About Me

Bio

I am Assistant Professor of Ancient Near Eastern History (CLTA) at the University of Toronto’s Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations. I’m currently Principal Investigator of MTAAC (Machine Translation and Automated Analysis of Cuneiform Languages), an international collaborative project funded through the Trans-Atlantic Platform Digging into Data Challenge (2016 round).

After studying Archaeology (BA) at the University of Cambridge I worked as a field archaeologist for several years in Britain, Cyprus, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq. My experience of Mesopotamian archaeology inspired me to study for an MPhil in Cuneiform Studies at Oxford, followed by a DPhil in Assyriology. After the doctorate I held research positions with the State Archives of Assyria Project in Helsinki, serving as Editor-in-Charge of The Prosopography of the Neo-Assyrian Empire from 1999 on, and with the START Project on ‘The Economic History of Babylonia in the 1st Millennium BC’ in Vienna. I then led a six-year research project in Vienna on ‘Royal Institutional Households in First Millennium BC Mesopotamia’ funded by the Austrian Science Fund, before taking up my current position in Toronto in September 2014.

My work focuses on the social, political and economic history and material culture of 1st millennium BC Mesopotamia, with a particular interest in Babylonian urbanism and the built environment, in integrating textual and archaeological data, and Digital Humanities.

Education

  • DPhil in Assyriology (University of Oxford)
  • MPhil in Cuneiform Studies (University of Oxford)
  • BA in Archaeology (University of Cambridge)

Employment

  • 2014–present: Assistant Professor in Ancient Near Eastern History, Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, University of Toronto
  • 2009—2014: Senior Postdoc and PI of project “Royal Institutional Households in First Millennium BC Mesopotamia,” Institut fūr Orientalistik, University of Vienna
  • 2003–2009: Postdoc, START Project “The Economic History of Babylonia in the First Millennium BC,” Institut fūr Orientalistik, University of Vienna
  • 1999–2002: Research Associate, State Archives of Assyria Project, University of Helsinki; from July 1999, Editor-in-Charge of The Prosopography of the Neo-Assyrian Empire
  • 1993–1998: Editorial Assistant/IT Assistant (part-time), A Lexicon of Greek Personal Names (a British Academy Major Research Project)
  • 1994–1995: Curator Grade G (part-time), Department of the Middle East, the British Museum
  • 1984–1989: Field Archaeologist employed on various excavation and post-excavation projects in England, Cyprus, Turkey, Jordan, and Iraq

Grants & Awards

  • Dean’s Excellence Award, University of Toronto (June 2018)
  • MTAAC (Machine Translation and Automated Analysis of Cuneiform Languages): Toronto team funded by SSHRC via the Trans-Atlantic Platform Digging into Data Challenge (2017–2019)
  • Compute Canada Research Platforms and Portals award of computational resources to establish a Toronto mirror for the Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative (CDLI) (2017–2020)
  • Royal Institutional Households in First Millennium BC Mesopotamia: funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) as part of the National Research Network “Imperium and Officium: Comparative Studies in Ancient Bureaucracy and Officialdom” (2009–2015)

Offices Held

  • President, Canadian Society for Mesopotamian Studies (2016— )
  • member of Board of Directors, Canadian Society for Mesopotamian Studies (2014— )
  • chair of committee for International Association for Assyriology Prize for Best First Assyriological Article (2016–2018; 2018– )
  • elected Board Member, International Association for Assyriology (2014–2018; re-elected 2018— )
  • elected Member of Steering Committee, British Association for Near Eastern Archaeology (1997–1999)

Editorial Activity

  • Series Editor (with Jacob Dahl), Oxford Editions of Cuneiform Texts (Oxford University Press) (2017— )
  • Member of Editorial Board, Journal of Ancient Near Eastern History (De Gruyter) (2018— )
  • Editor-in-Charge, The Prosopography of the Neo-Assyrian Empire (Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project, Helsinki) (1999— )

Membership of Professional Bodies

  • British Association for Near Eastern Archaeology
  • British Institute for the Study of Iraq
  • International Association for Assyriology
  • American Schools of Oriental Research
  • American Oriental Society
  • Canadian Society for Mesopotamian Studies

Reviewing Activity

Peer review of articles, book manuscripts and proposals, grants and awards conducted on behalf of the following journals, publishers and funding bodies:

  • Anatolian Studies
  • Digital Humanities Quarterly
  • Iraq
  • Journal of Ancient Near Eastern History
  • Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient
  • Journal of Global History
  • Journal of Near Eastern Studies
  • Near Eastern Archaeology
  • World Archaeology
  • Brill Publishers
  • British Institute for the Study of Iraq
  • Broadening Horizons 3 conference proceedings
  • Oxford University Press
  • Routledge
  • Cambridge University (Joint Application Scheme for Junior Research Fellowships)
  • The Czech Science Foundation
  • The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO)
  • European Research Council