Feb 6 2017-James Fraser on Kubaba

James Fraser from the British Museum reports on the discovery of the head of the Kubaba statue within the framework of the recent Turco-Italian excavations at Karkemish, which fits onto a statue found in the British Museum excavations at the same site 1878-81 (see also talk by Hasan Peker from last year) and a project aimed at digitally re-constructing the statue with its head.


June 8, 2016: Ben Haggarty performs Gilgamesh at SOAS.


As part of its centenary celebrations, SOAS University of London will be welcoming the acclaimed performance storyteller Ben Haggarty to perform the ancient Epic of Gilgamesh, with musical accompaniment by SOAS-alumnus Jonah Brody.

The Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh is one of the masterpieces of world literature. Exploring mankind’s universal longing for immortality, the poem tells the story of a Babylonian hero’s quest for glory and flight from death.

Ben Haggarty’s performance melds Sumerian and Babylonian narrative poems about King Gilgamesh into a gripping tale of the hero who did not want to die. He takes his inspiration from several translations of the poems, including the Penguin Classic by Professor George.

Professor Andrew George, Professor of Babylonian at SOAS, has been at the forefront of the rediscovery of the story of Gilgamesh. From 1985 to 2001, he toured museums, gathering sources for a new, comprehensive edition of the Babylonian poem from the original cuneiform tablets. His research culminated in the publication of the prize-winning Penguin Classics translation of the epic and related texts in 1999. Most recently, his work hit the headlines when he translated part of a newly discovered clay tablet with fellow assyriologist Farouk Al-Rawi. The tablet offered new insights into the Gilgamesh Epic

The event will be held on Wednesday 8 June 2016 at the Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre at SOAS. Doors open at 5.30 for 6 pm. Attendance is free, seats are available on a first come first served basis, but please go to the following link to register:


London Centre Spring Seminars 2016

London Centre for the Ancient Near East, Spring Seminar Series: “New Research”.

Also: two occasional lectures during the Spring.

All events of the Spring Series and LCANE occasional lectures are open to everyone depending on space limitations.

Jan 18th            Gianni Marchesi (Bologna): “The Cuneiform Finds of the Bronze and Iron Ages from Karkemish: An Overview”

Includes spectacular find of fragments of cylinders of Sargon II with a new historical text and the already published early Neo-Assyrian fragment of the “Evil Demons” series.

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Images: Copyleft of the Turco-Italian Archaeological Expedition at Karkemish

Feb 1st              Hasan Peker (Istanbul University): New Data for the History of Iron Age Karkemish: Epigraphic Discoveries of the Turco-Italian Expedition

Includes hieroglyphic finds from new excavations, as well as similar finds that had been thought lost and are now recovered from T.E. Lawrence and C.L. Woolley’s abandoned dig-house, in addition to the extraordinary discovery of a fragment joining to one of the earliest hieroglyphic monuments ever found from the very first excavations (1878).

Feb 15th            Yağmur Heffron (UCL, London): “Too much coincidence? Archaeological-textual complementarity in Anatolian funerary practices (2nd millennium BC)”

Feb 29th            Christopher Metcalf (Oxford): “New Literary Sources on Old Babylonian Religion”

Unpublished Sumerian literary texts

March 14th        Martin Bommas (Birmingham): “Life and Death at the Southern Border of Ancient Egypt: three case studies”.

Occasional Lectures:

Jan 25th:           Çiğdem Maner (Koç University, Istanbul): CANCELLED

March 7th:         Brian Janeway (Tayinat Archaeological Project):”Finding the Philistines: Ceramic Evidence of the Northern Sea Peoples at Tell Tayinat”

Reflections: ancient Near Eastern life as seen through seals and sealings, 17 Dec, SOAS, Khalili Lecture Theatre, 15.00


Reflections: ancient Near Eastern life as seen through seals and sealings

17th December 2015

SOAS, Khalili lecture theatre 15.00

Spurred by an awakening of interest in the materiality of clay tablets, seals are attracting ever greater attention in the modern Assyriological research agenda. The divide that has often existed between the study of seals and that of tablets is closing. This event is designed to bring together colleagues active in research on the topic, share recent advances, and stimulate discussion of promising avenues for future research.

This event consists of two parts:

1) a scientific symposium starting at 3pm discussing recent progress in the study of seals and sealings from various perspectives. Confirmed speakers currently include:

  • Diana Stein (London) – Seals, Wine and the Divine: Reflections on the “Banquet Scene
  • Jon Taylor (London) – Kassite seal inscriptions: personal piety and playful cuneiform
  • Christina Tsouparopoulou (Durham) – A new look at burgulseals
  • Christopher Walker (London) – Late Babylonian seals – the end of a tradition
  • Mark Weeden (London) – A Hittite “winged goddess” with hieroglyphic inscription.

2) a public lecture at 6pm presenting an aspect of the topic to a wider audience.

Katrien de Graef (Ghent) – “Seals of the Family: a Family of Seals. The Use of Family and Personal Seals within the Ur-Utu Archive (Old Babylonian Sippar)”

After the public lecture there will be a small reception.

This event has been made possible thanks to generous support from the London Centre for the Ancient Near East.