Benjamin W. Porter is an Associate Professor of Middle Eastern Archaeology in the University of California, Berkeley's Department of Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures. An archaeologist and anthropologist, Porter studies the Bronze and Iron Age societies of the Middle East and Mediterranean. He is currently writing a book synthesizing the history and archaeology of the first-millennium BCE Levant that is under contract with Cambridge University Press. Porter conducts field archaeological research in Jordan at the Iron Age capital settlements of Dhiban and Busayra. A full list of Porter’s publications can be read at https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7530-6499.
Porter is also a museum anthropologist with many years of curation, collections management, and museum leadership experience. He is currently Curator of Middle Eastern Archaeology at the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology where he served as the Museum’s director from 2015 to 2019. He co-directs a museum collections project at the Museum that is researching evidence from Peter B. Cornwall's 1941 expedition to Bahrain and Eastern Saudi Arabia.
Porter’s research and museum projects have been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Philosophical Society, the Grammy Museum Foundation, the Max Van Berchem Foundation, the Koret Foundation, the Hearst Foundations, the Warren G. Hellman Fellows Fund, and the Louis J. Kolb Society of Fellows at the University of Pennsylvania. From 2011 to 2021, he was a founding board member of the Institute for Field Research (www.ifrglobal.org), a non-profit organization that supports excellence in archaeological field school training.