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Dr Brenna Hassett
Dr Brenna Hassett profile picture
  • Research Associate
  • Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
  • Institute of Archaeology
  • Faculty of S&HS
Research Summary
Brenna is Research Co-Investigator on the AHRC-funded project 'Radical Death and Early State Formation in the Ancient Near East' (2018-2022):

Excavations at the site of Başur Höyük in northern Mesopotamia (modern-day Siirt Province, Turkey) have revealed an Early Bronze Age (3100-2900 cal. BC) cemetery of elite burials, with bundles of bronze spears, thousands of beads, and other high value items. These elite burials are constructed immediately after the collapse of the larger regional network of southern Mesopotamian Uruk culture in the last century of the 4th millennium. Başur provides a unique opportunity to investigate the effects of the Uruk collapse and subsequent development of early states on a local community, and to understand their response to the withdrawal of a larger regional power. This project will look at the evidence of how the people of Başur lived using stable isotopes (in conjunction with the international Co-I, Suzanne Pilaar Birch) and aDNA (in conjunction with Ian Barnes and Selina Brace of the Natural History Museum) to investigate geographic origin, mobility, and diet alongside studying evidence of disease and hardship in childhood to understand the lives of the individuals in both elite and sacrificial burial contexts, and finally to start to unpick the geographic and hierarchical relationships at work in the period preceding the first states.
Academic Background
2004   Master of Arts University College London
2002   Bachelor of Arts University of California
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