Trained as a Middle Eastern archaeologist and involved in archaeological excavations for 35 years, I research the domestication of plants and animals, the advent of Middle East urbanism and the varied cultural developments in Anatolia (ancient Turkey), Syro-Palestine, Mesopotamia (ancient Iraq), and ancient Iran-from the earliest times to the Hellenistic and Roman periods.
For 10 years the Brown University Petra Great Temple excavations in Jordan have been under my direction, thus my primary interests concentrate on researching Nabataean cultural history. Over 100 articles have been published about this astonishing site. Various aspects of the site research have been presented in four Brown University doctoral dissertations, three M.A. theses, and six undergraduate Senior Theses-four of which have been published in peer-reviewed journals. Several documentary films have included our project, including the Arts and Entertainment Network and the Learning Channel, which have been aired worldwide.
Our research, beyond excavation, has included scientific applications including surveying with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS), Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR), artifact studies and databases, and analyses including Instrumental Neutron Activation (INAA), fresco pigment analysis, palynology, marble isotopes, stone weathering, and dendrochronology. It should come as no surprise that all of these are techniques that are dependent upon the expertise of our team members. Our focus has also included a multi-disciplinary digital archaeology project and the 3D Free-Form Models for Geometric Recovery and Applications to Archaeology, which has been underwritten by two United States National Science Foundation Grants awarded to Brown University.