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Citations since 2017
16 Research Items
My research interests are the social history of health and healing in ancient Mesopotamia. After having analyzed the Mesopotamian medical marketplace and patient-healer relationships in my dissertation, I started a habilitation project (EC-Chronoi/FU Berlin) on the different concepts and perceptions of lifetime presented in ancient Mesopotamian textual, archaeological, and iconographical sources. I currently focus on illness and death as confrontations with time and responses to human mortality.
This volume exposes one of the world's oldest medical marketplaces and the emergence of medical professionalization within it. Through an unprecedented analysis of the Mesopotamian healing goddesses as well as asûs, a diverse group of "healers", Irene Sibbing-Plantholt demonstrates that from the Middle Babylonian period onwards, the goddess Gula wa...
All humans, past and future, are forced to grapple with the abstract phenomenon of passing and ending time, as well as ideas about time, such as eternity and finality. Death especially is a confrontation with the passing, ending, irreversibility, and unpredictability of time, over which humans have little to no power. In response to the threat of t...
• "“Challenging Time(s): Materialization as a Coping Response to the Threat of Death in Ancient Mesopotamia." (Materialities of Challenges - Challenges of Materialities. Understanding the Materialities of Threats, Scarcity, Surplus and Coping in Pre-Modern Communities, Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz, 3-4 November 2020)
This paper will explore how the process of materializing death can be recognized in textual, iconographical and archaeological sources from ancient Mesopotamia, and how it contributed to coping with the biggest challenge of life, namely accepting its inevitable end, in this premodern society.
From the very beginning of Mesopotamian history we can trace a variety of deities who possess healing powers. Mesopotamian medical experts identify themselves with these healing deities, and let the latter serve in the textual and iconographic record as idealized representations of themselves and their professions. In the Kassite period one of thes...
This project is aimed at providing new perspectives on Mesopotamian medicine by reconstructing its social history. It investigates and and defines transitions in the role and appearance of ancient Mesopotamian healing goddesses – representations of Mesopotamian medicine and illness in the divine realm – and their relationship with asûs in order to gain understanding of the medical marketplace and how Mesopotamian professional or scholarly healers perceived their expertise, knowledge and role within it.
My research project at the Einstein Center Chronoi (FU Berlin) concerns the different concepts and perceptions of human lifetime presented in ancient Mesopotamian textual and iconographical sources. This includes how lifetime is measured, quantified, and valued, but I am mostly interested in accounts of personal experiences and expectations, in how lifetime is remembered, told and written. My most recent work focuses on illness and death as confrontations with time and the (emotional) responses to human mortality found in daily-life sources.