Middle East Studies

POSTPONED: State of the Field 2020 – Archaeology of the Levant

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Friday, March 13 –
Saturday, March 14, 2020

Friday, March 13th – Saturday, March 14th, 2020

Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World
Rhode Island Hall, Brown University
60 George Street, Providence, RI

Free and open to the public. No pre-registration necessary.

In support of our community's continued health, if you are not feeling well for any reason, please consider staying home rather than attending the event. It will be streamed live via the webcast link below. For up-to-date information, including campus travel restrictions, please visit the University’s COVID-19 Updates website

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The Levant, a loosely defined region encompassing the modern countries of Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, and Cyprus, is rich in archaeology and history. The region has been central to the discipline of archaeology since the nineteenth century, and arguably even earlier. A long history of colonial rule, political and religious differences, academic specializations and passions, stark financial inequalities and war continue to inform and limit dialogue not only among local and foreign archaeologists working there, but also among scholars, local communities, government officials, and other stakeholders. Aware of the ancient and modern importance of the region, the peculiar challenges it poses, the possibilities for collaboration, and the need for creative perspectives, the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World at Brown University will host a conference in March 2020 dedicated to addressing these unique aspects of the Levant through constructive discussion of:

  • Current directions, critical trends and lacunae in archaeological research
  • Museum, archival studies, and other investigations that rely primarily on archaeological legacy data
  • The effects of colonial rule, modern geopolitics, fluctuating national boundaries, war, and migration, among many other factors on the practice and interpretations of archaeological work in the region.

The event is part of the “State of the Field” conference series, a yearly meeting which aims to highlight and reflect upon specific thematic or regional archaeological topics within a community of its scholars.

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Keynote Address

Archaeology, Photography, Evidence: A Conversation
Forensic Architecture with Brown University Petra Terraces Archaeological Project Team


Peter Akkermans (Leiden University)
Gideon Avni (Israel Antiquities Authority, and Hebrew University in Jerusalem)
Alexis Boutin (Sonoma State University)
Brian Boyd (Columbia University)
Beshara Doumani (Brown University)
Rafi Greenberg (Tel Aviv University, and Brown University)
Morag Kersel ( DePaul University )
Hamed Salem (Birzeit University)
Bethany Walker (University of Bonn)