Gil J. Stein is Director of the Oriental Institute and Professor of Near Eastern Archaeology in the department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago. He received his BA from Yale University in 1978 and his PhD in Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1988. He has excavated and surveyed in Arizona, New Mexico, Turkey, and Syria. His main research interests focus on the development of early urbanism and complex societies in the Near East, zooarchaeology, inter-regional interaction, economic systems, and the archaeology of ancient colonies. He has written over 50 journal articles, book chapters, and reviews, and the book Rethinking World Systems: Diasporas, Colonies, and Interaction in Uruk Mesopotamia, and the edited volume The Archaeology of Colonial Encounters – Comparative Perspectives. From 1992-1997 he directed excavations at the 4th millennium BC site of Hacinebi in the Euphrates valley of southeast Turkey, where an Uruk trading enclave was established inside a local Late Chalcolithic Anatolian settlement. From 2008-2010 he directed the Oriental Institute’s excavations at the prehistoric 6th-5th millennium BC site of Tell Zeidan in the Euphrates Valley, Syria in a project focused on the Ubaid period and the emergence of social complexity in North Syria/Upper Mesopotamia. Starting in 2013, he is currently directing excavations of the Chalcolithic mound of Surezha in the Erbil Governate, Kurdistan region, Northern Iraq.