Staff Profile:Professor Steven Mithen

Professor Steve Mithen
Job Title:
Deputy Vice-Chancellor
Professor Steven Mithen is at the University of Reading.
Areas of Interest:

Steven's research interests cover from the origin of Homo at c. 2 million years ago to the origin and spread of farming, up to its appearance in NW Europe at around 6000 years ago. His specific interests fall into four themes:

1. Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene Hunter-Gatherers and Farmers. For this he directs major field projects in western Scotland and southern Jordan involving the survey and excavation of prehistoric settlements. For an overview of excavations in Jordan see the Wadi Faynan project.

2. Computational archaeology. Building on his original PhD work, Steven has led several projects involving the use of mathematical modelling and computer simulation in archaeology, concerned with human decision making, mega-fauna hunting and extinction, and hominin dispersals from Africa.

3. Evolution of the Human Mind, Language and Music. Steven has been one of the pioneers of cognitive archaeology, drawing on research within psychology, neuroscience and philosophy of mind for the interpretation of the archaeological record.

4. Water, Life and Civilisation. Steven was the lead PI on the Leverhulme Funded (£1.24m) project of this name, involving researchers from Meteorology, Archaeology, Geography and Environmental science at the University of Reading.


Steven Mithen has a BA (hons) in Prehistory & Archaeology from Sheffield University, an MSc in Biological Computation from York University and a PhD in Archaeology from Cambridge University. Between 1987 and 1992 he was a Research Fellow at Trinity Hall and then Lecturer in Archaeology at Cambridge. After moving to the University of Reading, he was promoted to Senior Lecturer (1996), Reader (1998) and then Professor of Early Prehistory (2000). In August 2002 he was appointed as the first Head of the School of Human & Environmental Sciences, formed by the Departments of Archaeology, Geography, Soil Science and the Postgraduate Institute of Sedimentology, a post he held until August 2008 when be became Dean of the Faculty of Science. He was elected as a Fellow of the British Academy in 2004.

Research groups / Centres:
Welcome to CentAUR - CentAUR

Accessibility navigation

Welcome to CentAUR

  • Due to scheduled maintenance, CentAUR will be unavailable from 17:00 Thursday 19th January - 13:00 Friday 20th January.
  • We apologise for disruption to the service.
  • Our institutional repository, CentAUR, is a searchable electronic archive showcasing our recent research publications and outputs. Members of the public can access bibliographic details and many refereed full text versions free of charge, for personal research or study, in accordance with our End User Agreement.
  • See our download statistics

    View the most downloaded publications over the last month or the last year.
    Browse the Repository

    View the outputs in CentAUR by year, author and division (Faculty, School, Department).
    Search the Repository

    Use Simple Search for quick author, title or keyword searches. Advanced Search is for specific or complex searches.
    Add items to CentAUR

    University of Reading staff may log in to deposit outputs, save searches and view their user profile.
    See Quick Guide for new depositors

    CentAUR supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

    BA (Sheffield), MSc (York), PhD (Cambridge), FBA, FSA, FSA (Scot)


    Professor Steve Mithen

    Contact Details

    +44 (0) 118 378 6442

    Page navigation


    Search Form

    A-Z lists