Media contact list

The Centre of Excellence in Ancient Near Eastern Empires hosts numerous academics with wide-spread expertise and interests related to the ancient Near East.

They are happy to share knowledge and awareness through interviews and other media exposure.

Name and position

Contact information Languages Areas of expertise

Saana Svärd

Director of ANEE, leader of Team 1
Professor in Ancient Near Eastern Studies

+358 2941 22683

Finnish, English Akkadian, Sumerian, History of Mesopotamia, Gender studies, Digital Humanities approaches, Study of Emotions

Krister Lindén

Vice-leader of Team 1
Research Director in Department of Digital Humanities

+358 2941 29303

Swedish, Finnish, English Digital Humanities approaches, Language Technology, Artificial Intelligence, Computational Linguistics

Jason Silverman

Leader of Team 2
University Researcher in Biblical Studies

+358 2941 23060

English Orality and Literacy theory, Apocalyptic and prophetic literature of Hebrew Bible, Persian Empire and religion, Migration theory of Ancient Near East

Melanie Wasmuth

Vice-leader of Team 2
University researcher, Docent in Egyptology English, German Egyptology, Ancient Near Eastern studies, Ancient Cross-Area Studies, Cultural encounters, Cross-regional identity display, Cross-regional mobility and migration

Antti Lahelma

Vice director of ANEE, Leader of Team 3
University lecturer in Archaeology

+358 2941 23243

Finnish, English Archaeology of religion, Iconography, Archaeoacoustics, Conflict archaeology, Cosmology, Petra, Early Byzantine period

Marta Lorenzon

Vice-leader of Team 3
University researcher

+358 2941 23076

English, Italian, Spanish, French Near Eastern architecture, Anthropology of architecture, Urban planning, Earthern architecture, Postcolonial theories, Community archeology, Architectural preservation

Alex Aissaoui

Doctoral student

+358 50 320 7720

Finnish, French, English

Historical analysis in Great Power dynamics, Balance of power theory, International anarchy, State-formation process, Vassal-overlord relationships

Tero Alstola

Postdoctoral researcher

+358 2941 23122

Finnish, English Ancient Near East, Babylonia, Assyria, Mesopotamia, Judah, Israel, Migration, Social history, Bible, Old Testament, Digital humanities

Kaisa Autere

Doctoral student

+358 2941 23423

Finnish, English Egyptology, Ancient Egyptian, Archaeological methods and fieldwork

Rotem Avneri Meir

Doctoral student English, Hebrew Second temple Judaism, Dead Sea scrolls, classics, Hellenistic period, Seleucid, Ptolemaic kingdoms, Hebrew Bible, Kingship, Historiography, Memory studies

Ellie Bennett

Postdoctoral researcher English Neo-Assyrian history, Pre-Islamic Arabian history, Gender Studies, Digital Humanities (Gephi, Python, LateX), royal ideology, Akkadian, Titles and Epithets

Rick Bonnie

University lecturer in museology

+358 2941 22507

English, Dutch Archaeology of the Greco-Roman Middle East, Illicit antiquities trafficking, Provenance research, Jewish material culture, Community archaeology, Archaeology of ritual and religion

Elisabeth Holmqvist-Sipilä


+358 2941 22198

Finnish, English Archaeology, Archaeological materials science

Heidi Jauhiainen

Postdoctoral researcher Finnish, English Digital Humanities approaches, Gephi, FastText, Network Analysis, Databases, Ancient Egypt, Deir el-Medina, Feasts, Religion

Jutta Jokiranta

Professor in Hebrew Bible and Cogante Studies

+358 2941 24348

Finnish, English Dead Sea Scrolls, Qumran texts, Second Temple Judaism, Rituals and ritual studies, Textual materiality, Cognitive study of religion, Social identity, Ethnicity, Sectarianism

Uine Kailamäki

Doctoral student Finnish, English Archaeological science, Geoarchaeology, Uranium series dating, Rock art, Earthen architecture

Saimi Kautonen

Doctoral student

Finnish, English History and Archaeology, Biblical Studies, Roman Palestine, Ancient water architecture

Raz Kletter

Docent in Near Eastern Archaeology English, Hebrew Archaeology, History of archaeology, Archaeological theory, Politics of archaeology, Israel/Palestine, Economy (pre-monetary), Cultural heritage, Cult and figurines, Archaeological legislation

Heidi Kovanen

Doctoral student Finnish, English Archaeology, Death and burial, Identities, Gender, Iron Age, Levant

Päivi Miettunen

Postdoctoral researcher Finnish, English Arabic (Levantine dialects), Middle Eastern tribal identities, Modern society (Jordan, Lebanon, Syria), Anthropological field research methods

Nina Nikki

Postdoctoral researcher Finnish, English Early Christianity, Paul, Social identity approach

Aleksi Sahala

Doctoral student Finnish, English

Computational assyriology, Language technology, Digital language resources, Computational analysis of cuneiform texts, Sumerian language

Stefan Smith

Postdoctoral researcher English, German, French Landscape archaeology, GIS, Prehistoric Ancient Near East, Nomadism and sedentism, Human adaptation to climatic variation

Adrianne Spunaugle

Postdoctoral researcher English

Social history of deportation, First millennium BCE, Mesopotamia, Israel, Assyriology, Hebrew Bible

Lena Tambs

Postdoctoral researcher English History and archaeology, Egyptology, Ptolemaic Egypt, Classics, Social history, Social network analysis

Joanna Töyräänvuori

Postdoctoral researcher Finnish, English Late Bronze Age, Flood story, Phoenician, Ugaritic, Hittite, Middle/Late Egyptian, Political mythology, Sea gods, Arameans, Hebrew Bible

Jonathan Valk

Postdoctoral researcher English, Dutch, Hebrew Ancient world, Assyria, Social history, Akkadian, Aramaization, Collective identity

Evelien Vanderstraeten

Doctoral student

+358 2941 23574

English, Dutch Ancient Near East, Babylonia, Women, Marriage