Ohio State nav bar

Joy McCorriston

image of Joy McCorriston

Joy McCorriston



Areas of Expertise

  • Near East, Archaeology; Prehistory; South Arabia and Indian Ocean exchange; Early development of agricultural landscapes: Socio-ecological systems: Archaeobotany 


  • Ph.D. Yale University, 1992
  • M. Phil. Yale University, 1988
  • B.A. in Archaeology at The Institute of Archaeology, University of London, 1985 

Professor of Anthropology (Archaeology), Joan N. Huber Faculty Fellow, and Director of the Middle East Studies Center at The Ohio State University, Joy McCorriston received her undergraduate degree (BA) at the University of London Institute of Archaeology (1985) and her PhD from Yale University (1992). She completed postdoctoral research at the Smithsonian Institution before beginning as Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota (1995-1999). McCorriston has received more than $4,500,000 in grants and fellowships to support archaeological fieldwork and research in the Middle East. Her early career focused on archaeobotanical methods to study the development and specialization of agricultural systems in Northern Mesopotamia with the emergence of complex urban and rural societies. In 1996, she shifted her emphasis to the study of South Arabian landscapes, with major research projects in Hadramawt, Yemen and Dhofar, Oman. Through multi-disciplinary approaches, including her own skills in archaeobotany, archaeological survey, and excavation, her teams have documented the earliest domesticated livestock in Arabia; a distinctive South Arabian Neolithic tradition of cattle pastoralism and pilgrimage; the earliest water management in Southern Arabia; distinct episodes of monument construction in desert landscapes; and a resilient pastoral adaptation to changing environments. Her publications include four books: Pilgrimage & Household in the Ancient Near East (Cambridge University Press 2011), Landscape History of Hadramawt (with Michael Harrower) (Cotsen Institute of Archaeology UCLA 2020), Persistent Pastoralism (Archaeopress & Ministry of Heritage & Tourism, Sultanate of Oman 2023), and an archaeology textbook, World Prehistory & the Anthropocene (with Julie Field) (Thames & Hudson 2019). She has also published and co-authored numerous articles, including in American Anthropologist (2012, 1991) and Current Anthropology (2013, 1997). McCorriston is proud of her role in training and mentoring junior scholars through fieldwork, collaboration, and teaching. In her archaeological and personal career, she is passionate about social justice at home and abroad.  

Courses Taught at OSU:  Archaeology of the Ancient Near East, Archaeology of the Holy Land, Contemporary Perspectives on the Ancient Near East 


  • Persistent Pastoralism: Monuments and Settlements in the Archaeology of Dhofar. Archeopress (2023);
  • 2020 Landscape History of Hadramawt. (edited with Michael Harrower). Cotsen Institute Press, UCLA; 2019 World Prehistory in the Anthropocene. (With Julie Field)  Thames & Hudson;
  • 2011 Pilgrimage and Household in the Ancient Near East. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.  

Major Peer-reviewed Articles:

  • 2020 McCorriston, Joy, Abigail Buffington, Kyle Olson, Louise Martin, Wael Abu-Azizeh, Timothy Everhart, Ali Al Maashani, Ali Ahmad Al Kathiri, and Ali Al Mehri.  Ancient Pastoral Settlement in The Dhofar Mountains:  Archaeological Excavations at Shakil and Halqoot. Journal of Oman Studies 21: 152-171;
  • 2020 Crassard. Rémy, Vincent Charpentier, Joy McCorriston, Jeremie Vosges, Soufiane Bouzid and Michael D. Petraglia. Fluted-point technology in Neolithic Arabia: An independent invention far from the Americas PLOS ONE 15(8): e0236314;
  • 2013 McCorriston, Joy Pastoralism and Pilgrimage: Ibn Khaldūn’s Bayt-State Model and the Rise of Arabian Kingdoms. Current Anthropology 54.

Distinctions:   Main Editor, Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences (SpringerNature) 2020- ; Founding Chair, Mentoring Committee, International Association for Archaeology in Western and Central Asia (ARWA International) 2020. National Selection Committee, Fulbright Fellowships (US Department of State) 2008, 2009, 2012. OSU Middle East Studies Center Executive Committee Member, OSU College of Arts and Sciences Faculty Committee on International Education Member, Society for American Archaeology Member, American Institute for Yemeni Studies Member.

Awards: 2020 Jo Anne Stolaroff Cotsen Imprint honoring outstanding studies in archaeology for Landscape History of Hadramawt; 2022 Anna Marguerite McCann Award for Fieldwork Reports from The Archaeological Institute of America for Landscape History of Hadramawt; 2016 National Science Foundation Dynamics of Coupled Natural and Human Systems-Large Grant: Pastoral Territoriality as a Dynamic Coupled System ($1,600,000.00); (McCorriston, PI; Mark Moritz, Ian Hamilton Co-PIs); 10 other National Science Foundation awards and 38 other internal and external awards.  

Languages: French (fluent), Arabic (good spoken, elementary reading)  

Field Experience:  Archaeological research in Oman, Yemen, Jordan, Syria.