Lisa Maher

Assistant Professor Fellow
Lisa Maher Image

Between 20,000 BCE and 2,000 BCE the Middle East witnessed some of the most fundamental developments in human prehistory: aggregations of semi-sedentary hunter-gatherers on an unprecedented scale, the emergence of the world’s earliest farming villages, and the appearance of urban centers. Excavations at these sites have produced an impressive range of material objects and tools that played a decisive role in the creation and transformation of prehistoric societies. Yet these objects are much more than just passive cultural markers. To understand the archaeological record, Lisa Maher emphasizes technology as an entangled social process in her book project, “The Archaeology of Technology in the Prehistoric Middle East.” Looking at the decisions made and actions taken throughout the production sequences of various technological traditions, Maher investigates the reasons for these choices and actions, how they varied across space and time, and how they influenced social relationships during the development of complexity in prehistory.