As an anthropologically-trained archaeologist, my research centers not only on identifying the what of the human past, but the why and the how. I specialize in landscape studies, issues of social complexity, and various communities linked to mobile pastoralism. In taking a landscape archaeology approach to my research, I draw on my background in GIS and spatial analysis, anthropological and archaeological study of the Near East and Eurasia, and over 20 years of field experience. My PhD and postgraduate research has primarily focused on arid southern Central Asia during the Bronze and Iron Ages (roughly 2500-1000 BCE), with additional research in regional highland zones. All of my work ties into broader themes discussed in Eurasian prehistory, such as cultural interaction networks, human ecology, trade & exchange, and climate change.
I am the director of The Project for the Ancient Murghab (PAM), an interdisciplinary archaeological project focusing on the reconstruction of prehistoric social and environmental landscapes in south-central Turkmenistan. From 2010-2016, I was involved with the Archaeological Map of the Murghab Delta (AMMD) project, a joint Italian-Turkmen-Russian archaeological survey, and I continue to collaborate with the related Togolok Archaeological Project (TAP). I am also involved with the Margins or Nodes Project, investigating the role of ancient mountain communities in Kyrgyzstan in the incipient process of food globalization. My previous research has also seen collaboration with ongoing research in the Faynan (Feinan) region in Jordan, and I have also worked extensively on archaeological projects in the arid zones of southern California and Arizona in the USA.
I currently live in Berlin, Germany, where I am a Researcher at the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, Eurasien-Abteilung, and a Research Affiliate with Washington University in St. Louis. My archaeological research has been sponsored by fellowships from the Volkswagen Foundation (2016-2017), the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (2017-2020), and the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) (2021-2024).
Key Research Interests
Bronze Age Central Asia
Eurasia Department, German Archaeological Institute
Department of Anthropology, Washington University in St. Louis