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Trade and Economy in Ancient Mesopotamia and Anatolia


Admission requirements

Knowledge of Old Babylonian or Old Assyrian is an advantage, but not necessary.


The course deals with ancient Near Eastern trade and its interconnection with local economies during the beginning of the second millennium BC. The focus will be on the organization and mechanisms of Old Assyrian trade in Anatolia and a comparison with Old Babylonian commercial practice. The material dealt with consists of recent publications. Students discuss a topic, which is selected at the beginning of the course; they give a presentation on their research during the semester and a paper after it.

Course objectives

In-depth introduction into recent literature on trade and economy in ancient Mesopotamia and Anatolia.


Please consult the timetables on the Classics and Ancient Civilizations website.

Mode of instruction

Literature Seminar; students prepare by studying articles or other publications on specific topics.

Course Load

Total course load 10 ec x 28 hours= 280 hours:

  • Courses: 30%;

  • Preparation: 30%;

  • Presentation and term paper: 40%.

Assessment method

The final grade of this course consists of the following elements:

  • an oral presentation: 30%;

  • a term paper of at least 5000 words: 70%.


The final grade for the course is established by determining the weighted average.


Should the overall mark be unsatisfactory, the paper is to be revised after consultation with the teacher.


Blackboard will be used for:

  • course material, communication.

Reading list

Will be made available on Blackboard.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch.

Exchange and Study Abroad students: please see the Study in Leiden website for information on how to apply.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.




Dhr. Dr. J.G. (Jan) Dercksen