Ryan Schnell


Ryan Schnell received his BA in Ancient Near Eastern Studies with an emphasis in Biblical Hebrew from Brigham Young University.  He then received his MA in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Chicago, where he wrote a thesis entitled, “Shall No Man Raise His Sister’s Son?: The Anatolian Avuncular System in the II and I Millennia”. In his thesis work, he focused on using anthropological models to reconstruct kinship and inheritance systems integral to the Anatolian ethnoliguistic group, placing them in the context of their Near Eastern and Aegean neighbors, and providing new insights into the history of the Hittite Old Kingdom.

In his time at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, he plans to focus his research on the interaction between Indo-European and Semitic cultures in the Late Bronze and Iron Ages, using the Hittite and Luwian Kingdoms as a case study. One of his research goals will likely include a diachronic history of Hittite sacrificial practice and the role that it played in intercultural exchange. He also hopes to examine the extent to which verbal formulae were able to pass between languages as evidence for cultural interaction, and the effects of this cultural interaction on the historical development of the respective cultures.