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American Schools of Oriental Research

The American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR), founded in 1900, supports and encourages the study of the peoples and cultures of the Near East, from the earliest times to the present. It is apolitical and has no religious affiliation.

Annual conference

ASOR convenes a scholarly conference once a year in North America, always beginning 8 days before Thanksgiving (on a Wednesday evening) and running through Saturday evening. The 2008 conference was held in Boston, MA and drew over 730 scholars and interested lay members from around the world. The 2009 conference was held Nov. 18-21, 2009 in New Orleans.


ASOR also publishes three scholarly publications. Two of the journals are academic flagships in their respective areas: the Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research presents archaeological, historical, and epigraphic articles on topics from the ancient Near East, and the Journal of Cuneiform Studies presents articles in English, German, and French on Mesopotamian topics. The organization also publishes Near Eastern Archaeology Magazine, a quarterly that reports recent research for both popular and professional audiences.

Overseas institutes

ASOR supports three independent overseas institutes:

The overseas institutes support scholars working in the Middle East that focus on Near Eastern Archaeology, Semitic languages, history, and Biblical studies. All institutes are also members of the Council of American Overseas Research Centers.


  • King, Philip J. American Archaeology in the Mideast: A History of the American Schools of Oriental Research (1983).
  • Clark, D.G. and V.H. Matthews 100 Years of American Archaeology in the Middle East: Proceedings of the American Schools of Oriental Research Centennial Celebration (2003).

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