Headshot of Levent Atici

Levent Atici

Associate Professor, Graduate Coordinator
Department(s): Anthropology
Office: WRI-B 113
Phone: 702-895-5237
Fax: 702-895-4823
Email: levent.atici@unlv.edu


Levent Atici is an anthropologically trained archaeologist in the Department of Anthropology at UNLV. His technical expertise is zooarchaeology, the study of hard animal tissues such as bones, teeth, antlers, horn cores, and shells excavated from archaeological sites.

After receiving his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2007, Atici joined UNLV as an assistant professor in the same year. He founded the UNLV Zooarchaeology Laboratory in 2009 and established large collections of modern and archaeological animal bones for research and teaching purposes.

Atici’s research focuses on two greatest progressive revolutions that humankind has ever experienced: the Neolithic Revolution, transitioning from hunting and gathering to farming, and the Urban Revolution, the process by which small-scale, agricultural societies developed into socio-politically and economically complex urban centers.  He considers these different strategies as phenomena on a continuum and seeks to bridge the behavioral gaps between these special adaptations in terms of correlating patterns of sociopolitical organization and animal exploitation.

Atici has published extensively on animal economies of last hunter-gatherers and first farmers of the Near East, and urban food provisioning in Central Anatolia (present-day Turkey) during the Bronze Age. He has more recently been awarded two prestigious and competitive external grants from the Wenner-Gren Foundation and National Geographic Society for his ongoing work on food provisioning systems in early cities and states with a special emphasis on the relationships between food and ethnicity.

Atici is currently affiliated with three significant archaeological research projects in Turkey. He serves as assistant director at the celebrated urban center Kültepe-Kanesh in Central Turkey and principal zooarchaeologist for Kaman-Kalehoyuk and Ugurlu Hoyuk. Atici regularly teaches archaeology and zooarchaeology summer field schools in Turkey.


Ph.D. : Harvard University, 2007

Research Interests

Archaeology, prehistoric foraging economies, origins of agriculture, origins of inequalities, urbanization and state formation, evolution of pastoral economies, ancient trade, food and ethnicity, zooarchaeology and taphonomy, Eastern Mediterranean, Near East, Turkey.

Courses Taught

COLA 100 - Feast and Famine in a Global World
ANTH 101 - Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
ANTH 102 - Introduction to Physical Anthropology
ANTH 105 - Introduction to World Archaeology
ANTH 331 - A Global Crisis: Food, Human Health, and Climate
ANTH 441c/641c - Peoples and Cultures of Ancient Near East
ANTH 449d/649d - Zooarchaeology Laboratory
ANTH 458/658 - Origins of Inequality: A Cross-Cultural Perspective
ANTH 751 - Food Provisioning in Complex Societies
ANTH 751 - Taphonomy Seminar
ANTH 751 - Computer Applications for Anthropologists