The Digital Hammurabi Podcast

The Digital Hammurabi Podcast

Digital Hammurabi is the creative outlet for two Assyriologists, Megan Lewis and Joshua Bowen. Driven by a passion for the ancient Near East and the belief that history is both important and relevant to modern life, Megan and Josh aim to break out of the ivory tower of academia and bring ancient Mesopotamia to the world! This podcast brings academic scholarship and interviews with researchers to your brain (via your ears) in an easily-understood format, so you can enjoy fascinating content wherever you are!


April 5, 2024 38 mins

Dr. Tero Alstola, a researcher at the University of Helsinki, discusses his work on ancient Near Eastern cultures and the social history of Babylonia in the first millennium BCE. He talks about his research on ancient immigrants, network approaches to historical data sets, and the use of computer-aided study of the Akkadian language. The conversation delves into his involvement in the 69th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale an...

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In this episode of Digital Hammurabi, Dr. Daniel Schwemer, an expert in magic and witchcraft in the Ancient Near East, joins the host to discuss the recent excavation at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Boğazköy-Hattuša. The focus of the conversation is on a tablet written in a previously unknown language that was discovered during the excavation. Dr. Schwemer shares his journey into the study of the Ancient Near East and how he b...

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 Many people want to own a piece of the past, but eBay really the answer? Definitely not, and Dr. Erin Thompson, the nation's only full-time professor of art-crime, tells us why! 

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With the Museum of the Bible rarely out of the news due to their stolen, smuggled, or faked artifacts, the antiquities market is getting more attention than ever. Dr. Patty Gerstenblith, research professor of law at DePaul University, founding president of the Lawyers Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation, and former chair of the President's Cultural Property Advisory Committee in the U.S. Department of State is not onl...

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The Museum of the Bible has a reputation for housing fakes and looted objects; most recently, the institution was in the news for their forged Dead Sea Scrolls, the arrest of their consultant, Dr. Dirk Obbink, and the revelation that the famous "Gilgamesh Dream Tablet" housed in the museum was removed from Iraq illegally. 

Dr. Joel Baden, Professor of Hebrew Bible at Yale Divinity School, joins Megan to talk abou...

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Dr. Stavrakopoulou is professor of Hebrew Bible and Ancient Religion at Exeter University, and star of the BBC's "Bible's Buried Secrets". Hear about her research into what ancient Israelite religion was actually like, and how it's (mis)represented in the Bible!

Dr. Stavrakopoulou on Twitter:

Originally recorded May 23 2020.

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Bethany Hucks is a Ph.D. student at the University of Heidelberg, studying the Roman reuse of Egyptian motifs in material culture. Listen in to hear about her Ph.D. research, and about why diversity is so important for the study of the ancient world.

Originally recorded June 7th 2020.

Bethany on Twitter:

White Homework:

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Apocalypticism is a poorly-understood genre of literature that is found in the Hebrew Bible, and has given rise to countless predictions of the end of the world. Join Megan and Dr. Josh as they talk to Dr. Stephen Cook, professor of Old Testament Language and Literature at Virginia Theological Seminary, to talk about this fascinating genre of text.

Recorded March 21st 2020.

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Death is the one common thread binding humanity together, but how we treat the dead and think about the afterlife varies by culture. Dr. Pinar Durgun is an archaeologist and art historian primarily interested in Anatolian burial practices, and in this episode of the Digital Hammurabi Podcast, she talks to us about jar burials, the afterlife, and ghosts in the ancient world. 
Originally recorded October 12th 2019.


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February 28, 2020 21 mins

What importance does ancient Egypt hold for modern Egyptians, and what can museums do to recognize and honor this relationship? In this episode, Megan talks to Heba Abd el Gawad, Egyptian Egyptologist, Ph.D. student at Durham University, and postdoctoral researcher on the "Egypt’s dispersed heritage: views from Egypt" project at the University College of London. 

Relevant links:
Scattered Finds: http://www.oa...

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October 31, 2019 78 mins

For our inaugural podcast episode, we chose to focus on one of the most important technological innovations of the ancient world - the invention of writing! This episode introduces you to cuneiform, the writing system developed during the late 4th millennium BCE, with an interview with Dr. Jennifer Ross of Hood College, and a narration of Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta, the Sumerian literary composition that explains how and why w...

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