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Professor Nicholas Postgate FBA

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About this Fellow

Educated at the Link School, Malvern Link. then at West Downs School (Winchester) followed by Winchester College (1959-63). Went up to Trinity College Cambridge to read Classics but, influenced by David Oates, rapidly switched to Assyriology under J.V. Kinnier Wilson and J.M. Munn-Rankin. Graduated in 1967 (having spent one semester at M√ľnster under W. von Soden) and took up an Assistant Lectureship in Akkadian at SOAS. Left SOAS after 4 years to take up a Research Fellowship at Trinity College, but almost immediately accepted the post of Assistant Director, British School of Archaeology in Iraq. This entailed residence for most of each year in Baghdad or in the field in Iraq. It gave the opportunity in 1973 to initiate an excavation at the Early Dynastic city of Abu Salabikh, south Iraq, a project which only came to an end in 1990 when the Iraqi army invaded Kuwait. Returned to Cambridge in 1981 to take up a Lectureship in the History and Archaeology of the Ancient Near East, converted to a chair in Assyriology (1994-2013). In the same year started excavation at the Bronze and Iron Age site of Kilise Tepe in Rough Cilicia. This lasted for 5 seasons, and was then resumed in 2007-2012.



Current post

  • Formerly Professor of Assyriology, University of Cambridge

Past Appointments

  • (Assistant) Lecturer, Soas, University Of London, 1967 - 1971
  • Professor of Assyriology, University of Cambridge, University of Cambridge, 1994 - 2014
  • Lecturer, Reader, Professor of Assyriology, University of Cambridge, 1981
  • Formerly Professor of Assyriology, University of Cambridge, 2014


Bronze Age bureaucracy: writing and the practice of government in Assyria 2013

Fifty Neo-Assyrian legal documents 1976

Taxation and conscription in the Assyrian Empire 1974

Early Mesopotamia: society and economy at the dawn of history 1992

Abu Salabikh excavations (4 vols) 1983 to date

Excavations at Kilise Tepe, 1994-98. From Bronze Age to Byzantine in western Cilicia 2007

Other Africa, Asia and the Middle East Fellows

Professor Rana Mitter

The history and politics of modern China; history of twentieth-century China, in particular the Republican period (1912-1949) and Cold War; contemporary Chinese nationalism and Sino-Japanese relations

Professor Roel Sterckx

Classical and literary Chinese language and philology; history, religion and thought of pre-imperial and early imperial China; text and manuscript studies (Warring States, Qin, and Han periods); the natural world in pre-modern China

Professor John Healey

Aramaic inscriptions of the Roman-period Near East (especially Nabataen & Syriac); associated historical, religious & legal studies; early development of the Arabic script; Ugaritic, Hebrew & Syriac philology & literature