Richard Essam is an expert in the history and languages of the ancient Near East. His research focuses on texts written in the ancient Sumerian language, as well as broader issues of history and historiography in the ancient world, ancient education, and the interplay between physical artifacts and the texts inscribed on them. Before coming to Johns Hopkins, he completed a B.A. from the University of Toronto and an M.A. from the Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena in Germany.