Kiersten Neumann


Kiersten Neumann specializes in the art and archaeology of West Asia, with a focus on Assyrian and Achaemenid material culture. She is co-editor of The Routledge Handbook of the Senses in the Ancient Near East (2022) and has published numerous articles on sensory experience, ritualized practice, and visual culture of the first millennium BCE, as well as museum practice, collecting histories, and provenance research. Her current research projects include a study of the connections between Assyria and Arabia and the aromatics industry; a decolonizing investigation of the OI’s Persepolis expedition archives; and a volume on the sensory experience of the Neo-Assyrian temple. 


At the OI Museum, Kiersten has curated such exhibitions as “Persepolis: Images of an Empire” (2015), “Joseph Lindon Smith: The Persepolis Paintings” (2022), “Making Sense of Marbles: Roman Sculpture at the OI” (2022–2023), and “Artifacts Also Die” (2023), in addition to the museum’s permanent galleries as part of a complete renovation (2019). She has held teaching appointments for courses on the art and archaeology of West Asia, North Africa, and the Mediterranean; conducted archaeological fieldwork in Turkey, at the site of Tell Tayinat, and Greece, at the Athenian Agora; helped host the OI’s Ancient Land of Persia travel program in Iran (2016); and serves as a consultant on international museum and art projects and exhibitions. 


Neumann received her BA in Classical Studies and German and her MA in Ancient Culture, Religion, and Ethnicity in the Mediterranean from the University of British Columbia; and her Ph.D. in Near Eastern Art and Archaeology from the University of California, Berkeley, for which she received a doctoral fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and was awarded The American Academic Research Institute in Iraq (TAARII) Donny George Youkhana Dissertation Prize for the best U.S. doctoral dissertation on ancient Iraq.


“Sensing the Sacred in the Neo-Assyrian Temple: The Presentation of Offerings to the Gods,” in Distant Impressions: The Senses in the Ancient Near East, eds. A. Hawthorn and A-C. R. Loisel (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2019)


 “Gods Among Men: Fashioning the Divine Image in Assyria,” in What Shall I Say of Clothes? Theoretical and Methodological Approaches to Dress in Antiquity, eds. M. Cifarelli and L. Gawlinksi, Selected Papers in Ancient Art and Architecture 3, 3-23 (Boston: Archaeological Institute of America, 2017)



“Unintentional Artifacts: Material Remains of People and Practice at Tell en-Nasbeh,” Badè Museum of Biblical Archaeology, Pacific School of Religion, 2014–2015

“The Part Which the Camera Plays,” Badè Museum of Biblical Archaeology, Pacific School of Religion, 2013–2014

“Shedding Light on the Layers of a Lamp: Creation, Production, and Symbolism at Tell en-Nasbeh,” Badè Museum of Biblical Archaeology, Pacific School of Religion, 2011–2012

“William Frederic Badè: Theologian, Naturalist, and Archaeologist,” Badè Museum of Biblical Archaeology, Pacific School of Religion, 2009–2011


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