Current Patrons

Professor Zainab Bahrani is the Edith Porada Professor of Art History & Archaeology at Columbia University. She has published several books and many articles on subjects ranging from ancient Near Eastern archaeology to contemporary art criticism. In 2004, as Senior Advisor to Iraq’s Ministry of Culture, she conducted a survey of war damage at the archaeological site of Babylon. She is also adviser to the World Monuments Fund project for the site management of Babylon.

Dr Harriet Crawford is Reader Emerita at the UCL Institute of Archaeology and a senior fellow at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge. She was a director of the London-Bahrain Archaeological Expedition which excavated at Saar, and initiated the British Archaeological Expedition to Kuwait.

Dr Graham Cunningham is an Assyriologist who has published on topics relating to Sumerian, religion, and magic. He was a research fellow at the University of Cambridge working on the project The Geography of Knowledge in Assyria and Babylonia: A Diachronic Analysis of Four Scholarly Libraries. 

Dr Stephanie Dalley is an honorary senior research fellow in Assyriology at the Oriental Institute Oxford. She was previously the Shillito fellow in Assyriology at Somerville College, University of Oxford and a teaching Fellow at the Oriental Institute, Oxford. She has published widely on Babylonian and Assyrian history and literature, and her work has been the subject of both radio and TV programs on ancient Mesopotamia.

Dr Irving Finkel is Assistant Keeper, Ancient Mesopotamian script, languages and cultures at the British Museum. He is the curator in charge of cuneiform inscriptions on tablets of clay from ancient Mesopotamia and his work involves reading and translating all sorts of inscriptions and working on ancient manuscripts.

Dr Andrew George is Emeritus Professor of Babylonian in the Department of History Religions and Philosophies, School of African and Oriental Studies, University of London. He has been elected as a fellow of the British Academy (2006) and as an Honorary Member of the American Oriental Society (2012). He is a former Visiting Professor at the Heidelberg University (2000), Member of the prestigious Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton (2004-2005) and Research Associate at Rikkyo University, Tokyo (2009). He is best known for his translations of The Epic of Gilgamesh.

Professor Ingrid Lunt is Professor Emerita of Educational Studies and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Education at the University of Oxford. She was previously Professor of Educational Psychology and Dean of the Doctoral School at the University of London Institute of Education.

Professor Roger Matthews is Professor of Archaeology at the University of Reading. Matthews was previously with the UCL Institute of Archaeology. From 1988 to 1995, Matthews was director of the British School of Archaeology in Iraq, and from 1996 to 2001 he was director of the British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara. He has published widely on many aspects of the ancient Near East.

Dr Jana Matuszak is Assistant Professor of Sumerology at the Oriental Institute, University of Chicago. Matuszak received her PhD in Sumerology summa cum laude from the University of Tübingen. After faculty positions at the University of Jena and SOAS University of London, she was an assistant professor at the University of Tübingen. She joined the University of Chicago faculty in 2023.

Betty De Shong Meador PhD became interested in the myths and poetry of Mesopotamia while training as a Jungian analyst. Her translations of the devotional poetry of the Sumerian high priestess Enheduanna, the first author of record, appear in her book Inanna – Lady of Largest Heart. She now lives on a ranch in San Diego County.

Professor Karen Radner is an Austrian Assyriologist and the Alexander von Humboldt Professor of Ancient History at the University of Munich. She is a former Reader in the Ancient Near East at University College London and was also the director of a project on Mechanisms of communication in an ancient empire: the correspondence between the king of Assyria and his magnates.

Professor Farouk Al-Rawi is a Professorial Research Associate in the Department of the Languages and Cultures of Near and Middle East, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He was formerly Professor of Ancient Languages and Archaeology at Baghdad University.

Dr Frances Reynolds is the Shillito Fellow in Assyriology, Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford. Her research focuses on the Akkadian and Sumerian cuneiform traditions, and the intellectual history, religion and literature of ancient Mesopotamia.

Professor Eleanor Robson is Professor of Ancient Middle Eastern History at University College London. She researches science, technology and medicine in the ancient and medieval Middle East; the history of mathematics; the history of Assyriology and Middle Eastern archaeology. She is a former chair of the British Institute for the Study of Iraq and a Quondam fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. She is a Fellow of the British Academy.

Michael Rosen is a British children’s author, poet, presenter, political columnist, broadcaster and activist. He served as Children’s Laureate from 2007 to 2009. In November 2008, he was presented with the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Literature) by the Government of France.

Jenny Uglow OBE is a biographer, critic and publisher. The editorial director of Chatto & Windus, she has written critically acclaimed biographies of Elizabeth Gaskell, William Hogarth, Thomas Bewick and the Lunar Society, among others, and has also compiled a dictionary of women’s biographies. Her works have twice been shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize. She is a past president of the Alliance of Literary Societies and has also chaired the Council of the Royal Society of Literature.

James Ware is a lawyer specialising in copyright and related intellectual rights. He has a lifelong interest in theatre and music production, and was the producer of the ZIPANG CD of Mesopotamian stories published in 2001.

Marina Warner is a novelist, short story writer, historian and mythographer. She is known for her many non-fiction books relating to feminism and myth. She was a professor in the Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies at the University of Essex until 2014 and is now Professor of English and Creative Writing at Birkbeck, University of London. She was elected a fellow of the British Academy in 2005, and was made a CBE for services to literature in 2008.  In 2017 she was elected president of the Royal Society of Literature (RSL) and has been a Distinguished Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, since 2019

Professor Michael Wood is Professor in Public History at Manchester University. He is a historian and broadcaster who has presented numerous television documentary series. In 2006 he joined the British School of Archaeology in Iraq campaign, which aimed to train and encourage new Iraqi archaeologists.

Past Patrons

Dr Lamia Al-Gailani Werr (1938–2019) was an Iraqi archaeologist. She was a research associate in the Department of the Languages and Cultures of Near and Middle East at SOAS, University of London, and an honorary research associate at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London. She was known for her efforts to preserve cultural heritage in the aftermath of the Iraq War, and for her involvement in the reconstruction of the National Museum of Iraq.

Dr Alasdair Livingstone (1954-2021) was a reader in Assyriology at the Institute of Archaeology and Antiquity, University of Birmingham. He researched the literature, mythology and cultural history of the Sumerians, Assyrians and Babylonians. He was a member of the Steering Committee of the British Association for Near Eastern Archaeology, and director of the Cuneiform Digital Palaeography Project.

Dr Mohamed Makiya (1914–2015) was an Iraqi architect and urban planner. For more than twenty years he was the proprietor and guiding spirit of the Kufa Gallery, a focus for Iraqi and Arab culture in London.

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