Thorkild Jacobsen
Thorkild Jacobsen was a renowned historian specializing in Assyriology
Assyriology is the archaeological, historical, and linguistic study of ancient Mesopotamia and the related cultures that used cuneiform writing. The field covers the Akkadian sister-cultures of Assyria and Babylonia, together with their cultural predecessor; Sumer...

 and Sumer
Sumer was a civilization and historical region in southern Mesopotamia, modern Iraq during the Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age....

ian literature.
He was one of the foremost scholars on the ancient Near East
Ancient Near East
The ancient Near East was the home of early civilizations within a region roughly corresponding to the modern Middle East: Mesopotamia , ancient Egypt, ancient Iran The ancient Near East was the home of early civilizations within a region roughly corresponding to the modern Middle East: Mesopotamia...



Thorkild Peter Rudolph Jacobsen (Danish pronunciation: yahkobsen) received an M.A. from the University of Copenhagen
University of Copenhagen
The University of Copenhagen is the oldest and largest university and research institution in Denmark. Founded in 1479, it has more than 37,000 students, the majority of whom are female , and more than 7,000 employees. The university has several campuses located in and around Copenhagen, with the...

 and then came to the United States to study at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890...

, where he received his PhD
PHD may refer to:*Ph.D., a doctorate of philosophy*Ph.D. , a 1980s British group*PHD finger, a protein sequence*PHD Mountain Software, an outdoor clothing and equipment company*PhD Docbook renderer, an XML renderer...


He became a Field Assyriologist for the Iraq Expedition of the The Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago
Oriental Institute, Chicago
The Oriental Institute , established in 1919, is the University of Chicago's archeology museum and research center for ancient Near Eastern studies.- History and purpose:James Henry Breasted built up the collection of the Haskell Oriental Museum...

 (1929-1937) and in 1946 became Director of the Oriental Institute. He served as Dean of the Humanities Division (1948-1951), as an Editor of the Assyrian Dictionary (1955-1959), and as Professor of Social Institutions (1946-1962).

In 1962, Jacobsen became a professor of Assyriology at Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

, where he remained until his retirement in 1974. Beyond being an expert translator, he was a brilliant interpreter whose insights led to a deeper understanding and appreciation of the institutions and normative references of Sumerian and Akkadian culture.

Jacobsen retired as a professor of Assyriology at Harvard University in 1974. In 1974 he served as a Visiting Professor at UCLA where he helped develop a strong Assyriology program. Dr. Jacobsen served as president of the American Oriental Society
American Oriental Society
The American Oriental Society was chartered under the laws of Massachusetts on September 7, 1842. It is one of the oldest learned societies in America, and is the oldest devoted to a particular field of scholarship....

, an organization of scholars. He was 88 years of age when he died in Bradford, New Hampshire
Bradford, New Hampshire
Bradford is a town in Merrimack County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 1,650 at the 2010 census. The main village of the town, where 356 people resided at the 2010 census, is defined as the Bradford census-designated place , and is located west of the junction of New Hampshire...


Selected works

  • Sumerian King List
    Sumerian king list
    The Sumerian King List is an ancient manuscript originally recorded in the Sumerian language, listing kings of Sumer from Sumerian and neighboring dynasties, their supposed reign lengths, and the locations of "official" kingship...

  • The Temple Oval at Khafajah - chapter by Thorkild Jacobsen (1940)
  • Towards the Image of Tammuz and Other Essays on Mesopotamian History and Culture - edited by William L. Moran (1970)
  • The Treasures of Darkness: A History of Mesopotamian Religion (1976)
  • The Intellectual Adventure of Ancient Man: An Essay of Speculative Thought in the Ancient Near East (1977)
  • The Harps that Once... Sumerian Poetry in Translation (1987)

Partial list of excavations

  • Eshnunna
    Eshnunna was an ancient Sumerian city and city-state in central Mesopotamia. Although situated in the Diyala Valley north-east of Sumer proper, the city nonetheless belonged securely within the Sumerian cultural milieu.The tutelary deity of the city was Tishpak .- History :Occupied from the Jemdet...

  • Khafajah
    Khafajah or Khafaje was the ancient town of Tutub in the city-state of Eshnunna...

  • Tell Agrab
    Tell Agrab
    Tell Agrab is a tell or settlement mound east of Eshnunna in the Diyala region.-History:Tell Agrab was occupied during the Jemdet Nasr and Early Dynastic periods through the Akkadian and Larsa periods. It was during the Early Dynastic period that monumental building occurred, includingthe Shara...

  • Tell Ishchali
    Tell Ishchali
    Ishchali, in themodern Diyala Governorate in Iraq , was the ancient town of Nerebtum or Kiti in the city-state of Eshnunna...

  • Lagash
    Lagash is located northwest of the junction of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers and east of Uruk, about east of the modern town of Ash Shatrah. Lagash was one of the oldest cities of the Ancient Near East...

Other sources

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.