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Department of Archaeology

 

Biography

I have a BA in Archaeology and History of Art from the University of Athens, Greece, an MPhil in World Archaeology from the University of Cambridge and a PhD in Ancient Near Eastern Studies from the University of Cambridge. I have held research and teaching positions at the University of Helsinki, the Max-Planck Institute for the History of Science, the University of Heidelberg and Newcastle University.

Research

  • Archaeology and History of the Ancient Near East and Eastern Mediterranean
  • Theoretical Approaches to Archaeology and Ancient History
  • Digital Humanities

I work at the interface between material, visual and textual culture with a strong interest in digital humanities and their application in archaeology.

My PhD explored the material manifestation of power relations within an administrative centre in Southern Mesopotamia, utilising a combination of textual and visual elements for the analysis of late third millennium impressions of cylinder seals on clay tablets. At the University of Helsinki I was responsible for the addition of extensive bibliographies on all aspects of contact between Mesopotamia and the Eastern Mediterranean for the Melammu Project, whose aim is the documentation of the cultural links of Mesopotamia with the rest of the Ancient World from the second millennium up to Islamic times. At the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, I worked on digital humanities approaches to documenting seals and sealings In cooperation with the Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative. In Heidelberg my work focused on the materiality of writing and the affordances of materials, designs and practices and  explored the dichotomy between élite and non-élites in third millennium Mesopotamia. I am currently engaged in projects focussing on digital humanities and theoretical approaches to the social history of Mesopotamia from the early historical period (late 4th millennium) up to the 1st millennium BCE.

I am presently the Cambridge PI in the project “Memories for Life: Materiality and Memory of Ancient Near Eastern inscribed private objects", a 3.5-year collaborative project funded by the Swedish Research Council (PIs Jakob Andersson, Uppsala and Christina Tsouparopoulou, Cambridge), which aims to identify and highlight the personal perspective, materiality and agency in inscribed objects commissioned by private individuals in the Ancient Near East throughout three millennia.

I am also working on another project, funded through a Marie-Curie Fellowship, which aims to explore the socio-cultural history of non-elites at the transition from the Middle to the Late Bronze Age in the Near East, Eastern Mediterranean and S. Caucasus. The emphasis is placed on mapping the flows of images, artefacts and ideas. Combining Digital Humanities and archaeometry with innovative archaeological and art historical theories, the project studies the production, consumption, and appropriation and/or rejection of ‘commonplace’ cylinder seals, a widely-used class of object in mid-second millennium BCE, seemingly produced en-masse on ‘low-cost’ materials, which spread over a wide area from the Eastern Mediterranean to Central Western Asia.

 

Collaborators

Publications

Key publications: 
[1] Tsouparopoulou, C. 2017 “’Counter-archaeology’; putting the Ur III Drehem archives back in the ground”, in Heffron, Y, A. B. Stone and M. J. Worthington (eds.) At the Dawn of History: Ancient Near Eastern Studies in honour of J. Nicholas Postgate, 611—29, Winona Lake (IN): Eisenbrauns.
[2] Balke, Th. E. and C. Tsouparopoulou (eds.) 2016. Materiality of Writing in Early Mesopotamia, Materiale Textkulturen Series, Berlin: De Gruyter. ISBN 978-3-11-045962-3
[3] Tsouparopoulou, C. 2015 The Ur III seals impressed on cuneiform documents from Puzrish-Dagan (Drehem), Heidelberger Studien zum Alten Orient 16Heidelberg: Heidelberger Orientverlag. ISBN 978-3-927552-51-7
[4] Tsouparopoulou, C. 2014 “An online database for the documentation of seals, sealings and seal impressions in the Ancient Near East”, Studia Orientalia Electronica 2:37–68. (With a contribution by R. Casties).
Other publications: 
[1] Tsouparopoulou, C. 2008 “Namnine-hedu: yet another Ur III princess”, Journal of Cuneiform Studies 56: 7–13.
[2] Kantel, J., P.Damerow, S. Köhler, C. Tsouparopoulou 2010 “3D-Scans von Keilschrifttafeln” in Assmann, W., C. Hausmann-Jamin, F. Malisius (eds.), 26. DV-Treffen der Max-Planck-Institute. Göttingen, 41–62.
[3] Tsouparopoulou, C. 2012 “The K-9 Corps of the Third Dynasty of Ur”, Zeitschrift für Assyriologie und Vorderasiatische Archäologie 102: 1–16.
[4] Tsouparopoulou, C. 2013 “Killing and skinning animals in the Ur III period”, Altorientalische Forschungen 40:150–182.
[5] Tsouparopoulou, C. 2013 “A reconstruction of the Puzrish-Dagan central livestock agency”, Cuneiform Digital Library Journal 2013/2:1–20.
[6] Tsouparopoulou, C. 2013 “Reflections on paratextual markers and graphic devices in Ur III administrative documents”, Textual Cultures 8.2:1–14.
[7] Tsouparopoulou, C. 2014 “A note on Ur III administrative procrastination”, Cuneiform Digital Library Notes 2014.
[8] Tsouparopoulou, C. 2014 “Hidden messages under the temple”, in T. Frese, W. Keil, K. Krüger (eds.) Verborgen, unsichtbar, unlesbar. Materiale Textkulturen 2:23–38. Berlin: De Gruyter.
[9] Tsouparopoulou, C. 2014 “An online database for the documentation of seals, sealings and seal impressions in the Ancient Near East”, Studia Orientalia Electronica 2:37–68. (With a contribution by R. Casties).
[10] Jördens, A, M. Ott, R. Ast, C. Tsouparopoulou 2015 “Wachs”, in T. Meier, M. Ott, Sauer, R. (eds.) Materiale Textkulturen. Konzepte-Materialien-Praktiken, 371­–382. Berlin: De Gruyter.
[11] Balke, T., D. Panagiotopoulos, A. Sarri, C. Tsouparopoulou 2015 “Ton”, in T. Meier, M. Ott, Sauer, R. (eds.) Materiale Textkulturen. Konzepte-Materialien-Praktiken, 277–292. Berlin: De Gruyter.
[12] Fox, R., D. Panagiotopoulos, C. Tsouparopoulou 2015 “Affordanz”, in. T. Meier, M. Ott, Sauer, R. (eds.) Materiale Textkulturen. Konzepte-Materialien-Praktiken, 63–70. Berlin: De Gruyter.
[13] Tsouparopoulou, C. and T. Maier 2015 “Artefakt”, in T. Meier, M. Ott, Sauer, R. (eds.) Materiale Textkulturen. Konzepte-Materialien-Praktiken, 47–62. Berlin: De Gruyter.
[14] Karagianni, A., J.P. Schwindt, C. Tsouparopoulou 2015. “Materialität”, in T. Meier, M. Ott, Sauer, R. (eds.) Materiale Textkulturen. Konzepte-Materialien-Praktiken, 33–46. Berlin: De Gruyter.
[15] Tsouparopoulou, C. 2015 The Ur III seals impressed on cuneiform documents from Puzrish-Dagan (Drehem), Heidelberger Studien zum Alten Orient 16Heidelberg: Heidelberger Orientverlag. ISBN 978-3-927552-51-7
[16] Tsouparopoulou, C. 2015 “Spreading the royal word: the (im)materiality of communication in early Mesopotamia”, in S. Enderwitz and R. Sauer (eds.). Communication and Materiality in Pre-modern societies. Materiale Textkulturen 8, 5–23. Berlin: De Gruyter.
[17] Balke, Th. E. and C. Tsouparopoulou (eds.) 2016. Materiality of Writing in Early Mesopotamia, Materiale Textkulturen Series, Berlin: De Gruyter. ISBN 978-3-11-045962-3
[18] Tsouparopoulou, C. 2016 “Gertrude Bell and Ur”, in Jackson, M. and A. Perkin (eds.), The Extraordinary Gertrude Bell, Newcastle: Tyne Bridge Publishing.
[19] Balke, Th. and C. Tsouparopoulou 2016 Introduction, in Balke, T. and C. Tsouparopoulou (eds.), Materiality of Writing in Early Mesopotamia, 1–10, Berlin: De Gruyter.
[20] Tsouparopoulou, C. 2016 “Deconstructing textuality, reconstructing materiality in Mesopotamia”, in Balke, T. and C. Tsouparopoulou (eds.), Materiality of Writing in Early Mesopotamia, 257–76, Berlin: De Gruyter.
[21] Tsouparopoulou, C. 2017 “’Counter-archaeology’; putting the Ur III Drehem archives back in the ground”, in Heffron, Y, A. B. Stone and M. J. Worthington (eds.) At the Dawn of History: Ancient Near Eastern Studies in honour of J. Nicholas Postgate, 611—29, Winona Lake (IN): Eisenbrauns.
[22] Tsouparopoulou, C. 2020 “The healing goddess, her dogs and physicians in late third millennium Mesopotamia”, Zeitschrift für Assyriologie 110.
[23] Manolopoulou, V., J. Skinner and C. Tsouparopoulou (eds.) under contract. Identities in Antiquity. Rewriting Antiquity. Routledge.
[24] Recht, L. and C. Tsouparopoulou (eds.) accepted. Fierce lions, angry mice and fat-tailed sheep: Animal encounters in the ancient Near East. McDonald Institute Conversation Series.
[25] Tsouparopoulou, C. and L. Recht, forthcoming."Dogs and equids in war in 3rd millennium Mesopotamia", in Recht, L and C. Tsouparopoulou (eds.), Fierce lions, angry mice and fat-tailed sheep: Animal encounters in the ancient Near East. McDonald Institute Conversation Series.
[26] Tsouparopoulou, C., forthcoming."A methodological solution to overcoming the text:artefact divide in Ancient Near Eastern Studies", in Y. Heffron (ed.), Textual Archaeology. London: UCL Press.
[27] Recht, L. and C. Tsouparopoulou forthcoming."Encountering animals in the ancient Near East", in Recht, L and C. Tsouparopoulou (eds.), Fierce lions, angry mice and fat-tailed sheep: Animal encounters in the ancient Near East. McDonald Institute Conversation Series.
[28] Highcock, N. and C. Tsouparopoulou forthcoming."The Construction of Women’s Identities through Commemorative Objects in Bronze Age Mesopotamia", Altorientalische Forschungen.

 

Job Titles

Senior Research Associate and Marie Sklodowska-Curie European Fellow, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research
Junior Research Fellow, Wolfson College

General Info

Not available for consultancy
Research Expertise / Fields of study: 
Material Culture
Socio-Politics of the Past
Assyriology and Mesopotamian Languages
Artefact Analysis & Technology
Art and Iconography
Archaeological Theory
Epigraphy & Paleography
Cultural Heritage

Contact Details

McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research
Downing Street
CAMBRIDGE
CB2 3ER

Affiliations

Person keywords: 
Material Culture
Urbanism
The Near East
Materials science
Textual Analyses
Cosmopolitanism
The Mediterranean
Art and Iconography
Religion
Writing systems
Early Literacy
Multiculturalism
Archaeological Theory
Archaeology
Subjects: 
Archaeology
Assyriology and Mesopotamian Archaeology
Themes: 
Material Culture
Rethinking Complexity
Geographical areas: 
Aegean
Mediterranean
Mesopotamia and the Near East
Periods of interest: 
Copper/Bronze Age
Iron Age