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.