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Ancient Near Eastern Studies: Images, films and podcasts

The Sackler Library is the premier research library for Ancient Near Eastern Studies at the University of Oxford. It incorporates the libraries previously housed in the Griffith Institute and the Ashmolean Museum.
Subjects: Ancient Near East

Image databases

ARTstor - Union collection of image collections worldwide. Approaching 1,000,000 images covering all periods, all geographic areas and all types of art, architecture and archaeology as well as other subject areas in the Humanities, Social Sciences and Hisitory of Medicine and Science. Contributing collections include libraries, museums and archives, including the Bodleian’s Western Manuscripts and Incunabula collection. All periods, all geographic areas.

Bridgeman Education - 300,000+ images of objects from museums, galleries and private collections, as well as buildings and monuments. Images cover visual culture worldwide, from pre-History to the present day. Media covered include photography, fine art, engravings, sculpture, architecture, the decorative arts, artefacts and applied arts. It addresses the interests of such disciplines as art, architecture, archaeology, anthropology, & ethnography, history, science & medicine. All periods, all geographic areas.

Deutsches Dokumentationszentrum für Kunstgeschichte - Bildarchiv Foto Marburg - The Bildarchiv Foto Marburg is the German Centre for Documentation of Art History. It is a national and international research and service institute, supported by the Philipps University in Marburg. Its mission is to collect, index and make available photographs related to European art and architecture. Containing over 1.7 million images, the Archive include images relating to Egypt and the Ancient Near East.

Flickr Commons - The key goal of The Commons is to share hidden treasures from the world's public photography archives.

Griffith Institute Archive - The Griffith Institute Archive houses a diverse and significant collection which explores Ancient Egypt and to a lesser extent the Ancient Near East. The latter is e.g. represented by papers of A. H. Sayce and W.M. Flinders Petrie (Palestine excavations).

Manar al-Athar - This free image resource for the study of the Middle East covers Syria, Palestine, Egypt and North Africa and bordering regions such as Georgia and Armenia, areas of the former Roman empire which later came under Islamic rule. Ranging from about 300 BC through the Islamic period, the website is the first of its kind providing such material labelled jointly in both Arabic and English.

Oriental Institute Photographic Archive - The website gives access to a sampling of images from the photographic archives of the Oriental Institute, capturing the archaeological work of the OI in the Near East, Egypt and the Sudan. The complete archive contains over 100,000 negatives documenting the Institute’s activities from 1892 to the present. These images record now-vanished temples and tombs, famed archaeologists standing proudly near their greatest finds and scenes of life now effaced by modern times.

Oxford Art Online - Full-text extended essays not only on British people but also non-Brits. who spent time in the UK. Excellent resource for finding biographical information on artists, art historians, patrons, collectors and dealers. People still alive are excluded.

Smithsonian Institution Collections Search Center (US) - Access to 2 million+ museum, archive, library and research holdings and collections across the Smithsonian's various sub-entities.

Film and theatre

Ashurbanipal: the last great king of Assyria - Something is rotten in Ashurbanipal’s court. A civil war rages: brother against brother, Assyria against Babylon. The king’s ministers plot to control his decisions, while the royal family unravels from the inside. This theatre play was staged at the Crypt Gallery, Euston in London 28 February - 3 March 2019, coinciding with the British Museum’s major exhibition on Ashurbanipal and his world.

Babylonia and Assyrian Poetry and Literature: An Archive or Recordings (BAPLAR) - This  website collects recordings of Assyriologists reading Babylonian and Assyrian poetry and literature aloud in the original language. The first of its kind, this website is meant to provide the public with some idea of how modern scholars think these languages were pronounced.

Berner Altorientalisches Forum (BAF) - The aim of BAF 35 mm is to inform popular representations of the Ancient Near East and archaeology by bringing science into the frame... BAF 35 mm therefore strives to organise cinematographic events. 

The Gilgamesh Epic - A 7-part filmed reading (by John Levitt and Fran Hazelton) of the Gilgamesh epic as told in Fran Hazelton's publication "Three Kings of Warka".

The Poor Man of Nippur - Cambridge Assyriology students led by Dr Martin Worthington have made the world's first film in Babylonian. Based on a 2,700-year-old poem, 'The Poor Man of Nippur' is a violent and comic story of revenge.

Thus speaks Taram-Kubi - The English version of the documentary film "Thus speaks Taram-Kubi, Assyrian Correspondence" can be seen freely online during the 8th Annual Arkhaios Film Festival, Virtual Edition, **October 5-11, 2020**


Thin Edge of the WedgeThin End of the Wedge explores life in the ancient Middle East. There are many wonderful stories we can tell about those people, their communities, the gritty reality of their lives, their hopes, fears and beliefs. We do that through the objects that survive and the cities where people once lived. I focus on the cultures that used cuneiform (“wedge-shaped”) writing, so mostly on ancient Iraq and nearby regions from about 3000 BC to about 100 AD.