Joan Oates

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Joan Oates

Joan Louise Lines

(1928-05-06) 6 May 1928 (age 91)
David Oates (m. 1956–2004)
AwardsFellow of the British Academy (2004)
Grahame Clark Medal for Prehistoric Archaeology (2014)
Academic work
Sub-disciplineAncient Near East
InstitutionsGirton College, Cambridge
University of Cambridge
McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research

Joan Louise Oates, FBA (née Lines; born 6 May 1928) is an American archaeologist and academic, specialising in the Ancient Near East. From 1971 to 1995, she was a fellow and tutor of Girton College, Cambridge and a lecturer at the University of Cambridge. Since 1995, she has been a Senior Research Fellow of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research.[1] Since 2004, she has been director of the excavations of Tell Brak; she was Co-Director, with her husband David Oates, between 1988 and 2004.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Oates was born on 6 May 1928 to Harold Burdette Lines and Beatrice Naomi Lines.[3] While participating in the excavation of Nimrud, she met David Oates (1927–2004). They married in 1956 and together had three children. They collaborated on a number of archaeological publications and excavations.[4][5]


In 2004, Oates was elected a Fellow of the British Academy (FBA), the United Kingdom's national academy for the humanities and social sciences.[6] In 2014, she was awarded the Grahame Clark Medal for Prehistoric Archaeology by the British Academy. The citation read: "to recognise her reputation as one of the leading authorities on Mesopotamian prehistory as well as her fundamental contributions to our understanding of ancient Near Eastern Civilisation."[7]

Selected works[edit]

  • Oates, David; Oates, Joan (1976). The rise of civilization. Oxford: Elsevier. ISBN 072900015X.
  • Oates, Joan (1986). Babylon (Rev. ed.). New York, N.Y.: Thames and Hudson. ISBN 0500273847.
  • Oates, Carolyn; Postgate, Carolyn; Oates, David (1997). The excavations at Tell al Rimah: the pottery. Warminster: British School of Archaeology in Iraq. ISBN 0856687006.
  • Oates, David; Oates, Joan; McDonald, Helen (1998). Excavations at Tell Brak: Vol. 1: The Mitanni and Old Babylonian periods. Cambridge: McDonald Institute. ISBN 0951942050.
  • Oates, David; Oates, Joan; McDonald, Helen (2001). Excavations at Tell Brak: Vol. 2: Nagar in the third millennium BC. Cambridge: McDonald Institute. ISBN 9780951942093.
  • Oates, Joan; Oates, David (2001). Nimrud: an Assyrian imperial city revealed. London: British School of Archaeology in Iraq. ISBN 0903472252.


  1. ^ "OATES, Dr Joan". British Academy Fellows. British Academy. Retrieved 14 March 2015.
  2. ^ "Team Members". Tell Brak. McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research. Retrieved 14 March 2015.
  3. ^ 'OATES, Joan Louise', Who's Who 2017, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2017; online edn, Oxford University Press, 2016 ; online edn, Nov 2016 accessed 5 June 2017
  4. ^ "Obituaries: Professor David Oates, MA, FSA, FBA (1927-2004)". Iraq. British Institute for the Study of Iraq. 66: v–vii. 2004.
  5. ^ "David Oates; Obituary". The Times (68043). 7 April 2004. p. 26.
  6. ^ "Dr Joan Oates". British Academy. 2016. Retrieved 27 August 2016.
  7. ^ "Grahame Clark Medal 2014". Prizes and medals. The British Academy. 2014. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 22 March 2015.