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Institute for the Study of the Ancient World



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Sam Mirelman


After a career in the field of music and musicology, I studied Assyriology at SOAS (London) and (with a DAAD grant) LMU (Munich). For some years before coming to ISAW I focused on the area of music and musicians in the ancient Near East. At ISAW I have expanded my research focus, to encompass not only musical thought and activity, but also all aspects of performance and ritual in the ancient Near East. For example, I co-organized (with Ian Rutherford) the workshop Exploring Ritual in the Ancient Near East and Mediterranean: Performance, Texts, and Material Culture at ISAW in May 2014. My interests include not only ritual and performance, but related topics such as orality and textual transmission in ancient Mesopotamia. My dissertation examines a corpus of Sumerian liturgical texts, with specific reference to their performance, and performance contexts.

For a list of publications, see my webpage on