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Bob Chapman

Bob Chapman

Areas of interest

  • The later prehistory of Iberia and the West Mediterranean
  • The development of inequalities and classes in human societies
  • Marxism and archaeology
  • Archaeological theory and practice.


I have now retired from all undergraduate and postgraduate teaching.

Research projects

I have excavated on Mallorca, Menorca, and in south-east Spain, where I collaborated with the Autonomous University of Barcelona on the excavation of the Bronze Age settlement of Gatas in its regional context, coupled with an archaeo-ecological survey of the Aguas valley in the Vera Basin. Two monographs have been published on the Gatas project (1987, 1999) and one on the Aguas valley survey (1998). I have published the following monographs on the later prehistory of the west Mediterranean: Emerging Complexity: the later prehistory of S.E. Spain, Iberia and the west Mediterranean (CUP 1990) and Archaeologies of complexity (Routledge 2003).In addition to papers on archaeological theory (principally mortuary practises),I co-edited The Archaeology of Death (1981).

I am on the editorial or advisory boards of the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, Journal of World Prehistory, and Trabajos de Prehistoria.

I received a grant from the Leverhulme Trust to support the six-month visit of philosopher of science Professor Alison Wylie (University of Vancouver, Canada) to the Department in 2010. This was the beginning of a collaborative project on evidential reasoning in Archaeology, which we pursued through a series of departmental seminars and then a workshop of archaeologists, philosophers of science and science studies scholars. We have published a co-edited book, Material Evidence: Learning from Archaeological Practice (Routledge, 2015). Alongside this book, we co-authored a volume, Evidential Reasoning in Archaeology (2016) for Bloomsbury's Debates in Archaeology series.

More recently, I have also written a book titled Archaeological Theory: The Basics, published by Routledge (2023). This is intended to be an accessible introduction for students and newcomers to archaeology, guiding readers to an understanding of what theory is, how it works and the range of theories drawn on by archaeologists.



Academic qualifications

  • MA, PhD – University of Cambridge

Professional bodies/affiliations

  • Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries.


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