Universiteit Leiden

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Jan Gerrit Dercksen

University Lecturer Assyriology

Dr. J.G. Dercksen
+31 71 527 2912

Jan Gerrit Dercksen is a University Lecturer at the Leiden University Institute for Area Studies.

More information about Jan Gerrit Dercksen

Fields of interest

The history of Mesopotamia and Anatolia, especially during the early centuries of the second millennium BC, the Old Assyrian and Old Babylonian periods. Within this broad field, my particular interest is the economy of Assyria and Babylonia. The focus of my research is on the Old Assyrian period (key-word:  Kültepe) and together with other scholars sharing a passion for Kültepe I form the  Old Assyrian Text Project Group. I am currently engaged in preparing the publication of an archive excavated in Kültepe (Kt c/k Ali-ahum). 

Since 2010, I am directing the research programme ‘Immigrant-Related Change in the Ancient Near East’, funded by The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). This programme investigates the effects of migration in Mesopotamia and Anatolia during the Old Assyrian/Hittite period (post-doc Dr  Willemijn Waal), the Old Babylonian period (PhD student Drs Rients de Boer), and the Neo-Assyrian period (post-doc Dr Jeanette Fincke).



1996: PhD in Assyriology, Leiden University 
1987: Doctoral degree in Semitic Languages and Cultures (Assyriology), Leiden University 

2002-present: Lecturer in Assyriology at Leiden University. 
2000-2001: Post-doc researcher at University of Copenhagen (CNI). 
1996-2000: post-doc researcher Leiden University.


Key publications

  • Dercksen, J.G. (2004). Some elements of Old Anatolian society in Kanis. In Dercksen, J.G. (Ed.),  Assyria  and beyond : studies presented to Mogens Trolle Larsen.  (pp. 137-177). Leiden: Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabije Osten.
  • Dercksen, J.G. (2005). Again on Old Assyrian tuzinnum.  Nouvelles Assyriologiques Brèves et Utilitaires, 2, pp. 39-39.
  • Dercksen, J.G. (2005). Metals according to documents from Kültepe-Kanish dating to the Old Assyrian Colony Period. In Yalcun, Ü. (Ed.),  Anatolian Metal III. Der Anschnitt, Beiheft 18.  (pp. 17-34). Bochum: Deutsches Bergbau-Museum.
  • Dercksen, J.G. (2005). Die Stadt Assur als Wirtschaftsmacht. In Meyer, J.-W. & Sommerfeld, W. (Ed.),  2000 v. Chr.  Politische, wirtschaftliche und kulturelle Entwicklung im Zeichen einer Jahrtausendwende.  (pp. 155-169). Saarbrücken: Saarbrücker Druckerei und Verlag.
  • Dercksen, J.G. (2006). Adad is king. The Sargon text from Kültepe.  Jaarbericht van het Vooraziatisch Egyptisch Genootschap Ex Oriente Lux, 39, 107-129.



Courses in the Akkadian language and its main dialects (Old, Middle and Neo-Assyrian and Old and Neo-Babylonian), history and economy of Mesopotamia. 

  • Introduction to Akkadian 
  • Standard Babylonian literary and historical texts 
  • Old Assyrian 
  • Middle Assyrian 
  • Neo-Assyrian 
  • Old Babylonian letters and historical and juridical texts 
  • History of Mesopotamia 

PhD supervision
Rients de Boer, The Effects of the Amorite Migration to Mesopotamia (started 2010) (with Wilfred van Soldt)


Grants and awards

Grant from NWO Vrije Competitie Geesteswetenschappen for the four-year (2010-2014) programme “The Impact of Migration: Migrant-Related Change in the Ancient Near East” (€ 600,000).  

Administration and service to the profession 
Secretary, Examining board of the research master-programme Classics and Ancient Near Eastern Civilisations. 
Member, Examining board of the BA programme OCMW. 

Editor Ancient Near East of the  Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 
Co-editor of the  Jaarbericht Ex Oriente Lux 
Co-editor of the series  PIHANS published by the  Nederland Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten, Leiden

University Lecturer Assyriology

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Leiden Institute for Area Studies
  • SMES Assyriologie



  • No relevant ancillary activities
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