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Brett Sanford Kaufman

Profile picture for Brett Sanford Kaufman

Contact Information

4080 FLB
707 S. Mathews Ave.
Urbana, IL 61801

Assistant Professor, Classics


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 where he maintains an affiliation.

Selected publications:

2018 KaufmanBrett, Chris Kelly, and Richard S. Vachula. Paleoenvironment and Archaeology Serve as Cautionary Tales for Climate Policymakers. Geographical Bulletin 59(1): 5-24.

2018 Kaufman, Brett, Davide Zori, Aaron A. Burke, Martin Peilstöcker. Archaeometallurgical Analysis of Maritime Steel Nails from Crusader Jaffa, ca. 13th Century AD. Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry 18(2): 67-86.

2017 Kaufman, Brett. Political Economy of Carthage: The Carthaginian Constitution as Reconstructed through Archaeology, Historical Texts, and Epigraphy. In Bridging Times and Spaces: Papers in Ancient Near Eastern, Mediterranean, and Armenian Studies, Festschrift in Honour of Gregory E. Areshian on the Occasion of His Sixty-Fifth Birthday, eds. Pavel S. Avetisyan and Yervand H. Grekyan. Archaeopress, Oxford.

2016 Kaufman, Brett, Roald Docter, Christian Fischer, Fethi Chelbi, Boutheina Maraoui Telmini. Ferrous Metallurgy from the Bir Massouda Metallurgical Precinct at Phoenician and Punic Carthage and the Beginning of the North African Iron Age. Journal of Archaeological Science 71: 33-50.

2015 Kaufman, Brett, and David A. Scott. Fuel Efficiency of Ancient Copper Alloys: Theoretical Melting Thermodynamics of Copper, Tin, and Arsenical Copper and Timber Conservation in the Bronze Age Levant. Archaeometry 57(6): 1009-1024.

2013 Kaufman, Brett. Copper Alloys from the ‘Enot Shuni Cemetery and the Origins of Bronze Metallurgy in the Levant. Archaeometry 55(4): 663-690.

2011 Kaufman, Brett. Metallurgy and Ecological Change in the Ancient Near East. Backdirt: Annual Review of the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA: 86-92.

2009 Kaufman, Brett. A Citizen of Tyre in Sabratha: Colonial Identity in Punic North Africa. MAARAV: A Journal for the Study of the Northwest Semitic Languages and Literatures 16(1): 39-48.

Courses Taught

CLCV 131 - Archaeology of Greece
CLCV 220 - North Africa from Prehistory to the Arab Spring
CLCV 444 - Archaeology of Italy
SLCL 200 - Topics in Global Culture: Ancient Engineering

Additional Campus Affiliations

Assistant Professor, Classics
Assistant Professor, Anthropology
Assistant Professor, Materials Research Lab
Assistant Professor, Program in Medieval Studies
Assistant Professor, Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies

Highlighted Publications

Kaufman, B., & Briant, C. L. (Eds.) (2018). Metallurgical Design and Industry: Prehistory to the Space Age. Springer.

View all publications on Illinois Experts

Recent Publications

Sun, Z., Liu, S., Zhang, J., Chen, K., & Kaufman, B. (2023). Resolving the complex mixing history of ancient Chinese bronzes by Manifold Learning and a Bayesian Mixing Model. Journal of Archaeological Science, 151, Article 105728.

Berger, E., Brunson, K., Kaufman, B., Lee, G. A., Liu, X., Sebillaud, P., Storozum, M., Barton, L., Eng, J., Feinman, G., Flad, R., Garvie-Lok, S., Hrivnyak, M., Lander, B., Merrett, D. C., & Ye, W. (2021). Human adaptation to Holocene environments: Perspectives and promise from China. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, 63, Article 101326.

Chattopadhyay, A., & Kaufman, B. (2021). Archimedean Principles and Mathematical Heritage: A Synthesis. Axiomathes, 31(2), 145-155.

Kaufman, B., Barnard, H., Drine, A., Khedher, R., Farahani, A., Tahar, S. B., Jerray, E., Damiata, B. N., Daniels, M., Cerezo-Román, J., Fenn, T., & Moses, V. (2021). Quantifying surplus and sustainability in the archaeological record at the carthaginian-roman urban mound of zita, tripolitania. Current Anthropology, 62(4), 485-497.

Johnston, P. A., & Kaufman, B. (2019). Metallurgy and other Technologies. In B. R. Doak, & C. López-Ruiz (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of the Phoenician and Punic Mediterranean (pp. 400-422). Oxford University Press.

View all publications on Illinois Experts