Professor Eleanor Robson

Eleanor Robson joined UCL in September 2013. For ten years before that she taught in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge, after a varied postdoctoral career in and around the Faculty of Oriental Studies at the University of Oxford.

Eleanor’s research has three main focal points: the social and political contexts of knowledge production in the cuneiform culture of ancient Iraq, five to two thousand years ago; the construction of knowledge about ancient Iraq in Europe, the Americas, and the Middle East over the past two centuries; and use of open, standards-based online resources for democratising access to knowledge about the ancient Middle East.

With Professors Steve Tinney (UPenn) and Niek Veldhuis (UC Berkeley) she runs Oracc, the Open Richly Annotated Cuneiform Corpus, an international co-operative which which provides facilities and support for the creation of free online editions of cuneiform texts and educational websites about ancient cuneiform culture. The Oracc projects she has led include:

Eleanor’s most recent monograph, Mathematics in Ancient Iraq: A Social History (Princeton University Press, 2008), won the History of Science Society’s Pfizer Award for 2011. She received a Bessel Research Award from the Humboldt Foundation to carry out work on her next book, on the social geography of cuneiform scholarship, which is now in press.

Eleanor serves as the voluntary Chair of Council for The British Institute for the Study of Iraq, a learned society based at the British Academy in London.

Qualifications & memberships of professional bodies

1995 DPhil University of Oxford
1990 BSc (Hons)  University of Warwick 
Chair of Council, British Institute for the Study of Iraq 
Member of the International Association of Assyriologists 
Member of the British Society for the History of Mathematics 
Member of the History of Science Society  
Editorial Board member of the Cambridge Archaeological Journal 
Editorial Board member of the journal Information & Culture 

Courses taught

HIST2108 Understanding the Early Mesopotamian World

Major Publications

IRIS Researcher Profile 

Prof Eleanor Robson