Lauren Ristvet

Picture of Lauren Ristvet

Robert Dyson Professor of Near Eastern Archaeology at Penn

Room 325, Penn Museum

Lauren Ristvet (BA, Yale 1999; MPhil, PhD, Cambridge 2005) specializes in Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern history and archaeology, with an emphasis on the formation and collapse of archaic states, landscape archaeology, human response to environmental disaster, and ancient imperialism. She is the associate director of excavations at Tell Leilan, Syria (ancient Shehna/Shubat-Enlil), where she has excavated since 1999. This was one of the largest ancient cities in Northern Mesopotamia, and the short-lived capital of the Kingdom of Upper Mesopotamia during the 18th century B.C. She is also co-director of the Naxcivan Archaeological Project in Naxcivan, Azerbaijan, a combined survey and excavation project. She is the author of In the Beginning: World History from Human Evolution to the First States (McGraw-Hill, 2007) and is preparing two monographs, Altered States: Ritual and the Creation of Mesopotamian Polities, and Consuming Empire: Cultural Imperialism in Antiquity.