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Jacob Lauinger

Assistant Professor, Assyriology

Department of Near Eastern Studies
Johns Hopkins University
Gilman 130A
3400 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218

Telephone:  (410) 516-5220

Academic Background: PhD, University of Chicago, 2007
MA, University of Chicago, 2001
BA, Princeton University, 1999

Research Interests: Assyriology

Jacob Lauinger is an Assyriologist who focuses on Akkadian cuneiform texts of the first and second millennium B.C with an interest in peripheral (i.e. extra-Mesopotamian) dialects of Akkadian. He received his B.A. in classical art and archaeology from Princeton University and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Assyriology from the University of Chicago. His research focuses on the history of the ancient Near East and, in particular, on approaching cuneiform tablets from both philological and archaeological perspectives in order to better define the social contexts in which they were written, used, and stored. In this regard, he is fortunate to serve as the epigrapher for two archeological excavations, Koç University’s Tell Atchana (Alalah) Excavations and the University of Toronto’s Tayinat Archaeological Project.

Currently, Jacob is directing the project “Cuneiform from Canaan: Lemmatization, Annotation, and Electronic Publication of the Canaanite Cuneiform Texts from Tell el-Amarna, Egypt,” funded by a Catalyst Award from JHU.  This project aims to tag the linguistic and extra-linguistic data of the Canaanite Amarna letters and make them freely available via the Oracc (Openly Rich Annotated Cuneiform Corpus) ( workspace.

Jacob has also recently published a book on Alalah and the kingdom of Yamhad, a polity that controlled north-western Syria from approximately 1800-1600 BC. The book, Following the Man of Yamhad:  Settlement and Territory at Old Babylonian Alalah, CHANE 75 (Leiden/Boston:  Brill, 2015) focuses on cuneiform records from Alalah attesting to the purchase and exchange of entire towns and seeks to embed this economic practice within the social and political context of the time.  A forthcoming volume, Texts and Contexts:  The Circulation and Transmission of Cuneiform Texts in Social Space, edited with fellow Hopkins Assyriologist Prof. Paul Delnero, explores the different social, cultural, and historical contexts in which cuneiform texts circulated in order to elucidate the different functions texts could serve in the ancient Near East. 

Recent articles include a review article, “Approaching Ancient Near Eastern Treaties, Laws, and Covenants,” that is forthcoming in the Journal of the American Oriental Society; an essay on Alalah that is forthcoming in the Handbook of Ancient Mesopotamia, ed. G. Rubio (de Gruyter); translations of selected Neo-Assyrian treaties that are forthcoming in Context of Scripture, vol. 4, ed. K .L. Younger (Brill); “A Stele of Sargon II at Tell Tayinat.” co-authored with Stephen Batiuk, Zeitschrift für Assyriologie 104;  “Witnessing at Old Babylonian Alalah:  A New Level VII Witness List from the Koç University Excavations at Tell Atchana/Alalah.” Revue d’Assyriologie 108 (2014); “The Neo-Assyrian adê:  Treaty, Oath, or Something Else?” Zeitschrift für altorientalische und biblische Rechtsgeschichte 19 (2013); “Esarhaddon’s Succession Treaty at Tell Tayinat:  Text and Commentary,” Journal of Cuneiform Studies 64 (2012);  “An Excavated Dossier of Cuneiform Tablets from Level VII Alalah?” Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, 362 (2011); and “Some Preliminary Thoughts on the Tablet Collection in Building XVI from Tell Tayinat,” Journal of the Canadian Society for Mesopotamian Studies, 6 (2011).  Jacob has presented papers on these and other aspects of his research at national conferences in the United States and Europe and as invited lectures in the US as well as Australia, Canada, Germany, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.

Before coming to Johns Hopkins, Jacob was the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Research Fellow at Corpus Christi, University of Cambridge (2009-2010) and an Assistant Professor in the History Department at Roanoke College (2007-2009).

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