Section Head, Social Sciences & Humanities

Dr. Valentina Azzarà

Valentina holds a PhD in Archaeology-Ethnography-Prehistory from Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University. As an archaeologist, she delves into Middle Eastern non-urban societies that developed in harsh environments. During her PhD, she used spatial analysis to study the conception, construction, function and social value of the built environment in prehistoric Eastern Arabia. She was then a postdoctoral fellow at the CNRS UMR 7041, and she joined the Leiden University Faculty of Archaeology in 2018, after obtaining a Marie Sklodowska-Curie fellowship, during which she specialised in the mineralogy and geochemistry of earth building materials. Between 2016 and 2020, she also led a program of study and publication of the 30-years French-Italian excavations at Ras al Jinz (Oman), funded by the Harvard White-Levy programme for Archaeological Publications. During the same period, she was one of the subproject coordinators in the NeoArabia research programme (French ANR), an interdisciplinary and multiscalar project integrating cutting-edge methods – from paleo-environmental analyses to remote sensing – to reconstruct Neolithic and Bronze Age socio-ecological systems. 

As a member of different archaeological projects, she directed/codirected field works in Oman, Egypt, Tunisia, Turkmenistan; for many of these projects, she designed intra-site and inter-site GIS. Since 2017, she codirects an expedition in coastal Oman, for which she was awarded a grant of the National Geographic Society. In Oman, she also cofounded and co-directs an international field school (BA/MA program) in archaeology. Besides, she was a curator and consultant for different institutions and governmental bodies, and worked at Tilburg University as grant acquisition support.  

In 2021, she joined the eScience Center as Section Head in the Social Sciences and Humanities.  

Key skills:

  • GIS/Spatial Analysis 
  • Petrography/Geochemistry 
  • Teaching/Training