Department of Greek & Latin


Mark Weeden

Associate Professor, Ancient Middle Eastern Languages

Mark Weeden

Email Mark Weeden

Research interests: Hittite, Akkadian, Sumerian, Anatolian Hieroglyphs, history and literature of the cuneiform world.

IRIS research profile

Before Joining UCL Greek and Latin I worked at SOAS, University of London, for 10 years (2011-21). Before that I was also a British Academy Research Fellow at SOAS, worked briefly as a lecturer at Oxford, and did my PhD and MA at SOAS again. I originally did a degree in Greek and Latin at Oxford (1988-92). 

I work mainly on the history and literature of the cuneiform world.

Cuneiform texts are three-dimensional physical objects which date directly from the ancient world, and a good deal of my work is bound up with that materiality - reading original texts and trying to understand their functions or meanings. I think it is important to work closely with archaeologists and I work as an epigrapher at a number of excavations in Turkey during the summer, preparing newly excavated cuneiform and Anatolian Hieroglyphic inscriptions for publication. A great deal of my research is connected with working out the historical and social background of these documents, which date to the second and  early first millennia BC, the Late Bronze and Iron Ages. I am also working on a project with Iraqi and other colleagues concerning agricultural cuneiform tablets from the 3rd millennium BC that were discovered in Iraqi excavations. Since my PhD I have been interested in the transmission of scholarly knowledge across the cuneiform world and the social and material contexts of writing, as well as of the literature, as we refer to it, that is written in it. Some topics of my recent research have been: publication of an important Sumerian source for a rebellion in southern Babylonia in the 18th century BC, the relationship between Babylonian epic poetry and the materials of scribal training, the social contexts of Babylonian love poetry, as well as chapters on Hittite and post-Hittite history in Bronze and Iron Age Anatolia and Syria.

I am currently the chair of the London Centre for the Ancient Near East, an organisation which tries to bring together representatives of various London-based institutions involved in the study of the rich cultural legacy of this region and puts on a regular seminar series (http://banealcane.org/lcane/). I serve on the Editorial Boards of a number of journals and monograph series, co-edit the journal Iraq and am Editor-in-Chief of the Brill series Handbook of Oriental Studies: Ancient Near East. 

Authored Books:


Edited Books or Journals 

  • Weeden, Mark and Ullmann, Lee Z., (eds.), (2017) Hittite Landscape and Geography. Leiden: Brill. (Handbook of Oriental Studies. Section 1 The Near and Middle East).

 Book Chapters

 Book Reviews