Staff Profile:Professor Roger Matthews

Professor Roger Matthews
Job Title:
  • Head of Department
  • Departmental Director of Research
  • REF Archaeology submission lead
  • Research Staff career development and monitoring
  • SAGES Internationalisation Committee
Areas of Interest:
  • Prehistory and early history of Iran, Mesopotamia, and Anatolia
  • Early development of sedentism and farming in the Near East, especially in Iran and Iraq 
  • Early complex societies and empires of the Near East
  • Urbanisation and the development of bureaucracy and trade in Mesopotamia and Iran
  • Techniques and approaches to archaeological excavation and survey
  • History and philosophy of the discipline of archaeology in the Near East

Postgraduate supervision:

Roger has extensive experience in supervising students through to PhD completion. He is happy to discuss doctoral research proposals covering any of his areas of interest. He is especially keen to hear from prospective students in Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey.

Research groups / Centres:

Social Archaeology Research Group

Key facts:

Roger joined the Department of Archaeology at the University of Reading in January 2011, after ten years at UCL Institute of Archaeology. From 1988 - 1995 he was Director of the British School of Archaeology in Iraq, and from 1996 - 2001 he was Director of the British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara.

His research interests have always been intertwined with extensive field activity. He served as Field Director at major projects including Çatalhöyük in Turkey (Neolithic project), Abu Salabikh in Iraq (Sumerian city) and Tell Brak in Syria (multi-period site). He has directed his own field projects at Jemdet Nasr in Iraq (proto-literate period) and a multi-period survey in north-central Turkey, Project Paphlagonia. All his field projects have been published. He has also published widely on many aspects of the ancient Near East.

Roger was Chairman of the British Institute for the Study of Iraq, 2006-2012, a self-funding organisation which has been instrumental in multiple initiatives regarding the archaeology and cultural heritage of Iraq. He is a member of the British Academy Middle East and North Africa Panel, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, and a Peer Review College member of both the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Economic and Social Research Council.

Roger is Academic Editor for the distinguished journal Anatolian Studies, and welcomes enquiries about potential submissions to the journal.

Current research projects:

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    Professor Roger Matthews

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    +44 (0) 118 378 7564

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