Ancient Mesopotamia Speaks: new exhibition and book

The Yale Babylonian Collection joined the Yale Peabody Museum in 2017. An edited volume of articles has now been published to accompany the new exhibition. The book Ancient Mesopotamia Speaks highlights the collection and the long tradition of scholarship associated with it.

Two members of the Centre of Excellence in Ancient Near Eastern Empires have contributed to the book by writing articles.

Gina Konstantopoulos’ article Deities, Demons, and Monsters in Mesopotamia describes the vast scope of mythical beings in ancient Mesopotamia. Gods and goddesses were believed to mainly reside in the heavens, while malevolent demons occupied the Netherworld both beyond and below the earth. Monsters were of this earth, but often located at the margins of the civilized world. (Konstantopoulos 2019, p. 45.)

Saana Svärd, together with co-author Agnès Garcia-Ventura, explores issues of social life. The article Women, Family Life, and Gender Roles in Ancient Mesopotamia takes women as a focal point, and studies the various social roles available to them. The authors conclude that family life and gender roles were influenced by much more than biological sex, and that women did not form a uniform group. (Garcia-Ventura & Svärd 2019, p. 97, 106).

Temporary exhibition Ancient Mesopotamia Speaks: Highlights from the Yale Babylonian Collection at Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History April 2019 – June 2020

Edited volume available from Yale University Press