The Netherlands Institute for the Near East

Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten  -  Institut néerlandais du Proche-Orient

Jeanette Fincke is Privat Dozentin (PD) at Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg and postdoctoral fellow at NINO (LIAS) for the cataloguing project of the Böhl Collection. Her main research area lies currently in the history of astronomy with a focus on the celestial phenomena described and interpreted as ominous signs in the series enūma anu enlil and related texts. Her second area of research is based on the private and administrative tablets from the Hurrian kingdom of Arrapḫe, the so-called Nuzi tablets that date roughly from 1550 to 1450 BCE, and on the Hurrian language. In addition to this, she has concentrated on cuneiform medical texts and the tablets from the Ashurbanipal Library in Nineveh.

Jeanette Fincke studied Assyriology (Ancient Near Eastern Studies), Hittitology and Egyptology in Hamburg and Würzburg finishing her studies with a Magister thesis (Hamburg, 1989) on the role of women in adoptions according to the Nuzi texts. For her PhD thesis (Würzburg, 1999) she turned to Sumerian and Akkadian medical texts from Mesopotamia and the Hittite kingdom focussing on ophthalmic diseases for which she also collected data from other scholarly as well as non-medical cuneiform texts. In her Habilitation thesis (Heidelberg, 2006) she studied the omen series iqqur īpuš that interprets various activities and events in a man’s life as well as some celestial phenomena for each of the twelve months plus the possible intercalary month(s). Her new edition of this omen series presents many new joins and some newly identified tablets which are edited for the first time.

Previous activities

Following her PhD in Würzburg, Jeanette Fincke held several post-doctoral positions at the Seminar für Sprachen und Kulturen des Vorderen Orients – Assyriologie at Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg (1999-2002; 2003-05), at what is now the Middle East Department (formerly the Ancient Near East Department) of the British Museum, London (2003, 2005, 2006), at the Department of Assyriology at Leiden University (2006-2012), at the Department of the Languages and Cultures of the Near and Middle East, Ancient Near East – Assyriology of the School of Oriental and African Studies in London (2013-14), and at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) in Paris (2015-17). During her career she was awarded two prestigious grants: a fellowship of the Margarete von Wrangell-Habilitationsprogramm of the Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kunst Baden Württemberg (2003-05), and a M4Human fellowship from the Gerda Henkel Stiftung co-financed by the European commission (2013-14).

Since 1995, she has been teaching classes at all levels in Assyriology and Hittitology at the universities of Hamburg, Würzburg, Heidelberg, Amsterdam, Leiden, and London.

Since 1990, she has spent several periods, ranging from a few days up to many months or years, examining the cuneiform collections of various museums in various countries for her publications: Germany (Vorderasiatisches Museum, Berlin), Great Britain (British Museum, London), Russia (Hermitage, St. Petersburg) and USA (Harvard Semitic Museum, Cambridge, MA; Babylonian Collection of Yale University, New Haven, CT; Oriental Institute, Chicago, IL). Her familiarity with these collections enabled her to identifying many joins and text compositions, the results of which she has been regularly sharing with other Assyriologists in private communication as well as in publications.

Selected Publications


Books edited


Online Publications