Brian has extensive experience as a prehistorian in a variety of arid and semi-arid settings world-wide. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Arizona. Until the early 1990s, he conducted research in the Near East exploring the transition to sedentism and early village life. Since 1992, he has directed numerous cultural resources management projects throughout California focused on hunter-gatherers. These studies have ranged from large-scale surveys to extensive data recovery excavations, particularly in the San Francisco Bay area, the Central Valley, the Mojave Desert and Owens Valley, along the southern California coast, and on San Clemente Island. He joined the Far Western team in 2004.
Brian is interested in hunter-gatherer adaptations and the origins of social complexity from a cross-cultural perspective. His investigations into prehistoric hunter-gatherers are often interdisciplinary in nature, gather independent paleoenvironmental data, and explore the complex interrelationship between human actions and environmental factors. In 1999, he was awarded the Thomas E. King award for excellence in cultural resources management from the Society for California Archaeology. He is also a research associate with the Department of Anthropology, University of California, Davis.
Brian’s Featured Publications
Byrd, Brian F. and Andrew N. Garrard
The Upper and Epipaleolithic of the Azraq Basin Jordan. In Quaternary of the Levant: Environments, Climate Change and Humans, edited by Yehouda Enzel and Ofer Bar-Yosef, pp. 66-677. Cambridge University Press.
Byrd, Brian F. and Jeffrey Rosenthal
Celebrating the Dead and Recrafting Social Identity: Placing Prehistoric Mortuary Practices in Broader Social Context. Chapter 11 In Archaeological Variability and Interpretation in Global Perspective edited by Alan R. Sullivan III and Debroah I. Olszewski pp.233-266. University Press of Colorado.
Garrard, Andrew N., and Brian F. Byrd
Beyond the Fertile Crescent: Late Palaeolithic and Neolithic Communities of the Jordanian Steppe. The Azraq Basin Project Volume 1: Project Background and the Late Palaeolithic (Geological Context and Technology). Council for British Research in the Levant Supplemental Series Vol. 13, Oxbox Books, Oxford.
Byrd, Brian F., Anna Cornellas, Jelmer W. Eerkens, Jeffrey S. Rosenthal, Tim R. Carpenter, Alan Leventhal, and Jennifer A. Leonard
The Role of Canids in Ritual and Domestic Contexts: New Ancient DNA Insights from Complex Hunter-gatherer Sites in Prehistoric Central California. Journal of Archaeological Science 40:2176-2189.
Byrd, Brian F.
Public and Private, Domestic and Corporate: The Emergence of the Southwest Asian Village. The Archaeology of Tribal Social Formations: Selections from American Antiquity, edited by Michelle Hegmon, pp. 109-136.