I am interested in the dynamics of cultural transmission, especially in diffusion of religious innovations (concepts and practices) across a population. In my dissertation, I am targeting this issue while studying and modelling the development of Christian meal practices in the first four centuries CE across the Roman Mediterranean.
Simulation of past hominins in a realistic setting
After completing my undergraduate education at Bilkent University (Turkey), I continued my studies at the University of Cambridge, receiving first my MPhil and then my PhD in Assyriology/Ancient Near Eastern Archaeology, funded by a Chevening Open Society Scholarship and the Board of Higher Education of Turkey. After teaching for several years at Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University, I moved to eastern Turkey to start the Archaeology Department of Bitlis Eren University, and I was the Head of Department until the end of 2018. I have been a visiting researcher at the American Center of Oriental Research in Amman in 2011 (Mellink Fellowship), at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago in 2014 (Fulbright Fellowship), and at the Department of Archaeology and Ancient History of Uppsala University in 2019 (Swedish Institute Fellowship). I have also held a Newton Advanced Fellowship here at Leicester in the UK. I have previously co-directed several fieldwork projects: the Cambridge University Kilise Tepe Excavations (southern Turkey, 2009-13), the Cide Archaeological Project (survey, Black Sea coast, 2010-1), the Sirwan Regional Project (survey, northern Iraq, 2012-5), and the Lower Göksu Archaeological Salvage Survey Project (survey, southern Turkey, 2013-7). I am currently co-directing the Çadır Höyük excavations, which is a joint American, British, Canadian and Turkish archaeological excavation project conducted in north-central Turkey, and the Taşeli-Karaman Archeological Project, which was initiated in 2018 as a continuation of the Lower Göksu Archaeological Salvage Survey Project, to study the Göksu River Basin in its wider geographical context in the hope of better understanding its role as a network hub connecting the eastern Mediterranean world to the central Anatolian Plateau.
My research involves the application of behavioral ecological models to archaeological problems with a focus on Pacific Island societies.
Currently I develop ABM models to follow up issues raised in my previous research on trade between hunting groups and long-distance trade, territoriality and migration patterns.
I am interested in using agent based modelling and systematic data collection to understand diachronic human-environment interactions in the Maya region of Guatemala, Mexico, and Belize.
Prehistoric archaeology of hunter-gatherer societies in Mesoamerica and American Southeast; comparative analysis of urban form and service provision; social inequality; complex adaptive systems; cultural evolution.
Without Central Control is self organization possible?
Considering the seemingly preplanned, densely aggregated communities of the prehistoric Puebloan Southwest, is it possible that without centralized authority (control), that patches of low-density communities dispersed in a bounded landscape could quickly self-organize and construct preplanned, highly organized, prehistoric villages/towns?
Applying agent-based models to archaeological data, using modern ethnoarchaeological data as an analog for behavior.