Dr. David Kertai

Buber Fellow: 
00972 (0)25881931
Academic interests: 

Near Eastern archaeology and history ; the Assyrian Empire ; elite culture ; architectural history

Current Projects: 

My current project “The otherworldly places of Assyria” focuses on the role of the wild and wondrous that existed beyond the edges of civilisation in shaping Assyrian culture and history (c. 1350 – 612 BCE). These otherworldly places could be conquered, visited and imagined, but were also used to create new meaningful spaces within the centres of civilisation. The resulting landscape of meaningful physical, textual and iconographic otherworldly spaces profoundly shaped Assyria’s culture of empire and ideology of kingship. An analysis of this landscape will highlight an important aspect of Assyrian culture, which contributed to the success of one of the world’s first empires.

Curriculum Vitae: 

Oct. 2014 – Sept. 2015 Postdoctoral Fellow
The Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University
June 2012 – May 2014 Research Associate
Institute of Archaeology, University College London, United Kingdom

2008 – 2011 PhD in Archaeology of the Near East (University of Heidelberg, Germany)
2006 – 2008 MA in Archaeology (Leiden University, the Netherlands)
2003 – 2006 BA in Ancient History, specialisation: languages and cultures of the ancient Near East (Free University Amsterdam, the Netherlands)
1996 – 2003 MSc in Architecture (Technical University Delft, the Netherlands)


1.(2015): The Architecture of Late Assyrian Royal Palaces (Oxford: Oxford University Press).

Edited volume:
2.Kertai, D. and P. A. Miglus (2013): New Research on Late Assyrian Palaces. Conference at Heidelberg January 22nd, 2011. Heidelberger Studien zum Alten Orient 15 (Heidelberg: Heidelberger Orientverlag).

Refereed articles:
3.(2015). “The Guardians at the Doors. Entering the Southwest Palace in Nineveh”, Journal of Near Eastern Studies 74/2: 325-349.
4.(2013): “The Queens of the Late Assyrian Empire”, Altorientalische Forschungen 40/1: 108-124.
5.(2011): “Kalḫu’s Palaces of War and Peace: Palace Architecture at Nimrud in the Ninth Century BC”, Iraq 73: 71-85.
6.(2008-2009): “The History of the Middle-Assyrian Empire”, Talanta: Proceedings of the Dutch Archaeological and Historical Society XL-XLI: 25-51.

Book chapters:
7.(2013): “The Art of Building a Late Assyrian Palace”. In: B. Brown and M. H. Feldman (eds.) Critical Approaches to Ancient Near Eastern Art (Berlin: DeGruyter): 689-712 (invited article).
8.(2013): “Osdorpplein”. In: J. Zeinstra (ed.) Amsterdam Places. Interiors, Buildings and Cities (Amsterdam: Architectura & Natura): 135-139 (invited article).
9.Hussein, M. M., D. Kertai and M. Altaweel (2013): “Nimrud and its Remains in Light of Iraqi Excavations from 1989-2002”. In: New Research on Late Assyrian Palaces [2]: 91-108. *Chapter added to proceedings.

Conference proceedings:
10.(2015): “The Winged Genie in its Original Context”. In: A. de Freitas (ed.) Mito, selos-cilíndricos e palacios reais. Atas do Colóquio Arte da Mesopotâmia: 44-63 (invited article).
11.(2014): “The Architecture of Connectivity: Ashurnasirpal II’s Late Assyrian Palace in Kalḫu”. In: D. Kurapkat, P. I. Schneider and U. Wulf-Rheidt (eds.) Die Architektur des Weges. Diskussionen zur Archäologischen Bauforschung 11 (Regensburg: Schnell & Steiner): 337-347.
16.(2014): “From bābānu to bētānu, looking for spaces in Neo-Assyrian palaces”. In: N. May and U. Steiner (eds.) The Fabric of Cities. Culture and History of the Ancient Near East 68 (Leiden: Brill): 189-201 (invited article).
17.(2013): “The Multiplicity of Royal Palaces. How Many Palaces did an Assyrian King Need?” In: New Research on Late Assyrian Palaces [2]: 11-22.
18.(2012): “Organising the Interaction Between People. A New Look at the Elite Houses of Nuzi”. In: G. Wilhelm (ed.) Proceedings of the 54th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale, May 2008 (Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns): 519-530.