Dr. Antti Lahelma (PhD, University of Helsinki) is vice-director of the Centre of Excellence in Ancient Near Eastern Empires and leader of Team 3.

Lahelma holds a docentship in Archaeology from the University of Helsinki and is a Senior Lecturer in archaeology there. His core expertise lies in the study of prehistoric identity, cultural production, and worldview, and his dissertation on Finnish rock art, A Touch of Red (2008), remains a landmark work on the subject, used as a textbook in several Scandinavian universities. Since 2012, he is the editor-in-chief of Fennoscandia Archaeologica, the leading peer-reviewed journal on the archaeology of northernmost Europe.

Between 1998 and 2007, Lahelma served as one of the chief archaeologists of the Finnish Jabal Hārūn Project, spending eight field seasons excavating a Nabataean/Byzantine religious complex in Petra, Jordan, as well as contributing major chapters to the project’s final publications (Petra – the Mountain of Aaron, Vols. I and II). He thus has excellent knowledge of the local conditions for conducting fieldwork in Jordan. He also has experience in the museum and heritage sector. Lahelma has worked for regional Finnish museums, the Finnish National Heritage Board, and the National Museum of Finland; the latter of which recently (spring 2016) commissioned him to produce a manuscript for the new permanent archaeology exhibit.

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Dr. Rick Bonnie (PhD, University of Leuven) is vice-leader of ANEE's Team 3. He also serves as a postdoctoral researcher in the ongoing Centre of Excellence: Changes in Sacred Texts and Traditions in Helsinki's Faculty of Theology.

Bonnie's research focuses primarily on the archaeology of the Greco-Roman Near East, with a special focus on urbanism, identity construction, materiality and ritualization. He has a keen interest in questions relating to how the Roman Empire created new dimensions of ‘cultural mobility’ and how this affected local cultural practices and self-representation in the empire. Bonnie also has research interests in community archaeology, heritage crime and open science.

Currently, his research focuses on investigating private and communal religious practices in Galilee during the Late Second Temple-period (c. 100 BCE–70 CE) through two archaeological features: stepped pools and communal synagogue structures.

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Prof. Suzie Thomas completed a PhD in Heritage Studies at Newcastle University, UK. In 2018, Thomas is Professor of Cultural Heritage Studies at the University of Helsinki, usually working as University Lecturer in Museum Studies. She is interested in community heritage, museum studies and issues around difficult and contested heritage. She is currently PI of the Academy of Finland project “SuALT: The Finnish Archaeological Finds Recording Linked Open Database”. She also works on the Helsinki Future Fund project “Working with Cultural Objects and Manuscripts”. Before moving to Helsinki, Suzie was Community Archaeology Support Officer at the Council for British Archaeology and then a Research Associate at the University of Glasgow.

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Dr Elisabeth Holmqvist-Sipilä holds a PhD in archaeological materials science (Institute of Archaeology, University College London), and MA and BA degrees in archaeology (University of Helsinki). Her research focuses on ancient craft technologies and geochemical characterisation of archaeological materials, particularly questions related to movement of people and goods, and adaptation and transfer of cultural traditions. She has worked at the University of Helsinki since 2012, e.g. as a Helsinki Collegium of Advanced Studies Core Fellow (2018–2020), senior lecturer (2016–2017) and Academy of Finland postdoctoral fellow (2012–2015). She is currently involved in archaeological research projects in Finland, Israel and Jordan. She has served as the ceramic analyst for the Jabal Hārūn excavations in Petra (2002–2007). In ANEE Team 3, she is responsible for the materials science analysis of the archaeological materials.

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Dr. Paula Kouki's (PhD, University of Helsinki) specialties are interdisciplinary work between archaeology and sciences (geology, geography) and archaeological surveys. Her dissertation (2012) was about the rural settlement in the Petra region from the Nabatean through the Late Byzantine period. She also has a minor in geology and an MA in landscape studies from the University of Leicester, UK (2004). Kouki participated in the Finnish Jabal Harun Project as a member and later as a vice-leader of the archaeological survey team in 1999-2013. Currently, Kouki is involved in the Holocene Environmental Change in Southern Levant project, directed by Dr. Bernhard Lucke (Friedrich Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg). Kouki is also an active expert in participatory archaeology and museum work. In her published articles, she has concentrated mainly on the archaeology of Jordan (e.g. together with Prof. Mika Lavento and Prof. em. Jaakko Frösén, she was the main editor of the FJHP survey publication, Petra: The Mountain of Aaron. The Archaeological Survey [2013]).

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Heidi Kovanen has a master’s degree in Archaeology (University of Helsinki, 2017) with minor
studies in Classical Archaeology, Art History and Museology. She wrote her master’s thesis on
social space and its formation in Finnish Medieval castles and has since then continued on the
subject with Roman funerary material. Her current research and doctoral dissertation is
concentrating on gender identities in the Ancient Near East with a long-term perspective on how
people perceived and displayed gender in death. In ANEE Heidi will be working closely with
research teams 1 and 3 and contributing on her part on the study of Jordanian archaeological
material.

 

Dr. Marta Lorenzon's (PhD in Archaeology, University of Edinburgh) doctoral research aimed at developing an interdisciplinary methodology in the study of Minoan earthen architecture, combining geoarchaeology, ethnoarchaeology and architectural analysis. Since 2005 she has worked in the Mediterranean region, in the Americas and Asia with a research focus in earthen architecture, knowledge of production, conflict archaeology and identity construction. Her core expertises lie in the archaeology of architecture, Near Eastern archaeology, geo-ethnoarchaeology, and community archeology. Currently, Lorenzon's research concentrates primarily on Mediterranean archaeology with a special focus on the built environment, material culture and decolonization of archaeology. She has extensive fieldwork experience in the Mediterranean region (Syria, Greece, Egypt, Spain, Italy, Israel and Cyprus), where she has been pursuing questions related to the process of identity creation in ancient and modern times, the relationship between natural and built environment and public engagement in archaeology.

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Dr. Päivi Miettunen holds a PhD in Middle Eastern studies from the University of Helsinki. Currently, she lives in Beirut and works as a researcher and coordinator in the Finnish Institute in the Middle East. Her postdoctoral research project focuses on information practices and identity building in tribal communities.  In 2016, she worked as a visiting researcher in the Center for Middle Eastern Studies in Lund University, focusing especially on information sharing and representations of tribal identities in social media. Her doctoral dissertation was a case study of holy sites in Southern Jordan. Miettunen spent several months among the Bedouin in the region, collecting data about the various sites and observing their social and religious functions. This project was a direct continuation from her MA thesis, in which she focused on the site of Aaron’s mountain near Petra. Miettunen was a member of the Finnish Jabal Haroun Project between 2000-2007. Through her ethnographic research, Miettunen has gained extensive knowledge of the Jordanian society and tribal communities. She is interested in the processes of community engagement through information sharing and collaboration.

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