James Osborne

Assistant Professor
Oriental Institute, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, and the College

James Osborne is an archaeologist who studies the ancient remains of Anatolia, Mesopotamia, and the eastern Mediterranean. He specializes in the interplay of political authority and the built environment, and conducts fieldwork in southeastern Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan. A primary focus of his research has been on monuments and principles of monumentality in the past, using advanced spatial analyses such as Geographical Information Systems, in conjunction with the historical record and iconographic remains, to understand the projection of power by political elites in the Iron Age (ca. 1200–600 BC). He has also engaged with monumentality at a more theoretical level in an edited volume, Approaching Monumentality in Archaeology (SUNY Press, 2014).

Most recently, he has begun a long-term research initiative into forced migration in antiquity, using the historically attested mass deportations of the Neo-Assyrian Empire (900–600 BC), at the time the largest empire the world had ever known, as his primary case study.

Osborne received his PhD from Harvard University in 2011. He was a postdoctoral scholar at the State University of New York at Buffalo’s Institute for European and Mediterranean Archaeology, a Mellon postdoctoral fellow in the humanities at Johns Hopkins University, and a postdoctoral fellow at Brown University’s Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World.

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