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Wendy Matthews

wendy matthews
  • Director of Postgraduate Research Studies
  • Convenor, Undergraduate Dissertations.

Areas of interest

  • Near Eastern Archaeology
  • Early sedentism and urbanism
  • Soil micromorphology and Geoarchaeology
  • Ethnoarchaeology and Experimental Archaeology
  • Environmental Archaeology and Ecology.

Postgraduate supervision

Wendy currently supervises/co-supervises two research student projects:

  • Multi-scalar Analysis of Early Built Environments in the Eastern Fertile Crescent.
  • Archival approaches to environment and lifeways: investigating plant-use at Neolithic Abu Hureyra, Syria, 8800-6000 cal. BC.

Previous student topics have included:

  • The Lands of Nairi: social and material culture networking among the communities of Eastern Anatolia during the late Bronze and Iron Ages.
  • The role and significance of goddesses in Mesopotamia during the 3rd millennium B.C. (Early Dynastic. Akkadian. Ur III periods).
  • Neolithic ecology and settlement networks at Çatalhöyük and Pınarbası, Turkey.
  • Micromorphological investigation of early animal management in the Central Zagros of Iraq and Iran.
  • Neolithic and Bronze Age settlement histories and microstratigraphy in Greece (Stella Kyrillidou).
  • Contextual analysis of Bronze Age networks in Cyprus and Bahrain, including pXRF analysis of stone artefacts.
  • A geoarchaeological study of Neolithic open spaces in N. Greece.
  • Architecture and urbanisation in Cyprus: local and regional innovation in materials, technology and social representation.

Many of these research projects are interdisciplinary and jointly supervised by staff with additional expertise in the School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science.

Wendy is happy to discuss proposals for postgraduate and postdoctoral research in any area of: Neolithic and Bronze Age Near Eastern Archaeology and Geoarchaeology, in particular: early agricultural and urban settlement, ecology and landscapes; material engagement; and micromorphological, experimental and interdisciplinary approaches.

For further information, please contact:

Research projects

Wendy is Co-Director of the Central Zagros Archaeological Project, an AHRC funded research project which is investigating Sedentism and Resource Management in the Neolithic of the Central Zagros in Iraq and Iran, in collaboration with Professor Roger Matthews, Kamal Rasheed Raheem, Director General of Antiquities and Heritage, Sulaimaniyah, and Dr Yaghoub Mohammadifar, Bu Ali Sina University, Hamedan.

The sites investigated were situated in fertile valleys on major east-west route ways through the Zagros Mountains that later became part of the Silk Road and Great Khorasan Highway. She Dr Wendy Matthews has published articles in journals such as Quaternary International and World Archaeology and in, books on Geoarchaeology, Environmental Archaeology and major archaeological sites, including Çatalhöyük and Tell Brak. She is Co-Editor of the interdisciplinary volume on the Central Zagros Archaeological Project: The Earliest Neolithic of Iran: 2008 Excavations at Sheikh-E Abad and Jani (2013).


Dr. Wendy Matthews joined the Department staff in October 2000. She has considerable experience in Near Eastern Archaeology and soil micromorphology. Her research focuses on ecology and the built environment in early agricultural and urban landscapes and settlements. She has conducted research in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, and Bahrain. Her research interests include site formation processes and taphonomy, life-histories of buildings and communities, ecology, and interdisciplinary analysis of architectural materials and archaeological sediments.

Academic qualifications

  • MA, University of Edinburgh
  • PhD, University of Cambridge.

Professional bodies/affiliations

Wendy is a member of the Scientific Committee for the International Congress on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East; the Steering Committee for the Çatalhöyük Research Project; and the Steering Committee for the British Association for Near Eastern Archaeology. She was Chair of the British Association for Near Eastern Archaeology 2005-7 and a founder of the new Themes from the Ancient Near East BANEA Publication Series (Oxbow Books).


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