Associate Professor of Anthropology & Dyson Associate Curator, Near East Section, Penn Museum
Lauren Ristvet received her B.A. from Yale in 1999 and her M.Phil. and Ph.D. from Cambridge in 2005. She 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 Statesand is preparing two monographs, Altered States: Ritual and the Creation of Mesopotamian Polities and Consuming Empire: Cultural Imperialism in Antiquity.
About the Donor
The Penn Museum established these two chairs to honor the legacy and contributions of Robert H. Dyson, Jr. and Eckley Brinton Coxe, Jr. Dyson, a noted archaeologist, teacher, and administrator served Penn for over forty years, including a twelve-year term as director of the Penn Museum.