Research Interests

Primary archaeological research in the Near East, with focus on human interactions with the environment, especially the origins of agriculture and the technological and social changes that accompanied its spread and development; and the role of climate change in human history. Combining extensive surveys of western Iran with excavations, we recovered the first substantial evidence for the long sequence of the development of cereal agriculture. Techniques we pioneered to recover botanical and faunal evidence have become standard. Ethnographic research among nomadic peoples led to discovery of the oldest pastoral campsites yet found and verified that a dual mode of settled and migratory adaptation was ancient and closely controlled by local ecology. On-going archaeological research in northern Syria examines human adaptations to climate changes. We have discovered periodic changes Another multi-disciplinary, international research collaboration uses satellite imagery and other instrumental measures to discover the relationships among climate, vegetation growth, agriculture and grazing practices, hydrology, population growth and the sustainability of resources in the Near East. This research, in the Center for Earth Observation at Yale, collaborates with scientists from various countries. These contemporary data will be used to assess potential affects of future climate changes, as well as interpret earlier historic and prehistoric changes.

Membership Type


Election Year


Primary Section

Section 51: Anthropology