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 their village and its landscapes, which will be represented in museum exhibits and installations in the local area and beyond. Brian is currently codirector of the Center for Palestine Studies, cochair of the University Seminar on Human-Animal Studies, and program director of the Center for Archaeology.


University of Cambridge, PhD in Archaeology, 1996
Glasgow University, MA in Archaeology and Social Anthropology, 1991

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.