Arnulf Hausleiter

Visiting Research Scholar 2015-16

Arnulf Hausleiter (MA 1992, PhD 1996 University of Munich, Habilitation 2012 Freie Universität Berlin) is a Near Eastern archaeologist currently based at the Orient Department of Berlin’s German Archaeological Institute (DAI). Since 2004 he has been co-directing the Saudi-German multidisciplinary field project at the oasis of Tayma, Northwest Arabia.

He was assistant professor at Berlin’s Freie Universität (1997-2002), and at the Carsten Niebuhr Institute, University of Copenhagen (2003), and guest professor at Vienna University (2003-2004). Currently teaching at the Freie Universität Berlin he has also taught at other European universities.

Following his research interests in Bronze and Iron Age civilisations in the Near East, he also participated to excavations at the Assyrian capital Ashur, Iraq, and co-directed a survey of the lower town of the provincial Assyrian town Til Barsip, Syria. Since 2009 he has been working in the city of Arbil, Iraqi Kurdistan. In 2002 he was member of the UNESCO team investigating the impact of the planned Makhool dam on archaeological sites in the Tigris valley. He authored or co-edited several books on ceramic studies (1999, 2010, 2014), rituals (2003) or archaeological thought (2002).

At ISAW his research is aimed at re-defining the role of Northwest Arabia as a dynamic and culturally self-determined area located in one of the most interesting contact zones of the Near East. Starting with the key settlement of the region, the oasis of Tayma, material culture, aspects of social differentiation, diverse subsistence strategies, and trade relations will be investigated based on primary archaeological data from settlement and presumed élite-cemeteries – including results of most recent archaeometric results. Complemented by comparative analysis of data from key sites in neighbouring regions the emerging 2nd millennium BC “oasis urbanism” of Northwest Arabia will be closely investigated. It is expected that this phenomenon occurring at a limited number of ‘central places’ is a largely autochthonous development attracting neighbouring large-scale political entities rather than depending on them.