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Sourcebook for Ancient Mesopotamian Medicine
JoAnn Scurlock, translator
WAW 36
Publication Date
July 2014


An introductory guide for scholars and students of the ancient Near East and the history of medicine

In this collection JoAnn Scurlock assembles and translates medical texts that provided instructions for ancient doctors and pharmacists. Scurlock unpacks the difficult, technical vocabulary that describes signs and symptoms as well as procedures and plants used in treatments. This fascinating material shines light on the development of medicine in the ancient Near East, yet these tablets were essentially inaccessible to anyone without an expertise in cuneiform. Scurlock’s work fills this gap by providing a key resource for teaching and research.


  • Accessible translations and transliterations for both specialists and non-specialists
  • Texts include a range of historical periods and regions
  • Therapeutic, pharmacological, and diagnostic texts

JoAnn Scurlock (Ph.D., University of Chicago, 1988) is the author of Magico-Medical Means of Treating Ghost-Induced Illnesses in Ancient Mesopotamia (Brill), the co-author of Diagnoses in Assyrian and Babylonian Medicine: Ancient Sources, Translations, and Modern Medical Analyses (University of Illinois Press), and the co-editor of Creation and Chaos: A Reconsideration of Hermann Gunkel’s Chaoskampf Hypothesis (Eisenbrauns).

Download volume front matter, including table of contents and introduction.

Download a printable publication sheet that you can put in your files or give to your librarian or bookstore.