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Faculty Fellow

David Schloen

Professor of Syro-Palestinian Archaeology, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations; Associated Faculty, Divinity School University of Chicago


Photo by Erielle Bakkum

David Schloen specializes in the archaeology and history of the Levant in the Bronze and Iron Ages (ca. 3500 to 300 BCE). His archaeological fieldwork began at Ashkelon in Israel, where he served as associate director and co-edited the series of excavation reports. He has also conducted excavations at Yaqush, a village of the Early Bronze Age (3500–2500 BCE) on the northern Jordan River in Israel, and at Alalakh near Antakya (Antioch) in Turkey, a prominent city of the Middle and Late Bronze Ages (2000–1200 BCE); and he has ongoing excavation projects at Sam’al (Zincirli) in Turkey and at the Canaanite-Phoenician site of Tell Keisan near Haifa in Israel. His aim is to synthesize archaeological and textual evidence to understand the early cities and kingdoms of the Eastern Mediterranean and how they were organized, socially and economically. Schloen is also the Director of the University of Chicago’s Program in Digital Studies of Language, Culture, and History. He has a strong interest in digital humanities, especially the phenomenological critique of disembodied artificial intelligence and the use of “top-level” formal ontologies for semantic integration of data across diverse projects and recording systems.

To learn more about David Schloen's research and publications, please visit his profile page at the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations.

Featured Project

Economic Analysis of Ancient Trade: The Case of the Old Assyrian Merchants of the 19th Century BCE

2015 – 2018


Genomes, Migrations, and Culture in the Early Civilizations of the Middle East

A double helix superimposed over a satellite image of an archaeological site

Genomes, Migrations, and Culture in the Early Civilizations of the Middle East

This collaboration between archaeologists and geneticists will analyze DNA from ancient human remains excavated in the Middle East in order to reconstruct population movements and assess the prevailing explanations for cultural change in the Bronze Age civilizations of this region.

This interdisciplinary collaboration between archaeologists and geneticists will enhance ancient DNA research at the University of Chicago and spur the development of a curriculum in archaeogenetics to bridge the gap between these two disciplines. An “ancient DNA revolution” is occurring in...

An Organon for the Information Age

An Organon for the Information Age

This project addressed the challenge of combining disparate data with automated querying and analysis by designing, testing, and evaluating a new ontological tool for data integration.

This project is concerned with the computational problem of integrating heterogeneous data, described in accordance with disparate conceptual ontologies, to answer questions by means of comprehensive automated querying and analysis. This problem nowadays affects all disciplines, including the...

Working Group on Comparative Economics

Working Group on Comparative Economics

This group convened to discuss the comparative economic and historical analysis of societies, identifying ways that economic tools and analysis can advance historical research on the ancient world.

Emerging around a coalescence of research interests in the comparative economic analysis of historical societies from ancient times to the modern period, the Working Group on Comparative Economics brought together faculty from Classics, Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations, Anthropology,...