I use digital approaches to archaeology to investigate ancient society and culture, providing a new perspective on our shared past that informs our understanding of the present.
I believe that the past has the ability to illuminate every aspect of our lives, to challenge our assumptions about ourselves and our world, to drive us to do better and be better. But I also know that archaeology was, and still is sometimes, used to deceive, to obfuscate, to simplify and to bamboozle. It is only when we approach the past on its own terms that we reap the benefits. We need to undertake archaeology with respect for the people who generated it and a determination to hear their voices rather than reinforcing our own preconceived ideas. Only when we consider archaeological data in their physical and cultural context, can we expect to benefit from our study of the past, both as individuals and as a society.
My research interests are all associated with contextualising archaeological data because it is only by understanding an artefact, text, site or landscape in its wider context that we can approach the story it has to tell. To this end, I have specialised in post-excavation analysis, archaeological survey, Geographic Information Science (GIS) and satellite remote-sensing research. My wider research interests include Middle Kingdom archaeology and artefacts, landscape and ‘non-site’ archaeology, ancient Egyptian mining and quarrying, desert travel and ancient road systems.
I am currently a Visiting Academic at the British Museum and Honorary Fellow at the University of Liverpool. All opinions on this blog are my own.
After 13 years’ experience as a volunteer, supervisor and contract archaeologist on British excavations, I earned a Ph.D. in Archaeology from the University of Liverpool in 2015 for my research cairn-shrines at the Gebel el-Asr quarries in Egypt. I participated in fieldwork in Egypt since 2006 at Gurob, at the alabaster (travertine) quarry of Hatnub, at the Gebel el-Asr quarries, and at Dra Abu el-Naga in the West Bank necropolis at Luxor.
Following my Ph.D., I have been researching the quarrying landscape around the Hatnub Egyptian alabaster quarries using satellite remote-sensing, mobile GIS and archaeological survey. In 2017-2019 I was Asyut Project Curator at the British Museum, undertaking the contextual research of artefacts excavated from Asyut by David George Hogarth in 1907 using archival and excavation data. I am currently also working on the post-excavation publication of the Hellenistic-period site of Pisitiros in Bulgaria, and the data management of the Greek site of Olynthos.
I teach the GIS component of the Egypt Exploration Society Skills School and a follow-up weekend course ‘Digital Digging’ and am actively involved in the promotion of local Egyptology as Chair of the Essex Egyptology Group and Committee Member of the Friends of the Petrie Museum.