Scott Branting
University of Central Florida
Scott Branting is an archaeologist with specializations in the ancient Near East and geospatial science. He holds advanced degrees in archaeology and geography from the University at Buffalo and the University of Chicago. For ten years he served as the Director of the Center for Middle Eastern Landscapes (CAMEL) at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. Scott is also involved in using satellite images to monitor cultural heritage sites from space, and has worked on archaeological projects around the world.



Joseph W. Lehner

University of Sydney

Joseph Lehner is an anthropological archaeologist who specializes in early state societies of the Old World. He received his PhD in archaeology at the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA (2015), and he focuses on methods and theory in human cooperation, political economy, social organization, and ancient technologies. His work develops methods in geochemistry, materials science, and artifact analysis to understand the flow of materials and technologies. He is currently an Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow at the University of Sydney. Joseph was an Alexander von Humboldt Chancellor Fellow from 2012-2013 at Tübingen University and a Senior Fellow at the Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations at Koç University. Joseph has worked at Kerkenes since 2006.

Associate Director


Sevil Baltalı Tırpan

Istanbul Technical University

Sevil Baltalı Tırpan received her M.A in Near Eastern Archaeology from the University of Chicago and PhD in Anthropology from the University of Virginia. She is now an assistant professor in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at Istanbul Technical University. She worked on the topics of architecture and symbolism and the anthropology of houses and ritual spaces. Trained both in archaeology and anthropology, her areas of most recent research explores the topics of politics of the past, heritage and culture, local perceptions of the past, impact of archaeological praxis on local people, ethnography of archaeology, space/place, memory, materiality and time.  Along those interests she organized (with Aybil Goker) an international conference entitled, “Materiality, Memory and Cultural Heritage” in 2011 sponsored by Tübitak, Istanbul Technical and Yeditepe Universities. She has been conducting traditional and digital ethnographic field work on the local perceptions and representations of the past and place in Şahmuratlı village in Yozgat, Turkey.

Assistant Directors


Dominique Langis-Barsetti

University of Toronto

Dominique Langis-Barsetti is a senior archaeology PhD student at the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations at the University of Toronto. She is an active researcher at the CRANE Project, and she specialises in geophysics, remote sensing, computational methods, modeling, and ancient urbanism. Langis-Barsetti has been an active member of the Kerkenes Project since 2010.


Tuna Kalaycı

FORTH Institute of Mediterranean Studies

Tuna Kalaycı is a remote sensing archaeologist working on Near Eastern and Mediterranean landscapes. Currently, he is a post-doctoral researcher at the Institute for Mediterranean Studies in Greece. He holds statistics and archaeology degrees from Middle East Technical University and the University of Arkansas. His interests include sensor data integration, geophysical prospection, production landscapes, and landscapes of movement. Tuna participated in numerous projects, such as the “CORONA Digital Atlas of the Middle East”, “Innovative Geophysical Approaches for the Study of Early Agricultural Villages of Neolithic Thessaly, Greece”, and “Settlement Systems for Environmental Change in the Northern Fertile Crescent".

Senior Researchers


Nilüfer Baturayoğlu Yöney

Architectural Documentation and Preservation Coordinator

Abdullah Gül University

Nilüfer is a preservation architect specializing in archaeological survey, documentation and preservation methods, heritage management, and the history, characterization, and conservation of building materials and technologies. Prior to becoming an associate professor at AGU, she worked at Istanbul Technical University, where she received her PhD. In addition to working at numerous archaeological sites in Turkey, she has been a member of the Kerkenes Team since 1993. She has documented most of the structures at Kerkenes and acted as the architectural consultant for the restoration project at the Cappadocia Gate.


John M. Marston

Boston University

John M. Marston is an environmental archaeologist who studies the long-term sustainability of agriculture and land use in the Mediterranean and western Asia. His research focuses on the environmental signatures of empire and climate-change adaptation in the ancient Near East. A specialist in paleoethnobotany, the study of archaeological plant remains, Marston’s contributions to the field include novel ways of linking ecological theory with archaeological methods to reconstruct agricultural and land-use strategies from plant and animal remains. Marston has worked with the Kerkenes project since 2010, where he focuses on the recovery and analysis of botanical remains from the site, with the goal of reconstructing household-level variability in agriculture and land use. Marston is the Director of the Environmental Archaeology Laboratory at Boston University.

Sarah Graff

Barrett, The Honors College

Arizona State University

Sarah R. Graff is an archaeologist who received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Chicago in 2006. Her research examines social interactions, especially in the context of the production, exchange and consumption of ceramic containers. She analyzes ceramic production techniques and ceramic use, such as ceramics used for cooking and food preparation, in context. Methodologically she uses petrographic analysis to learn more about production techniques. Sarah has worked on archaeological projects in Syria, Turkey, and Oman, including projects she designed, funded, and directed. She was a Harper-Schmidt Fellow at The University of Chicago and held an American Association of University Women (AAUW) Post-Doctoral Fellowship before joining the faculty at Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University.

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Lucas Proctor

University of Connecticut

Lucas is a PhD student in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Connecticut, specializing in archaeobotany and the archaeology of the ancient Near East. His doctoral research focuses on plant-based and environmental approaches to agricultural and fuel economies in early polities. In addition to Kerkenes, Lucas currently works as an archaeobotanist on several archaeological expeditions in Turkey, Iraqi Kurdistan, and Azerbaijan.

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Canan Çakırlar-Oddens

Groningen University

Canan is the senior zooarchaeologist of the project and the director of the zooarchaeology lab of the Institute of Archaeology at Groningen University, Institute of Archaeology. Her research interests include the dispersal and development of husbandry technologies, management of aquatic resources, climatic fluctuations and societal change, provisioning of state-level societies, and human impact on Holocene zoogeography. Her previous studies in western Turkey have focused on Ulucak, Yenibademli, and Troy.  For more information, please visit her academic profile and the Archaeozoology Laboratory at Groningen University.


Burak Asiliskender

Architectural Design Coordinator

Abdullah Gül University

Burak is an architect specializing in design and new buildings in historic environments. He is an associate professor and the head of the School of Architecture at AGU. He received his PhD from Istanbul Technical University. Currently he is in charge of designing new buildings such as visitors’ centers, excavation houses and museums at various archaeological sites.

Official Site Guard

Mehmet Erciyas