Research interests

My research focuses on the geographical areas of South Asia and the Middle East, exploring heritage and historical archaeology (i.e. the archaeology of the recent past), and post-conflict archaeology and heritage

Research Themes

I am currently undertaking research in Pakistan and Iraq.  My areas of interest include heritage, communities and archaeology, and post-conflict heritage and archaeology, and I am increasingly interested in working in the recent past and combining different approaches to explore different ways of understanding the past.

The mud brick core of Bat oasis, Oman (2013 - 2016)

The abandoned mud brick core of the Bat oasis is an excellent place to explore archaeologically. Through building analysis, excavation, and ethnographic intervew an understanding of the way space has shaped social organisation is possible. This work is also an important way of understanding the role of memory in the recent past as it relates to the immediate environment.  The results of this historical archaeology fieldwork project are also an important element of the heritage management plan for the wider area being developed by the Oman government in consultation with local communities.

the mud brick castle at the centre of Bat oasis

 

Archaeological Investigations and their link to Heritage Management in district Chitral, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan (2011-2016)

The chief aims of this project are to systematically explore the archaeology of the Chitral Valley, NWFP, Pakistan and to develop ways of presenting and managing this unique heritage.  Chitral is one of the most remote areas in all Pakistan, and primarily known to foreign and domestic visitors for natural beauty, mountaineering, hiking and wild life.  Preliminary investigations show that Chitral has a wealth of cultural history, which is poorly understood.  If this cultural history can be identified, excavated and recorded, it would not only help scholars and residents of the valleys to understand the past in this area, but it could also be used to develop sustainable cultural tourism here.  Through fieldwork, workshops and lectures by individuals and groups from both partners we will also be able to facilitate training and exchange of knowledge.

This is a collaborative project drawing on staff and students from the Universities of Leicester (UK), Hazara (Pakistan) and Mardan (Pakistan).  It is funded by the British Council INSPIRE programme.

Landlord villages of the Tehran Plain, Iran (2007-2009)

Landlord villages represented the social and economic order for a large segment of the Iranian population over many centuries prior to land reform in the 1960s and 1970s and their abandonment is closely linked to the ‘White Revolution’. Today, as abandoned, self-contained elements of an earlier subsistence and social structure they provide a perfect opportunity for archaeological study through detailed planning, interviews of people closely connected to the villages when they were inhabited, and excavation, in order to understand the use of space in terms of function, social hierarchies of residents, and change over time. This project was carried out in collaboration with Dr Hassan Fazeli, University of Tehran, Tehran, and was funded by the British Institute of Persian Studies.

Kazemabad

The landlord village of Kazemabad, Iran

Post Conflict Archaeology and Heritage (2014 - current)

In collaboration with a colleague based at the American University of Beirut I have been working on conflict damaged site (Hosn Niha) located in the Biqaa Valley of Lebanon.  As a result of appropriate research questions and carefully designed fieldwork strategies we have been able to obtain a lot of information from a site that had been dismissed for decades as too badly damaged to warrant sustained investigation.  A summary of this work can be found in our Antiquity paper  (vol 89, issue 344, April 2015, pp449-463).

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