Dr. Sireen El Zaatari

Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen
Institut für Naturwissenschaftliche Archäologie, Abt. Paläoanthropologie
Rümelinstr. 23
D-72070 Tübingen

Office: Room 514, Hauptgebäude, 2. OG
Tel.: +49-(0)7071-29-76554
Fax: +49-(0)7071-29-5717
E-Mail: sireen.el-zaatari[at]

Consulting hours:
by arrangement

Sireen El Zaatari is a Junior Research Group Leader at the Department of Paleoanthopology. Her research focuses on the application of dental microwear texture analysis for the dietary reconstruction of extant and extinct primates, including hominins. Her main interest is directed towards the dietary reconstruction of Paleolithic hominins for the better understanding of the effects of climatic change and variability on their subsistence patterns. Aside from dietary reconstruction, she is also interested in other aspects of dental anthropology, human osteology and bioarchaeology. She is active in archaeological fieldwork and has directed and participated in several excavations.

Curriculum Vitae


2007 Ph. D. in Physical Anthropology, Stony Brook University (SUNY)
2002 M.A., Physical Anthropology, Stony Brook University (SUNY)
1998 B.A., Archaeology, American University of Beirut

Academic Positions

2013- Junior Research Group Leader, Institut für Naturwissenschaftliche Archäologie, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
2012- Associated Scientist, Department of Human Evolution, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
2012- 2013 Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship (The Wenner-Gren Foundation)
2012 Research Fellow, Wiener Laboratory, American School of Classical Studies at Athens
2011 Lecturer, Department of History and Archaeology, American University of Beirut
2009- 2010 J. Lawrence Angel Fellowship in Human Skeletal Studies, Wiener Laboratory, American School of Classical Studies at Athens
2007- 2009 Post-doctoral fellowship, Department of Human Evolution, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

Fieldwork Experience

2018 Fieldwork director, Zahrani River Mouth North Paleolithic Site, Lebanon

Team member, Zahlan Cave Prehistoric Site, Lebanon. Director: Lebanese Directorate General of Antiquities

2008 - 2017

Team member, Tell Fadous-Kfarabida Bronze Age Site, Lebanon. Directors: Profs. H. Genz and H. Sader, American University of Beirut.

2008, 2010 Tell Fadous-Kfarabida, Lebanon. Directors: Hermann Genz and Helen Sader, American University of Beirut
2007 Team member, Giecz Medieval Site, Poland. Director: Dr. Marek Polcyn, Slavia Foundation
2007 Excavation of a medieval burial site in Giecz, Poland. Director: Marek Polcyn, Slavia Foundation

Team member, Tyre and its hinterland archaeological survey, Lebanon. Director: Prof. Kevin Butcher, American University of Beirut.


Team member, BEY 020 Iron Age Phoenician fortifications, Lebanon. Directors: Dr. Uwe Finkbeiner, Tübingen University and Helene Sader, American University of Beirut

Scholarships and Grants

2017 - 2020 Research Grant, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (€ 338,000)
2014 Synthesys Grant to fund research stay at Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, Madrid
2012- 2013 The Wenner Gren Foundation Hunt Post-doctoral Fellowship
2000- 2007 Stony Brook University, Full Tuition Scholarship
2005 - 2007 Dissertation Improvement Grant, The National Science Foundation, USA ($12,000)
2005 - 2007 Grant for Anthropological Research, The Leakey Foundation ($4,500)
2005 Ruggles-Gates Fun for Biological Research, Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland ($1870)
2003 Research Award, Anthropology, Stony Brook University, New York, USA ($500)
2000 - 2007 Tuition/Research/Teaching Scholarships, Anthropology, Stony Brook University, USA Germany

Referee for Funding Organizations/ Journals

2018 Guest Editor, Quaternary International
2006 - now Grant Reviewer, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, The L.S.B. Leakey Foundation, The National Science Foundation (USA)
2004 - now Journal Reviewer: Journal of Human Evolution, American Journal of Physical Anthropology, PLOSONE, Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, Comptes Rendus Palevol, Quaternary International, Naturwissenschaften, Homo, PaleoAnthropology


Edited Volumes

2018 El Zaatari, S, Harvati, K, Bae, CJ, editors. Filling the Geographic Gaps in the Human Story. Quaternary International 466, Part A.

Journal Articles and Chapters in Edited Volumes

In press El Zaatari, S, Harvati, K. Hominin remains from Stadel Cave. In: Kind, C-J. Löwenmensch und mehr. Die Ausgrabungen 2008 - 2013 in den altsteinzeitlichen Schichten der Stadel-Höhle im Hohlenstein (Lonetal), Gemeinde Asselfingen, Alb-Donau-Kreis. Forschungen und Berichte zur Archaeologie in Baden-Württemberg
  Schmidt, C, El Zaatari, S, Van Sessen. DMTA in Bioarchaeology. In: Dental Wear in Evolutionary and Biocultural Contexts. C. Schmidt and J. Watson, eds. Academic Press.
  Will, M, El Zaatari, S, Harvati, K, Conard, NJ. Human teeth from securely stratified Middle Stone Age contexts at Sibudu, South Africa. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences.
2018 Genz, H, Damick, A, Berquist, S, Makinson, M, Wygnanska, Z, Mardini, M, Peršin, M, Raad, N, Alameh, J, Ahrens, A, El-Dana, N, Edwards, J, El Zaatari, S. Excavations at Tell Fadous-Kfarabida preliminary report on the 2014 and 2015 seasons of excavations. Bulletin d'Archeologie et d'Architecture Libanaise 18:37-78.
  McGrath, K, Guatelli-Steinberg, D, El Zaatari, S, Arbenz-Smith, K, Reid, DJ, Cranfield, MR, Stoinski, TS, Bromage, TG, Mudakikwa, A, McFarlin, SC. Quantifying linear enamel hypoplasia in Virunga mountain gorillas and other great apes. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 166:337-352. 
  El Zaatari, S, Harvati, K, Bae, C. Filling the Geographic Gaps in the Human Evolutionary Story. Quaternary International 466:1-2.
  El Zaatari, S. The central Levantine corridor: the Paleolithic of Lebanon. Quaternary International 466:33-47.
2017 Sahle, Y, El Zaatari, S, White, TD. Hominid butchers and biting crocodiles in the African Plio-Pleistocene. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, USA 114:13164-13169.
  Estalrrich Albo, A, El Zaatari, S, Rosas, A. Dietary reconstruction of the El Sidrón Neandertal familial group (Spain) in the context of other Neandertal and modern hunter-gatherer groups. A molar microwear texture analysis. Journal of Human Evolution 104:13-22.
2016 El Zaatari, S, Grine, FE, Ungar, PS, Hublin, J-J. Neandertal versus modern human dietary responses to climatic fluctuations. PLOS ONE 11:e0153277. 
2015 El Zaatari, S, Ungar, PS. From earlier to later hominins: dental microwear approaches and perspectives. In: The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of Diet. J. Lee-Thorp and M. A. Katzenberg, eds. Oxford, Oxford University Press.
2014 El Zaatari, S, Hublin, J-J. Diet of Upper Paleolithic modern humans: evidence from microwear texture analysis. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 153:570-581.
  El Zaatari, S, Krueger, KL, Hublin, J-J. Dental microwear texture analysis and the diet of the Scladina child. In: The Neandertal Child of Scladina Cave. M. Toussaint, ed. Liège, Études et Recherches Archéologiques de l’Université de Liège, 134:313-328. 
  El Zaatari, S. The Diets of the Ipiutak and Tigara (Point Hope, Alaska): evidence from occlusal molar microwear texture analysis. In: The Foragers of Point Hope: the biology and archaeology of humans on the edge of the Alaskan arctic. C. Hilton, B. Auerbach, and, L. Cowgill, eds. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. Pp. 120-137.
  Teaford, MF, El Zaatari, S.  Dental microwear. In: Kennewick Man: The Scientific Investigation of an Ancient American Skeleton. D. W. Owsley & R. L. Jantz, eds. College Station: Texas A&M Press. Pp. 195-206.
2013 El Zaatari, S, Harvati, K, Panagopoulou, E. Occlusal molar microwear texture analysis: the method and its application for the dietary reconstruction of the Lakonis Neandertal. In: Subsistence, Economy and Society in the Greek World. S. Voutsaki and S-M. Valamoti, eds. Louvain, Peeters Publishers. Pp. 55-63.
  Frederick E. Grine, Peter S. Ungar, Mark F. Teaford, and El-Zaatari, S. (2013). Molar microwear evidence for diet in a purported hominin species lineage from the Pliocene of East Africa. In: The Paleobiology of Australopithecus. K. Reed, J. Fleagle, and R. Leakey, eds. New York, Springer-Verlag, p.213-224.
  Harvati, K, Darlas, A, Bailey, SE, Rein, TR, El Zaatari, S, Fiorenza, L, Kullmer, O, Psathi, E. New Neanderthal remains from Mani peninsula, S. Greece: The Kalamakia Middle Palaeolithic cave site. Journal of Human Evolution 64:486-99.
2011 El Zaatari, S, Grine, FE, Ungar, PS, Hublin, J-J. Ecogeographic variation in Neandertal dietary habits: evidence from occlusal microwear texture analysis. Journal of Human Evolution 61: 411-424.
2010 Genz, H, Daniel, R, Damick, A, Ahrens, A, El-Zaatari, S, Höflmayer, F, Kutschera, W, Wild, EM. Excavations at Tell Fadous-Kfarabida: Preliminary Report on the 2010 Season of Excavations. Bulletin d'Archeologie et d'Architecture Libanaise 14, 241-274.
  Genz, H, El Zaatari, S, Çakırlar, C, Badreshany, K, Riehl, S. A Middle Bronze Age Burial from Tell Fadous-Kfarabida, Lebanon. Ägypten und Levante 20, 183-205.
  Toussaint, M, Olejniczak, AJ, El Zaatari, S, Cattelain, P, Pirson, S. The Neandertal lower right deciduous second molar from the “Trou de l'Abîme” at Couvin, Belgium. Journal of Human Evolution 58: 56-67.
  El Zaatari, S. Occlusal microwear texture analysis and the diets of historic/prehistoric hunter-gatherers. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 20: 67-87.
2009 Pirson, S, Cattelain, P, El Zaatari, S, Flas, D, Letourneux, C, Miller, R, Olejniczak, AJ, Otte, M, Toussaint, M. Le «Trou de l'Abîme» à Couvin : bilan des nouvelles recherches de laboratoire avant la reprise de nouvelles fouilles en septembre 2009. Notae Praehistoricae 29: 59-75.
2008 El Zaatari, S. Occlusal molar microwear and the diets of the Ipiutak and Tigara populations (Point Hope) with comparisons to the Aleut and Arikara. Journal of Archaeological Science 35: 2517-2522.
2006 Grine, FE, Ungar, PS, Teaford, MF, El-Zaatari, S. Molar microwear in Praeanthropus afarensis: Evidence for dietary stasis through time and under diverse paleoecological conditions. Journal of Human Evolution 51:297-319
  Ungar, PS, Grine, FE, Teaford, MF, El-Zaatari, S. Dental microwear and diets of African early Homo.  Journal of Human Evolution 50:78-95
2005 El Zaatari, S, Grine, FE, Teaford, MF, Smith, HF.  Molar microwear and dietary reconstructions for fossil Cercopithecoidea from the Plio-Pleistocene deposits of South Africa. Journal of Human Evolution 49:180-205.