Professor Bill Finlayson


Visiting Professor

Areas of Interest:
  • Transition from hunting and gathering to farming societies
  • Fieldwork in Southern Jordan
  • Presentation of cultural heritage to the public

Key Facts:

Bill Finlayson has been the Director and CEO of the Council for British Research in the Levant since 1999, having previously managed the University of Edinburgh's applied archaeology research section. He maintains an active research career, with interests in the archaeology of early farming and the development of settled communities as well as the interpretation and presentation of cultural heritage to the public.

His major current projects include:

    • Conducting long-term research at the PPNA site of Wadi Faynan 16, from which he is currently producing a major monograph on recent AHRC funded excavations with co-directors Professor Steven Mithen and Mohammad Najjar.

    • Co-directing post-excavation analysis from the early Neolithic site of Dhra' with Ian Kuijt of Notre Dame University (USA).

    • Running an experimental, conservation and public archaeology project at the Neolithic site of Beidha with Mohammad Najjar, formerly of the Department of Antiquities and a CBRL BIA Fellow. Current work on the presentation of the site is being conducted under a MOU with the Jordanian Ministry of Tourism, the Petra Development and Tourism Regional Authority, the Department of Antiquities and Siyaha. This includes a wider programme to develop a 'Neolithic Heritage Trail' running from Wadi Faynan to Beidha, including sites being worked on by teams from Berlin, Copenhagen and Las Vegas, together with the Department of Antiquities.



2017 Finlayson, B. & Warren, G. (eds) The Diversity of Hunter-Gatherer pasts, Oxbow Books, Oxford

2015 Rollefson, G. and Finlayson, B. (eds) Jordan's Prehistory; Past and Future Research, Department of Antiquities of Jordan, Amman

2014 Finlayson, B & Makarewicz, C. (eds) Settlement, Survey and Stone. Essays on near eastern prehistory in Honour of Gary Rollefson, ex oriente, Berlin

2013 Finlayson, B & Makarewicz C. (eds) a special edition of the journal Levant "Neolithic Stereotypes: Has SW Asian Archaeology Outlived the Neolithic?" 45, 2

2013 Finlayson, B & Daher R (eds) Papers from the conference on shifting boundaries, special edition of Bulletin of the Royal Institute for Interfaith Studies , vol 13

2010 Finlayson, B & Warren, G. Changing natures: hunter-gatherers, first farmers, and the modern world, Duckworth Debates in Archaeology, Duckworth: London

2010 Chatty, D. & Finlayson, B (eds) Dispossession and displacement: forced migration in the Middle East and North Africa, British Academy Occasional papers 14, London: British Academy and Oxford University Press

2010 Finlayson, B & Warren, G. (eds) Hunters in Transition, Levant Supplementary Series. Oxford: Oxbow

2007 Finlayson, B. & S. Mithen (eds) The Early Prehistory of Wadi Faynan, Southern Jordan, Archaeological survey of Wadis Faynan, Ghuwayr and al-Bustan and evaluation of the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A site of WF16, Wadi Faynan Series Volume 1, Levant Supplementary Series Volume 4, Council for British Research in the Levant and Oxbow Books: Oxford

2005 Finlayson, B. Wild Harvesters: The first people in Scotland (2nd Edition) Birlinn Ltd with Historic Scotland, Edinburgh

1998 Finlayson, B. Wild Harvesters: the first people in Scotland, Historic Scotland/Cannongate

… and over a 100 articles, book chapters and reports. A full bibliography can be accessed on Bill's CBRL profile page

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