YOFFEE, NORMAN / Anthropology / Researchers

International Center for Scientific Research


Anthropology / YOFFEE, NORMAN



Professor Emeritus at the Department of Near Eastern Studies, Department of Anthropology,University of Michigan, USA.

Senior Fellow, Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New-York University.

Editor, Cambridge World Archaeology

Research interests

Assyriology: Mesopotamian culture, languages, history; Near Eastern archaeology: late prehistoric and early historic periods; comparative early civilizations; legal anthropology

Major Grants and 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



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 Kish

Edited Volumes:

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 Empire (co-edited with Patricia McAnany). Cambridge University Press


A World with Cities. Vol. 3, Cambridge History of the World.


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???????????????????????? (??·??? ??). Yoffee?Norman ?? and Li Min ??F 2009. Wangquan chengshi yu guojia: bijiao gaoguxue shiye zhong de zhongguo zaoqi chengshi ???????????????????????? (Kingship, cities, and states: early cities in comparative perspective). Jing Zhichun ???, Tang Jigen ???, and Ken Takashima ???? (eds.). Duowei shiyu: Shang wangchao yu zhongguo zaoqi wenming yanjiu ????????????????? (Multi-dimensional horizon: research on the Shang dynasty and the early Chinese civilization)? pp. 276-290.
Kexue chubanshe ????? (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 Precolumbian North America, ed. by Susan Alt, pp. 220-225. University of Utah Press

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

In press/Forthcoming:

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 UNESCO)

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: Blackwell

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.

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