Gil Stein’s main research interests focus on the development of early civilizations in the ancient Near East and the archaeology of the region. He has conducted research on the economic organization of state societies, the preservation of cultural and archaeological heritage, ancient colonial networks, craft specialization, Neolithic subsistence systems, and zooarchaeology. He has led field projects of excavation, survey, and museum work in Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
He is currently directing excavations of the Chalcolithic mound of Surezha in the Erbil Governate, Kurdistan region, Northern Iraq, a project begun in 2013. Since 2012, he has been director of the Oriental Institute’s large-scale projects of cultural heritage preservation in Afghanistan, supported by grants from the U.S. Department of State through the American Embassy in Kabul, and carried out in collaboration with the National Museum of Afghanistan and the Afghan Institute of Archaeology. The OI’s ongoing efforts focus on developing a well-trained, well equipped cohort of Afghan professionals who will be responsible for the stewardship of the unique historical treasures of their rich history of civilization.
Prof. Stein has written over 50 journal articles, book chapters, and reviews; including the book Rethinking World Systems: Diasporas, Colonies, and Interaction in Uruk Mesopotamia; and the edited volumes The Archaeology of Colonial Encounters: Comparative Perspectives and Preserving the Cultural Heritage of Afghanistan.