The IAA awards an annual prize for the best PhD dissertation in the field of Assyriology (understood broadly to include all cuneiform studies) and Mesopotamian Archaeology.

The winner for 2017 is:

Bastian Still, with a dissertation entitled The Social World of the Babylonian Priest (Leiden University, under the supervision of Caroline Waerzeggers)

A honourable mention has been given to the runner-up:

Grégoire Nicolet, La “Maison aux Tablettes” et l’enseignement à Mari à l’époque paléo-babylonienne (ca 1800 av. J.-C.) (Université de Genève, under the supervision of Antoine Cavigneaux)


Please observe the following rules and regulations:

Rules and regulations:

  1. Starting in 2017, the IAA will award €1,500 to the best recent PhD dissertation in Assyriology and Mesopotamian archaeology (the dissertation must have been completed within two calendar years prior to the date of submission). The funding for this award is intended to provide assistance for the publication of the dissertation. This assistance may take many forms, including a grant directly to the author for manuscript preparation or a subvention to a publisher; however, if the dissertation has not been accepted for publication by a publisher within four years of the date of the award, then the winner will forfeit the award and the subsidy must be returned to the IAA if it has been distributed. To be eligible, the dissertation must have been completed and officially approved within the two years prior to the deadline for applications (November 1). Under exceptional circumstances, a runner-up will be awarded €500.
  1. The award winner will be acknowledged at the General Meeting of the Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale (RAI).
  1. The dissertation award program is open to IAA members from any country. There is no age limit. Applicants can apply only once.
  1. Submissions are accepted in all three official IAA/RAI languages (English, German, and French). The online form should be completed and the dissertation submitted in PDF format with embedded fonts no later than November 1.
  1. The IAA board will select one if its members who will be in charge of the organization of the prize for a three year term. The submitted dissertations will first be evaluated by a committee consisting of all the board members. If a candidate’s PhD supervisor is a member of the board, such member(s) will recuse themselves from the review of that candidate’s dissertation.
  1. Every dissertation will be reviewed by three board members, who will each submit a report to the full board no later than May 1. Every board member will, with the help of all the reports, select the three best PhD dissertations and establish a clear and well-argued ranking of these no later than June 1.
  1. The board member in charge of the organization of this prize will name two other board members to form a small committee of three members. No member who supervised one of the submissions will be eligible to serve on the small committee. The final selection of the best dissertation, based on the rankings of the board members, will be done by the committee of three board members no later than June 15. The selection will be submitted at the Board meeting of that year’s Rencontre. The prize will be publicly awarded during the general meeting.


Please send the form above completed and the pdf version of the dissertation to the following email address::

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