Oriental Institute, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, and the College
Augusta McMahon is a specialist in the archaeology of Mesopotamia (modern Iraq and Syria) from the fifth through the first millennia BC. Her research investigates early urbanism and its challenges and compensatory factors. She examines urban landscapes and neighborhoods as well as past modes of production, to draw out the positive and negative aspects of urban living and define the delicate balance that allows cities to be so successful. Her research has also examined prehistoric violent conflict and has reconstructed past sensory perceptions through studies of the effects of audibility and visibility.
She has participated extensively in archaeological fieldwork in Iraq, Syria, Turkey, and Yemen, and has recently directed excavations at the massive third millennium BC city of Lagash, in southern Iraq. Her work has been published in Antiquity, Journal of Archaeological Research, Oxford Journal of Archaeology, and PLOS One.
McMahon earned a BA in classical and Near Eastern archaeology from Bryn Mawr College and an MA and PhD in Mesopotamian archaeology from the University of Chicago. Most recently, she was affiliated with the University of Cambridge in the UK.