Ancient Studies
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

Prof Izak (Sakkie) Cornelius


​BTh, Licenciate Theology, DLitt Semitic Languages (Stellenbosch)


Departmental Chair

Lecturing specialisation

Ancient Near Eastern culture, religion, mythology, everyday life and art

Research specialisation

Ancient Near Eastern cultures, focusing on art and iconography of religion; connection between the Old Testament and the ancient world

Current research projects

  • Catalogue of Ancient Egyptian and Near Eastern artefacts in South African collections
  • South African Mummy Project (with Ruhan Slabbert, Department of Ancient Studies, Stellenbosch University, Salima Ikram, American University in Cairo and Liani Swanepoel, Department of Ancient Studies, Stellenbosch University)
  • Catalogue of ancient female terracotta plaques (Alexander von Humboldt Foundation)
  • The iconography and symbol systems of Persian period Yehud and Samaria (with Christian Frevel, Ruhr-Universität Bochum)
  • The art of the southern Levant in the pre-Hellenistic period

Academic service/Community interaction

Editor of Journal of Northwest Semitic Languages


Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship (since 1996); Käte Hamburger Collegium for Research in the Humanities "Dynamics in the History of Religions between Asia and Europe" (Ruhr-Universität Bochum) Research Fellowship (2009-2010); Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) (2013)

Selected publications