Norman Yoffee

Norman Yoffee's career has oscillated between the fields of Assyriology (Mesopotamian studies), especially law and economics, mainly in the Old Babylonian period (ca. 2000-1600 BC), and Anthropology, especially social evolutionary theory, in particular the rise and fall of ancient states in comparative perspective. Both of these fields come together in Myths of the Archaic State: Evolution of the Earliest Cities, States, and Civilizations (2005). His most recent book is a volume co-edited with Patricia McAnany,Questioning Collapse: Human Resilience, Ecological Vulnerability, and the Aftermath of Empire (2009). He is now working on volume three of a new nine-volume Cambridge World History. This volume, titled by the general editor, A World of Cities, ca. 3000 BC-AD 1200, will be the subject of a conference at ISAW in March 2011. The participants will present digests of their chapters and work on preparing new chapters in which social institutions among early cities will be compared. His long-term project in Mesopotamian studies is to write a “biography” of the city of Kish, ca. 3000 BC-AD 500.