Brett Kaufman

Profile picture for Brett Kaufman

Contact Information

4080 FLB
707 S. Mathews Ave.
Urbana, IL 61801

Office Hours

MW 4:00-5:00 pm and by appointment
Assistant Professor


Brett Kaufman joined the faculty at Illinois in 2018. He is an archaeologist specializing in the Mediterranean and Near East, ancient engineering and design, the formation and maintenance of sociopolitical hierarchy, and reconstructing ecological management strategies of ancient and historical societies. He has directed or supervised archaeological excavations in Tunisia, China, Italy, Israel, and New York. His research has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Geographic Society, and the National Natural Science Foundation of China.

He received a BA from Brandeis University, and a MA and PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles. Prior to joining UIUC Classics, he held a postdoctoral fellowship at Brown University, and a faculty appointment at the University of Science and Technology Beijing where he maintains an affiliation.

Selected publications:

2018 KaufmanBrett, Chris Kelly, and Richard S. Vachula. Paleoenvironment and Archaeology Serve as Cautionary Tales for Climate Policymakers. Geographical Bulletin 59(1): 5-24.

2018 Kaufman, Brett, Davide Zori, Aaron A. Burke, Martin Peilstöcker. Archaeometallurgical Analysis of Maritime Steel Nails from Crusader Jaffa, ca. 13th Century AD. Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry 18(2): 67-86.

2017 Kaufman, Brett. Political Economy of Carthage: The Carthaginian Constitution as Reconstructed through Archaeology, Historical Texts, and Epigraphy. In Bridging Times and Spaces: Papers in Ancient Near Eastern, Mediterranean, and Armenian Studies, Festschrift in Honour of Gregory E. Areshian on the Occasion of His Sixty-Fifth Birthday, eds. Pavel S. Avetisyan and Yervand H. Grekyan. Archaeopress, Oxford.

2016 Kaufman, Brett, Roald Docter, Christian Fischer, Fethi Chelbi, Boutheina Maraoui Telmini. Ferrous Metallurgy from the Bir Massouda Metallurgical Precinct at Phoenician and Punic Carthage and the Beginning of the North African Iron Age. Journal of Archaeological Science 71: 33-50.

2015 Kaufman, Brett, and David A. Scott. Fuel Efficiency of Ancient Copper Alloys: Theoretical Melting Thermodynamics of Copper, Tin, and Arsenical Copper and Timber Conservation in the Bronze Age Levant. Archaeometry 57(6): 1009-1024.

2013 Kaufman, Brett. Copper Alloys from the ‘Enot Shuni Cemetery and the Origins of Bronze Metallurgy in the Levant. Archaeometry 55(4): 663-690.

2011 Kaufman, Brett. Metallurgy and Ecological Change in the Ancient Near East. Backdirt: Annual Review of the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA: 86-92.

2009 Kaufman, Brett. A Citizen of Tyre in Sabratha: Colonial Identity in Punic North Africa. MAARAV: A Journal for the Study of the Northwest Semitic Languages and Literatures 16(1): 39-48.

Courses Taught

CLCV 131 - Archaeology of Greece
CLCV 220 - North Africa from Prehistory to the Arab Spring
CLCV 444 - Archaeology of Italy
SLCL 200 - Topics in Global Culture: Ancient Engineering

Additional Campus Affiliations

Assistant Professor, Materials Research Lab

Highlighted Publications

Kaufman, B., & Briant, C. L. (Eds.) (2018). Metallurgical Design and Industry: Prehistory to the Space Age. Springer International Publishing.

View all publications on Illinois Experts

Recent Publications

Kaufman, B. S., Docter, R., Scott, D. A., Chelbi, F., & Telmini, B. M. (2019). Differential access to metal wealth from colony to capital to collapse at Phoenician and Punic Carthage: non-ferrous alloys and mineral resources from the Bir Massouda site. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, 11(8), 4075-4101.

Moses, V., Kaufman, B. S., Drine, A., Barnard, H., Tahar, S. B., Jerray, E., & Daniels, M. (2019). Zooarchaeological evidence for meat consumption at Zita, Tunisia, during the Punic to Roman occupations (2nd century BCE to 3rd century CE). International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, 29(4), 549-559.

Kaufman, B. (2018). Anthropology of Metallurgical Design: A Survey of Metallurgical Traditions from Hominin Evolution to the Industrial Revolution. In B. Kaufman, & C. L. Briant (Eds.), Metallurgical Design and Industry: Prehistory to the Space Age (pp. 1-70). Springer International Publishing.

Kaufman, B. S., Zori, D., Burke, A. A., & Peilstöcker, M. (2018). Archaeometallurgical analysis of maritime steel nails from crusader Jaffa, ca. 13th century AD. Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry, 18(2), 67-86.

Kaufman, B., & Briant, C. L. (Eds.) (2018). Metallurgical Design and Industry: Prehistory to the Space Age. Springer International Publishing.

View all publications on Illinois Experts

In The News

  • Congratulations to Brett Kaufman on the publication of the edited volume Metallurgical Design and Industry: Prehistory to the Space Age (Springer 2018).