Paul Collins


Jaleh Hearn Curator for Ancient Near East, Ashmolean Museum; Fellow of Jesus College and Wolfson College 

Faculty / College Address:

Ashmolean Museum / Jesus College


Research Interests:

My research interests range over several areas in ancient Near Eastern studies, but I work particularly on the role of visual representation, focussing on Mesopotamia in the third millennium BC and the Neo-Assyrian period.

Current Projects:

  • Refining the chronology of mid-third millennium BC Kish
  • Relations between Egypt and Mesopotamia in the late fourth millennium BC
  • Development of an exhibition to celebrate 75 years of the Griffith Institute
  • Ancient Iran and Mesopotamia 6000 BC - AD 650

Courses Taught:

  • Ancient Near Eastern Un-inscribed Artefacts in the Ashmolean Museum
  • History and Civilizations of the Ancient Near East
  • Urbanization and Change in Complex Societies

Recent Publications:

  • ‘Gods, heroes, rituals and violence: warfare in Neo-Assyrian Art’, in B. Brown and M.H. Feldman (eds.), Critical Approaches to Ancient Near Eastern Art (2014, DeGruyter), pp. 619-44.
  • ‘From Mesopotamia to the Met: Two Assyrian Reliefs from the Palace of Sargon II’, Metropolitan Museum Journal 47 (2012), pp. 73-84.
  • Daily life in Sumer, in H.E.W. Crawford (ed.), The Sumerian World (2012, Routledge), pp. 345-58.
  • ‘Hasanlu’ in Y. Rekic (ed), Discovering the Art of the Ancient Near East: Archaeological Excavations Supported by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1931-2010. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin LXVIII/1 (Summer 2010), pp. 33-7.
  • ‘Attending the king in Assyrian reliefs’ in A. Cohen and S. Kangas (eds), Assyrian Reliefs from the Palace of Ashurnasirpal II: A Cultural Biography, (2010), pp. 181-97.
  • ‘An ivory fan-handle from Nimrud’ Metropolitan Museum Journal 44 (2009), pp. 9-20.
  • ‘Assyrian colours: pigments on a neo-Assyrian relief of a parade horse’ with G. Verri, J. Ambers, T. Sweek and St. J. Simpson. The British Museum Technical Review Bulletin 3 (2009), pp. 57-62.
  • ‘Assyrian Reliefs at the British Museum’ Minerva (May/June 2009), pp. 10-13.
  • From Egypt to Babylon: The International Age 1550-500 BC (2008, British Museum/Harvard University)
  • Assyrian Palace Sculptures, with photographs by Lisa Baylis and Sandra Marshall, (2008, British Museum/Texas University)
  • ‘An Assessment of Archaeological Sites in June 2008: An Iraqi-British Project’ with J. Curtis, Q.H. Raheed, H. Clarke, A.M. Al-Hamdani, E. Stone, M. Van Ess and M. Ali. Iraq 70 (2008), pp. 215-237.

Further Info:

Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London.

British Institute for the Study of Iraq (formerly British School of Archaeology in Iraq): member of Council, Chair of the Oureach Committee, member of the Fieldwork and Research Committee.

Photograph of Paul Collins