In Context: the Reade Festschrift is a collection of invited and peer-reviewed essays by friends and colleagues of Julian Edgeworth Reade, sometime Mesopotamia curator at the British Museum from 1975 to 2000. Its coverage is designed to reflect the breadth of the recipient's professional interests, from Assyria and Mesopotamia in general, to the relations between Mesopotamia and other regions and the impact of nineteenth-century discoveries on the field of Assyriology. They include both syntheses and archaeological research, as well as reports on archival discoveries. Context is always crucial. Here is fresh work from which any reader can gain a new appreciation of the importance of the ancient Near East.