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Department of Archaeology



Selena's research centres on the languages, literature, and culture of ancient Iraq, with a particular emphasis on poetry and divination. Her DPhil explored the range and significance of literary allusions in three poems central to Babylonian culture: Anzû, Enūma elish, and Erra and Ishum, heroic narratives about warrior gods. She has also been developing a new system for analysing Babylonian metre, which is currently not well understood.  Her current project examines manuscripts dealing with omens, specifically extispicy: divination from the entrails of sacrificial sheep. The aim is to understand the rules and symbolism of Babylonian logic: why do they connect certain signs with certain outcomes, and how does the underlying theory work? Interdisciplinary and comparative methods play an important role and she uses methodology from Classics and anthropology across her work. I

Job Titles

Honorary Research Associate, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research
Junior Research Fellow in Manuscripts and Text Cultures, University of Oxford

General Info

Not available for consultancy
Research Expertise / Fields of study: 
Assyriology and Mesopotamian Languages

Contact Details


Assyriology and Mesopotamian Archaeology