Brian Boyd

Brian Boyd

Research Interests

Research Concentrations

Settler Colonialism, Museums, Nationalism, Sound Studies, The Sonic Past, Archives, Gender, Queer Theory, Materiality, Anthropology of Science, Built Environment, Pre-urban Spaces, Human-Animal Relations, Multispecies Approaches, Landscape History, Political Ecology, Mortuary Practices, Ritual


Southwest Asia, Middle East; Palestine


Brian Boyd works on the prehistory and politics of archaeology in southwest Asia, with a focus on Palestine. He is particularly interested in the writing of microhistories as a counter to the grand narratives of social life in the deep past. He also writes on critical human-animal studies, museum anthropology, gender/queer theory and sound studies. His current fieldwork takes place in the Palestinian Territories, where he codirects a Columbia University/Birzeit University archaeology and museum anthropology community project, focusing in and around the village/town of Shuqba, northwest of Ramallah. This project involves collaboration with the local community to produce a deep history of the village and its landscapes, which will be represented in museum exhibits and installations in the local area and beyond. Brian is currently Co-Director of the Center for Palestine Studies, and Co-Chair of the University Seminar on Human-Animal Studies.


University of Cambridge, PhD in Archaeology, 1996
Glasgow University, MA (Hons.) in Archaeology and Social Anthropology, 1991

2021. "Critical discourse and creative labours: learning and teaching archaeology with John C. Barrett." In Far from Equilibrium: an archaeology of energy, life and humanity. A response to the archaeology of John C. Barrett, edited by M.J. Boyd & R.C.P. Doonan, 259-271. Oxford: Oxbow Books.

2018. “An archaeological telling of multispecies co-inhabitation: comments on the origins of agriculture and domestication narrative in Southwest Asia.” In Multispecies Archaeology, edited by S. P. Birch, 251-270. New York: Routledge.

2018b. “Archaeologies of Technology.” In The Encyclopedia of Archaeological Sciences, edited by S. L. Lopez Varela. London: Wiley & Sons.

2018c. “Settled? Recent debates in the archaeology of the Epipalaeolithic and Pre-Pottery Neolithic of Southwest Asia.” Asian Archaeology 1, nos. 1-2: 63-73.

2017. “Ecologies of fiber-work: animal technologies and invisible craft practices in prehistoric Southwest Asia.” Quaternary International 468: 250-261.

2017b. “Human-animal relations and archaeology: thinking through anthropocentrism.” Annual Review of Anthropology 46: 299-316.

2017c. “The political ecology of za’atar.” EnviroSociety (blog). Environment and Society

2016. “Abu Hureyra 1 in Northwest Syria: ‘periphery’ no more.” In Fresh Fields and Pastures New: papers presented in honor of Andrew M.T. Moore, edited by K. T. Lillios and M. Chazan, 21-39. Leiden: Sidestone.

2015. “Anthropology and the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions.” Savage Minds: notes and queries in anthropology (blog).

2015. “Toxic Ecologies of Occupation.” EnviroSociety (blog). Environment and Society.