

Martin Worthington

Martin Worthington is Senior Lecturer in Assyriology, Assyriology Course Coordinator in the Division of Archaeology, and a Fellow of St John's College. His research interests centre on Babylonian and Assyrian language, literature and medicine. 

He authored a volume on Babylonian in the 'Teach Yourself' Series (2010, 2nd ed. 2018) and the monograph Principles of Akkadian Textual Criticism (2012). He sits on the Editorial Board of Chatreššar, Le Journal des Médecines Cunéiformes and the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society. In 2010, he created a website that hosts recordings of Babylonian and Assyrian poetry read aloud by modern scholars in the original language ( and he maintains a website devoted to Akkadian lexicography.  In 2017 he directed the world's first Babylonian-Language film, The Poor Man of Nippur.  His new book Ea's Duplicity in the Gilgamesh Flood Story will appear with Routledge.

Contact : Further information here.