Ancient Mesopotamia Speaks


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Highlights of the Yale Babylonian Collection

Edited by Agnete W. Lassen, Eckart Frahm, and Klaus Wagensonner

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A stunning guide to the treasures housed within the Yale Babylonian Collection, presenting new perspectives on the society and culture of the ancient Near East

The Yale Babylonian Collection houses virtually every genre, type, and period of ancient Mesopotamian writing, ranging from about 3000 B.C.E. to the early Christian Era. Among its treasures are tablets of the Epic of Gilgamesh and other narratives, the world’s oldest recipes, a large corpus of magic spells and mathematical texts, stunning miniature art carved on seals, and poetry by the first named author in world history, the princess Enheduanna.

This unique volume, the companion book to an exhibition at Yale’s Peabody Museum of Natural History, celebrates the Yale Babylonian Collection and its formal affiliation with the museum. Included are essays by world-renowned experts on the exhibition themes, photographs and illustrations, and a catalog of artifacts in the collection that present the ancient Near East in the light of present-day discussion of lived experiences, focusing on family life and love, education and scholarship, identity, crime and transgression, demons, and sickness.


Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History

Distributed for the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History

Agnete W. Lassen is associate curator of the Yale Babylonian Collection at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History. Eckart Frahm is professor of Assyriology at Yale University. Klaus Wagensonner is a post-doctoral researcher at Yale University.

"Ancient Mesopotamia Speaks manages to bridge the formidable gap between 'insiders' and 'outsiders,' offering insightful views of an ancient society that inform specialists as well as the general public, without being overly technical or ridden with academic jargon. The overall impression provided by this catalog is of a highly literate urban society."—M.J. Geller, The Historian

“A monumental book, lavishly illustrated and well-researched.”—Bibliotheca Orientalis

Selected for Choice's 2019 Outstanding Academic Titles List
ISBN: 9781933789378
Publication Date: May 14, 2019
Publishing Partner: Distributed for the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History
296 pages, 8 1/2 x 11
200 color illus.