Piotr Michalowski

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George G. Cameron Professor of Ancient Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations

202 South Thayer Street, Suite 3139, Ann Arbor, MI 48104-1608

Office Location(s): 3139 STB
Phone: 734.763.2383
Fax: 734.936.2679

  • About


    1968-1976 Yale University, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Literatures. M.Phil. 1972. Ph.D. 1976.

    1965-1968 University of Warsaw, Poland. M.A. Program in the Department of Mediterranean. Archaeology. Simultaneously 1966-1968 in M.A. Program in the Department of Near Eastern Philology.



    1995-1996 Acting Chair, Department of Near Eastern Studies, University of Michigan.

    1987-1993 Chair, Department of Near Eastern Studies, University of Michigan.

    1987 Promoted to Full Professor (Cameron Chair).

    1981--George G. Cameron Professor (Associate) of Ancient Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. Department of Near Eastern Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

    1979-1981 Research Associate, University Museum, University of Pennsylvania, Sumerian Dictionary Project.

    1975-1979 Assistant Professor of Sumerian, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, University of California, Los Angeles.

    1974-1975 Research Fellow, Department of Near Eastern Languages, Harvard University.

    1974 Part-Time Instructor, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, Yale University.



    2009- President, International Association of Assyriologists.

    2007-project member, MESPÉRIPH (La Mésopotamie et sa périphérie : transmission et adaptations d’une culture au Bronze recent, Agence Nationale de la Recherche).

    2004-2005 faculty member, seminar on “Literature and Culture in the Ancient Mediterranean: Greece, Rome, and the Near East,” Venice International University.

    1991- Editor-in-chief, Journal of Cuneiform Studies.

    1991 President. Middle West Branch, American Oriental Society.

    1991- Member, Advisory Board, Research Institute for Classical, Oriental, and Medieval Studies, Rijkuniversiteit Groningen, The Netherlands.

    1990- Member, editorial board, Athlone Publications in Egyptology and Ancient Near Eastern Studies.

    1986-1992 Member, editorial board, Society for Biblical Literature Writings from the Ancient World Series.

    May 1984 Visiting Professor of Semitic Philology, Università degli Studi, Venice.

    1984- Member, Baghdad School Committee, American Schools of Oriental Research.

    1984- Member, editorial board, monograph series Mesopotamian Civilizations (Eisenbrauns).

    1983- Member, editorial board, American Oriental Society Translations Series.

    1975-1979 Member, editorial board, Sources and Monographs on the Ancient Near East (Undena).



    Guggenheim Fellowship (2007-2008).

    Helmut F. Stern Professorship, The Humanities Institute, University of Michigan (2002-2003).

    Elected to membership, American Philosophical Society (1999).

    Senior Fellow, Michigan Society of Fellows (1998-2002).

    Michigan Humanities Award (1996).

    ACLS Travel Grant (summer 1989).

    NEH Translation Grant (1988-1991, "Sumerian Letters").

    NEH Translation Grant (1985-1986, "The Royal Correspondence of Ur").

    NEH Summer Fellowship (1985).

    American Philosophical Society Travel Grant (December 1984).



    The Tablets of Ebla: Concordance and Bibliography. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 1984. [with S. Beld and W. W. Hallo].

    The Lamentation over the Destruction of Sumer and Ur.  Mesopotamian Civilizations 1. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 1989.

    Letters from Early Mesopotamia. Society of Biblical Literature Translations Series. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1993.

    The Correspondence of the Kings of Ur: An Epistolary History of an Ancient Mesopotamian Kingdom.  Mesopotamian Civilizations 15.  Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns 2011 (in press)



    On Ur III Times: Studies in Honor of X. Journal of Cuneiform Studies Supplementary Series 1.  2008

    Approaches to Sumerian Literature: Studies in Honour of Stip (H.L.J. Vanstiphout), co-edited with N. Veldhuis. Leiden:  Brill, 2006.

    Velles Paraules: Studies in Honor of Miguel Civil, co-edited with P. Steinkeller, E. Stone, and R. Zettler. Barcelona:, 1993

    Law Collections from Mesopotamia and Asia Minor, translated by Martha Roth with an appendix by H. Hoffner. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1995.

    Translation (from the Polish) of Stefan Amsterdamski, Between Experience and Metaphysics. Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science 35. Dortrecht--Boston, 1975.



    "The Bride of Simanum," Journal of the American Oriental Society 95 (1976) 716-719.

    "Six Neo-Sumerian Letter-Orders," Journal of Cuneiform Studies 28 (1976) 161-168.

    "Royal Women of the Ur III Period Part I: The Wife of Shulgi," Journal of Cuneiform Studies 28 (1976) 169-172.

    "Amar-Su'ena and the Historical Tradition." Pp. 155-157 in M. de Jong Ellis ed., Essays on the Ancient Near East in Memory of J. J. Finkelstein (Hamden) 1977.

    "The Death of Shulgi," Orientalia 46 (1977) 220-225.

    "The Status of Durum and Uruk During the Ur III Period," Mesopotamia 12 (1977) 83-96.

    "The Neo-Sumerian Silver Ring Texts," Syro-Mesopotamian Studies 2 (1977) 83-96.

    "Ur III Topographical Names," Oriens Antiquus 16 (1977) 287-296.

    "Foreign Tribute to Sumer During the Ur III Period," Zeitschrift für Assyriologie 68 (1978) 34-49.

    "Two Sumerian Literary Letters," Journal of Cuneiform Studies 30 (1978) 114-120.

    "Royal Women of the Ur III Period Part II: Geme-Ninlila," Journal of Cuneiform Studies 31 (1979) 171-176.

    "Sumerian as an Ergative Language I," Journal of Cuneiform Studies 32 (1980) 86-103.

    "A New Sumerian Literary 'Catalogue' from Nippur," Oriens Antiquus 32 (1980) 265-268.

    "Königsbriefe," Reallexicon der Assyriologie Vol. V (1981) 51-59.

    "Adapa and the Ritual Process," Rocznik Orientalistyczny 41 (1980) 77-82. (Studies in Honor of Rudolf Ranoszek).

    "Carminative Magic: Towards an Understanding of Sumerian Poetics," Zeitschrift für Assyriologie 71 (1981) 1-18.

    "An Old Babylonian Literary Fragment Concerning the Kassites," Annali dell 'Istituto Universitario Orientale Napoli 41 (1981) 385-389.

    "On 'The Fowler and his Wife'," Revue d'Assyriologie 75 (1981) 170.

    "Tudanapshum, Enlil and Nippur," Revue d'Assyriologie 75 (1981) 173-176.

    "New Sources Concerning the Reign of Naram-Sin," Journal of Cuneiform Studies 32 (1980) 233-246.

    "Royal Women of the Ur III Period Part III," Acta Sumerologica 4 (1982) 129-139.

    "History as Charter: Some Observations on the Sumerian King List," Journal of the American Oriental Society 103 (1983) 237-248.

    "Cuneiform Texts in the National Geographic Society," Oriens Antiquus 22 (1983) 191-203.

    "Texts and Fragments," Journal of Cuneiform Studies 35 (1983) 205-208.

    "The Sumerian Verb lug in Old Babylonian Literary Texts," Studii Epigrafici e Linguistici 1 (1984) 19-22.

    "Observations on a Literary Catalogue from Ur," Journal of Cuneiform Studies 36 (1984) 89-92.

    "Third Millennium Contacts: Observations on the Relationships Between Mari and Ebla." Journal of the American Oriental Society 105 (1985) 293-302.

    "On Some Early Sumerian Magical Texts" Orientalia 54 (1985) 216-225.

    "An Early Old Babylonian Loan Document," Journal of Cuneiform Studies 38 (1986) 167-171.

    "The Earliest Hurrian Toponymy: A New Sargonic Inscription," Zeitschrift für Assyriologie 76 (1986) 4-11.

    "Lisina," Reallexicon der Assyriologie 7 (1987) 32-33.

    "On The Early History of the Ershahunga Prayer," Journal of Cuneiform Studies 39 (1987) 37-48.

    "Language, Literature and Writing at Ebla." Pp. 165-175 in L. Cagni, ed., Ebla: 1975-1985. Atti del convegno internazionale.  Naples: Istituto Universitario Orientale di Napoli, 1987.

    "Charisma and Control: On Continuity and Change in Early Mesopotamian

    Bureaucratic Systems." Pp. 55-68 in R. D. Biggs and M. Gibson, eds., The Organization of Power: Aspects of Bureaucracy in the Ancient Near East. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987. [Pp. 45-58 in 2nd ed. of 1991]

    "Mental Maps and Ideology: Observations on Subartu." Pp. 129-156 in H. Weiss, ed., The Origins of Cities in Dry-Farming Syria and Mesopotamia in the Third Millennium B. C. Four Quarters: Guilford, 1988.

    "Divine Heroes and Historical Self-Representation: From Gilgamesh to Shulgi," Bulletin of the Society of Mesopotamian Studies 16 (1988) 19-23.

    "Sin-iddinam and Ishkur." Pp. 265-275 in E. Leichty, ed., A Scientific Humanist. Studies in Memory of Abraham Sachs. Philadelphia: The Samuel N. Kramer Fund, 1989.

    "Magan and Meluhha Once Again," Journal of Cuneiform Studies 40 (1988) 156-164.

    "Thoughts about Ibrium." Pp. 267-277 in H. Hauptmann and H. Waetzoldt, eds, Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft von Ebla. Heidelberg: Heidelberger Orientverlag, 1989.

    "A New Sumerian 'Law Code'." Pp. 383-396 in B. Eichler, et al, eds., DUMU-E2 -DUB-BA: Studies in Honor of Åke W. Sjöberg. Philadelphia: The Samuel N. Kramer Fund, 1990.

    "Early Mesopotamian Communicative Systems: Art, Literature and Writing." Pp. 53-69 in Ann C. Gunter, ed., Investigating Artistic Environments in the Ancient Near East. Washington, D.C: Smithsonian Institution, 1990.

    "Presence at the Creation." Pp. 381-396 in T. Abusch, et al., eds., Lingering over Words: Studies in Ancient Near Eastern Literature in Honor of William L. Moran. Harvard Semitic Studies 37.  Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1990.

    "The Shekel and the Vizier," Zeitschrift für Assyriologie 80 (1990) 1-8.

    "Mari: the View from Ebla." Pp. 243-248 in G. Young, ed., Mari in Retrospect. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 1991.

    "Babylonian Grammatical Tradition." Pp. 151-153 in William Bright, ed., Oxford International Encyclopedia of Linguistics vol. 1. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992.

    "The Sumerian Language." Pp. 94-97 in William Bright, ed., Oxford International Encyclopedia of Linguistics vol. 4. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992.

    "Orality, Literacy and Early Mesopotamian Literature." Pp. 227-245 in M. E. Vogelzang and H. L. J. Vanstiphout, eds., Mesopotamian Epic Literature: Oral or Aural? Lempeter: Edwin Meller, 1992.

    "The Torch and the Censer," pp. 151-163 in Mark Cohen, et al, eds., The Tablet and The Scroll: Near Eastern Studies in Honor of William W. Hallo. Bethesda: CDL Press, 1993.

    "The Early Mesopotamian Incantation Tradition." Pp. 305-326 in Pelio Fronzaroli, ed., Literature and Language at Ebla. Quaderni di Semitistica 18. Florence: Dipartimento di linguistica, 1993.

    "On the Early Toponymy of Sumer: A Contribution to the Study of Early Mesopotamian Writing." Pp. 119-135 in A. F. Rainey, et al, eds, kinattâtu sa darâti. Raphael Kutcher Memorial Volume. Tel Aviv, 1993.

    "Negation as Description: The Metaphor of Everyday Life in Sumerian Literature," pp. 131-136 in P. Michalowski, et al., eds., Velles Paraules: Studies in Honor of Miguel Civil. Barcelona: Sabadell, 1993.

    "The Boundaries of Empire: The Politics of Expansion of the Akkad State." Pp. 69-90 in Mario Liverani, ed., Akkad. Atti del convegno tenuto a Roma nel 1991. Padua: Sargon, 1993.

    "Tokenism." Review article of D. Schmandt-Besserat, Before Writing. American Anthropologist 95 (1993) 996-999.

    "Literacy in Early States: A Mesopotamianist Perspective." Pp. 49-70 in D. Keller-Cohen, ed., Literacy: Interdisciplinary Conversations. Cresskill: Hampton Press, 1993.

    "The Drinking Gods: Alcohol in Early Mesopotamian Ritual and Mythology." Pp. 27-44 in Lucio Milano, ed., Drinking in Ancient Societies: History and Culture of Drinks in the Ancient Near East. Padua: Sargon, 1994.

    "Sumerian Literary Traditions: An Overview." Pp. 2277-2289 in Jack M. Sasson, et al, eds, Civilizations of the Ancient Near East. New York: Charles Scribners and Sons, 1995.

    "The Men From Mari,." Pp. 181-188 in K. van Lerberghe and A. Schoors, eds., Immigration and Emigration within the Ancient Near East: Festschrift E. Lipinski. Leuven: Peeters, 1995.

    Articles on "Early Mesopotamian Religion," and "Ebla" in: The Harper Dictionary of Religion (American Academy for the Study of Religion).

    "The Sumerians." Pp. 95-101 in Eric M. Meyers, ed., The Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Ancient Near East. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997.

    "Ancient Poetics." Pp. 141-53 in M. E. Vogelzang and H. L. J. Vanstiphout, eds., Mesopotamian Poetic Language: Sumerian and Akkadian. Groningen: Styx, 1996.

    "Cuneiform: Origins." Pp. 33-36 in W. Bright and P. Daniels, eds., The World's Writing Systems. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1996.

    "Sailing to Babylon, Reading the Dark Side of the Moon." Pp. 177-94 in Jerrold Cooper and Glenn M. Schwartz, eds., The Study of the Ancient Near East in the 21st Century: Proceedings of the Albright Centennial Symposium. Winona Lake: Eisnebrauns, 1996.

    "L'adaption de l'écriture cunéiforme a l'akkadien." Pp. 41-8 in En Syrie: Aux origines de l'écriture. Louvain: Brepols, 1997 (also published in Flemish).

    "Literature as a Source of Lexical Inspiration: Some Notes on a Hymn to the Goddess Inana." Pp. 65-74 in Jan Braun, et al., eds., Written on Clay and Stone; Ancient Near Eastern Studies Presented to Krystyna Szarzynska. Warsaw: Agade, 1998.

    "The Unbearable Lightness of Enlil" Pp. 237-247 in J. Prosecký, ed., Intellectual Life of the Ancient Near East - Papers Presented at the 43rd Rencontre assyriologique internationale Prague, July 1-5, 1996. Prague: Oriental Institute, 1998.

    "Cuneiform Texts from Kazane Höyük I," (with Adnan Misir), Journal of Cuneform Studies 50 (1998) 53-8.

    "Commemoration, Writing, and Genre in Ancient Mesopotamia." Pp. 69-90 in: Christina S. Kraus, ed., The Limits of Historiography: Genre and Narrative in Ancient Historical Texts. Leiden: Brill, 1999.

    "Histoire (de Sumer)." Pp. 108-124 in Jacques Briend and Michel Quesnel, eds., Supplément au Dictionnaire de la Bible, fascicule 72. Paris: Letouzy & Ané, 1999-2002.

    Épopées, hymnes et letters." Pp. 248-263 in Jacques Briend and Michel Quesnel, eds., Supplément au Dictionnaire de la Bible, fascicule 72. Paris: Letouzy & Ané, 1999-2002.

    "Sumer Dreams of Subir: Politics and the Geographical Imagination." Pp. 305-316 in K. van Lerberghe and G. Voet, eds., At the Crossroads of Civilizations in the Syro-Mesopotamian Realm. Leuven: Peeters, 1999.

    "Amorites" (pp. 55-56), "Ebla," (364-66), and "Hammurapi" (pp. 545-46) in David Noel Friedman, ed., Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000.

    "Nisaba," Reallexicon der Assyriologie 9, 2001, 575-79.

    “A Man Called Enmebaragesi,” pp. 195-208 in W. Sallaberger, K. Volk, and A. Zgoll, eds., Literatur, Politik, und Recht in Mesopotamien. Orientalia Biblica et Christiana.  Heidelberg: Harrassowitz.

    “The Doors of the Past.” Pp.  136*-152* in Festschrift for Hayim and Miriam Tadmor, Eretz-Israel 27, ed. A. Ben-Tor, I. Eph'al, and P.B. Machinist (Israel Exploration Society, 2003).

    “Round About Nidaba: On the Early Goddesses of Sumer.” Pp. 413-422 in Sex and Gender in the Ancient Near East:  Proceedings of the 47th Rencontre Assyriolgique Internationale, Helsinki, July 2-6, 2001. Edited by S. Parpola and R. M. Whiting.

    “The Earliest Scholastic Tradition.” Pp. 450-456 in Art of the First Cities: The Third Millennium B.C. from the Mediterranean to the Indus. Exhibit catalog, Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    “Ur III Period/Old Babylonian Period.”  Pp. 466-478 in Art of the First Cities: The Third Millennium B.C. from the Mediterranean to the Indus. Exhibit catalog, Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    Revised version: “Babylonian Grammatical Tradition,” Oxford International Encyclopedia of Linguistics (second, revised edition). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Revised version: “The Sumerian Language,” Oxford International Encyclopedia of Linguistics (second, revised edition). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    “An Early Dynastic Tablet of ED Lu A from Tell Brak (Nagar)” Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative Journal (on line) 2003:3.

    "The Libraries of Babel: Text, Authority, and Tradition in Ancient Mesopotamia." Pp. 105-129 in Gillis J. Dorleijn and Herman L. J. Vanstiphout, eds., Cultural Repertories: Structure, Function and Dynamics. Leuven: Peters, 2003.

     "The Mountains and the Stars." Pp. 403-411 in Semitic and Assyriological Studies Presented to Pelio Fronzaroli by Pupils and Colleagues.  Wiresbaden: Harrasowitz, 2003.

    "Sumerian." Pp. 19-59 in Roger D. Woodard, ed., The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the World's Ancient Languages.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.

    "Mesopotamian Vistas on Axial Transformations." Pp. 157-182 in ed.  J. P. Arnason, S. N. Eisenstadt, and B. Wittrock, eds., Axial Civilizations and World History.  Leiden: Brill, 2005.

    "Literary Works from the Court of King Ishbi-Erra of Isin." Pp. 199-212 in ed. Yitschak Sefatiet et al. eds.,  An Experienced Scribe who Neglects Nothing: Ancient Near Eastern Studies in Honor of Jacob Klein.  Bethesda: CDL, 2005.

    "The Ideological Foundations of the Ur III State," p. 219-235 in W. Meyer and W. Sommerfeld. eds.,  2000 v. Chr. Politische, wirtschaftliche und kulturelle Entwicklung im Zeichen einer Jahrtausendwende. 3. Internationales Colloquium der Deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft  4.-7. April 2000 in Frankfurt/Main und Marburg/Lahn, Saarbrücken 2004.

    "The Life and Death of the Sumerian Language in Comparative Perspective,"Acta Sumerologica 22 (2000, publ. 2005).

    "Iddin-Dagan and his Family," Zeitschrift für Assyriologie. 95 (2005) 65-76.

    "The Lives of the Sumerian Language," pp. 157-82 in Seth Sanders, ed., Margins of Writing, Origins of Culture: New Approaches to Writing and Reading in the Ancient Near East. Papers from the Symposium held February 25-26, 2005. Chicago: The Oriental Institute, 2006.

    "An Ur III Tablet from Iran," with Parsa Daneshmand, Journal of Cuneiform Studies 56 (2005) 31-36.

    "The Strange History of Tumal," pp. 145-66 in P. Michalowski and N. Veldhuis, eds.. Approaches to Sumerian Literature: Studies in Honour of Stip (H.L.J. Vanstiphout), Leiden:  Brill, 2006.

    "The Cyrus Cylinder," "Royal Letters of the Ur III Kings," "The Sumerian King List," "The Tumal Chronicle," in Mark Chavalas, ed., The Ancient Near East.  Blackwell's Sourcebooks in Ancient History, Blackwells, 2006.

    "How to Read the Liver? In Sumerian," pp. 247-58 in Ann K. Guinan, et al., eds.,  If a Man Builds a Joyful House: Assyriological Studies in Honor of Erle Verdun Leichty, , eds.  Leiden: Brill, 2006.

    "Love or Death? Observations on the Role of the Gala in Ur III Ceremonial Life," Journal of Cuneiform Studies 58 (2006) 49-61.

    "The Mortal Kings of Ur: A Short Century of Divine Rule in Ancient Mesopotamia." Pp. 33-45 in N. Brisch, ed., Religion and Power: Divine Kingship in the Ancient World and Beyond.  Chicago: The Oriental Institute.
    "Observations on 'Elamites' and 'Elam' in Ur III Times." In P. Michalowski, ed., On Ur III Times: Studies in Honor of Marcel Sigrist. Journal of Cuneiform Studies Supplementary Series 2008.

    “Sumerian.” Pp. 6-46 in Roger D. Woodard, ed., The Ancient Languages of Mesopotamia, Egypt and Aksum.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (revised version of 2004 article).
    "Assur during the Ur III Period." Pp. 149-157 in Here and There Across the Ancient Near East: Studies in Honour of Krystyna Lyczkowska, ed. by Olga Drewnowska-Rymarz Warszawa: Agade, 2009.
    "Masters of the Four Corners of the Universe: Views of the Universe in Early Mesopotamian Writings."  Pp. 147-68 in K. Raaflaub and R. Talbert, eds., Geography, Ethnography, and Perspectives of the World from Antiquity to the Renaissance.  Oxford: Blackwells, 2010.
    "Maybe Epic: The Origins and Reception of Sumerian Heroic Poetry."  Pp. 7-25 in D. Konstans and K. Raaflaub, eds., Epic and History.  Oxford: Blackwells.
    "Sound of Silence: Music in Mesopotamian Schooling." Pp. 199-239 in R. Pruzsinszky and D. Shehata, eds., Musiker und ihre Rolle bei der Verschlichtigung und Tradierung von literarischen Werken. Vienna: 2010.

    "William Hallo and Assyriological, Biblical and Jewish Studies.  Pp. xxiii-xxxii in William W. Hallo, The World’s Oldest Literature: Studies in Sumerian Belles-Lettres.  Leiden: Brill. 2010.
    "Traveler’s Tales."  Pp. 117-14 in ICONEA 2008.  Proceedings of the International Conference of Near Eastern Archaeomusicology held at the British Museum December 4, 5 and 6, 2008, ed. R. Dumbrill and I. Finkel.  London: ICONEA Publications, 2010.

    “The Mid-Late Third Millennium on the Deh Luran Plain” (with Henry Wright).  Pp. 106-109 in Elamite and Achaemenid Settlement on the Deh Luran Plain: Towns and Villages of the Early Empires in Southwestern Iran, ed. Henry T. Wright and James A. Neely, with a preface by Frank Hole and contributions by Elizabeth Carter, Piotr Michalowski, Pierre de Miroschedji, James A. Neely, and Henry Wright. Memoirs, no. 47. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan. Ann Arbor. 2010.

    "Where’s Al? Language, Humor and Poetics in the Hymn to the Hoe.” Pp. 195-200 in Alexandra Kleinerman and Jack M. Sasson, eds., Why Should Someone Who Knows Something Conceal It?  Cuneiform Studies in Honor of David I. Owen on His 70th Birthday.  Bethesda: CDL. 2010.


    "The Ur III Literary Footprint and the Historian," in Giovanna Biga, ed., Antico Oriente: nonsolostoria … Rome.

    "Biography of a Sentence: Assurbanipal, Nabonidus, and Cyrus." Festschrift X.

    entries on Puzur-Shulgi, Puzur-Numushda, Puzur-Nirah, Pu-abi, etc. in Reallexicon der Assyriologie.

    "Early Mesopotamia." Oxford History of Historical Writing.
    "Mesopotamian Cuneiform: Origin," in P. Daniels, ed., The World's Writing Systems. Oxford: Oxford UP (revised version).
    "On the Names of Some Early Ancient Near Eastern Royal Women and on a Seal Impression From Karum Kanesh."  Festschrift Y.
    “On Early Mesopotamian Epistolary Pragmatics.” Festschrift Z.
    “Simaski.”  Reallexicon der Assyriologie.
    “Emesal,” “Enheduana,” “Isin,” “Nidaba,” “Sumerian King List,” “King Lists,” The Encyclopedia of Ancient History.



    O. R. Gurney and S. N. Kramer, Sumerian Literary Texts in the Ashmolean Museum (Oxford, 1976). Journal of Near Eastern Studies 37 (1978) 343-345.

    M. Civil, Materials for the Sumerian Lexicon 14 (Rome, 1979). Journal of Near Eastern Studies 42 (1983) 151-153.

    W. Römer, Das sumerische Kurzepos Bilgamesh und Akka (Neukirchen-Vluyn, 1980). Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 45 (1982) 577-578.

    "Sumer for Moderns," review of S. N. Kramer and D. Wolkstein, Inanna: Queen of Heaven and Earth (New York, 1983). The New York Times Book Review, September 25, 1983.

    J. Cooper, The Return of Ninurta to Nippur (Rome, 1978). Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 253 (1984) 75-76.

    L. Cagni, Briefe aus der Iraq Museum (Leiden, 1980). Journal of Cuneiform Studies 35 (1983) 221-228.

    "Moses among the Anthropologists. A Note," review of E. Leach and D. A. Aycock, Structuralist Interpretations of Biblical Myth (Cambridge, 1983). Comparative Studies in Society and History 26 (1984) 440-441.

    S. N. Kramer, Sumer edebî tablet ve parçari, 2 (Sumerian Literary Tablets and Fragments, Ankara, 1976). Journal of Cuneiform Studies 36 (1984) 123-126.

    D. O. Edzard, Verwaltungstexte verschiedenen Inhalts (Archivi Reali di Ebla II) (Rome, 1983).  Journal of Near Eastern Studies 45 1985.

    W. Tyloch, ed., Oriental Studies in the Sixty Years of Independent Poland (Warsaw, 1983). Journal of the American Oriental Society 105 (1985) 801.

    D. I. Owen, Neo-Sumerian Archival Texts (Winona Lake, 1982). Journal of Near Eastern Studies 45 (1986) 326-328.

    J. Klein, Three Šulgi Hymns. Sumerian Royal Hymns Glorifying King Šulgi of Ur (Ramat-Gan, 1981) and idem, The Royal Hymns of Shulgi King of Ur: Man's Quest for Immortal Fame  (Philadelphia, 1981). Journal of the American Oriental Society 106 (1986) 839-840.

    Mari 3: Annales de Recherches Interdisciplinaires (Paris, 1985). Journal of the American Oriental Society 106 (1986) 840-842.

    M. L. Khacikjan, Khuritskii I Urartskii Jazyki [The Hurrian and Urartian Languages] (Erevan, 1986). Journal of the American Oriental Society 107 (1987) 232.

    Cyrus H. Gordon et all, eds., Eblaitica: Essays on the Ebla Archives and Eblaite Language (Winona Lake, 1987). Bulletin of the Schools of Oriental Research 270 (1988) 100-101.

    Fatma Yildiz and Tohru Gomi, Die Puzriš-Dagan-Texte der Istanbuler Archäologischen Museen Teil II, Nr. 726-1379 (Stuttgart, 1988). Journal of Cuneiform Studies 42 (1990) 118-122.

    Jean-Jaques Glassner, La chute d'Akkadé. L'événement et sa mémoire (Berlin, 1986). The Journal of the American Oriental Society 112 (1992) 503.

    I. M. Diakonoff, ed., Early Antiquity (Chicago, 1991) American Anthropologist 95 (1993) 199-200.

    Hans J. Nissen, et al, Archaic Bookkeeping (Chicago, 1994). Science 264 (1994) 1019-20.

    Bendt Alster and Markham J. Geller, Cuneiform Texts from Babylonian Tablets in the British Museum Part 58. Sumerian Literary Texts (London, 1990). Journal of Near Eastern Studies 54 (1995) 49-51.

    “Lost World,” review of Andrzej Szczypiorski, The Shadow Catcher (New York, 1997), The New York Times Book Review, September 28, 1997.

    Jean-Marie Durand, Les documents épistolaires du palais de Mari, tome 1. Littératures anciennes du Proche-Orient, 16. Paris, 1997. Revue d'Assyriologie 92 (1998) 188-190.

    M. Larsen, The Conquest of Assyria. American Journal of Archaeology 104 (2000) 128-129.

    Egbert von Weiher, Uruk. Spätbabylonische Texte aus dem Planquadrat U 1. Teil V. Augrabungen in Uruk-Warka Endberichte 13 (Mainz: Philipp von Zabern, 1998).  Journal of the American Oriental Society 121(2001) 531-553.

    T. Abusch, ed., Riches Hidden in Secret Places (Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 2002).  Journal of the American Oriental Society 123 (2003) 258.

    D. Collon and A. George, eds., Nineveh... Journal of Near Eastern Studies.



    "Incantation Incipits," N.A.B.U. 1991, 48.

    "Enlil and Ninlil 2 (The Marriage of Sud), lines 157-164," N.A.B.U. 1994, 45-46.

    "Two Old Babylonian Texts from Kazane Höyük," N.A.B.U. 1996: 79-80 (with Adnan Misir).

    "Working in Stone: Remarks on a New Samsu-iluna Inscription," N.A.B.U.

    “Cuneiform,” The New Book of Knowledge.  Danbury: Grollier, 2003, p. 613.

     "The Scribe(s) of MDAI 57 Susa Omens?," N.A.B.U. 41 (2006) 39-41



    The Many Lives of Gilgamesh: The Gilgamesh Narratives in Cultural

    Context.  Toronto, September 20, 1997, Gilgamesh: The Hero Who Saw Everything: Annual Symposium of the Canadian Society for Mesopotamian Studies

    The Birth of Literature and the Death of Kings. University of Frankfurt, June 9, 1998

    The Mute Stones Speak, Seminar, University of Frankfurt, June 19, 1998

    Sumeryjskie Podania o Gilgameszu (The Sumerian Gilgamesh Stories). Warsaw University, June 23, 1999

    The Gilgamesh Epic. Special session on the Travel Tale, Midwest AOSAIA, Cincinnati, OH, February 14, 1999

    Pastoralism and Ethnicity: the Urban Perspective . AOS, Baltimore, March 22, 1999.  Special session: Textiles, Gender, and Early States: The Archaeology of Near Eastern Specialized Pastoralism

    The Origins of Writing in Comparative Perspective.  The Multiple Origins of Writing: Image, Symbol, andd Script, The University of Pennsylvania, Center for Ancient Studies, March 27th, 1999

    The Ideological Foundations of the Ur III State.  III. Internationales Kolloqium der Deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft, 7.04.2000 in Marburg/Lahn

    The Libraries of Babel: Text, Authority and Tradition in Ancient Mesopotamia.  Workshop Cultural Repertories, 21-22   September 2000, University of Groningen

    Round About Nidaba: On the Early Goddesses of Sumer.  Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale, Helsinki, July 3, 2001

    The Archaeology of Early Cuneiform Literature.  The Archaeology of Literacy session, 7th Annual Meeting of the European   Association of Archeologists 2001, Esslingen  Neckar, 19-23th

    September 2001

    Philology Begins in Sumer. UM Humanities Institute, Philology Series, October, 2001

    Scribes, Sages and Oral Tradition: Literary Creativity in Ancient Mesopotamia.  Conference on Axial Transformations,  December 17-19 2001, Florence. Israel Academy of Sciences and European University Institute.

    King Nabonidus, Babylonian Politics, Royal Philology, and the Darkened Moon. Warburg Institute, London, March 1, 2002.

    Masters of the Four Corners of the Universe: Views of the Universe in  Early Mesopotamian Writings.  Geography, Ethnography, and Perspectives of the World in Ancient Civilizations: A Cross disciplinary Conference at Brown University.  March 17, 2006.

    Harmony of the Sumerian Spheres: The Music of Ancient Mesopotamia.  W. G.

    Albright Lecture, The Johns Hopkins University, April 26, 2006.

    Plunder Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow: The Cuneiformist Dilemma [Panel on Academic Responsibility, Publishing and the Scholarly use of Materials without Provenance, ASOR San Antonio, Nov.18, 2004.

    On The Margins Of Poetics: The Cyclical Birth And Survival Of Early Mesopotamian Literature, University of Groningen, July 14th , 2006.

    The Study of "Law" and "Legal" Phraseology in Old Babylonian Schooling, 53nd Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale, Münster, July 19, 2006.

    Maybe Epic: The Origins and Reception of Sunerian Heroic Poetry.  Conference on Epic and History, Brown University, Dec. 1, 2006.

    Space is the Place: Localizing the Sacred in Ancient Mesopotamia.  Plenary session, American Oriental Society annual meeting, San Antonio, March, 2007.

    Highlanders, Elamites, Amorites: Ethnic Identity in an Ancient Sumerian State."  Department of Archeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures, Tel Aviv University, Dec. 17, 2007.
    Defamiliar Tales: The Poetics of Early Mesopotamian Fiction, Fiction Across Cultures (Institute of Advanced Studies, Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities), Dec. 21, 2007.
    The 2009 Margarete-Häcker-Vorlesung at the Zentrum für Altertumswissenschaften,  Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg:  “The Birth of Literature and the Death of Kings” (May 11-15, 2009)
       (a)  “From Accounting to Poetry: The Invention of Literature in Ancient Mesopotamia”
       (b) “Burning Books and Building Walls: The State Reinvents Literature”
       (c) “Afterlife: Literature, Schooling, Politics and Bureaucracy”
    Observations on Divination and Extispicy in Early Mesopotamia, Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale, Paris, July 2009.

    Assurbanipal, Nabonidus, Cyrus.  The Cyrus Cylinder Workshop, British Museum, June 23, 2010.

    Networks of Authority and Power. From the 21st Century BC to the 21st Century AD:
    The Present and Future of Neo-Sumerian Studies, Madrid, July 24, 2010

    Interpretation and its Discontents: Reading Ancient Mesopotamian Images and Texts.  Annual meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research, Atlanta, Nov. 19, 2010.



    Anthology of Sumerian Literature

    The Birth of Literature and the Birth of Kings

    Ur III Incantations from Nippur

    The Study of "Law" in Old Babylonian Schools (including an edition of

    Old Babylonian "forerunners" to HAR-ra = hubullu I & II and ana ittišu for the on-line Digital Corpus of Cuneiform Lexical Texts (<http:cuneiform.ucla.edudcclt>).

    Music in Mesopotamia



    American Philosophical Society

    American Oriental Society

    American Schools of Oriental Research

    British School of Archaeology in Iraq

    International Association of Assyriologists



    Comparative Literature Program Committee, Program in Classical Art and Archaeology Program Committee, Center for Near Eastern and African Studies Executive Committee, NES Executive Committee, NES Lecture Committee, NES Fellowship Committee, Center for Near Eastern and African Studies Library Committee, Chair, Rackham Review Committee of Program in Classical Art and Archaeology, Humanities Institute Opening Symposium Planning Committee, Russell Awards Committee, College Committee for Long-range Planning for Computing, College Divisional Committee (tenure and promotions), Graduate School Predoc Committee, Copernicus Endowment Committee, Planning Committee for Conference on The Round Table (CREES), Rackham Divisional Board,

    Search Committee for Dean of College of Literature, Science and Arts, UM

    Search Committee for Dean Search UM School of Music.


    Search committees in NES (innumerable), English Department (Yiddish Language and Literature), Center for Afro-American Studies (director search).

    Dissertation committees in: NES, Slavic Languages and Literatures, Classics, Anthropology, Linguistics, Comparative Literature, School of Music, Film & Video.




    Survey of Mesopotamian History, Mesopotamian Literature and Myth, topical seminars on Ebla and Syria in the Third Millennium, Mari and the Near East in the Second Millennium, myth in the Ancient Near East and the general study of myth, Mesopotamian history, historiography, “law” and legal texts, Mesopotamian magical texts and the general study of magic, Mesopotamian literature and the theory of literature, The Epic of Gilgamesh, literacy, nomadism and ethnic identity. Beginning Sumerian and courses on all genres of Sumerian writing, Beginning Akkadian and courses on various Akkadian textual genres, seminars on history and literature (Comp. Lit. Program) and literary theory and non-western writings (Comp. Lit. Program), self-representations of cultural elites in pre-modern societies (Humanities Inst), Peoples of the Middle East.