IAP VII: Greater Mesopotamia

Reconstruction of its Environment and History

Belgian partners



Royal Museums of Art and History


Prof. Dr. Eric Gubel (coordinator IAP 7/14), Senior Keeper of the RMAH's Antiquity Department, teaches introductory courses on Egypt and the Near East at the Free University of Brussels (VUB). His research focuses on cultural interactions in the 3rd-1st millennia BCE Levant, Egypt and the Mediterranean with special emphasis on the pivoting role of the Phoenicians in the diffusion of iconographical concepts and the typology of artifacts. Excavation experience: Amathus (Cyprus), Tell Melebiya, Tell Kazel (Syria), Tell ‘Arqa, Tyre (Lebanon). (http://kmkg-mrah.academia.edu/EricGubel)


Dr. Bruno Overlaet, Curator of the Iranian collection at the RMAH, has done fieldwork in Iran (Luristan), in Siberia and in the United Arab Emirates where he is now co-directing the Belgian excavations at Mleiha. He formerly taught Near Eastern archaeology at Ghent University and Vesalius College, Brussels. His research focuses on the Iron Age and the historic periods with an emphasis on the Near Eastern relations with the Roman world and Central Asia. (http://kmkg-mrah.academia.edu/BrunoOverlaet)


Dr. Vanessa Boschloos, researcher at the RMAH's Antiquity Department and assistant at the Archaeology department of the university of Ghent, has participated in excavations in Syria, Lebanon and Cyprus. Her research pertains to intercultural relations between the ancient Near East, Egypt and the eastern Mediterranean, with an emphasis on Levantine archaeology. Specialised in Egyptian and egyptianising glyptic, she focuses on the historical and archaeological importance of these seals for the study of social and cultural interactions on intraregional and interregional levels during the 2nd and 1st millennia BCE (https://ugent.academia.edu/VanessaBoschloos)


Anne Devillers is an archaeologist currently working on the study of the large mammal fauna of Syria in the 4th and 3rd millennia BCE through its depiction in glyptic iconogaphy, in the framework of a ULB/RMAH PhD. She is a member of the Tell Beydar (Syria) archaeological mission since 2005 and took part in field missions to Apamea (Syria) and Tell Kazel (Syria). (http://kmkg-mrah.academia.edu/AnneDevillers)


Hendrik Hameeuw is an assyriologist and archaeologist who participated in excavations in Syria (Tell Tweini) and Egypt (Dayr al-Barsha). In the past his research focused on Bronze Age burial practices and architecture. He is specialized in imaging techniques for cuneiform tablets, seal impressions and other archaeological objects. Hendrik further coordinates and participates in science outreach projects and manages WP VI. (http://kuleuven.academia.edu/HendrikHameeuw)


Dr. Cynthia Jean is an assyriologist specialized in Mesopotamian literature, religion and magic. For the present project, she works on the inscriptions on seals and seal impressions. (http://independent.academia.edu/CynthiaJean)


Liesbeth Massagé is an archaeologist specialised in physical anthropology.


Dr. Ingrid Swinnen obtained her PhD in archaeology and art history from the Free University of Brussels (VUB) and participated in the Belgian archaeological excavations of el-Lehun (Jordan). Her publications and research pertain to the archaeology of Jordan and, more particularly, Early Bronze Age pottery. (http://independent.academia.edu/IngridMoriahSwinnen)


Dr. Athena Van der Perre is an egyptologist from the KU Leuven who joined the RMAH team in the framework of the research for WP VI, more specifically for the development of the a multispectral imaging tool (the MS PLD), in collaboration with the BELSPO Brain.be Pioneer project EES. The multispectral imaging of surfaces that are decorated or inscribed with pigments is of interest for historical studies and art technical research on ancient artefacts. The collections of the RMAH's Department of Antiquity offer the relevant case-studies to advance the innovative digitisation techniques put forward in WP VI. (http://kmkg-mrah.academia.edu/AthenaVanderPerre)


Dr. Véronique Van der Stede is an assyriologist/archaeologist who worked intensively on the excavations at Tell Beydar (Syria). (https://kmkg-mrah.academia.edu/vvanderstede)




Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences


Dr. Mietje Germonpré (promotor since 2015) works on faunal remains from archaeological sites, with a special focus on carnivores (https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Mietje_Germonpre)


Prof. Dr. Cecile Baeteman (promotor until 2015) investigates the Holocene geology in coastal and fluvial lowlands. The main themes are sea-level history, palaeogeographical reconstructions on the basis of sedimentology and chronology, and geo-archaeology of buried sites. (https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Cecile_Baeteman)


Dr. Sophie Verheyden works on paleoclimate and environmental reconstructions in the marine area through the geochemistry of marine carbonates (shells, sclerosponges,..) and on paleoclimate reconstructions inferred from speleothems. (https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Sophie_Verheyden)


Dr. Frieda Bogemans investigates sedimentological characteristics of Quaternary deposits in a stratigrapfic context. Palaeogeographical reconstructions are carried out on the basis of correlation of deposits of various sedimentary environments in cores and outcrops in coastal and fluvial plains. Occupation horizons, buried sites and anthropogenic deposits are studied in relation to their sedimentary environment to contribute to the occupation history and environmental changes. (https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Frieda_Bogemans)


MSc Rindert Janssens investigates sedimentological processes in dynamic coastal areas. Optical and acoustic data as well as sedimentological and biological data is used to interpret the erosion and sedimentation processes over the backshore-foreshore-nearshore continuum. The influence of anthropogenic interactions due to coastal related activities on morphological features is both quantitatively and qualitatively analysed.


Prof. Dr. Marc De Batist investigates sedimentary geology of siliciclastic shelves, sedimentary geology of shelf, shelf-edge, slope and foot-of-slope environments along high-latitude margins, marine geology and geophysics of gas hydrates and methane seeps, and internal structure and origin of incised valleys and sand ridges on continental shelves. (http://www.rcmg.ugent.be/) (https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Marc_Batist)


Anne Laurys




KU Leuven


Prof. Dr. Kathleen Abraham (promotor) brings the current project her expertise in the study of Babylonia’s socio-economic history in the late second and first millennium BCE. She has studied the archives of the Egibi family from Babylon, the Atkuppu family from Borsippa, and the late Old Babylonian archives from Dur-Abiešuh (at Cornell University). Her focus is on reconstructing the economic profile and social network of the protagonists in these archives in times of prosperity as well as in times of crisis. (https://kuleuven.academia.edu/KathleenAbraham)



Prof. Dr. Joachim Bretschneider is researcher for the Archaeology of Syro-Mesopotamia at the KU Leuven teaching Bachelor, Master and Phd students.

Bretschneider has broad archaeological experience: as director of the German participation of the Euro-Syrian excavations at Tell Beydar (Syria) (1993-2000), of the Syro-Belgian excavation at Tell Tweini (Syria) (1999-2011) and of the Al-Ghat Project (Saudi-Arabia) (2012-1014). Since 2014 Joachim was appointed professor of Near Eastern Archaeology at the Department of Archaeology at the University of Ghent (Belgium), at the KU Leuven he stays connected with the IAP activities. (https://ugent.academia.edu/JoachimBretschneider)


Prof. Dr. Patrick Degryse


Dr. Stefania Ermidoro is a postdoctoral fellow whose main research focus lays on the cultural and social history of Mesopotamia in the 1st millennium BCE. During her doctoral studies, she investigated food practices and commensality in the Neo-Assyrian period; more recently, she is focusing on historical geography and particularly on the interactions between human societies and natural environment in the Babylonian alluvium during the Neo-Babylonian period. (https://kuleuven.academia.edu/StefaniaErmidoro)


Dr. Anne Goddeeris is an assyriologist who has edited unpublished cuneiform documents from the British Museum and from the University of Jena (Hilprecht Sammlung). She specializes in the socio-economic history of Babylonia in the early second millennium BCE. (http://kuleuven.academia.edu/AnneGoddeeris)


Dr. Shai Gordin is a historian of the Ancient Near East at the university of Ariel with a focus on the languages and cultures of ancient Anatolia and first millennium BCE Babylonia. As a postdoctoral fellow at the KU Leuven (2013-2014) he greatly contributed to the development of the Neo-Babylonian Cuneiform Corpus (NaBuCCo). Two of the research projects he is involved in at the moment are intrinsically linked to the NaBuCCo project to which Shai continues contributing from his current location in Israel. (https://ariel.academia.edu/ShaiGordin).


Dr. Melanie Groß is a post-doctoral fellow who has written her PhD thesis about the structure and composition of the Neo-Assyrian royal household at the Oriental Institute of Vienna (2014). She specialises in royal court studies and the socio-cultural history of first millennium BCE Assyria and Babylonia. (https://kuleuven.academia.edu/MelanieGro%C3%9F)


Hendrik Hameeuw is an assyriologist and archaeologist who participated in excavation missions in Syria (Tell Tweini) and Egypt (Dayr al-Barsha). In the past his research focused on Bronze Age burial practices and architecture. He is specialized in imaging techniques for cuneiform tablets, seal impressions and other archaeological objects. Hendrik further coordinates and participates in science outreach projects. (http://kuleuven.academia.edu/HendrikHameeuw)


Dr. Elena Marinova (http://kuleuven.academia.edu/ElenaMarinova) (https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Elena_Marinova2)


Dr. Sara Rich is conducting an interdisciplinary PhD project that uses strontium isotopic analysis to provenance cedar wood from ancient ships. The project also investigates religious aspects of shipbuilding, and how they may have influenced the selection of ship timbers. She specializes in the study of cedar forests in the Eastern Mediterranean and is affiliated with Cornell's Aegean and Near Eastern Dendrochronology Project. She also works as a maritime archaeologist on the shipwreck at Mazotos (Cyprus). (http://kuleuven.academia.edu/SaraRich)


Prof. Dr. Karel Van Lerberghe is emeritus professor of Near Eastern Archaeology and Assyriology at the University of Leuven who has set up interdisciplinary research projects at the sites of Tell Beydar and Tell Tweini (Syria) focusing on the history of the Near East. He published cuneiform tablets from the third and second millennium BCE excavated at Tell Beydar (Syria) and at Tell ed-Der (Iraq) and from the tablet collections in the British Museum, the Baghdad Museum and the Museum of the University of Pennsylvania. At the Oriental Institute (Chicago) he was a collaborator for the Chicago Assyrian Dictionary. He is now preparing three volumes on the late Old Babylonian archives from Dur-Abieshuh stored at Cornell University. Focus of his research is the impact of environmental changes on the ancient Near Eastern societies.


Dr. Klaas Vansteenhuyse is specialised in the Late Bronze - Iron Age transition in the Eastern Mediterranean and participated in excavations in Greece, Israel, Syria and Italy. He currently concentrates on the ceramics from this period, in particular for the site of Tell Tweini. He is also active in science outreach activities in Flanders, including lectures and publications for the broader public. (https://leuvenuniversitycollege.academia.edu/KlaasVansteenhuyse)


Gabriella Voet’s main research focuses lay on both Archaeology and Philology of the Ancient Near East. As an archaeologist she excavated in Jordan (Petra), Egypt (El-Kab), Iraq (Tell ed-Der), Syria (Tell Beydar in the Jezireh and Tell Tweini at the Mediterranean Coast). As an assyriologist she specialized in the study of seal impressions on clay objects; currently at Cornell University she is working on the publication of the Corpus of Old-Babylonian Texts in the Cuneiform Collection (CUSAS 8 published, CUSAS 25 forthcoming).






Prof. Dr. Jan Tavernier (promotor, ucl@greatermesopotamia.be) is researcher in Ancient Near Eastern Studies (Assyriology, Hittitology, Iranology). He has participated in missions to Iran (Bisitun) and Saudi-Arabia (Al-Ghat). His main research domains are Achaemenid linguistic and institutional history, Elamite history and language and Anatolian linguistic history. In addition, he participates in the international research project "Prosopographia Hethitica". (https://uclouvain.academia.edu/JanTavernier)


Prof. Dr. em. René Lebrun is specialized in Anatolian religious and cultural history, as well as in Hittite and Luwian grammar. His main interest lies in the interreligious and intercultural contacts between Greece, Anatolia and Mesopotamia. In addition, he has participated in the excavations at Porsuk (South Cappadocia) and is coordinator of the international research project "Prosopographia Hethitica".


Dr. Charlotte Lebrun-Delhaye investigates the institutional history of the Hittite Empire (ca. 1400-1190 BCE), more specifically the role of the DUMU.LUGAL ("Sons of the King") in Hattusa and Ugarit. She also conducts research in Anatolian archaeology, more precisely in the archaeology of the late Hittite Empire, and has participated in the excavations at Porsuk (South Cappadocia). In addition, she participates in the international research project "Prosopographia Hethitica".


Dr. Julien De Vos is a Hittologist and Egyptologist. His main focus are the relations (politic, cultural, etc.) between Egypt and Anatolia. He has participated in the excavations at Porsuk (South Cappadocia) and also participates the international research project "Prosopographia Hethitica". (http://uclouvain.academia.edu/JulienDeVos)


Dr. Elynn Gorris is specialized in the history of the Neo-Elamite period (ca. 1000-521 BCE) and in the integration of Elam into the Achaemenid Empire. She has participated in excavations in Syria (Tell Tweini) and Saudi-Arabia (Al-Ghat). (https://uclouvain.academia.edu/ElynnGorris)


Lauriane Locatelli, PhD Student, is conducting research on the topography and the historical geography of the Anatolian region Pisidia from the Late Bronze till the Greco-Roman period.


Etienne Van Quickelberghe, Phd Student, investigates the relations between Assyrian and Anatolia in the Late Bronze Period (2nd half of 2nd millennium BCE) and the role of Isuwa in these relations. (http://uclouvain.academia.edu/EtienneVanQuickelberghe)


Agnès Degrève, PhD student, is specialzed in Anatolian cultural history.

Her research focuses on the use of textiles in the Anatolian religion, but she has also conducted research on the relations between the Hittites and Egypt during the New Kingdom. (https://independent.academia.edu/AgnèsDegrève)


Dr. Alexandre Tourovets, senior researcher, is specalized in the architecture of pre-Islamic Iran (esp. the architecture of the 1st millennium BCE) and in the pre-Achaemenid history of Iran (esp. the problem of the Medes). (https://netau.academia.edu/TOUROVETSALEXANDRE)




International partners


Université de Toulouse III


David Kaniewski (http://www.ecolab.omp.eu/profils/KANIEWSKI_David)


Université Paris I


Francis Joannès (https://univ-paris1.academia.edu/FJoannès)


University of Budapest ELTE


Zoltán Niederreiter (https://elte.academia.edu/ZoltánNiederreiter)




Robert Englund (http://cdli.ucla.edu/?q=robert-k-englund)


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