Sunday, November 26, 2023


[First posted in AWOL17 May 2018, updated 26 November 2023]

Academics today occupy a precarious position. The voices that glorify the profession are often drowned out by those that denigratingly claim its redundancy. However, what is most worrying, is that the larger part of the population is indifferent to the matter. And who can blame them? Knowledge for knowledge’s sake does not concern the man in the street. We, academicians, must plead guilty; all too often do we retreat to our ivory tower, speaking a language that only our peers can understand. We may frown upon the laymen with their outdated and false information about our fields of study, but isn’t it our own fault?
Luckily, the academic world is in a process of rethinking its position in society. Little by little, we are opening up to the broader public – if merely for the sake of our own survival. With this blog I hope to contribute to that development, and I wish to do it in such a manner that everyone with interest can understand what I am writing.
As Assyriologist I study languages and history of more than 5000 years ago, and even though a lot has changed since then, sometimes I am struck by the familiarity of things. This blog is about those familiarities – it is about humanness. Because even though the ancient Mesopotamians lived in different times and places from ours, they were people just like us.

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