The Netherlands Institute for the Near East

Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten  -  Institut nĂ©erlandais du Proche-Orient

Mathieu Ossendrijver is an Assyriologist, historian of science and astrophysicist. His main research areas are Babylonian astral science and mathematics. Since 2021 he is the principal investigator of the ERC Advanced Grant project ZODIAC – Ancient Astral Science in Transformation which is based at the Institute for the History of Knowledge in the Ancient World, Free University Berlin.

Ossendrijver received a PhD in astrophysics in 1996 (Utrecht University) and pursued research on solar and stellar dynamos until 2005, when his research switched to Babylonian astronomy. After receiving visiting scholarships at the NINO (2005/2006) and the Institute for Ancient Near Eastern Studies (IANES, Tübingen) he obtained a PhD in Assyriology (2010) with a thesis about the Babylonian astronomical procedure texts (University of Tübingen). Since then he has worked on related topics as a visiting scholar of the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (ISAW), New York (2010/2011), the Institute for Ancient Near Eastern Studies (IANES), Tübingen (2011), and the Excellence Cluster TOPOI, Berlin (2011-2019).

From 2013 until 2018 he was a professor for the history of ancient science at the Institute of Philosophy of the Humboldt University Berlin.

In 2019 and 2020 he was a fellow at the Einstein Center Chronoi (Berlin) and in the research group “Rethinking Oriental Despotism” (Berlin).

Selected Publications