Former VRS Martin Worthington Produces the World's First Film in Babylonian

By Maggie Pavao
12/03/2018

Martin Worthington, a Visiting Research Scholar at ISAW from 2017-18, produced a film with his students based on the narrative on a tablet excavated in southeast Turkey which bears a poem 160 lines long. Today, this poem is known as The Poor Man of Nippur. The project was born out of an Assyriology course at Cambridge when a student said, "This is a fun story. It would be nice to dramatize it."

See this link to read an interview with Dr. Worthington about the film and its creation: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/asithappens/as-it-happens-thursday-edition-1.4925497/a-cambridge-lecturer-and-his-students-shot-an-entire-film-in-ancient-babylonian-1.4925499 

And click the YouTube link to see the film yourself!: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=542&v=pxYoFlnJLoE

This film of The Poor Man of Nippur was shot in June 2017 and released (after post-production work) on 27th November 2018. It was acted by Assyriology students and other members of the Cambridge Mesopotamian community. Shooting locations were in several Cambridge Colleges, King's Parade, The British Museum, Flag Fen Archaeological Park, and countryside near Grantchester. The project was funded by The Philological Society, The Thriplow Charitable Trust, The Judith Wilson Fund, The CHW Johns Fund for Assyriology, St John's College, Trinity College, The Henry Sweet Society for the History of Linguistic Ideas, and The London Centre for the Ancient Near East.