Meet the Creator

Dr Marie-Francoise Besnier (1 of 11)

Marie-F. Besnier


I am an Assyriologist, totally nuts about (almost) all aspects of Mesopotamian cultures. I discovered Mesopotamia when I was a teenager. I created Esagil because I wanted to share this passion. The project was funded by the University of Cambridge, and the game was presented at the Festival of Ideas 2016 and the Festival of Science 2017. Sharing my passion has been such an awesome experience, and I cannot wait to help more people discover Ancient Mesopotamia through Esagil Games.

Wonderful and motivated people are working with me to make this dream come true...

Meet the Team


Lenka Koppova

Social Media Consultant



Federica Muià



Mark Uttley

The wonderful toymaker
who made the playing
pieces come to life


Lynda Jeannot

Graphic Designer


Joshua Jones

Map Designer


The very first Esagil project would have never come to life without the help and advice of many people to whom I am immensely grateful:

  • Dr Martin Worthington for his support on this project from the very start and for his help to get funding
  • Linda Sutton – graphic designer for the prototype (and the printer)
  • Ayna Bogdanova - graphic designer for the board game
  • The MAA staff, especially Sarah-Jane Harknett and Lorena Bushell
  • The Fitzwilliam staff, especially Felicity Mottram
  • The PE seed fund team, especially Charlotte Carroll
  • The students in Assyriology of the University of Cambridge who first served as « guinea-pigs » during the test games, then kindly volunteered to help during the 4 hectic days of the FOI. Apologies that I do
    not mention the 14 of you there: you will recognize yourselves
  • All my friends who also (repeatedly served) as guinea-pigs and gave plenty of various suggestions to
    improve the rules
  • Finally, the families who very kindly tested the game during the summer 2016 when it still was a very
    rough version with... "squeezable" playing pieces.

Thank you all so much!