What is it?

Thin End of the Wedge explores life in the ancient Middle East. There are many wonderful stories we can tell about those people, their communities, the gritty reality of their lives, their hopes, fears and beliefs. We do that through the objects that survive and the cities where people once lived. I focus on the cultures that used cuneiform (“wedge-shaped”) writing, so mostly on ancient Iraq and nearby regions from about 3000 BC to about 100 AD.

Thin End of the Wedge brings you expert insights and the latest research in clear and simple language. We will also look at how we know things, why what we know is always changing, and why this is important today. Everyone I talk to will be a world expert on the topic. We won’t talk to you like you’re stupid. But you won’t need any special training to understand what we’re talking about.

This is an independent production by me as an individual. It is not supported by my employer or any other organisation I am involved with. I don’t necessarily endorse the views expressed by guests here, nor even agree with them. I want to hear, and share, what my guests think, as long as those views aren’t defamatory, derogatory or discriminatory.

Where is it?

You can find all the episodes here.

Why that name?

“The thin end of the wedge” is an idiomatic expression for something that seems small and unimportant, but will become something much bigger and more consequential. Usually, it has a negative meaning. Cuneiform wedges are happy things, though. So I’m reclaiming it. There’s a lot of information available about the ancient Middle East. You don’t need to know most of it. But I hope you will want to hear some of it. And I hope that what you do hear on TEW will whet your appetite for more.

How can I help?

If you like what we do, please support Thin End of the Wedge:
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Support us on Patreon. Producing and maintaining Thin End of the Wedge comes at a cost. Once the basic running costs are covered, funding will be spent on providing subtitles in Arabic or other relevant Middle Eastern languages.
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