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Prof. Dr. Jesper Eidem


Research Interests:

Assyriology, Near Eastern Archaeology


Jesper Eidem is Associate Professor of Ancient Near Eastern History at the University of Pisa (Italy), specializing in the history and archaeology of Northern Mesopotamia during the Bronze and Iron Ages. His research has been particularly focused on the study and publication of important archives of Middle Bronze Age cuneiform tablets from Tell Shemshara and Tell Leilan. In addition to linguistic and historical studies, he has directed fieldwork in Syria and Iraq. Since 2012, he has been directing excavations and surveys on the Rania Plain in the Kurdish Autonomous Region of Iraq.

Project Abstract

The site of Shemshara, ancient Shusharra, played a crucial role in the political developments of the early centuries of the second millennium BCE, providing a number of synchronic chronological links between the eastern fringe of the Transtigris region and the well-known centers of Mari (Tell Hariri) or Shubat-Enlil (Tell Leilan), both seats of ruling Amorite dynasties. Recent fieldwork at the site and in the surrounding region has contributed to a better definition of the chronological framework of the area, providing new evidence to isolate elements of synchronization. As part of the EC-C Exploration "Synchronwelten: Synchronizations and Synchronicities as Historical and Archaeological Practice," the project focuses on specific studies related to a new local chronology that will contribute to the development of models of synchronization in northern Syria and northern Iraq in the Middle Bronze Age.

Curriculum vitae


Ph.D. in Assyriology (1992), University of Copenhagen.

Research Master in Assyriologyand Archaeology (1985), University of Copenhagen.

Positions and Fellowships

Since 2018

Associate Professor, The History of the Ancient Near East, Department of Civilisations and Forms of Knowledge, University of Pisa.


General Director, Netherlands Institute for the Near East, Leiden University and Netherlands Institute in Turkey.


Professor (by special appointment), The Archaeology of Western Asia, Faculty of Humanities, Institute of Culture and History, University of Amsterdam.


Senior Research Fellow, Excellenz Cluster TOPOI, FU-Berlin.


Associate Research Professor, Faculty of Humanities, Carsten Niebuhr Institute, University of Copenhagen.


Senior Research Fellow, Department of Classical and Near Eastern Antiquities, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen.


Research Fellow, Danish Cultural Institute, Damascus.


Assistant/Associate Research Professor, Faculty of Humanities, Carsten Niebuhr Institute, University of Copenhagen.

Selected Publications

2020 (ed.). Zagros. Proceedings of the NINO Jubilee Conference 2014 and other Studies, PIHANS 130, Leuven: Peeters.

2014 (ed. with Eva Cancik-Kirschbaum and Nicole Brisch). Constituent, Confederate, and Conquered Space The Emergence of the Mittani State. Berlin, Boston: de Gruyter.

2011. The Royal Archives from Tell Leilan: Old Babylonian Letters and Treaties from the Lower Town Palace East. PIHANS 117, Leiden: NINO.

2008 (co-authored with Klaas R.Veenhof). Mesopotamien: Die altassyrische Zeit. Annäherungen. Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis 160/5, Fribourg: Academic Press. 

2001 (co-authored with Jorgen Læssøe). The Shemshara Archives Vol. 1: The Letters. Historisk-filosofiske Skrifter 23, Copenhagen: The Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters. 

1992. The Shemshara Archives. Vol. 2: The Administrative Texts. Historisk-filosofiske Skrifter 15, Copenhagen: The Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters. 

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February 23, 2023

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