Kristin Kleber has been appointed Professor of Ancient Near Eastern Studies at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam as of 1 February 2018.
The new chair focuses on the languages, cultures, and heritage of the Ancient Near East – the cradle of civilization – from its origins to Hellenistic times.
Kristin Kleber: "In museums worldwide there are still many texts from ancient Mesopotamia that have not yet been studied, not to mention what is still available in countries such as Syria, Iraq, Iran, and other countries of the Middle East. In that area, real discoveries can still be made that can provide new insight into the political, socio-economic, and religious reality in these ancient cultures. This insight, in turn, not only contributes to our understanding of the origins of our civilization, but also to our understanding of the world of the Old Testament and the current traditions of this region, many of which date back to the time before the arrival of Islam."
Kristin Kleber (Germany, 1973) studied Assyriology, Archaeology of West Asia, and Semitic Languages at the Freie Universität Berlin and at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Obtained her PhD in 2008 at the Universität Münster on a study of the relationship between the Babylonian temples and the royal administration in the first millennium BC. During her PhD studies she also worked on a research project in Vienna on the economy of Babylonia in the sixth century BCE. From 2008 to 2010 she was a postdoc at the Topoi Excellence Centre in Berlin. Since autumn 2010 she teaches languages and cultures of the Ancient Near East at the VU. In 2014 she obtained a Vidi grant from the Dutch Research Council NWO. This grant allows her to work until 2019 with two PhD students and a postdoctoral researcher on the tax system and administration of the Old Persian Empire.