Dr José C. Carvajal López

Lecturer in Historical Archaeology

Licenciatura, PhD (Granada, Spain)

Tel: 0116 229 7114
Email: jccl2@le.ac.uk

Dr Jose C. Carvajal Lopez

Personal details

I did my undergraduate and PhD in the University of Granada (Spain), where I developed archaeological research in the early Islamic period of the area of Granada (8th to 11th centuries CE) and specialized in the knowledge of the ceramics from this period. Between 2009 and 2012 I was part of the Department of Archaeology of the University of Sheffield (UK), where I enjoyed a Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship and learnt how to apply archaeological science to the study of ceramics. In 2013 I became a Lecturer in Islamic Archaeology in UCL Qatar, where I expanded my interests in research and teaching to the societies of the Persian-Arabian Gulf, and particularly of Qatar, but also developed projects in other Islamic countries. Since 2018 I am a Lecturer in Historical Archaeology at the School of Archaeology and Ancient History


I teach a range of subjects related to Historical Archaeology, particularly in Islamic societies, and ceramics analysis.


My main research interests are the archaeological study of Islamic societies, particularly of Islamization, and the application of ceramics analysis to historical archaeology. During my career, I have gained some years of experience in medieval and postmedieval archaeology in Spain, Albania, Palestine, Morocco, Kurdistan, Turkey and Greece.

Current and recent projects

  • Production and Networks in the Early Islamic Persian Gulf. A study of ceramics 800-1000 CE, funded by the Albert Reckitt Fund (British Academy), 2019 and on. A petrographic and chemical elemental study of ceramics coming from the Persian/Arabian Gulf between 800 and 1000 CE, recovered from the Islamic sites of Siraf (Iran) and Murwab (Qatar).
  • The Reception of al-Andalus in Modern Spain, a Leverhume Trust-funded project based on the visit of Dr Alejandro García Sanjuán (University of Huelva, Spain), to discuss the consideration of the idea and heritage of al-Andalus in current Spanish society and academia
  • The Crowded Desert Project: The Archaeology of the Bedouin and Sedentary People in Qatar (UCL Qatar and QNRF-funded, 2015-2019): Information here, see also Open Access publications in Publications list.
  • Materiality and Preservation in Islamic Contexts (QNRF-funded 2015-2017): Information here. See also the Open Access Book Heritage and Preservation in Islamic Contexts
  • The Transformation of the Moroccan Landscape in the Early Islamic Period (QNRF-funded, 2017-2020): Information here

Learn more about studying for a PhD with us

Research Student Supervision

Topics for Supervision

  • Islamization
  • Ceramics analysis
  • Historical Archaeology, and in particular topics related to Islamic societies
  • Islamic Archaeology and Heritage
  • Medieval and post-medieval archaeology in Iberia
  • Islamic Archaeology in the Persian-Arabian Gulf

Current research students

  • Mikel Herrán Subiñas, started September 2019
  • Giulia Bison, started September 2019

Past research students


  • Carvajal López, J.C.  2020: The Material Culture. In M.I. Fierro Bello (ed.): The Routledge Handbook of Al-Andalus. London: Routledge, pp. 486-512.
  • Carvajal López J.C 2019: After the Conquest. Ceramics and migration. Journal of Medieval Iberian Studies 11 (3): 323-341 (https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17546559.2019.1607972?journalCode=ribs20).
  • Carvajal López J.C, M. Giobbe, E. Adeyemo, M. Georgakopoulou, R. Carter, F. Sakal, A. Bianchi and F. Al-Na’īmī 2019: Production and provenance of Gulf wares unearthed in the Old Doha Rescue Excavations Project. Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 49: 51-67 (http://archaeopresspublishing.com/ojs/index.php/PSAS/article/view/334)
  • Živković, J., T. Power, M. Georgakopoulou and J.C. Carvajal López 2019: Defining new technological traditions of Late Islamic Arabia: a view on Bahlā Ware from al-Ain (UAE) and the lead-barium glaze production. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences 11: 4697-4709 (Open Access here).
  • Carvajal López, J.C. 2018: Crafting History. How the world is made. In C. Burke and S. Spencer-Wood: Crafting in the World. New York: Springer, pp. 77-98.
  • Carvajal López, J.C. 2018: Religious Change vs. Cultural Change. The case of Islamisation the early medieval period. In B. Thomas and C. Bielmann: Debating Religious Space and Place in the Early Medieval World. Leiden: Sidestone Press, pp. 111-126.
  • Carvajal López J.C., A Hein, V. Kilikoglou, M. Glascock 2018: Combined petrographic and chemical analysis of water containers and glazed wares in the early Islamic Vega of Granada (south east Spain, 6th to 12th centuries CE). Journal of Archaeological Science. Reports 21: 1130-1140 (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2017.09.016).
  • Carvajal López J.C., K. Roberts, L. Morabito, G. Rees, F. Stremke, A. Marsh, R. Carter, F.A. al-Na‘īmī 2018: From tentscape to landscape. A multi-scale analysis of patterns of long-term occupation in North-West Qatar. Proceedings of the Seminar of Arabian Studies 48: 31-45. (Open Access here)
  • Molera, J., G. Molina, J.C. Carvajal López and T. Pradell 2018: Glazes, colorants and decorations in early Islamic glazes from the Vega of Granada (9 to 12 centuries AD). Journal of Archaeological Science. Reports 21: 1141-1151  (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2017.05.017).
  • Carvajal Lopez, J.C. 2017: Islamic Archaeology and the Materiality of the Islamic Past in Qatar, in F. Ravaioli and R. Lababidi (eds.): Heritage and Preservation in Islamic Contexts. Doha: UCL Qatar, pp 15-25 (English), 14-24 (Arabic) (Open Access here)
  • Carvajal Lopez, J.C. 2017: Islamization and Trade in the Arabian Gulf in the Age of Mohammad and Charlemagne, in J. Mitchell, J. Moreland and B. Leal (eds.): Encounters, Excavations and Argosies. Essays for Richard Hodges. Oxford: Archaeopress, pp. 73-90.
  • Carvajal López J. C. and M. Jiménez Puertas 2017: Cuisine, Islamisation and ceramics in the south and east of al-Andalus, in J. Vroom, Y. Waksman and R. van Oosten (eds.): Medieval Masterchef. Archaeological and historical perspectives on Eastern cuisine and Western foodways. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 33-62, 371.
  • Carvajal López J.C., K. Roberts, G. Rees, F. Stremke, A. Marsh, L. Morabito, A. Bevan, M. Altaweel, R. Harrison, M. Arroyo-Kalin, R. Carter, R. Fletcher, F.A. Al Naimi 2017: A Crowded Desert: Early Results from Survey and Excavation of Nomadic Sites in NW Qatar. Proceedings of the Seminar of Arabian Studies 47: 43-50 (Open Access here)
  • Carvajal López J.C. (ed.) 2016: Al Andalus: Archaeology, History and Memory. (trilingual edition in English, Spanish and Arabic). UCL Qatar Heritage Series Vol 3. Akkadia Press: Doha (Open access here)
  • Carvajal López J.C., L. Morabito, R. Carter, R. Fletcher, F.A. Al Naimi 2016: The Crowded Desert: a Multi-Phase Archaeological Survey in the North West of Qatar. Proceedings of the Seminar of Arabian Studies 46: 45-62 (Open Access here)

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