Jacob Lauinger

Jacob Lauinger

Associate Professor, Assyriology
Director of Graduate Studies

Contact Information

Research Interests: Assyriology

Education: PhD, University of Chicago

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 social, legal, and economic 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 three archeological excavations, Koç University’s Tell Atchana (Alalah) Excavations, the University of Toronto’s Tayinat Archaeological Project, and the Sirwan Regional Project’s Khani Masi Excavations.

Currently, Jacob is working to make linguistically tagged editions and glossaries of the Amarna Letters freely available via the Oracc workspace. He is also writing a book on the Statue of Idrimi, an inscribed statue from Late Bronze Age Alalah. His annotated edition of the Idrimi inscriptions is already available via Oracc.

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).

  • Ancient Near Eastern social and economic history
  • Syria and the Levant in the Bronze Age
  • peripheral Akkadian
  • the Statue of Idrimi
  • Neo-Assyrian treaties (adê)
  • publication of cuneiform epigraphic material from Bronze Age Alalah/Tell Atchana and Neo-Assyrian Kullaniya/Tell Tayinat

Undergraduate Courses

Ancient Empires

Diplomacy and Conflict in the Ancient Middle East

History of Mesopotamia II

Law in the Ancient Middle East

Seminar in Research Methods in Near Eastern Studies: (Auto)biography in the Ancient Near East

Graduate Courses

Akkadian Divination and Ritual Texts

Akkadian Historical Texts

Akkadian Letters

Akkadian Literary Texts

Akkadian Treaties and Diplomatic Texts

Akkadian Wisdom Literature

Amarna Letters

The Assyrian Dialects


Elementary Akkadian I and II

History of Mesopotamia II

History of Syria-Palestine I

Intermediate Akkadian


Peripheral Akkadian

Forthcoming in 2023. "Replying to Pharaoh's Order: Amarna Letters from the Levant with Completely Blank or Partially Inscribed Reverse Surface." Journal of the American Oriental Society.

2022. "Idrimi’s Aunts at Emar: On Line 5 of the Idrimi Inscription." Pp. 219-225 in One Who Loves Knowledge: Studies in Honor of Richard Jasnow, eds. B. Bryan, M. Smith, C. DiCerbo, M. Escolano-Poveda, and J. Waller. Material and Visual Culture of Ancient Egypt 6. Columbus, GA: Lockwood Press.

2022. "The Supposed Recycling of a Silver Statue of a God from Middle Bronze Age/Old Babylonian Alalah (AIT 366 [40.05]). Pp. 313-332 in "Now These Records are Ancient" - Studies in Ancient Near Eastern and Biblical History, Language and Culture in Honor of K. Lawson Younger, Jr., eds. R. Averbeck, J. Hoffmeier, C. Howard, and W. Zwickel. Ägypten und Altes Testament. Münster: Zaphon.

2021. "Imperial and Local: Audience and Identity in the Idrimi Inscriptions." Studia Orientalia Electronica 9: 28-46.

2021. "Observing Neo-Assyrian Scribes at Work." Pp. 177-185 in Observing the Scribe at Work: Scribal Practice in the Ancient World, ed. R. Ast et al. Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 301. Leuven: Peeters.

2021. "Review of Emanuel Pfoh, Syria-Palestine in the Late Bronze Age: An Anthropology of Politics and Power." Archiv für Orientforschung 54: 602-604.

2020. "The Jurisdiction of Legal Transactions at Middle Bronze Age Alalah." Pp. 55-71 in Celebrating Alalakh: Proceedings of the 15th Anniversary Symposium at the New Hatay Museum, June 10-12, 2015, eds. K. A. Yener, G. Dardeniz, and M. Horowitz. Leuven: Peeters.

2020. "Taxation and the Management of Resources at Middle and Late Bronze Age Alalah." Pp. 363-381 in Taxation and Management of Resources in the 3rd and 2nd Millennium BC., eds. J. Mynářová and S. Alivernini. Prague: Charles University.

2019. "Contribution to a Diplomatics of the Amarna Letters from the Levant: La 'mise en page.'" Pp. 563-582 in De l’argile au numérique. Mélanges assyriologiques en l’honneur de Dominique Charpin, eds. G. Chambon, M. Guichard, and A.-I. Langlois. Leuven: Peeters.

2019. "Discourse and Meta-discourse in the Statue of Idrimi and Its Inscription." MAARAV, A Journal for the Study of the Northwest Semitic Languages and Literatures 23: 19-38.

2019. "Literary Connections and Social Contexts: Approaches to Deuteronomy in Light of the Assyrian adê-tradition." Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel 8: 87-100.

2019. "Review of Wayne Horowitz, Takayoshi Oshima, and Seth Sanders, Cuneiform in Canaan: The Next Generation." Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 382: 317-319.

2016. "Iqqur īpuš at Tell Tayinat." Journal of Cuneiform Studies 68: 229-48.

2016. "Neo-Assyrian Treaties." Pp. 145-169 in Context of Scripture, vol. 4: Supplements, ed. K. L. Younger, Jr. Leiden/Boston: Brill.

2016. "Approaching Ancient Near Eastern Treaties, Laws, and Covenants." Journal of the American Oriental Society 136: 125-134.

2015. "Introduction." Pp. 1-26 in Texts and Contexts: Approaches to Textual Circulation and Transmission in the Cuneiform World, eds. P. Delnero and J. Lauinger. Studies in Ancient Near Eastern Records 9. Berlin/Boston: Walter DeGruyter. Co-authored with P. Delnero.

2015. "A Stele of Sargon II at Tell Tayinat." Zeitschrift für Assyriologie 105: 54-68. Co-authored with S. Batiuk.

2015. "Neo-Assyrian Scribes, 'Esarhaddon's Succesion Treaty,' and the Dynamics of Textual Mass Production." Pp. 285-314 in Texts and Contexts: Approaches to Textual Circulation and Transmission in the Cuneiform World, eds. P. Delnero and J. Lauinger. Studies in Ancient Near Eastern Records 9. Berlin/Boston: Walter DeGruyter.

2014. "The Curricular Context of an Akkadian Prayer from Old Babylonian Ur (UET 6 402)." Pp. 189-196 in Extraction and Control: Studies in Honor of Matthew W. Stolper, eds. Wouter Henkelman, Charles Jones, Michael Kozuh, and Christopher Woods. Studies in Ancient Oriental Civilizations 68. Chicago: Oriental Institute, University of Chicago.

2014. "Witnessing at Old Babylonian Alalah: A New Level VII Witness List from the Koç University Excavations at Tell Atchana/Alalah. Revue d’Assyriologie 108: 25-40.

2013. "The Neo-Assyrian adê: Treaty, Oath, or Something Else?" Zeitschrift für altorientalische und biblische Rechtsgeschichte 19: 99-115.

2012. "Appendix C: Old Babylonian Tablets from Adab in the Collection of the Oriental Institute." Pp. 147-154 in Bismaya: Rediscovering the Lost City of Adab, by Karen Wilson. Oriental Institute Publications 138. Chicago: Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago.

2012. "Esarhaddon’s Succession Treaty at Tell Tayinat: Text and Commentary." Journal of Cuneiform Studies 64: 87-123.

2011. "Some Preliminary Thoughts on the Tablet Collection in Building XVI at Tell Tayinat." Journal of the Canadian Society for Mesopotamian Studies 6: 5-14.

2011. "An Excavated Dossier of Cuneiform Tablets from Level VII Alalah?" Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 362: 21-64.

2010. "Epigraphic Report." Pp. 85-88 in Tell Atchana, Ancient Alalakh, Vol. 1: The 2003-2004 Excavation Seasons, ed. K. A. Yener. Istanbul: Koç University Press.

2008. "The Temple of Ištar at Old Babylonian Alalakh." Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions 8: 181-217.

2005. "Epigraphic Finds from the Oriental Institute’s 2003 Excavations at Alalakh." Journal of Near Eastern Studies 64: 53-58.

2004. "A New Fragment of the Epic of Anzû in the Antakya Museum." Zeitschrift für Assyriologie 94: 80-84.

Texts and Contexts

co-editor (with Paul A. Delnero, co-editor)
Walter de Gruyter , 2015