McGuire Gibson

Professor of Mesopotamian Archaeology

Ph.D. University of Chicago, 1968.
Teaching at Chicago since 1973.

Special Interests

Mesopotamian Archaeology, Anthropological Approaches to Archaeology, Ecology of the Ancient Near East.



1972. The City and Area of Kish.  Coconut Grove, Florida.  Field Research Projects.

1974. Irrigation's Impact on Society.  Edited with T. E. Downing.  Tucson, University of Arizona Press.

1975. Excavations at Nippur, Eleventh Season.  Oriental Institute Communications No. 22.  Chicago, University of Chicago Press.

1977. Seals and Sealing in the Ancient Near East.  Edited with R. D. Biggs.  Malibu, California.  Undena Publications. 

1978. Excavations at Nippur, Twelfth Season.  Oriental Institute Communications No. 23.  Chicago, Oriental Institute.

1981. Uch Tepe I.  Chicago and Copenhagen,  Oriental Institute and the Universityof Copenhagen.

1987. The Organization of Power:  Aspects of Bureaucracy in the Ancient Near East.  Edited with R. D. Biggs.  Oriental Institute Studies in Ancient Oriental Civilization.  Chicago.    

1990.  Uch Tepe II.  Chicago and Copenhagen. Oriental Institute and the University of Copenhagen.

1991.  The Organization of Power.  2nd Edition.

1992.  Lost Heritage:  Antiquities Stolen from Iraq's Regional Museums.  With Augusta McMahon.  Chicago, American Association for Research in Baghdad.

1993.  Kassite Houses at Nippur.  Editor and contributor.  With R. L. Zettler, J. A. Armstrong, et al.  Oriental Institute Publications 111.  Chicago:  Oriental Institute

2006.  The Early Dynastic-Akkadian Transition:  Excavations at Area WF, Nippur., by Augusta McMahon.  Preface and editing. 

In Preparation.  Umm al-Hafriyat, an Industrial Town near Nippur.  With R. L. Zettler, J. A. prep. Armstrong,et al.  Oriental Institute Publications.  Chicago.

Parthian, Sasanian, and Islamic Remains at Nippur.  With J. A. Armstrong, E. J. Keall, C. Ciuk, et al.  Oriental Institute Publications.  Chicago.

The City Wall of Nippur.  With R. L. Zettler, Augusta McMahon, et al.  Oriental Institute Publications.  Chicago.

Modeling Ancient Mesopotamia.  Co. editor and contributor.

Selected  Articles:

1971.  "The Kish Tablet Project."  Yearbook of the American Philosophical Society, 1970. Philadelphia.  Pp. 600ff.           

1972a.  "Umm el-Jir, a Town in Akkad."  Journal of  Near Eastern Studies 31: 237-93.

1972b. "The Archaeological Uses of Cuneiform Documents:  Patterns of Occupation at the City of Kish."  Iraq 34: 113-23.

1973a. "Population Shift and the Rise of Mesopotamian Civilization."  In C. Renfrew (ed.), The Explanation of Culture Change:  Models in Prehistory.  London, Duckworth.  Pp. 447-63.

1973b. "Nippur 1972-73."  Expedition 16: 9-14.

1974a. "Coins as a Tool in Archaeological Surface Survey." In D. K. Kouymjian (ed.), Near Eastern Numismatics, Iconography, Epigraphy, and History: Studies in Honor of George C. Miles. Beirut,  American University of Beirut.Pp. 9-14.

1974b. "Violation of Fallow and Engineered Disaster in Mesopotamian Civilization." In T. E. Downing and M. Gibson (eds.), Irrigation's Impact on Society. Tucson, University of Arizona.  Pp. 7-19.

1974c. "The Twelfth Season at Nippur, Fall 1973."  Expedition 16: 23-32.

1975a.  "Hursagkalama."  Reallexikon der Assyriologie.  Berlin, W. de Gruyter.  Pp. 5l9-21.

1975b. "The Eleventh and Twelfth Seasons at Nippur."  Sumer 31: 33-40.

1976. "By Stage and Cycle to Sumer."  In D.  Schmandt-Besserat (ed.),  The Legacy of  Sumer.  Malibu, Undena.  Pp. 51-58.

1977.  "Nippur, New Perspectives."  Archaeology 30: 26-37.

1978.  "Nippur 1975, A Summary Report."  Sumer 34: 114-21.

1979.  "Chicago-Copenhagen Excavations at Uch Tepe, Hamrin." Sumer 35: 461-67.             

1980a. "Current Research At Nippur, Ecological, Anthropological, and Documentary Interplay."  In D. Barrelet (ed.)  L'Archeologie de  l'Iraq: Perspectives et Limites de l'Interpretation anthropologique des documents.  Paris:  CNRS.  Pp. 193-205.

1980b. "Kish." Reallexikon der Assyriologie, Vol 5. Berlin and New York, W. de Gruyter.  Pp. 613-20.      

1981a.  "Pottery of the Himrin and Diyala."  Sumer 40:  94-94

1981b. "Chicago-Cophenhagen Excavations at Uch Tepe, Himrin Basin.  Sumer 40: 197-207.

1982a. "The Breakdown of Ancient Desert Civilizations."  In J. Barnea (ed.), Alternative Strategies for Desert Development and Management.  United Nations Institute   for Training and Research.  New York, Pergamon Press.  Pp. 1227-37.

1982b.  "A Re-evaluation of the Akkad Period in the Diyala Region on the Basis of Recent Excavations at Nippur and in the Hamrin."  American Journal of Archaeology 86: 531-38.

1982c     "Current Oriental Institute Excavations in  Iraq."Bulletin of the Society of Mesopotamian Studies (Toronto) 3: 16-26.

1983a.  "The Southern Corner of Nippur:  Summary of Excavations during the 14th and 15th Seasons."   With R. L. Zettler and J. A. Armstrong.  Sumer 39: 170-90.

1983b. Forward, descriptive entries, some editing in R. D. Biggs (ed.), Discoveries from Kurdish Looms.  Evanston, Ill., Mary and Leigh Block  Gallery of Northwestern University.

1984a. "Discoveries from Kurdish Looms."  Arts of Asia 14/1: 129-39.

1984b. "Chicago-Copenhagen Excavations at Uch Tepe, 1978-79."  Sumer 40: 62-63.

1984c. "Pottery of the Himrin and Diyala."  Sumer 40: 93-94.                   

1984d. "Chicago-Copenhagen Excavations at Uch Tepe, Himrin Basin."  Sumer 40: 197-207.

1984e. "Back to Tablet Hill:  Summary Report of the 16th Season at Nippur, January-March, 1985."  Sumer 43.  Pp. 252-54.                      

1985. "Archaeological and Environmental  Surveys of Yemen."  With R. D. Tindel.  National Geographic Society Research Reports, 1978 Projects.  Pp. 215-23.

1987.  "Le Protodynastique I, Synthèse de la séance"  and "The Round Building at Razuk: Form and Function." In  J.-L. Huot (ed.)  LaPréhistoire de la Mésopotamia:  La Mésopotamia préhistorique et l'exploration recente du Djebel Hamrin. Paris, CNRS.  Pp. 468-74, 479-503.                        

1991.  "Duplicate Systems of Trade, a Key Element in Mesopotamian History." In  H. Haellqvist (ed.),  Asian Trade Routes, Copenhagen, Scandinavian Institute for Asian  Studies. (Proceedings of  conference at Humlebaek, Denmark. Aug. 27-30, 1984).

1992. "Patterns of Occupation at Nippur."  In Maria deJong Ellis (ed.)  Nippur at the Centennial.  Philadelphia, The University Museum.  Pp. 33-54.  (On Worldwide Net August, 1994)

1993a. "Nippur, Sacred City of Enlil, supreme god of Sumer and Akkad."  Al-Rafidan (Tokyo) 14: 1-18.  (On Worldwide Net, August, 1994)

1993b. "Non-Kurdiah Weavings of Iraq,"  Oriental Carpet and Textile Studies 4.  205-220.

1994. "Parthian Seal Style: A Contribution from Nippur.  Mesopotamia 29: 89-105.

1995. "The Origin and Development of Sumerian Civilization and its Relation to Environment."  In Shuntaro Ito and Yoshinori Yasuda, eds.  Nature and Humnankind in the Age of  Environmental Crisis.     International Research Center for Japanese Studies, Kyoto. International Symposium 6.  Pp. 1-27.

 "Landscape Development of the Montane Plains, Yemen:  A Preliminary Report."  With T. J. Wilkinson.  Arabian Studies Seminar  .

1996. "Investigations of the Early Dynastic-Akkadian Transition: Report of the 18th and 19th Seasons of Excavation in Area WF, Nippur." With A. McMahon.   Iraq  58: 1-44.

1997.  "Early Dynastic-Akkadian Transition, Part 2.  The authors' response."  With A. McMahon  Iraq 59:  9-14.        

1998.  "The City Wall of Nippur and an Islamic Site Beyond:  Oriental Institute Excavations, 17th  Season, 1987. "  With J. A. Armstrong and A. McMahon.  Iraq  60: 11-44.

“Preface.”  With L. De Meyer.  Changing Watercourses in Babylonia.  Mesopotamian History and Environment.  Series II, Memoirs V.  Edited by H. Gasche and M. Tanret.

1999. "Oriental Institute Excavations at Nippur, 17th Season, 1987.  Arabic, translated by Abdul Aziz Hameed.  Sumer 50: 15-47 (Arabic Section). (Submitted  1987)

2000. “Hamoukar:  Early City in Northeastern Syria.”  Antiquity.  74: 477-78.

2002.  “Hamoukar :  A Summary of Three Seasons of Excavation. “ M. Gibson et atl. Akkadica, 2002.

2002 . “First Season of Syrian-American investigations at Hamoukar,  Hassekeh Province.”  Iraq 45-68.

Hamoukar:  A Summary of three Seasons of Excavation.  Akkadica 123:  11-34.       

2003.  “Fate of  Iraqi Archaeology.”  Policy Forum.  Science  299 (Mar 21, 2003): 1348-49.

“Ancient Mesopotamia:  World Heritage under Threat.”  In Iraq:  Its History, People, and Politics.  Shams C. Inati , ed., Amherst N. Y, Humanity Boold.   Pp. 23-34.

“Cultural Tragedy in Iraq:  A Report on the Looting of Museums, Archives, and Sties.”  IFAR Journal  Vol.  6, Nos. 1 &  2.  Pp. 30-37.

“The Theft of Ancient Sites,” New York Newsday, September 21, 2003.  Currents.

“From the Prevention Measures to the Fact-finding Mission.”  Museum International 219/220.  Pp. 108-117.

2005.  "Nippur.  Archaeology."  Reallexikon für Assyriologie.  With D. Hansen and R. L. Zettler.

2006.  "Archaeology and Nation Building in Iraq."  Journal of the American Oriental Society 126/2: 1-8.  Review article written in 2007, in print 2008.

2007.  "A 'Galleon' at Nippur."  In: Biggs, Robert D. [Festschrift]. Roth, Martha T.; Farber, Walter;  Stolper, Matthew W.;von Bechtolsheim, Paula. [Editors]. Studies Presented to Robert D. Biggs: June 4, 2004 -From the Workshop of the Chicago Assyrian Dictionary Volume 2. Assyriological Studies 27. (Chicago: Oriental Institute. Pp. 81-90.

2008. "Culture as Afterthought: U.S. Planning and Non-Planning in the Invasion of Iraq."  Archaeology in Conflict, P. G. Stone, [ed.]  Pp. 24-39.

"Background to the Looting of the Iraq Museum and Iraqi Sites."   With Donny George.  In L. Rothfield, [ed.], Antiquities under Siege: Cultural Heritage Protection after the Iraq War, Lawrence Rothfield.  [ed.].  Lanham, Md., Alta Mira Press.

"Introduction,"  In. G. Emberling and K. Hanson [eds.].  Catastrophe! Oriental Institute Museum Publications 28.  Chicago, Oriental Institute.  Pp. 7-11.

"The Looting of the Iraq Museum," In G. Emberling and K. Hanson [eds.]  Catastrophe!.  Written with D. George.

"The Oriental Institute and its Role in Mesopotamian Archaeology.  In. R. D. Biggs, J. Meyers, and M. T. Roth [eds.], Proceedings of the 51st Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale.  Oriental Institute, Studies in Ancent Oriental Civilizations 62.  Pp. 383-88.

2009.  Diary.  London Review of Books.  January.

2009. “Report on Excavations at Tell al-Wilaya, Iraq. S. Y. Hussein, et al.  Edited and with comments by M. Gibson.  Akkadica 130: 3-42, 113-166.

2010.  "Erich F. Schmidt."  Reallexikon der Assyriologie.  Submitted 2007.

2010. "The Legal and Illegal Acquisition of Antiquities in Iraq, 19th Century to 2003."  In J. A. R.  Nafviger and A. Nicgorski, eds, Cultural Heritage Issues: The Legacy of Conquest, Colonization and Commerce." Leiden: Brill/Martinus Nijhoff.  Pp. 185-198.

2010.  "The Dead Hand of Deimel."  In R. Carter, ed.  The Ubaid Reconsidered.  Durham: Institute of Archaeology.  Submitted 2007. Oriental Institute Press.

2010.  “Tell Abu-Sheeja/Ancient Pashime,”  Muhammad Hussein, et al., edited and with additional comments by M. Gibson.  Akkadica 131:47-103.  In  “Hamoukar.”  Special Anniversary Publication of the Syrian Directorate of Antiquities Press and Museums.  With Amr al-Azm. (Submitted 2000).

"Excavations at Nippur, 18th Season, 1988-89.  Sumer  (Submitted March 1989.)

"Excavations at Nippur, 19th Season, 1990.  Sumer.  (Submitted June 1990.)

“The Current Situation of Cultural Property in the Middle East.” In St. Clair Harvey, ed., Antiquities and the Law.   Rutgers. (Submitted 1993.)

“Hamoukar, Results of the First Season.”  Less Annales  (Syria) (Submitted 1999).

"2nd Season of Excavations at Hamoukar. “  Less Annales (Syria) (Submitted 2000).

"3rd Season of Excavations at Hamoukar.  Les Annales (Syria).  (Submitted 2001).