Short CV/Education and training

  • 1987 – 1994
    Studied archaeology, geology and botany (degree: Magister Artium)

  • 1999

  • Since 2003
    Research associate at the Oriental Institute, University of Chicago, USA

  • Since 2005
    Collaborating researcher in the Palynology Working Group (WG-2) within Project IGCP-521 (, University of Bristol, UK

  • Since 2005
    Research scientist in the Faculty of History and Archaeology, American University of Beirut, Lebanon

  • 2006 – 2007
    Interdisciplinary researcher at the Centre for Climate Research, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA

  • Since 2007
    Collaborating partner at the Institute of Oriental Studies, Freie Universität (FU) Berlin, Germany

  • 2009
    Habilitation (postdoctoral qualification)

  • Since 2009
    Research associate in the Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology Department, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Tel-Aviv, Israel

  • Since 2009
    Collaborating partner in the Department of Bible, Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Studies, Ben-Gurion University, Beer Sheva, Israel

Selected publications

  • Riehl, S. et al.: Local Holocene environmental indicators in Upper Mesopotamia: pedogenic carbonate record vs. archaeobotanical data and archaeoclimatological models. In: Quaternary International 209, 2009. pp. 154-162.

  • Riehl, S.: Archaeobotanical evidence for the interrelationship of agricultural decision-making and climate change in the ancient Near East. In: Quaternary International 197, 2009. pp. 93-114.

  • Riehl, S.: Climate and agriculture in the ancient Near East: a synthesis of the archaeobotanical and stable carbon isotope evidence. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, 2008.

  • Riehl, S., Bryson, R.A., Pustovoytov, K.E.: Changing growing conditions for crops during the Near Eastern Bronze Age (3000-1200 BC): The stable carbon isotope evidence. In: Journal of Archaeological Science 35, 2008. pp. 1011-1022.

  • Riehl, S., Marinova, E.: Mid-Holocene vegetation change in the Troad (W Anatolia): Man-made or natural. In: Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 17(3), 2009. pp. 297-312.

  • Riehl, S., Bryson, R.A.: Variability in human adaptation to changing environmental conditions in Upper Mesopotamia during the Early to Middle Bronze Age transition. Varia Anatolica XIX. Edited by Catherine Marro and Catherine Kuzucuolu, 2007. pp. 523-548.

  • Riehl, S. et al.: Testing Holocene pedogenic carbonate coatings as a proxy: climate models and archaeobotanical data from the Northern Fertile Crescent. In: Quaternary International 167-168, 2007. p. 334.

Selected projects

  • German Research Foundation (DFG) project (Ri 1193 / 5-1; / 6-1): Climate, agriculture and society – On the sustainability of early agricultural systems in the Near East, since 2010

  • DFG project (Ri 1193 / 4-1; / 4-2): The development of the economy and infrastructure from the early Bronze Age to the Iron Age in the northern Levant and northern Mesopotamia, 2005 – 2009

  • Structural fund for scientists, University of Tübingen, Germany, 2004 – 2005

  • DFG project (Ri 1193 / 1-1) for the construction of a database of plant residues from the Bronze Age and more recent periods in the Near and Middle East, 2003 – 2004

  • Project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF): Carbon isotopy and X-ray diffractometry of archaeologically relevant calcareous seeds, 2002 – 2003

  • Margarete von Wrangell scholarship from the Ministry of Science and Arts (MWK), Baden-Württemberg, Germany, 2001 – 2005

Membership in scientific bodies/juries

  • External reviewer for the British Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), since 2009

  • Founding and executive committee member of the Centre for Archaeological Science (ZNA), University of Tübingen, Germany, since 2008

  • Occasional reviews for Current Anthropology, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, Geological Society of America Books, Climate Dynamics and Journal of Archaeological Science, since 2007

  • Member of the equal rights committee, Department of Geosciences, University of Tübingen, since 2003

  • External reviewer for the Austrian Science Foundation (FWF), 2001

Additional qualifications

  • Macrophysical climate modelling (à la R.A. Bryson): one-year fellowship at the Centre for Climatic Research – Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA, 2006 – 2007

Soft Skills/Other activities and achievements

Soft Skills

  • Teaching since 1998


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    For decades archaeologists have been searching for the origins of agriculture. Their findings indicated that early plant domestication took place in the Western and Northern "Fertile Crescent" in the Middle East. These newest findings reveal early farming in the Eastern part of this region.