Dr Ben Dewar

Ben Dewar is Associate Lecturer (Teaching) in Ancient Middle Eastern History. He is an Assyriologist and Historian of the cuneiform-writing cultures of ancient Mesopotamia with a particular interest in the political, intellectual, and literary history of the late 2nd and early 1st Millennia BC. His research focuses on the intersection of religion, morality, and identity with political structures and the built and natural environment in Mesopotamian literature and historiography. He is also interested in the role that imaginative geography and worldview play in determining the structure and ordering principles of cuneiform texts, and in narratological approaches to ancient texts.

Major publications

  • ‘Kings and their Gods: Representations of Urartian Royal Ideology and Religion in Sargon II’s Letter to the God Ashur’, Journal of Near Eastern Studies 82 (2023), 327–339.
  • ‘Historical Explanation in the Babylonian Chronicles’, in G. Konstantopoulos and S. Helle (eds.), The Shape of Stories: Narrative Structures in Cuneiform Cultures [Cuneiform Monographs]. Brill (2023), 211–233.
  • ‘Godless People and Sunless Skies: Deviant Space in the Tukulti-Ninurta and Nebuchadnezzar Bilinguals’, Avar 1 (2022), 113–138.
  • ‘The Burning of Captives in the Assyrian Royal Inscriptions and Early Neo-Assyrian Conceptions of the Other’, Studia Orientalia Electronica 9 (2021), 67–81.
  • ‘Us against Them: Ideological and Psychological Aspects of Ashurnasirpal II’s Campaign against Assyrian Rebels in Ḫalziluḫa’, Iraq 82 (2020), 114–124.
  • ‘A Time and a Place: A Unique Approach to Chronological and Geographical Order in a Royal Inscription of Adad-nārārī II’, State Archives of Assyria Bulletin 25 (2019), 1–10.
  • ‘Sitting on Top of the World: The Structure and Narrative of the Throne-Base Inscriptions of Ashurnasirpal II and Shalmaneser III’, Kaskal 14 (2017), 61–76.
  • ‘Rebellion, Sargon II’s “Punishment” and the Death of Aššur-nādin-šumi in the Inscriptions of Sennacherib’, Journal of Ancient Near Eastern History 3 (2017), 25–38.


  • Writing History (first year undergraduate core course)
  • Making History (first year undergraduate core course)
  • Approaching History (first year undergraduate core course)
  • Ancient Middle Eastern Religion (advanced seminar)