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Crossroads of Culture: The Archaeology of Saudi Arabia

Freer Gallery of Art, Meyer Auditorium
Saturday, November 17, 9:30 am–2 pm

Speaker Bios

James L. Phillips James L. Phillips is curator of Near Eastern, North African, and Paleolithic anthropology at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. A trained paleoanthropologist, Phillips received his PhD in anthropology at Southern Methodist University, Dallas. He is emeritus professor of anthropology at the University of Illinois, Chicago, and chaired the university’s Archaeological Studies Committee from 1980 to 1998. Phillips conducted archaeological fieldwork projects in Israel, the Sinai, and adjacent regions, and has been involved in numerous research projects related to the University of Chicago’s archaeological expeditions in the ancient Near East and beyond. He published extensively on the Upper Paleolithic of the Levant, and was curator of exhibitions including The Dead Sea Scrolls (2000), Eternal Egypt (2002), and The Horse (2011).  

Ricardo EichmannRicardo Eichmannhas been head of the Orient Department of the German Archaeological Institute since 1996. He received his PhD from the University at Heidelberg in Germany in 1984 and worked for the German Archaeological Institute’s Baghdad Section from 1984 to 1995. Eichmann held a professorship at the University of Tübingen and   is a visiting professor at University of Jena. His research interests include the architectural history of the ancient Near East, comparative studies on the late Chalcolithic in the Near East., and music archaeology. He initiated archaeological field projects in Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia (Tayma), Yemen and Qatar. Since the summer of 2009 he has been part of an excavation project at Wuqro in Ethiopia. His publications include Koptische Lauten (1994) and Uruk. Die Architektur I. Von den Anfängen bis zur frühdynastischen Zeit. Ausgrabungen in Uruk-Warka (2007).

al-GhabbanAli al-Ghabban received his BS in Islamic antiquities from King Abdulaziz University in Riyadh and his MA and PhD in Islamic antiquities from Provence University in France. After serving as a professor of antiquities at King Saud University, he was appointed Vice President of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) in 2008. Previously, he served as a consultant to the Secretary General of Culture and Heritage and the Supervisor of Culture and Heritage Program of the Supreme Commission for Tourism. Among his many accomplishments at the SCTA is discovering antiquities dating to the first century BCE at Akra port and tracing the Darb al-Bakrah, the old Arab trade route between al-Hajar and Petra. Dr. al-Ghabban has written more than fifty papers, articles, and books on ancient and Islamic archaeology of the Arabian Peninsula. He is the principal curator of Roads of Arabia: Archaeology and History of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Laila NehmeLaila Nehme is an archaeologist and epigraphist who has excavated and published extensively on the material culture of the Nabataeans on the Arabian Peninsula. Nehme is a researcher at the French National Center for Scientific Research in Paris and received her PhD from the University of Paris in 1994. She was a research assistant at the University of Oxford in 1994 and 1995. She won the Premier prix Clio 2007 for archaeological research and the grand prize in archaeology from the Simone and Cino del Duca Foundation in 2008. In 2010, she became a Chevalier (Knight) of France’s National Order of Merit. She has co-directed a number of archaeological field projects in Madâ’in Sâlih and other sites in Saudi Arabia, written and published more than 75 articles, and edited and co-edited numerous volumes on the archaeology and epigraphy of the Arabian Peninsula. Upcoming publications include the co-edited Atlas archéologique et épigraphique de Pétra and a volume on the Nabataean burial sites at the site of Hegra.

Daniel T. PottsDaniel T. Potts received his PhD in Near Eastern archaeology from Harvard University in 1980 and then taught at the Free University of Berlin and the University of Copenhagen, where he completed his habilitation in 1991. Currently, he is the Edwin Cuthbert Hall Chair of Middle Eastern Archaeology at the University of Sydney. Potts has led and participated in numerous excavation projects in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates. He is the founding editor-in-chief of the journal Arabian Archaeology & Epigraphy, and author of several books including The Arabian Gulf in Antiquity (1990), Mesopotamian Civilization: The Material Foundations (1997), Mesopotamia, Iran and Arabia from the Seleucids to the Sasanians (2010), and In the Land of the Emirates: The Archaeology and History of the UAE (2012).

Speakers and Program

DAI Orient-Abteilung, A Hausleiter

Archaeological Excavations at Tayma in northwestern Saudi Arabia. DAI Orient-Abteilung, A. Hausleiter

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