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Research Project

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

2021 – 2023
A double helix superimposed over a satellite image of an archaeological site
Photo illustration by Benjamin Ransom

Key Question

Project Summary

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.

Research Team

Hannah Moots

Hannah Moots

Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute for the Formation of Knowledge

University of Chicago

Hannah Moots is an archaeologist whose research draws on archaeological, historical, and genomic lines of evidence to investigate changing mobility patterns of past populations in the Mediterranean world. She examines the recursive relationships between the biological and cultural changes...

John Novembre

John Novembre

Professor, Human Genetics

University of Chicago

John Novembre is a computational biologist whose work sheds new light on human evolutionary history, population structure and migration, and the etiology of genetic diseases. Novembre's research group uses computational tools to study genetic diversity in...

James Osborne

James Osborne

Assistant Professor of Anatolian Archaeology, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations

University of Chicago

James Osborne is an archaeologist who works in the eastern Mediterranean and ancient Near East focusing on the Bronze and Iron Ages. He concentrates especially on Anatolia, a region that is today within the Republic of Turkey, during the late second and early first millennium BCE. Most of James’...

Maanasa Raghavan

Maanasa Raghavan

Assistant Professor, Human Genetics

University of Chicago

Maanasa Raghavan's research interests span questions and applications in multiple fields, including population genetics/genomics, anthropology, archaeology, and medical genetics. The big question driving her research is: How have demographic, cultural, and environmental factors contributed over...

David Schloen

David Schloen

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

University of Chicago

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...

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