Maria Elena Balza received her PhD in “History and Civilizations of the Ancient Mediterranean” in 2007 from Pavia University. In 2006, she attended the Collegio Cedant (Centro Studi e Ricerche sui Diritti antichi, Pavia), an advanced master’s study in Cuneiform Law. In 2008, she obtained a Postdoctoral fellowship at the Freie Universität of Berlin in the framework of the Excellence Cluster Topoi. Since October 2010, she has undertaken a second PhD Program in “Semiotics and History of Writings” at the University of Limoges.
Her research deals with Hittite history, especially the imperial period; with the existing relations between Anatolia and Syria during the Late Bronze Age; and with the study of Anatolian hieroglyphs. She is an expert in Syro-hittite glyptic and sealing practice. She also collaborates on the computerization of the seals bearing hieroglyphic inscriptions coming from Anatolia (peripheral areas) and Syria as a member of a major project which aims at the computerization of Anatolian glyptic with hieroglyphic inscriptions (Universities of Pavia, Würzburg and Suor Orsola Benincasa of Napoli).

Activities