PhD, University of Chicago
Michael Kozuh received his PhD with honors from the University of Chicago in 2006 and his BA with high honors from the University of Michigan. He teaches in the technology and civilization sequence, as well as undergraduate and graduate classes in ancient Near Eastern and Mediterranean history. He researches the ancient Near East, focusing on the history of Mesopotamia in the first millennium BC.
His first book, The Sacrificial Economy: Assessors, Contractors, and Thieves in the Management of Sacrificial Sheep at the Eanna Temple of Uruk (ca. 625-520 BC), examines the management of the 60,000 sheep under the control of a temple in southern Babylonia (modern Iraq). The research into this topic spawned a variety of articles and book chapters on Babylonian politics, ritual, and text generation.
Teaching the history of technology has inspired Kozuh’s next project: a history of Mesopotamian agriculture, emphasizing the complex relationships among technology, animals, and humans. He is particularly interested in how cuneiform administrative texts attempt both to create and capture the reality of agricultural operations over time. This has led him also to study the history of accounting and administration. His other research interests are in the infrastructure of empire, the deification of things and technique in ancient history, and understanding the ways by which legal and administrative actions became authoritative in ancient Mesopotamia.
ancient Near Eastern and Mediterranean history