Salam Al Kuntar

Visiting Research Scholar, Spring & Summer 2015

Salam Al Kuntar is a Syrian archaeologist. She received her BA from Damascus University (1996), her MA from the University of Liverpool (2004), and her PhD in Archaeology from the University of Cambridge (2009).

She has worked with the Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums in Syria in a number of capacities from 1996-2012. Salam has excavated at numerous sites in Syria and is the Co-Director of the Tell Hamoukar Expedition from 2005 to the present.

Her research interests center upon the archaeology and heritage of the Near East exploring a wide variety of themes such as ancient economy and urbanism, human mobility and cultural boundaries, forced migration, and cultural heritage and identity in the Middle East.

Salam was a visiting assistant professor/assistant curator at the University of Pennsylvania from 2012 to 2014.  She is currently a consulting scholar at the Penn Museum. She co-directs the Safeguarding the Heritage of Syria and Iraq Initiative—a project run by the Penn Cultural Heritage Center, the Smithsonian Institute, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

During her time at ISAW, she will explore the social and economic interactions that shaped the overall organization of the interregional networks in the Late Chalcolithic Period in Northern Mesopotamia. These cross-cultural networks created significant convergence in technology and style over a large geographical area. Efforts of the LC communities to find the most efficient production strategies in this period of economic growth led to analogous similarity in material culture. Her argument is based on data previously collected from the sites of Hamoukar and Brak, and also from her examination of the Tepe Gawra collection at the Penn Museum.