A Consolidator Grant has been awarded by the European Research Council (ERC) to Prof. Kristin Kleber. She researches and teaches at the Institute of Assyriology and Near Eastern Archaeology at the University of Münster. Kristin Kleber is to receive around two million euros for the coming five years for a project entitled “Governance in Babylon: Negotiating the Rule of Three Empires? (GoviB). “This is excellent news for Kristin Kleber and for the University as a whole,’ says Rector Prof. Johannes Wessels. “I am particularly pleased that, in awarding the Grant, the European Research Council has acknowledged her outstanding work in a comparatively small subject within the Humanities at Münster University.’
Details of the project
The GoviB project comprises an historical study of governance in the ancient capital of Babylon. From the late 8th century to the 4th century BCE, Babylon experienced two regime changes as well as rule by three empires: the Neo-Assyrian, the Neo-Babylonian and the Persian. What also makes this period especially interesting is the fact that the project can compare different approaches to governance. The project examines how rule was negotiated and implemented, in particular in the interplay between local elites in the capital and the king. The researchers will be able to make use of new sources, still to be explored, in the private archives of the local elites in Babylon, written in cuneiform on clay tablets. The project will produce a first edition of these texts and then evaluate them. Today, the texts reside in the “Vorderasiatisches Museum? (Museum of the Ancient Near East) in Berlin, with which the project will be working together closely.
Kristin Kleber studied Assyriology, Near Eastern Archaeology and Semitology at the Freie Universität Berlin and the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, USA. In 2008 she completed her PhD at the University of Münster with a dissertation on Uruk in the late Babylonian period. After this she worked as a postdoc in the “Topoi? Cluster of Excellence in Berlin for two years before taking up the post of Assistant Professor at the Free University of Amsterdam in the winter semester of 2010. After obtaining a Vidi Grant from the Dutch Research Council she was promoted to Associate Professor in 2015 and appointed to a full professorship in 2018. She moved to the University of Münster in September 2020, where she now teaches Assyriology at the Institute of Assyriology and Near Eastern Archaeology.
ERC Consolidator Grants are aimed at researchers between seven and twelve years after they have obtained their PhD. The Grants provide financial support for setting up or consolidating an independent research group. Other ERC funding lines include Starting Grants and Advanced Grants. At the University of Münster there are numerous researchers who have been awarded grants by the ERC in the course of their careers.
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