Universiteit Leiden

nl en

Maarja Seire

PhD candidate

M. Seire MA
+31 71 527 1707

Maarja Seire is a PhD student at the Institute for Area Studies.

More information about Maarja Seire

Fields of interest

  • Assyriology
  • Cuneiform studies
  • Babylonia
  • Persian empire
  • Social history
  • Archival studies
  • Prosopography
  • Social network analysis
  • Archival practice
  • Scribes


Archival Scribes and Archival Practice During the Neo-Babylonian and Achaemenid Periods (7th–4th Century BCE)

Thousands of archival records, written on clay tablets in cuneiform script, provide information about people’s lives, from adoption to inheritance and from lease to litigation. The documents name the parties to the transaction, the witnesses, and the scribe who wrote the document. Fortunately, they also include the place and date of writing, which provide the historical setting. Until now, these documents have mainly been studied from the perspective of the archive holder(s). Another focus has been to study what these texts reveal about the various aspects of life in Babylonia. Very little is known about the scribes of these documents and their role in archival practice, which is the focus of my dissertation. My research is done in the context of the ERC project Persia and Babylonia, which produces a prosopographical database of Babylonia. This database will serve as a tool to find relevant information regarding the scribes. I will use traditional methods of Assyriology, su ch as ar chival studies and prosopography, while I will greatly rely on the methods from digital humanities (i.e. computer-assisted data analysis) and social sciences (i.e. social network analysis).


2018 – present PhD candidate, Leiden University
2017 – 2018 Research assistant, Leiden University
2014 – 2016 Research M.A. Assyriology, Leiden University
2013 – 2014 Pre M.A. Assyriology, Leiden University
2009 – 2012 B.A. Theology / Religious Studies, Tartu University (cum laude)

PhD candidate

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


  • No relevant ancillary activities
This website uses cookies.  More information.