Lisa Maher

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Lisa Maher

Lisa Maher

Associate Professor of Anthropology; Senior Research Scholar, CMES

Lisa Maher is an Assistant Professor of Archaeology in the Department of Anthropology. Her research focuses on hunter-gatherer societies in the Near East, North Africa and Arabia with the aim of reconstructing human-environment interactions during the Late Pleistocene. The transition between hunting and gathering and farming in this region is well-studied, but tends to focus on the later Neolithic as heralding the beginnings of a series of significant changes in human social organization, economy, technological innovation, and ideology. Maher’s work focuses on the periods leading up to farming – the 10,000 years or so prior – when these changes first manifest in the archaeological record in the form of intensified plant use, increased sedentism and population aggregations, architecture, complex site organization, far-reaching social interaction networks, and elaborate mortuary practices. Notably, it is during these periods, the Epipalaeolithic and the early Neolithic, when we see significant changes in human behavior with the intersection ofregional-scale climate change and humans asagents of landscape change. To investigate the social and environmental precursors to later sedentism and farming, Maher works at several Epipalaeolithic sites in Jordan that provide a record of the Early and Middle Epipalaeolithic people living in the region during the Late Pleistocene.  Maher received her Ph.D. from the Department of Anthropology at the University of Toronto.


L. Maher, T. Richter, and J. Stock(In press) The Early and Middle Epipalaeolithic of the Southern Levant: Developments and Transitions to Social Complexity. Evolutionary Anthropology.

L. Maher, T. Richter, J.T. Stock and M. Jones (In press) Preliminary Results from Recent Excavations at the Epipalaeolithic Site of Kharaneh IV, InJordan’s Prehistory: Past and Future Research (F. Khraysheh and G. Rollefson, eds.). Department of Antiquities of Jordan: Amman.

T. Richter, and L. Maher (In press) The Natufian of the Azraq Basin: An Appraisal. In The Natufian Culture in the Levant II (O. Bar-Yosef and F. Valla, eds.). International Monographs in Prehistory: Ann Arbor.

Maher, L., T. Richter, D. Macdonald, M. Jones, L. Martin and J. T. Stock (2012) Twenty Thousand-Year-Old Huts at a Hunter-Gatherer Settlement in Eastern Jordan. PLoS-ONE 7(2): e31447.

L. Maher, T. Richter, M. Jones and J.T. Stock (2011) The Epipalaeolithic Foragers in Azraq Project: Prehistoric Landscape Change in the Azraq Basin, Eastern Jordan. CBRL Bulletin 6: 21-27.

L. Maher (2011) Reconstructing Palaeolandscapes and Prehistoric Occupation in Wadi Ziqlab, Northern Jordan. Geoarchaeology 26(5): 649-692.

L. Maher and T. Richter (2011) PPN Predecessors: Current Issues in Late Pleistocene Chipped Stone Analyses in the Southern Levant. In The State of Stone: Terminologies, Continuities and Contexts in Near Eastern Lithics. Studies in Early Near Eastern Production, Subsistence and Environment 13 (eds E. Healey, S. Campbell and O. Maeda,). Ex oriente: Berlin, p. 25-31.

L. Maher, J. Stock, S. Finney, J. Haywood, P. Miracle and E.B. Banning (2011) Human-Fox Burials at a 16,000-Year-Old Cemetery in the Southern Levant (Jordan) Reveal Continuity in Burial Practices Prior to the Neolithic. Public Library of Science (PLoS-One). Jan 26, 2011:

L. Maher, E.B. Banning and M. Chazan (2011) Oasis or Mirage? Assessing the Role of Abrupt Climate Change in the Prehistory of the Southern Levant. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 21(1):1-29.

T. Richter, A. Garrard, S. Allcock, and L. Maher (2011) Interaction Before Agriculture: Exchanging Material and Shared Knowledge in the Final Pleistocene Levant. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 21(1):95-114.

L. Maher (2010) People and their places at the end of the Pleistocene: evaluating perspectives on physical and cultural landscape change. In Landscapes in Transition: understanding hunter-gatherer and farmer landscapes in the early Holocene of Europe and the Levant (W. Finlayson and G. Warren, eds.). Oxbow Books: London, p. 34-45.

T. Richter, J.T. Stock, L. Maher, and C. Hebron (2010) An Early Epipalaeolithic Sitting Burial from the Azraq Oasis, Eastern Jordan. Antiquity 84:1-14.

L. Maher (2009) The Late Pleistocene of Arabia in Relation to the Levant. In The Evolution and History of Human Populations in Arabia: Paleoenvironments, Prehistory and Genetics, Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleontology 187(M. Petraglia and J. Rose, eds.), pp. 187-202. Springer: New York.

L. Maher (2007) Microliths and Mortuary Practices: New Perspectives on the Epipalaeolithic in Northern and Eastern Jordan. Book chapter in Crossing Jordan: North American Contributions to the Archaeology of Jordan (T.E. Levy, M. Daviau, R.W. Younker, M. Shaer, eds.), p. 195-202, Equinox: London.

Keywords: Hunter-gathering; Arabia

Center for Middle Eastern Studies
University of California, Berkeley
340 Stephens Hall, Berkeley, CA  94720-2314



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