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Amy Richardson

Dr Amy Richardson

Areas of interest

  • Prehistory of Southwest Asia and the Mediterranean
  • Culture, technology and exchange
  • Materials analysis and provenance techniques
  • Museums, heritage and tourism
  • Data management and Open Research



Amy teaches on the archaeology of Mesopotamia, museums and cultural heritage, and materials analysis. Her research focuses on objects and materials in Iraq and Iran from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age. She is particularly interested in innovation with clay and the development of new technologies in prehistory.

Research projects

Amy is Senior Research Fellow on the ERC-funded MENTICA project, working with Prof Roger Matthews and Dr Wendy Matthews on integrated community approaches to the Middle East Neolithic transition. Working at new sites in Iraq and Iran spanning the Epipalaeolithic to the Early Neolithic, Amy is primarily responsible for coordinating field recording methods and managing data flow to conduct network analysis on the results of the investigations.

As Co-Investigator on the AHRC-funded project, Amy is working with colleagues on Heritage and Eco-tourism for Sustainable Development in Iraqi Kurdistan. She is co-creating core digital and physical resources with local stakeholders to support sustainable tourism opportunities. This project builds on excavations with CZAP and MENTICA, and collaborations with the Slemani Museum, including the development of a new Prehistory Gallery.

Since 2016, Amy has been collaborating with Professor Roger Matthews, examining clay bureaucratic objects (such as tokens, sealings, and tablets) from ancient Mesopotamia and Iran. Combining pXRF analysis of clays with iconographic and functional analysis, this project seeks to shed light on the development of bureaucratic practices of early urban societies. You can learn more about their research in this online talk: Counting, Sealing, Writing in Iran, 10,000 to 300 BC.


Amy’s early research career focused on the use of personal ornaments for communicating social identity in Iron Age Italy. Since Amy completed her PhD at the University of Reading in 2010, she has been a postdoctoral researcher on the Central Zagros Archaeological Project and held the Wainwright Research Fellowship at Oxford, where she developed research into material use in Neolithic Iraq and Iran. Amy’s research has placed an emphasis on Open Research through data-sharing and Open Access publishing; she is currently a University of Reading Open Research Champion.

Academic qualifications

  • BA (Cardiff University)
  • MA (University of Leicester)
  • PhD (University of Reading).


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