I am an environmental and an anthropological archaeologist and my interdisciplinary research program combines archaeological and ethnographic field methods with faunal and biochemical analyses and behavioral ecological modeling to study the social and ecological factors that shape the past, present, and future of herding and foraging economies of non-state societies in the highland ecosystems of West and South Asia.
My site-based archaeological projects in Armenia and Iran cut across the Pleistocene–Holocene divide and are complemented with a new ethnographic and ethnoarchaeologcial project in the Aravalli Mountains of Rajasthan, India.
In addition to publishing and ongoing work on various article manuscripts, I am also working on a book manuscript loosely based on my dissertation entitled Our Pastoral Past: The Evolution of Animal Economies in the Near Eastern Highlands. In this book I develop a series of ethnographically-derived behavioral ecological models of pastoralist economies with specific and measurable zooarchaeological and isotopic expectations. The book uses the Early Bronze Age Kura-Araxes cultural tradition of the Near Eastern highlands (ca. 3500–2200 BCE) as a case study to demonstrate how this novel conceptual framework can monitor patterned variations in large-scale diachronic analyses of cultural evolution and synchronic studies of cultural diversity.
I was born in Tehran, Iran. In 2001 my family migrated to the United States and settled down in Atlanta, GA. After High School, I attended the University of Georgia, where I received my BA in anthropology in 2008. After a brief post-college hiatus, I pursued my postgraduate degree and in 2019 received my Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Connecticut with a dissertation entitled Herding in the Highlands: Pastoralism and the Making of the Kura-Araxes Cultural Tradition. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Connecticut Humanities Institute, I joined the faculty of The College of Wooster in 2020, where I am currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of anthropology, archaeology, and Middle Easter and North African studies.