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About Oystein LaBianca

Oystein LaBianca is professor of anthropology at Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Mich. He joined the faculty of the behavioral science department in 1981.
Born in Kristiansand, Norway, LaBianca attended both Andrews University and Middle East College, Lebanon, for his undergraduate education in the fields of behavioral sciences and religion. He attended the French Adventist Seminary, France, before starting on his master's degree in anthropology at Loma Linda in 1971. From 1972 to 1973, LaBianca was a special student in the Department of Anthropology at Harvard University studying zoo archaeology. In 1987, he received a doctor of philosophy in anthropology from Brandeis University, Waltham, Mass. His doctoral dissertation is entitled: "Sedentarization and Nomadization: Food System Cycles at Hesban and Vicinity in Transjordan."
While a graduate student at Harvard and Brandeis, LaBianca worked as a social science researcher and consultant to hospitals in the greater Boston area. In addition to his current duties as professor of anthropology, LaBianca also serves as the associate director of the Institute of Archaeology and the senior director of the International Development Program, both located at Andrews, and is the co-director of the Madaba Plains Project (MPP) in Jordan.
LaBianca serves on the board of directors of the American Schools of Oriental Research, the American Center for Oriental Research in Amman, and the Middle East Section of the American Anthropological Association. Recently, he was elected to serve as president of the Adventist Association of International Development Professionals. Other memberships include Sigma Xi and the Society for International Development. His research in Jordan has received research grants from the National Geographic Society, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and several other private foundations.
LaBianca is lead editor of the Hesban Final production series and co-editor of the seasonal report series of the MPP. In addition, he has had numerous articles published in leading journals in anthropology and Biblical archaeology. Some recent examples include, "Indigenous Hardiness Structures and State Formation in Jordan; Towards a History of Jordan?s Resident Arab Population," "Food Systems Research: An Overview and a Case Study from Madaba Plains, Jordan," and "The Kingdoms of Ammon, Moab, and Edom: The Archaeology of Society in the Late Bronze Age/Iron Age Transjordan (ca. 1400-500 B.C.E.)." He is married to Asta Sakala LaBianca, a music teacher and home-school mom. They have three sons, Erik, Aren, and Ivan.


Present Associate Director, Institute of Archaeology, Andrews University
Present Professor of Anthropology, Andrews University Behavioral Sciences Department

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BA Behavioral Sciences and Religion, Andrews University
PhD Anthropology, Brandeis University
MA Anthropology, Loma Linda University

Contact Information

Office Location: 205 Buller Hall
Phone: (269) 471-3515


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