Education and Degrees:
Northwestern University, 1962-1966; Yale University, 1966-1973; University of Chicago, summer, 1967; University of Munich, 1969-1970.
BA 1966, Northwestern University
MPhil 1971, Yale University
PhD 1973, Yale University
Doctor of Letters (honoris causa), La Trobe University (Melbourne), 1998.
Academic and Professional Appointments:
Senior Fellow, Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University, 2010—
Adjunct Professor, Dept. of Anthropology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 2011—
Adjunct Professor, Dept. of Anthropology, University of New Mexico, 2011—
Instructor, Department of Anthropology, University of Arizona, 1972-1973; Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Arizona, 1973-1979; Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Arizona, 1979-1987; Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Arizona, 1987-1993.
Professor, Department of Near Eastern Studies, 1993--present (chair 1993-1998, Fall 1999); Professor, Dept. of Anthropology, both University of Michigan, 1993-2010.
1979-1980, Visiting Fellow, Wolfson College, Oxford; 1984 (Spring Semester), Visiting Associate Professor, Department of Near Eastern Studies, University of California, Berkeley; 1984-1985, Fulbright Senior Fellow, Dept. of Anthropology, University of Sydney, Australia; 1987-88, Visiting Fellow, Wolfson College, Oxford; 1994-98, Senior Fellow, Michigan Society of Fellows; 1995-96, Gast-Professor, Altorientalisches Seminar, Freie Universität Berlin. 1998, CRA/LaTrobe University (Melbourne, Australia) Distinguished Visiting Fellow in the School of Archaeological and Historical Studies in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences; 2006-7, Steelcase Research Professor, Institute for the Humanities, Univ. of Michigan
Assyriology: Mesopotamian culture, languages, history; Near Eastern archaeology: late prehistoric and early historic periods; comparative early civilizations; legal anthropology
Major Grantsand Fellowships: Fellow in Mesopotamian Civilization, American Schools of Oriental Research, Istanbul, Turkey and Oxford, England, summers, 1973 and 1974
Fellow, National Endowment for the Humanities, Summer Stipend Program, Oxford, England, 1976
Member of Common Room, Wolfson College, Oxford, summer 1976
American Council of Learned Societies Grant-in-Aid, Oxford, England, 1979-80
Fulbright Senior Scholarship for lecturing/research, University of Sydney, Australia, 1984-85
International Research and Exchanges Board, ACLS/USSR Academy of Sciences grant for research in Moscow, USSR, Institute of Archeology, November-December, 1986
University of Arizona Foundation, Mesopotamian Archaeological Project, 1987
International Research and Exchanges Board translation grant, 1987
University of Arizona, Provost's Teaching Improvement Awards Program, 1990
School of American Research, Resident Scholar (NEH program), 1991-1992
International Institute, University of Michigan, Workshop on Archaeological Method and Theory, São Paulo and Brasilia, Brazil, August, 1995
Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst fellowship, Berlin, Fall, 1995
Distinguished Visiting Fellowship, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia, April-June, 1998
School of American Research, summer scholarship, 2000
Salus Mundi Foundation, research and writing, 2002-3
Spencer-Pappas Fellowship, University of Melbourne, 2009
Member, Executive Committee, Western Branch, American Oriental Society, 1977-82
Member, Nominating Committee, AOS, 1983-86
Vice President, Western Branch AOS, 1986-88
President, Western Branch, AOS, 1988-90
Secretary, Archaeology Unit, American Anthropological Association, 1988-90
Member, Baghdad Committee, American Schools of Oriental Research, 1987-1993
Member, Editorial Board, "New Directions in Archaeology," Cambridge University Press, 1988-present
Member, Committee for Professional Relations, Society for American Archaeology, 1989-1993
Member, Editorial Board (for archaeology), American Anthropologist, 1990-1993
Member, Editorial Board, Monographs in Mediterranean Archaeology, Sheffield University Press
Member, Editorial Board, Athlone Publications in Egyptology and Ancient Near Eastern Studies (now Continuum Press), 1991-present
Member, AAA Committee to select Editor of American Anthropologist, 1994
Editor, Cambridge World Archaeology monographs, Cambridge University Press, 1994--present
Member, Advisory Board, Journal of Political Ecology, 1994--present
Member, Editorial Board, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, 1994-2000. Editor, Sept, 2000—to present (2nd 3-year term, renewable)
Member, Society for American Archaeology, Book Award Committee, 1995--1998
Member, external evaluation team, Dept. of Middle Eastern and Asian Languages and Cultures, Columbia University, May, 1999
Executive Committee, American Anthropological Association, Undesignated Seat, 2000-2003
Member, Lifetime Distinguished Service Award selection committee, Society for American Archaeology (2001-03); Chair of committee, 2003-06
Amerind Foundation, SAA seminar selection committee, 2003—2007
Amerind Foundation, member, board of directors, 2007--
Yad Hanadiv Foundation, Jerusalem. Panel of selectors for archaeological fellowships,
Member, Editorial Board, Origini. Rivista di Preistoria e Protoistoria delle Civiltà
Publications and Manuscripts:
1977 The Economic Role of the Crown in the Old Babylonian Period. Bibliotheca Mesopotamica 5, Undena Publications, Malibu, CA.
1981 Explaining Trade in Ancient Western Asia. Monographs on the Ancient Near East, vol. 2, fascicle 2: 21-60.
1986 Old Babylonian Texts from Kish Conserved in the Istanbul Archaeological Museums (co-author with Veysel Donbaz). Bibliotheca Mesopotamica 17, Undena Publications, Malibu, CA.
1991 Old Babylonian Texts from Kish and Elsewhere, Part I (with S. Dalley). Oxford Editions of Cuneiform Texts, vol. 13. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
2005 Myths of the Archaic State: Evolution of the Earliest, Cities, States, and Civilizations
Cambridge University Press
In preparation: Winds of Desolation: History and Archaeology of the Mesopotamian City of
1977 Ancient Near Eastern Essays in Memory of J. J. Finkelstein. Memoirs of the Connecticut Academy of Sciences, vol. 19, New Haven, CT (edited by M. de J. Ellis; editorial board: M. de J. Ellis, J. Cooper, N. Yoffee).
1988 The Collapse of Ancient States and Civilizations (co-edited with George L. Cowgill). University of Arizona Press.
1993 Early Stages in the Evolution of Mesopotamian Civilization: Soviet Excavations in the Sinjar Plain, Northern Iraq. Edited by Norman Yoffee (co-edited with Jeffery J. Clark). University of Arizona Press.
1993 Archaeological Theory: Who Sets the Agenda? Edited by Norman Yoffee and Andrew Sherratt. New Directions in Archaeology, Cambridge University Press.
2006 Excavating Asian History: Interdisciplinary Studies in History and Archaeology (co-edited with Brad Crowell). Tucson: University of Arizona Press
2007 Negotiating the Past in the Past: Identity, Memory, and Landscape in Archaeological
Theory. Tucson: University of Arizona Press
2009 Questioning Collapse: Human Resilience, Environmental Variability, and the Aftermath of
2009 Archaeology of the Classic Maya by Steven Houston and Takashi Inomata
Liu Li and Chen Xingcan
The Archaeology of China: From the First Villages to the First States
The Archaeology of Ancient Japan: From the Earliest Rice-farming Villages the the State
The Archaeology of Prehistoric Arabia
A. Bernard Knapp
The Archaeology of Cyprus: From Earliest Prehistory through the Bronze Age
1977 Old Babylonian Texts from Kish: A First Report. In Ancient Near Eastern Essays in Memory of J. J. Finkelstein, edited by M. de J. Ellis, pp. 219-223. Memoirs of the Connecticut Academy of Sciences, vol. 19. New Haven, CT.
Bibliography of Jacob J. Finkelstein (compiled by Peter Machinist and Norman Yoffee). In Ancient Near Eastern Essays in Memory of Jacob J. Finkelstein, edited by M. de J. Ellis, pp. 227-229. Memoirs of the Connecticut Academy of Sciences, vol. 19. New Haven, CT.
1978 On Studying Old Babylonian History. Journal of Cuneiform Studies 30: 18-32.
1979 The Decline and Rise of Mesopotamian Civilization: An Ethnoarchaeological Perspective on the Evolution of Social Complexity. American Antiquity 45: 5-35.
1980 Do You See Yonder Cloud That's Almost in the Shape of a Camel? American Antiquity 45: 601-604.
Honk if you know Darwin: Brief reply to Dunnell and Wenke. American Antiquity 45: 610-612.
Ethnicity in Ancient Western Asia: Archaeological Assessments and Ethnoarchaeological Prospectives (co-author with Kathryn Kamp). Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 237: 85-104.
1982 Social History and Historical Method in the Late Old Babylonian Period. Journal of the American Oriental Society 102: 347-353.
1985 Perspectives on "Trends towards Social Complexity in Prehistoric Australia and Papua New Guinea." Archaeology in Oceania 20: 41-48.
1986 Old Babylonian Texts from Dilbat in the Ashmolean Museum (with Sergei Koshurnikov). Iraq 48: 117-130.
"Sfery vzaimodejstviya v Mesopotamii" ("Mesopotamian Interaction Spheres") in Ancient Civilizations of the East, edited by V. M. Masson, pp. 117-128. Tashkent: Publishing House FAN of the Uzbek SSR. (in Russian).
1988 Context and Authority in Early Mesopotamian Law. In State Formation and Political Legitimacy, edited by Ronald Cohen and Judith Toland, pp. 95-113. Transaction Press, Rutgers University.
Aspects of Ancient Mesopotamian Land Sales. American Anthropologist 90: 119-130.
Orienting Collapse. In The Collapse of Ancient States and Civilizations, edited by Norman Yoffee and George L. Cowgill, pp. 1-19. University of Arizona Press.
The Collapse of Mesopotamian States and Civilization. In The Collapse of Ancient States and Civilizations, edited by Norman Yoffee and George L. Cowgill, pp. 44-68. University of Arizona Press.
1989 "Chuzhezemtsy" v Mesopotamii ("Outsiders" Inside Mesopotamia). Vestnik Drevnej Istorii 1989/2:95-100. (Russian with English summary)
1990 Before Babel: A Review Article. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society 56: 299-313.
1991 Maya Elite Interaction: Through a Glass, Sideways. Chapter in Classic Maya Political History, edited by T. P. Culbert, pp. 285-310. A School of American Research Book, Cambridge University Press.
1992 Is Fission the Future of Anthropology? (with Peter Brown). Anthropology Newsletter 33/7 (Oct): 1,21. (Slightly different version in Ideas in Anthropology (1992 Annual Report of the School of American Research: 18-22; reprinted in Society for American Archaeology Bulletin 11/1: 12-13,17 ).
1993 Introduction: The Sources of Archaeological Theory (with Andrew Sherratt). For Archaeological Theory: Who Sets the Agenda?, edited by Norman Yoffee and Andrew Sherratt, pp. 1-9, New Directions in Archaeology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Too Many Chiefs? (or Safe Texts for the 90s). For Archaeological Theory: Who Sets the Agenda?, pp. 60-78.
Introduction. In Early Stages in the Evolution of Mesopotamian Civilization: Soviet Excavations in the Sinjar Plain, Northern Iraq, edited by N. Yoffee and J. Clark, pp. 1-6. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.
Mesopotamian Interaction Spheres. In Early Stages in the Evolution of Mesopotamian Civilization, pp. 257-270.
The Late Great Tradition in Ancient Mesopotamia. In The Tablet and the Scroll: Ancient Near Eastern Studies in Honor of William W. Hallo, edited by Mark E. Cohen, Daniel C. Snell, and David B. Weisberg, pp. 300-308. Bethesda, MD: CDL Press
Present at the Re-creation. Review article of J.N. Postgate, Early Mesopotamia: Society and Economy at the Dawn of History. Antiquity 67: 657-659
What does Archaeology have to do with Complexity Theory? synopsis of Memo to Murray Gell-Mann. Santa Fe Institute Bulletin 8/2: 20-22
1994 Historical Processes in the Prehistoric Southwest by J. Haas, R. McGuire, J. Levy, N. Yoffee, and E. Ladd. In Understanding Complexity in the Prehistoric Southwest, edited by George Gumerman and Murray Gell-Mann, pp. 203-232. Santa Fe Institute Studies in the Sciences of Complexity, vol. 16. Reading: Addison-Wesley
Memorandum to Murray Gell-Mann Concerning: The Complications of Complexity in the Prehistoric Southwest. In Understanding Complexity in the Prehistoric Southwest, edited by George Gumerman and Murray Gell-Mann, pp.341-358.
Caciques demais? (ou, textos seguros para os anos 90). Portuguese translation of "Too Many Chiefs?. In II Workshop de Métodos Arqueológicos e Gerenciamento de Bens Culturais, edited by Paul Fish and Edna Morley, pp. 1-34. Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil: 11a Coordenadoria Regional do Instituto Brasileiro do Patrimônio Cultural.
1995 A Mass in Celebration of the Conference. In The Archaeology of Society in the Holy Land, edited by Thomas E. Levy, pp. 542-548. London and New York: Leicester Academic Press/Facts on File
Political Economy of Early Mesopotamian States, Annual Review of Anthropology 24: 281-311
The Economy of Western Asia. In Civilizations of the Ancient Near East, ed. by Jack Sasson, et al., vol 3: 1387-99. New York: Scribners
1996 The State of Hohokam (with Suzanne K. Fish = first author). In Debating Complexity, edited by Daniel A. Meyer, Peter C. Dawson, and Donald T. Hanna, pp. 290-296. Proceedings of the 26th Annual Chacmool conference. Calgary, 1993.
1997 The Obvious and the Chimerical: City-States in Archaeological Perspective. In The Archaeology of City-States:Cross-cultural Approaches, edited by Deborah Nichols and Thomas Charlton, pp. 255-263. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press
Robert McCormick Adams: An Archaeological Biography. American Antiquity 62(3): 1-15. (July, 1997)
1998 Order, Legitimacy, and Wealth in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia (with John Baines). Archaic States, edited by G. Feinman and J. Marcus, pp. 199-260. Santa Fe: School of American Research
The Economics of Ritual at Late Old Babylonian Kish. Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 41: 310-343
Encyclopedias `R` Us. American Journal of Archaeology 102: 607-610 (review article)
Reprint of Perspectives on ‘Trends towards Social Complexity in Prehistoric Australia and Papua New Guinea’(1985) in Archaeology of Aboriginal Australia: A Reader edited by Tim Murray, pp. 168-181; 311-312. St. Leonards, NSW, Australia: Allen and Unwin
Comunidades, Ritualities, Chiefdoms: Social Evolution in the American Southwest and Southest and Social Evolutionary Theory (modification of paper with Suzanne Fish and George Milner--see forthcoming). Melbourne: La Trobe University Press, Bernard Bailyn Lecture no. 4 (30 pp)
Social Evolutionary Theory and Its Discontents/Teoria Social Evolucionária e seus Descontentes. Anais da VIII (1995-96) Reunio Cientifica PUCRS vol. 1: 107-126, ed. A. Kern, Porto Alegre, Brasil Comunidades, Ritualities, Chiefdoms: Social Evolution in the American Southwest and Southeast (with Suzanne Fish and George Milner). In Great Towns and Regional Polities: Cultural Evolution in the Prehistoric American Southwest and Southeast, edited by J. Neitzel, pp. 261-271. Amerind Foundation Publication. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press.
1999 Robert McCormick Adams. In Encyclopedia of Archaeology: The Great Archaeologists edited by Tim Murray, pp. 791-810. ABC-Clio, Santa Barbara (original version of article in American Antiquity 1997).
Thinking about Ethnicity in Mesopotamian Archaeology and History (with Geoff Emberling). In Fluchtpunkt Uruk: Archaeologische Einheit aus Methodologischer Vielfalt: Schriften fuer Hans J. Nissen, ed. by H. Kuehne, K. Bartl, R. Bernbeck, pp. 272-281. Rahden: Marie Leidorf Verlag
The End of the Cycle? Assessing the Impact of Hellenization on Mesopotamian Civilization (with Jane Rempel). In Munuscula Mesopotamica: Festschrift fuer Johannes Renger, edited by B. Böck, Eva Cancik-Kirschbaum, and T. Richter, pp. 385-398. AOAT 267, Muenster.
2000 Law Courts and the Mediation of Social Dispute in Ancient Mesopotamia. In Order, Legitimacy, and Wealth in Ancient States, ed. by J.E. Richards and M. Van Buren, pp. 46-63. New Directions in Archaeology, Cambridge University Press
Order, Legitimacy, and Wealth: Setting the Terms (with John Baines). In Order, Legitimacy, and Wealth in Ancient States (see above), pp. 13-17.
Revisiting the Chaco ‘Rituality’. In Australian Archaeologist: Collected Papers in Honour of Jim Allen, edited by Atholl Anderson and Tim Murray, pp. 89-101. Canberra: Coombs Academic Publishing, Australian National University
2001 The Chaco ‘Rituality’ Revisited. In Chaco Society and Polity: Papers from the 1999 Conference, edited by Linda Cordell, W. James Judge, and June-el Piper, pp. 63-78. Albuquerque: New Mexico Archaeological Council
The Evolution of Simplicity. Review article of Seeing Like a State by James Scott. Current Anthropology 42: 767-769
Aspects of Conflicts and their Management in early Mesopotamia: Comments on Prof. Selz’s paper. In Material Culture and Mental Spheres, edited by Arnulf Hausleiter, Susanne Kerner and Bernd Mueller-Neuhof, pp. 160-164. Alter Orient und Altes Testament vol. 293. Ugarit-Verlag, Muenster
T. Patrick Culbert--an Appreciation. Ancient Mesoamerica (special issue edited by Anne Pyburn) 14: 49-59
On a Recent Review. (with Marten Stol and Karel Van Lerberghe). Akkadica 124/2: 239-241
2005 State Societies, Emergence of. Berkshire Encyclopedia of World History, pp. 1774-1777.
Overview and response in Review Feature, five reviews of Myths of the Archaic State, Cambridge Archaeological Journal 15/2: 251-268
2006 Afterword: Lenses on Mississippian Leadership. Leadership and Polity in Mississippian
Society), edited by Brian Butler and Paul Welch, pp. 398-401. Carbondale: Southern
Illinois University Press.
Notes on Regeneration. In The Archaeology of Regeneration, edited by Glenn Schwartz and John J. Nichols, pp. 223-227. Tucson: University of Arizona Press
Historical Archaeology in Asia: An Introduction (with Bradley L. Crowell). In Excavating Asian History: Interdisciplinary Studies in Archaeology and History, edited by Norman Yoffee and Bradley L. Crowell, pp. 3-14. Tucson: University of Arizona Press
2008 Peering into the Palimpsest. Introduction in Negotiating the Past in the Past: Identity, Memory, and Landscape in Archaeological Theory, edited by Norman Yoffee. University of Arizona Press.
Foreward. Handbook of South American Archaeology, ed. by Helaine Silverman and
William Isbell. Springer, pp. xi-xiii
2009 Kingship, Cities, and States: Early Chinese Cities in Comparative Perspective (with Li
Min) English introduction and text in Chinese. by Jing Zhichun and Tang Jigen. Beijing: Kexue chubanshe (Science) Press王权、城市与国家：比较考古学视野中的中国早期城市 (诺曼·雅斐 李旻). Yoffee，Norman 叶斐 and Li Min 李?F 2009. Wangquan chengshi yu guojia:
bijiao gaoguxue shiye zhong de zhongguo zaoqi chengshi 王权，城市与国家：
比较考古学视野中的中国早期城市 (Kingship, cities, and states: early cities in
comparative perspective). Jing Zhichun 荆志淳, Tang Jigen 唐际根, and Ken
Takashima 高?肭? (eds.). Duowei shiyu: Shang wangchao yu zhongguo zaoqi
wenming yanjiu 多维视域：商王朝与中国早期文明研究 (Multi-dimensional horizon: research
on the Shang dynasty and the early Chinese civilization)， pp. 276-290.
Kexue chubanshe 科学出版社 (Science Publishing House), Beijing.
Making Ancient Cities Plausible. Reviews in Anthropology 38/4: 264-289
Why We Question Collapse and Study Human Resilience, Ecological Vulnerability, and the Aftermath of Empire (with Patricia McAnany). In Questioning Collapse: Human Resilience, Ecological Vulnerability, and the Aftermath of Empire, edited by Patricia McAnany and Norman Yoffee, pp. 1-20. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Collapse in Mesopotamia: What Happened, What Didn’t. In Questioning Collapse: Human Resilience, Ecological Vulnerability, and the Aftermath of Empire, edited by Patricia McAnany and Norman Yoffee, pp. 176-206. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Il collasso degli Stati arcaici mesopotamici: cos’è veramente accaduto. (In Le ragioni del cambiamento. ed. by Andrea Cardarelli, Alberto Cazzella, Marcella Frangipane, Renato Peroni). Scienze dell’ Antichità 15:85-99 (appeared 2010)
The Unbearable Lightness of Complexity. In Ancient Complexities: New Perspectives in
Unbounded Structures, Cultural Permeabilities, and the Calyx of Change: Mesopotamia
and its World. Interweaving Worlds: Systemic Interactions in Eurasia, 7th to 1st Millennia
BC, edited by T. Wilkinson, S. Sherratt, and J. Bennet, pp. 303-308. Oxbow Books
Zusammenbruch in Assyrien, Zusammenbruch in der Welt. In Assur—Gott, Stadt und Land. Fifth Colloquium of the Deutsche Orient-Gesellschaft, ed. by J. Renger, pp. 95-100. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag
L’archéologie dans les sciences humaines (co-author with Severin Fowles). Diogène 229-230. Janvier-Avril 2010: 51-77
The Meanings of Law in Ancient Mesopotamia. Wissenskultur im Alten Orient, edited by Hans Neumann, Fourth Colloquium of the Deutsche Orient-Gesellschaft.
Archaeology in the Humanities (co-author, S. Fowles). Diogenes (special issue on “The
Humanities Today.” Published in French, English, Spanish, Chinese, and Arabic by the
International Council for Philosophy and Humanistic Studies with the support of
Limits of Power. It’s Good to be King. Proceedings Chacmool 2008, ed. by
Towards a Biography of Kish: Notes on Urbanism and Comparison. Festschrift for Peter
Machinist, ed. by D. Vanderhooft and A. Winitzer. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns
Deep Pasts. In A Companion to World History, ed. by D. Northrop. Oxford and Waltham:
The Earliest Cities and the Evolution of History. (Essays for John Baines, edited by
Richard Parkinson and Elizabeth Frood)
The Evolution of Fragility: The Resistible Rise and Irresistible Fall of Early States/Die
Entwicklung der Zerbrechlichkeit: Der aufhaltsame Aufstieg und unaufschiefbare Zerfall der Fruehen Staaten. In State Formation and State Decline in the Near and Middle East: Past and Present/Staatenbildung und Staatenzerfall im Nahen und Mittleren Osten in Anike und Moderne, ed. by R. Kessler, W. Sommerfeld, L. Tramontini. Marburg
The Age of Opportunity: Social and Political Transitions in Mid-Second Millennium BC Mesopotamia, in Transition to Mitanni, ed. J. Eidem et al. Topoi Berlin.
New Territory in Archaeological Theory. In Territoriality in Archaeology, ed. by James Osborne and Parker VanValkenburgh. American Anthropological Association
Different Cities. In Making Ancient Cities: New Perspectives on the Production of Urban
Spaces, edited by Kevin D. Fisher and Andrew Creekmore.