Olivier Nieuwenhuijse is a leading specialist on the later prehistoric cultures of ancient Mesopotamia. He has specialized in the interpretation of prehistoric ceramics, with a special interest in the emergence of pottery in the ancient Near East. He is member of a project focused on the 7th millennium site of Shir (Northern Levant). He has also researched the archaeology of climate change. He conducted a post-doctoral study on the social and material repercussions of the 8.2 ka abrupt climate event in Mesopotamia, and published a book on the archaeology of climate change. Olivier has worked as a researcher in projects across the Middle East, carrying out fieldwork in Syria, Turkey and Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. Since 2011 Olivier joins the Sharizor Survey Project, an international co-operation investigating long-term patterns of human settlement and land-use in the Sulaimaniya Province of Northern Iraq. Most recently he started work on safeguarding the archaeological heritage of the ancient Near East, with the projects Scanning for Syria, Focus Raqqa and the Van Loon Project. Olivier teaches on Near Eastern archaeology and various theoretical and thematic topics.
Olivier is guest staff member at the Faculty of Archaeology (Leiden University) and works for the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut (Aussenstelle Damaskus). He previously worked as an assistant-curator for the department Near East at the National Museum of Antiquities Leiden, and publishes regularly for popular-scientific media. He is a member of the Centre for Global Heritage and Development, Het Grote Midden Oosten Platform and treasurer of Rashid International.