Ancient Studies
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

Prof Izak (Sakkie) Cornelius



BA, BTh, MA, DLitt (Semitic Languages), Stellenbosch 
Lic Theology, Stellenbosch

Arts 336


Curriculum Vitae

Areas of Specialisa​tion​​​​​​​ 

  • Ancient North African and Southwest Asian culture, religion, imagery, and everyday life 

  • Connections between the Hebrew Bible and the ancie​​​nt world​​

Courses in 2022

  • Ancient Cultures 114: Introduction to the Ancient World I: North Africa and Southwest Asia

  • Ancient Cultures 211/311: "Kush and Meroe​": an African Culture of the Sudan

  • Ancient Cultures 241/341: In bed with ancient societies: Sex in ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome

  • Honours Ancient Cultures: A Bestiary of ancient Kemet and Western Asia

Current Research Projects

  • Catalogue of Ancient Egyptian and Western Asian artefacts in South African collections

  • South African Mummy Project (with Ruhan Slabbert, Department of Ancient Studies, Stellenbosch University, Salima Ikram, American University in Cairo/Stellenbosch University and Liani Swanepoel, Department of Ancient Studies, Stellenbosch University)

  • The material imagery of Sam’al and Guzana (Alexander von Humboldt Foundation) and Karkamiš

  • The art of the southern Levant in the pre-Hellenistic period    

    Selected Publications - Books 

    multilingualism in context.png

    L. Jonker, A. Berlejung & I. Cornelius (eds.)
    Multilingualism in Ancient Contexts:
    Perspectives from Ancient Near Eastern and Early Christian Contexts 
    Stellenbosch: SUN Press 


    ReligiousRevolutionYehud.jpgC. Frevel, K. Pyschny & I. Cornelius (eds.)
    A "Religious Revolution" in Yehûd?
    The Material Culture of the Persian Period as a Test Case
    Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis 267.
    Fribourg: Academic Press
    Göttingen: Vandehoeck & Ruprecht


    I. Cornelius & H. Niehr
    Götter und Kulte in Ugarit. Kultur und Religion einer nordsyrischen Königsstadt der Spätbronzezeit
    Zaberns Bildbände zur Archäologie.
    Mainz: Von Zabern

    Many-Faces-of-the-Goddess-SDL389681986-1-06459.jpgI. Cornelius
    The Many Faces of the Goddess:
    The Iconography of the Syro-Palestinian Goddesses Anat, Asherah, Astarte and Qedeshet c. 1500-1000 BCE
    Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis 204. Second Enlarged Edition
    Fribourg: Academic Press
    Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.


    Selected Publications - Articles and Essays 

    • Visible Multilingualism in Anatolia and the Levant (1st millennium BCE), in: L. Jonker, A. Berlejung & I. Cornelius (eds.), Multilingualism in Ancient Contexts. Perspectives from Ancient Near Eastern and Early Christian Contexts. 2021. Stellenbosch: SUN Press, 56-74. 

    • (with C. van der Merwe) A Profile of yád in the Book of Jeremiah: A Perspective from Lexical Typology and Material Imagery. In: A. Michel & N.C. Rüttgers (eds.),​ Jeremia, Deuteronomismus und Priesterschrift. Beiträge zur Literatur- und Theologiegeschichte des Alten Testaments.  Festschrift für Hermann-Josef Stipp zum 65. Geburtstag. 2019. Sankt Ottilien: Eos, 279-304. 

    • The Material Imagery of the Sam'al (Zincirli) Monuments and "Aramaean Identity"​. Welt des Orients 49/2 (2019), 183-205.

    • Communicating Divine Order and Authority: The Stela of Hammurapi of Babylon,​ in: Oshima, T. (ed.), Teaching Morality in Antiquity: Wisdom Texts, Oral Traditions, and Images/Morallehren in der Antike: Weisheitstexte, mündliche Traditionen, und Bilder (Orientalische Religionen der Antike). 2018. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 219-232. 

    • An Introduction to Ancient Near Eastern Iconography, in: J. Greer et al. (eds.) Behind the Scenes of the Old Testament: Cultural, Social and Historical contexts of Ancient Israel. 2018. Baker Academic, 151-158.

    • The “Face of Death" and the “Face of Baal"? Masks from the Stone Age and Bronze Age​, in: Berlejung, A. & Filitz, J. (eds.), The Physicality of the Other: Masks as a Means of Encounter/Die Leibhaftigkeit des Anderen: Masken als Medium der Begegnung. 2018. Mohr-Siebeck: Tübingen, 115-133. 

    • “The Eyes Have It and the Benign Smile:" The Iconography of Emotions in the Ancient Gestures to Facial Expressions?​ In: Kipfer, S. (ed.), Visualizing Emotions in the Ancient Near East. 2017. Fribourg: University Press, 123-148.

    • (with Salima Ikram, Ruhan Slabbert, Liani C. Swanepoel, Frank Teichert and Tiffany van Zyl). Animal Mummies in South African Collections, in: Rosati, G. & Guidotti, M.C. (eds.) Proceedings of the XI International Congress of Egyptologists: Florence Egyptian Museum, Florence, 23-30 August 2015 (Archaeopress Egyptology 19). 2017. Oxford: Archaeopress, 131-136.

    • (with S. Ikram, R. Slabbert, A. du Plessis, L.C. Swanepoel and H. Weber). Fatal force-feeding or Gluttonous Gagging? The death of Kestrel SACHM 2575. Journal of Archaeological Science 63 (2015), 72-77.​

    • From Bes to Baal: Religious Interconnections between Egypt and the East, in: Creasman, P.P. & Wilkinson, R.H. (eds.), Pharaoh's Land and Beyond: Ancient Egypt and its Neighbours. 2017. Oxford: University Press, 209-217.


    • Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Research Fellowship (since 1996: Heidelberg, Tübingen, Leipzig)

    • Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) (2013: Tübingen)​

    • Research Fellowship, Käte Hamburger Collegium for Research in the Humanities "Dynamics in the History of Religions between Asia and Europe" (Ruhr-Universität Bochum)  (2009-2010)​


    Editor, Journal of Northwest Semitic Languages