|Assistant Professor in the Department of Archaeology||201A|
Biography and Research Topics
I joined the department in 2023. Before that, I received my PhD in 2016 from Harvard University (Dept. of Anthropology). From 2017 through 2022, I was a lecturer in archaeology in the Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT and was a Humboldt Fellow (2018-2020) associated with the University of Kiel.
I am a zooarchaeologist interested in a range of human-animal relations in the past, including domestication, the development of taboos, animal management strategies, the value of livestock, and the ways in which livestock wealth supported the development of complex societies. I approach these broad topics using traditional zooarchaeological techniques, geometric morphometrics, and stable isotopic analysis. Although I engage with a broad anthropological approach, most of my work has focused on animal economies in the ancient Near East. I have conducted field and faunal projects in Israel, Jordan, Syria, and Iraqi Kurdistan. I am also working on faunal remains from early modern Kenya.
My book, Evolution of a Taboo (Oxford University Press, 2021) explores the long and complicated history of pigs in the cultures of the Near East from the Paleolithic to today. More recently, I have been focusing on how the management strategies of sheep, goats, cattle, and pigs evolved in concert with (and contributing to) the development and persistence of so-called "complex societies" in the Levant. This work rests on zooarchaeological datasets as well as theoretical work on the theory of value and political economies.
- Political Economy
- Animal Domestication
- Complex Societies
- Ancient Near East
- Human-Animal Relations
Available for media contact about:
- Environment and culture:
- Politicial, cultural, social history:
- World perspectives & techniques:
- Max D. Price (2021). Evolution of a Taboo: Pigs and People in the Ancient Near East. Oxford University Press.
Chapter in book
- Price, Max (2022). Food and Israelite Identity. In T&T Clark Handbook of Food in the Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel. 423.
- Price, Max (2021). Pigs in Between: Pig Husbandry in the Late Neolithic in Northern Mesopotamia. In Archaeozoology of Southwest Asia and Adjacent Areas XIII. Lockwood Press. 23.
- Corcoran-Tadd, Noa, Price, Max & Caramanica, Ari (2023). The Political Economy of Livestock in Early States. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 33(1): 119.
- Price, Max, Meier, Jacqueline & Arbuckle, Benjamin (2021). Canine Economies of the Ancient Near East and Eastern Mediterranean. Journal of Field Archaeology 46(2): 81.
- Price, Max, Fisher, Michael & Stein, Gil (2021). Animal Production and Secondary Products in the Fifth Millennium BC in northern Mesopotamia. Paléorient (47-2): 9.
- Price, Max & Hongo, Hitomi (2020). The Archaeology of Pig Domestication in Eurasia. Journal of Archaeological Research 28(4): 557.
- Price, Max, Rowan, Yorke M., Kersel, Morag M. & Makarewicz, Cheryl A. (2020). Fodder, pasture, and the development of complex society in the Chalcolithic: isotopic perspectives on animal husbandry at Marj Rabba. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences 12(4).
- Price, Max D. & Evin, Allowen (2019). Long-term morphological changes and evolving human-pig relations in the northern Fertile Crescent from 11,000 to 2000 cal. bc. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences 11(1): 237.
- M.D. Price, C.A. Makarewicz and M.S. Chesson (2018). Domestic Animal Production and Consumption at Tall al-Handaquq South (Jordan) in the Early Bronze III. Paléorient
- Wolfhagen, Jesse & Price, Max D. (2017). A probabilistic model for distinguishing between sheep and goat postcranial remains. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 12: 625.
- Price, Max, Grossman, Kathryn & Paulette, Tate (2017). Pigs and the pastoral bias: The other animal economy in northern Mesopotamia (3000–2000 BCE). Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 48: 46.
- Price, Max D., Hill, Austin C., Rowan, Yorke M. & Kersel, Morag M. (2016). Gazelles, Liminality, and Chalcolithic Ritual: A Case Study from Marj Rabba, Israel. Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 376: 7.
- Price, Max, Wolfhagen, Jesse & Otárola-Castillo, Erik (2016). Confidence Intervals in the Analysis of Mortality and Survivorship Curves in Zooarchaeology. American Antiquity 81(1): 157.
- Price, M. D., Buckley, M., Kersel, M. & Rowan, Y. M. (2013). Animal Management Strategies during the Chalcolithic in the Lower Galilee: New Data from Marj Rabba. Paléorient
- Price, M. D. & Arbuckle, B. S. (2013). Early Pig Management in the Zagros Flanks: Reanalysis of the Fauna from Neolithic Jarmo, Northern Iraq. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 25(4): 441.