The Joint Prehistoric Project comprises several archaeological expeditions in Iraq, Iran, and Turkey dating from 1947. All of these separate excavations, however, sought the solution to a general problem: "How are we to understand those great changes in mankind's way of life which attended the first appearance of the settled village-farming community?" This project exemplifies the Oriental Institute's pioneering work in interdisciplinary research designs for archaeology. Its staff routinely includes not only archaeologists and physical anthropologists, but also specialists from the fields of botany, geology, and zoology.

Robert Braidwood passed away on January 15, 2003, in Chicago, Illinois.

Linda Braidwood passed away on January 15, 2003, in Chicago, Illinois.

Professor Emeritus Robert Braidwood, in collaboration with Linda Braidwood and Professor Dr. Halet Cambel, of Istanbul University have engaged in numerous seasons of excavation at the early Neolithic site of Cayönü in southeastern Turkey since the mid-1960's. The excavations at Cayönü constitute the culmination of the Braidwoods' long and distinguished investigations into the origins of agriculture and animal husbandry in the ancient Near East. Among the more spectacular results are the discovery of early copper metallurgy and terrrazo technology, the use of advanced bio-technology to recover blood crystals from stone tools, and the recent identification of the earliest textile, which received enthuiastic world wide media coverage.

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