Müge Ergun is an archaeologist and archaeobotanist who holds a PhD from Istanbul University Department of Prehistory and Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University Doctoral School of Archaeology (co-tutelle, 2016), and an MA from Istanbul University Department of Prehistory (2009). Her research focuses on people-plant interactions, plant-based activities in daily and seasonal routines, and their effects on the economical and socio-cultural lives of communities, with a special interest in the beginnings of agriculture and domestication process in Southwest Asia. Her recent research concentrates on the identification of the communal and household-based activities in an Aceramic site, Aşıklı Höyük (mid-9th millennium–late 8th millennium cal. BC) in central Anatolia, by comparing buildings that reflect communal or special uses with buildings representing more household aspects on the basis of food preparation and consumption activities.
Hannah Lau is an anthropological archaeologist whose research uses zooarchaeological and isotopic data to examine the relationship between ancient peoples’ animal management practices, the environment, and sociopolitical complexity. Her research focuses on the Near East and the South Caucasus. She received her PhD in Archaeology from UCLA (2016) where her work documented social and economic cooperation and coordination in agropastoral production among inhabitants at the Halaf period site of Domuztepe (ca. 6000–5450 BCE) in southeastern Turkey. She examined ancient peoples’ animal management practices in both daily subsistence activities and large-scale communal feasting events and the implications such practices had for emergent social complexity during the late Neolithic. Her recent research includes a comparative project aimed at contextualizing the trends in agropoastoral cooperation and movement she identified at Domuztepe within the larger Halaf cultural sphere. Among her other fieldwork experiences Dr. Lau has worked in Azerbaijan since 2009 with the Naxçıvan Archaeological Project. She is a co-director of the Lerik Azerbaijan-America Project, which focuses on late Iron Age communities in southeastern Azerbaijan.