Wilfred George Lambert
Born(1926-02-26)26 February 1926
Chudleigh Road, Erdington, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Died9 November 2011(2011-11-09) (aged 85)
Academic background
Alma materKing Edward's School, Birmingham
Christ's College, Cambridge
Academic work
InstitutionsWestminster School
University of Toronto
Johns Hopkins University
Birmingham University
École pratique des hautes études
British Museum
Doctoral studentsIrving Finkel

Wilfred George Lambert FBA (26 February 1926 – 9 November 2011) was a historian and archaeologist, a specialist in Assyriology and Near Eastern Archaeology.

Early life

Lambert was born in Birmingham, and, having won a scholarship, he was educated at King Edward's School, Birmingham. He obtained two degrees, in Classics and Oriental Languages, at Christ's College, University of Cambridge.[1]

Academic career

Lambert taught and researched at the University of Birmingham for thirty years, during which period he made weekly trips to work on deciphering cuneiform tablets in the British Museum. After retirement, he worked with the Museum on their Catalogue of the Western Asiatic Seals Project, dealing with the inscriptions on the seals.[2] In January 2010, Professor Lambert and Irving Finkel identified pieces from a cuneiform tablet that was inscribed with the same text as the Cyrus Cylinder.[3]

Lambert was an external consultant for the Chicago Assyrian Dictionary.[4][5] His work, 'Introduction: the transmission of the literary and scholarly texts', in Cuneiform Texts in the Metropolitan Museum of Art II: Literary and scholastic texts of the first millennium BC, was used as background material for The Higher Education Academy's project, Knowledge and Power in the Neo-Assyrian Empire.[6] He was also noted for his new discoveries in relation to the Gilgamesh text.[7]

Personal life

Lambert was a Christadelphian, and a conscientious objector. From 1944, he worked in a horticultural nursery north of Birmingham in lieu of military service and supervised Italian prisoners of war in their work.[8] Later, in his spare time, he was editor of one of his church's quarterly magazines.[9] Lambert was a lifelong vegetarian.[1]

Appointments and memberships

Lambert was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1971. He was also a presenting member of the Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale (International Congress of Assyriology and Near Eastern Archaeology).


This is a partial bibliography:


In honour of

Conference papers

Book reviews


  1. ^ a b "Obituaries – Professor Wilfred Lambert". The Telegraph. 10 January 2012. Retrieved 8 July 2012.
  2. ^ British Museum Research Projects
  3. ^ British Museum
  4. ^ "Chicago Assyrian Dictionary 2002–2003 report pdf" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 September 2008. Retrieved 12 November 2008.
  5. ^ "Chicago Assyrian Dictionary 2001–2002 Annual Report". Archived from the original on 20 July 2008. Retrieved 12 November 2008.
  6. ^ "The Higher Education Academy: Knowledge and Power – Bibliography". Archived from the original on 1 November 2008. Retrieved 12 November 2008.
  7. ^ What's new in the Gilgamesh Epic? SOAS pdf
  8. ^ "Birmingham Post obituary". Archived from the original on 10 February 2012. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  9. ^ Newspaper press directory Volume 120 Ernest Benn Limited – 1971 Endeavour Magazine. l0p quarterly, 50p pa Established 1961. .. Editor: Wilfred Lambert."
  10. ^ (International Congress of Assyriology and Near Eastern Archaeology) Munster 2006