Personal profile


Fields of research that I am currently engaged in include the Archaeology of Anatolia and the Near East & Early Farming Societies.

I direct the Barcın Höyük Excavations project, which after nine fieldwork seasons betweeen 2007 and 2015 is currently in the stages of analysis and publication. Barcın Höyük is a Neolithic settlement mound in northwestern Anatolia dating to the middle and late seventh millennium BC and representing the earliest phases of settled farming life in the region.

Past work and fields of research have included survey and landscape archaeology, both in the Netherlands and Turkey, the archaeology of Iron Age Europe, and the archaeology of local communities.


Teaching on topics including origins and spread of farming, early social complexity, state formation and early urbanism.


NWO Grant Investeringssubsidie Middelgroot (2011-2016): The beginnings of farming in the Marmara Region of NW Turkey. Excavations at Neolithic Barcın Höyük.

NWO Grant Promoveren in de Geesteswetenschappen (2012-2016): Living Neolithization. Micro history and grand narrative in Neolithic Western Anatolia and Southeastern Europe, c. 7000-5000 BC. PhD research project conducted by Elisha van den Bos.



2001:    Ph.D., Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Prehistory and Archaeology (cum laude)
1996:    Doctoraal, University of Amsterdam, Cultural Prehistory
1995:    M.A., University of Chicago, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations
1989:    Propedeuse, University of Amsterdam, Art History and Classical Archaeology

Prizes and Awards

2015: Corresponding member of the Türk Eskiçağ Bilimleri Enstitüsü, Turkish Institute for Ancient Studies.

2010: Huibregtsenprijs: Member of South Netherlands Project research team, winning award for 'innovative research with strong social relevance'.

2005-2015: Member of ‘De Jonge Akademie’ (DJA) of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), one of the first cohort of 40 selected young scientists.

2003: Dissertation Award of the Praemium Erasmianum Foundation (for outstanding dissertations in the Humanities and Social Sciences).

Personal information

In addition to teaching in the Department of Art and Culture, History, Antiquity, I am the director of the Netherlands Institute in Turkey ( From its base in Istanbul, this subsidiary of the Netherlands Institute for the Near East conducts and fosters research on the archaeology, history and heritage of Anatolia. It aims to stimulate academic cooperation and exchange between the Netherlands and Turkey and organizes undergraduate and graduate courses.



Ancillary activities

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Research Output 1998 2017

2015 Yılı Barcın Höyük Kazıları

Özbal, R., Gerritsen, F., Erdalkıran, M. & Özbal, H. 2017 38. Kazı Sonuçları Toplantısı. Ankara, Vol. 3, p. 17-32

Research output: ScientificConference contribution

Barcın Höyük. A Neolithic Village in the Yenişehir Valley

Gerritsen, F., Özbal, R., Erdalkıran, M. & Özbal, H. 2017 In : Actual Archaeology Magazine. 18, p. 48 53 p.

Research output: PopularArticle

Clay preparation and function of the first ceramics in north-west Anatolia: A case study from Neolithic Barcın Höyük

de Groot, B., Thissen, L., Özbal, R. & Gerritsen, F. 1 Dec 2017 In : Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports. 16, -, p. 542-552 13 p.

Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewArticle

New Observations for the Late Chalcolithic Settlement at Barcın Höyük

Özbal, R., Özbal, H., Gerritsen, F. & Doğan, T. 2017 Overturning Certainties in Near Eastern Archaeology. : A Festschrift in Honour of K. Aslıhan Yener. Maner, C., Horowitz, M. & Gilbert, A. S. (eds.). Brill, p. 503-520

Research output: ScientificChapter

2014 Yılı Barcın Höyük Kazıları

Özbal, R., Gerritsen, F. A., Erdalkıran, M. & Özbal, H. 2016 37. Kazı Sonuçları Toplantısı. Özme, A. (ed.). Ankara: Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism, p. 407-422

Research output: ScientificChapter