Lynn Welton

Assistant Professor of Near Eastern Archaeology (CLTA)
Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, 4 Bancroft Avenue, Room 420, Toronto, ON, M5S 1C1


Fields of Study

Areas of Interest

  • Human-environment interaction, complex socio-ecological systems, agent-based modelling, climate modelling, land use, agricultural productivity
  • Isotopic analysis (strontium, carbon, oxygen), mobility, migration, herding practices, landscape exploitation
  • Archaeological data analysis and visualization, GIS, spatial analysis
  • Petrographic analysis of ceramics
  • Rise of urbanism and social complexity
  • The Levant and Anatolia in the Chalcolithic, Bronze and Iron Ages
  • State formation in the Horn of Africa


Professor Welton received her PhD in Near Eastern Archaeology from the University of Toronto, and has twenty years of field experience, having worked in Turkey, Jordan, Iraq, Iran and Ethiopia. Geographically, she focuses primarily on the Levant and Anatolia, especially on the Late Chalcolithic, Early Bronze Age and Early Iron Age, having published extensively on materials from the Amuq Plain in southern Turkey as part of her long-term involvement with the Tayinat Archaeological Project. During her recently completed Marie Curie fellowship at Durham University, she used isotopic analysis of animal skeletal remains to investigate the role of pastoral mobility in the rise of complex societies in the Jordan Valley and western Syria during the 5th-3rd millennia BCE.

Lynn’s recent work as part of the CRANE Project reconstructs human-environment interaction using a combination of agent-based modelling and climate modelling. Consequently, she has been collaborating with researchers in the Physics Department to implement global climate models and dynamically downscaled regional climate models to examine past climate variability. In addition to ongoing research into agricultural productivity and land use in the ancient Near East, she uses agent-based modelling to evaluate agricultural strategies and decision-making as responses to climate change.


PhD, University of Toronto