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18:30 - 19:30 3 February 2015

In Nisaba’s House of Wisdom and Nabu’s True House: Social geographies of cuneiform scholarship in ancient Iraq


Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre | Wilkins Building (link Map)
Gower St | London | WC1E 6BT | United Kingdom

Open to: Academic | Alumni | Public | Student
Admission: FREE
Ticketing: Pre-booking essential

Speaker information

Eleanor Robson, Professor of Ancient Near Eastern History, UCL, She studies the social and political contexts of the production and consumption of knowledge in the cuneiform world and modern understandings of ancient Iraq over the past two centuries. She joined UCL in 2013 after a decade in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge and several years at the Oriental Institute and All Souls College, Oxford.

Writing is not only the stuff of which history is made. It is also a valuable subject of historical enquiry in its own right. By considering the uses, values and meanings of writing in past societies we can make better sense of why the historical record takes the shape it does. This talk focuses on the individuals and communities who wrote in cuneiform script on clay tablets some 5000–2000 years ago in and around the modern-day state of Iraq. Who learned to write in cuneiform? How, why and where did they do so? How have these ancient literati shaped our view of the first half of history?


Tessa Rickards
+44 (0)20 7679 1346 | t.rickards@ucl.ac.uk