Reinhard Bernbeck is professor at the Institute for Near Eastern Archaeology at Freie Universität Berlin. His research interests include the emergence of inequality in ancient societies and the political dimension of archaeological representations. He codirects multi-year excavation projects at Monjukli Depe in Turkmenistan and at Tempelhof Airport in Berlin.
Every nine-year-old loves the idea of archaeology—the prospect of digging in the dirt and finding mysterious objects once touched by people from the past. A few of us actually grow up to do this for a living. Along the way we learn the complexities of our craft, and we master its intellectual traditions. We learn to practice anthropology with a material focus, engaging with human lives past and present.