Christopher Woods

John A. Wilson Professor of Sumerian

Ph.D. Harvard University, 2001.
Teaching at Chicago since Autumn 2002.

Special Interests

Sumerian language and writing, Third millennium B.C.E. history, culture, and religion.


Materials for the Sumerian Lexicon (MSL 18):Igituh, Idu, Lanu, and the Group Vocabularies. Rome: Pontificium Institutum Biblicum (in preparation).

The Grammar of Perspective: The Sumerian Conjugation Prefixes as a System of Voice. Cuneiform Monographs. Leiden: Brill (2008).


“A Riverine System of Spatial Orientation in Sumerian” (forthcoming).

“The Morphographic Basis of Sumerian Writing,” in Linguistic Method and Theory and the Languages of the Ancient Near East, eds. A. Stauder and C. Woods. Chicago: The University of Chicago (forthcoming).

“Linguistics in the Ancient Near East –– Mesopotamia,” inThe Cambridge History of Linguistics, ed. L. Waugh. Cambridge: University of Cambridge (submitted).

“Relative Clauses at ¸l-ÅarrΩkÏ,” in Garåana Studies(CUSAS 6), ed. D. I. Owen and R.

H. Mayr. Bethesda, MD: CDL Press (in press).

“New Light on the Sumerian Language,” Canadian Society for Mesopotamian Studies Journal4 (in press).

“The Pristine Writing Systems,” and “The Origins of Mesopotamian Cuneiform,” in Visible Speech: The Origins of Writing in the Ancient Near East, ed. C. Woods. Chicago: The University of Chicago (in press).

“Grammar and Context: Enki & Ninhursagll. 1-3 and a Rare Sumerian Construction” in Festschrift for … (in press).

“The Conjugation Prefixes, the Dative Case, and the Empathy Hierarchy in Sumerian.” Proceedings of the Conference “Variations, concurrence et évolution des cas dans divers domaines linguistiques — Paris, April 2nd 2007,” ed. M. Mazoyer and D. Pardee. Chicago: The University of Chicago (in press).

“At the Edge of the World — Cosmological Conceptions of the Eastern Horizon in Mesopotamia,” Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions9 (2009) 183-239.

“The Paleography and Values of the Sign KIB,” inFrom the Workshop of the Chicago Assyrian Dictionary: Studies Presented to Robert D. Biggs, ed. M. T. Roth, et al., pp. 323-339. Chicago: The Oriental Institute, 2007.

“Bilingualism, Scribal Learning, and the Death of Sumerian,” in Margins of writing, origins of cultures:Unofficial writing in the ancient Near East and beyond, ed. S. Sanders, pp. 91-120. Chicago: University of Chicago, 2006.

“A Unique Writing for Sippar at Ab„ ŒalΩbiæ — ∂UD.KIB˚,” Nouvelles Assyriologiques Brèves et Utilitaires2005/67.

“Deixis, Person, and Case in Sumerian,” Acta Sumerologica22 (2000) 303-334 [published 2005].

“On the Euphrates,” Zeitschrift für Assyriology und vorderasiatische Archäologie95 (2005) 7-45.

“The Sun-God Tablet of Nabû-apla-iddina Revisited,” Journal of Cuneiform Studies56 (2004) 23-103 [published 2005].

“Akkadian and Eblaite,” with J. Huehnergard, in The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the World’s Ancient Languages, ed. R. Woodard. Chapter 8, pp. 218-287. Cambridge: University of Cambridge, 2004.

“A Rich MWPC Pad Readout by Using Custom Microplex I.C.,” IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science35 (1988): 436-440.