Jonathan Valk is University Lecturer in Assyriology at Leiden University. He obtained his doctorate from New York University’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World. Jonathan works on the history of Mesopotamia and the broader ancient Near East in the second and first millennia BCE, with a particular interest in the history of Assyria. His research explores identity formation, social inequality, text production, language change, ancient economy, ancient sociology, empire and imperialism, and ancient literature.
Jonathan is currently investigating the Aramaization of Assyria, the process whereby the Aramaic language and alphabetic writing displaced the Assyrian language and cuneiform writing in the Assyrian empire. Other projects involve the cultivation of imperial identity in the Neo-Assyrian empire, the place of the story of Erra and Išum in Akkadian literature, and humorous scholarly propaganda at the Neo-Assyrian court. He is also working on a book entitled “The Anatomy of Assyrianness: Rethinking Identity and Society in Antiquity.” This book develops a new way of thinking about collective identities and applies it to the Assyrian evidence from the second millennium BCE.
Jonathan has published articles in the Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient and the Journal of Ancient Near Eastern History, is the editor of a forthcoming volume on ancient taxation in comparative perspective, and has further work forthcoming in other journals. He is co-convener of the Canonical Cultures network at the Leiden University Institute for Area Studies.
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