Cale Johnson is professor of the history of knowledge in the ancient world (Wissensgeschichte des Altertums) at Freie Universität Berlin.
His research focuses on the origin and early development of writing in Mesopotamia and the history of Babylonian medicine.
His current work on proto-cuneiform looks into how iconic representations of vessels were used to extend the proto-cuneiform writing after its initial invention, in particular how they were used to encode social roles and offices in the context of diacritical feasts at the end of the fourth millennium BCE.
Over the last decade, Johnson has also focused on making sense of the compendia at the heart of the Babylonian medical tradition, including work on the BabMed Project. He is currently finishing an edition of the gastrointestinal treatise from the Nineveh Medical Encyclopedia in collaboration with Krisztián Simkó.
Cale Johnson studied Assyriology, comparative Semitics, and linguistics at UCLA, receiving his PhD in Assyriology in 2004 with a dissertation on applicative constructions in Sumerian. After postdoctoral positions in Los Angeles and Berlin, he was university lecturer in Assyriology at Universiteit Leiden and senior lecturer at the University of Birmingham, and was appointed professor at Freie Universität Berlin in 2020.
Find out more about Cale Johnson on the FU website.