James Osborne

James Osborne
Associate Professor of Anatolian Archeology
Deputy Department Chair
Institute for the Study of Ancient Cultures 230
Office Hours: Wednesday, 1:00-3:00 pm
Ph.D., Harvard University, 2011
Teaching at UChicago since 2015

Academic Bio

James Osborne is an archaeologist who works in the eastern Mediterranean and ancient Near East focusing on the Bronze and Iron Ages. He concentrates especially on Anatolia, a region that is today within the Republic of Turkey, during the late second and early first millennium BCE. Most of James’ publications have concentrated on the intersection of space and power, using analysis of Anatolian monumental buildings, cities, and settlement patterns during the Iron Age as his primary subject matter. Methodologically, he incorporates quantitative methods like GIS, space syntax, and geochemical ceramic analysis with native historical and iconographic sources.

James has recently completed a monograph titled The Syro-Anatolian City-States: An Iron Age Culture. This book, published by Oxford University Press, provides a synthetic overview of the Syro-Anatolian world by focusing on a number of relevant themes, including relations with Assyria and Mesopotamia, migration and cultural mobility, and conceptions of space and place. A general interest in spatial theory and its relationship with political authority has led to two edited volumes, one titled Approaching Monumentality in Archaeology (SUNY Press, 2014), and one titled Territoriality in Archaeology (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013), co-edited with Parker VanValkenburgh. He is currently in the beginning stages of preparing a third with Jonathan Hall (Classics) titled The Connected Iron Age: Interregional Networks in the Eastern Mediterranean, 900-600 BCE, which stems from a conference at the University of Chicago in January, 2018.

After receiving his PhD from Harvard University in 2011, James was a postdoctoral scholar at SUNY Buffalo’s Institute for European and Mediterranean Archaeology (IEMA), a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Johns Hopkins University, and a postdoctoral fellow at Brown University’s Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World. James’ research has been funded by the Loeb Classical Library Foundation, the Wenner Gren Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, the National Geographic Society, and the American Schools of Oriental Research.

James works closely with students at all levels, and is always interested to hear about potential research projects on the history and archaeology of ancient Anatolia.

Selected Publications

Recent & Regularly Taught Courses

  • NEAA 20002/30002 Archaeology of the Ancient Near East II: Anatolia
  • NEAA 20040/30040 Monuments and Monumentality in the Past and Present
  • NEAA 20080/30080 Migration and Population Movements of the Ancient Near East
  • NEAA 20050/30050 Architecture and the Built Environment in Archaeology
  • NEAA 40200 Ceramic Analysis in Archaeology
Affiliated Departments and Centers: Institute for the Study of Ancient Cultures
Subject Area: Near Eastern Art and Archaeology