SOAS University of London

Department of History, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

Dr Nadia Ait Said-Ghanem

PhD (SOAS), MA (EPHE, Paris), BA (SOAS)
  • Teaching
  • Publications


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Department of History, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr Nadia Ait Said-Ghanem
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I am a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow (2019-2021) attached to the School of Oriental and African Studies where I write about the provenance history of Old Babylonian omen tablets. My research interests include the ancient languages of Iraq (Akkadian, Sumerian), Arabic grammar, and museum collection history. Based on correspondence preserved in museum archives, my current project seeks to reconstruct the biographies of antiquities dealers actively engaged in selling archaeological artefacts to museums in Europe and America during the late 19th and early 20th century. This project aims to study how the smuggling of archaeological artefacts out of Iraq functioned between 1890 and 1900.

Current Research Projects:
  •  Reconstructing identities : Iraq-based antiquities dealers in the late 19th and early 20th century
  •  The Psychology of Desire and Anguish in Old Babylonian Omens
  • 2021 Object Journeys: from Basra to London - A case study of the purchase history of Old Baby-lonian omen tablets in the British Museum, ASOR Annual Meeting, Museums and Social Justice workshop (Virtual), ASOR, 9-12 December 2021
  • 2021 Algerian literature in translation: the list, the Department of English Letters and Language, University of Guelma, Algeria, virtual study days, 24-25 May 2021, (zoom conference)
  • 2020 A Marriage and a Curse in Two Oil Omen Fragments in the British Museum: BM 87655 and BM 87642, during the International conference on the current insights into Ancient Near Eastern divination 23-24 September, Istituto Svizzero, Rome, 23 September 2020 (zoom conference)
  • 2020 Hopes for a better future in Old Babylonian omens, the University of Misan and of al-Qadissyah, Iraq, 6 August 2020 (zoom conference)
  • 2018 Using Arabic grammatical concepts to study Old Babylonian omens - new perspectives on the grammar and meaning of accusative-initial sentences, paper presented at the Arab Doctoral Student Based in the West Conference at the Doha Institute, Doha, Qatar 
  • 2016 Ce que nous enseignent les listes lexicales de Mésopotamie ancienne, paper presented during the conference of the High Council for Berber Studies on producing dictionaries in Tamazight, University of Béjaïa, Algeria.
  • 2013 Old Babylonian omen sentence constructions: investigating Old Babylonian omens using Arabic Grammatical Theory, paper presented during Arabic in Context: 400 years of Arabic, Leiden, Holland.
  • 2012 The Nominal and Verbal Sentence in Old Babylonian Omen Texts:An investigation of sentence structures using Arabic grammar, paper presented at the Oxford Postgraduate Conference in Assyriology, Wolfson College, Oxford, UK






Ait Said-Ghanem, Nadia (2020) 'BM 87655 a fragment of Old Babylonian oil omens'. Nouvelles Assyriologiques Brèves et Utilitaires, (4), pp 230-233.

Ait Said-Ghanem, Nadia (2020) 'SM 36013 – an account of goods (aklum) on a tirānu model in the Slemani Museum'. Nouvelles Assyriologiques Brèves et Utilitaires, (3), pp 182-183.

Ait Said-Ghanem, Nadia (2020) 'BM 87642: an Old Babylonian oil omen fragment about marriage'. Nouvelles Assyriologiques Brèves et Utilitaires, (2), pp 130-132.

Ait Said-Ghanem, Nadia (2019) 'The Accusative-Initial Sentence in YOS 10 omen texts'. Revue d'assyriologie et d'archéologie orientale, (113) 1, pp 139-150.

Ait Said-Ghanem, Nadia (2019) 'Reassessing the “casus pendens”: a case study of Old Babylonian omen protases and apodoses'. Revue d'assyriologie et d'archéologie orientale, (2018/1) 112, pp 91-101.

Book Reviews

Ait Said-Ghanem, Nadia (2020) 'Glassner, Jean-Jacques. Le Devin historien en Mésopotamie (Ancient Magic and Divination 16).'. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, (83) 1, pp 129-130.

Opinion Pieces / Media / Blogs

Ait Said-Ghanem, Nadia (2022) When Things Go Wrong: Smuggling Artefacts from Baghdad to London in the late 19th Century.

Ait Said-Ghanem, Nadia (2021) Joseph Svoboda: selling clay tablets in nineteenth-century Baghdad.

Ait Said-Ghanem, Nadia (2021) Ibrahim Elias Gejou and Old Babylonian omens.


This list was last generated on Saturday, 21st May 2022, 13:17 Europe/London.