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Department of Archaeology



Alessandro studied a BA in Archaeological Sciences at University ‘Sapienza’ of Rome, Italy, and Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Spain, followed by a MA in History of Art and Archaeology (South Asia) at SOAS, University of London. After interrupting a PhD in Archaeology and Pottery Analysis at UCL, Alessandro is currently undertaking his PhD at University of Cambridge on the scientific and morpho-stylistic analysis of archaeological ceramic materials from South Asian sites (Indus Valley Civilisation).

Alessandro is also an accredited member of archaeological bodies, i.e. CIfA, and worked for European and English museums, such as the Victoria and Albert Museum (Assistant Lecturer, Learning Centre), British Museum (volunteer consultant, South Asian Department) and National Museum of Oriental Art “Tucci”, Rome (Department of Education).


  • South Asia
  • Ceramic analysis & technology
  • Archaeological theory (learniing theories and cultural transmission)
  • Identity, material culture and mobility

My research focuses on Archaeology of South Asia. This research has focussed on ceramic materials, North Western India and the Indus Civilization. I am currently engaged in field projects focussing on collapse and transformation of Urban civilisations in South Asia.

I am presently involved in the following research projects:

  • 09/2016 – 2019: Two Rains Project - Winter Rain, Summer Rain: Adaptation, Climate Change, Resilience and the Indus Civilisation



Key publications: 

Ceccarelli A. and C. A. Petrie (accepted). Cultural Evolutionary Paradigms and Technological Transformations from the Neolithic up to the Indus Urban Period in South Asia. In Adam Hardy and Laxshmi Greaves (eds.), South Asian Archaeology. London.

Ceccarelli A. and C. A. Petrie (2018). Ceramic analysis and the Indus Civilisation: a review. In Walking with the Unicorn. Social Organization and Material Culture in Ancient South Asia, edited by Dennys Frenez, Gregg M. Jamison, Randall W. Law, Massimo Vidale and Richard H. Meadow.  ArchaeoPress: Oxford. AVAILABLE ONLINE.

Turchin, P., et al. including A. Ceccarelli (2017). Quantitative historical analysis uncovers a single dimension of complexity that structures global variation in human social organization. PNAS(Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) 115(2), E144-E151. AVAILABLE ONLINE.

Other publications: 

Orijemie, E.A., A. Ceccarelli and C.A.I. French (submitted). Human interaction and ceramics in the Middle Benue Valley, north-central Nigeria. African Archaeological Review. Springer Science (US).

Singh R.N. et al. including A. Ceccarelli (in Press). Living in the hinterland II: survey and excavations at Masudpur 2018. Puratattva: Bulletin of the Indian Archaeological Society.

Singh R.N. et al. including A. Ceccarelli (in Press). Living in the hinterland I: survey and excavations at Lohari Ragho 2015‐2017. Puratattva: Bulletin of the Indian Archaeological Society.

Currie, T. E., Turchin, P., et al. including A. Ceccarelli (2018). Reply to Tosh et al.: Quantitative analyses of cultural evolution require engagement with historical and archaeological research. PNAS(Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences). June 14, 2018.

Teaching and Supervisions


I am involved in the teaching of the following courses:

  • A2. Archaeology in action. Introduction to the methods and practices involved in archaeological field and lab research.
Research supervision: 



  • Dr Patrick S. Quinn


Other Professional Activities

  • Member of Magdalene college, Cambridge, UK
  • Accredited Member of Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA), UK
  • Museum Educator, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK
  • Life membership of the Indian Society for Prehistoric and Quaternary Studies (ISPQS, n. L098)
  • Life membership of the Indian Archaeological Society, New Delhi (IAS, L.M.80, no. 0072)
  • LGBTQ+ Officer for the University of Cambridge, Graduate Union, UK
  • Member of Ceramic Petrology Group (CPG), UK
  • Member of PCRG, Prehistoric Ceramics Research Group, UK
  • Member of Ceramic Technology Network, IoA UCL, UK
  • Member of the European Association for Asian Art and Archaeology (2017-2019)
  • Accredited CSCS, UK - Archaeologist Technician: Construction Skills Certification Scheme, license 05656071
  • Member of the Society for Archaeological Sciences (SAS)

Job Titles

PhD student in Archaeology

General Info

Available for consultancy

Contact Details

McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research
Downing Street


Geographical areas: 
South Asia