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Department of Archaeology



Trained in archaeology and anthropology at Oxford and UCL, completed doctoral research at the University of Sheffield; I also worked in Turkey, at the British Institute at Ankara; Koç University’s Research Centre for Anatolian Civilizations; and Istanbul University’s Department of Protohistory. I joined Cambridge in March 2016 as Junior Research Fellow at Churchill College and Fellow in Archaeology of Eurasia and the Ancient Near East at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research.

Please note: I am not Prof. Toby A. H. Wilkinson, an Egyptologist who used to be based at the University of Cambridge but has now moved to the University of Lincoln.


I specialise in computational/GIS analysis and central Eurasian/Near Eastern protohistory and late prehistory. My doctoral research used spatial modelling of travel routes to examine trade patterns during the 3rd millennium BC. My current research in this field uses digital mapping to examine the role of landscape, innovations in technology and consumption patterns in the social and economic transformation of central Eurasian societies between the 5th and 2nd millennia BC.

I co-lead a landscape survey project on the Milesian peninsula, modern Turkey, using ‘born-digital’ data collection and ‘open-data’ management approaches (Project Panormos).

I am also developing visual and inteactive tools for archaeological data exploration and presentation, including for the Kythera Island Survey and MedAfrica.

Wider research interests include:-

  • archaeological visualization (especially spatial maps and remote-sensing);
  • digital archaeology (incl. ‘open science’ approaches); 
  • intensive and remote survey analysis of ancient landscapes;  
  • theory and modelling of ancient travel and effects of seasonality;  
  • grand narratives and archaeology;
  • long-term history of exchange (ancient economy), and inequality;  
  • socio-technological change and cross-craft interaction;  
  • ancient technology (especially textiles and metallurgy);  
  • social history of Eurasia from the 5th to 2nd millennia BC, including Anatolia, Transcaucasia, Iran and Central Asia and adjacent regions;  
  • anthropological history of vision, art, aesthetics and photography.


Key publications: 


[1] T. C. Wilkinson (2018) Cloth and Currency: On the Ritual-Economics of Eurasian Textile Circulation and the ‘Origins’ of Trade, Fifth to Second millennia BC, in K. Kristiansen, T. Lindkvist, J. Myrdal (eds.) Trade and Civilization: Economic Networks and Cultural Ties, from Prehistory to the Modern Era. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
[2] Slawisch, A. and T. C. Wilkinson (2018) Processions, Propaganda and Pixels: Reconstructing the ‘Sacred Way’ between Miletos and Didyma. American Journal of Archaeology 122.1: pp. 101–143. [link to OA pdf: doi:10.3764/aja.122.1.0101 ]
[3] Strupler, N. and T. C. Wilkinson (2017) Reproducibility in the field: transparency, version control and collaboration on the Project Panormos Survey. Open Archaeology 3: 279–304. [link to OA pdf: doi:10.1515/opar-2017-0019]
[4] Glatz, C., Düring, B. and Wilkinson, T. C. (2015) Developing an Adaptive Field Methodology for Challenging Landscapes. In B. Düring and C. Glatz (eds.). Kinetic Landscapes: The Cide Archaeological Project 2009-2011 – Surveying the Western Turkish Black Sea Region. Warsaw: De Gruyter Open: 53-103. 
[5] Galanakis, Y., Wilkinson, T. and Bennet, J. (eds.) (2014) ΑΘΥΡΜΑΤΑ (athyrmata). Critical Essays on the Archaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean in Honour of E. Susan Sherratt. Archaeopress Archaeology. Oxford, Archaeopress.
[6] Wilkinson, T. C. (2014) Tying the Threads of Eurasia: Trans-regional Routes and Material Flows in Transcaucasia, eastern Anatolia and western Central Asia, c. 3000-1500BC. Leiden, Sidestone Press. [link to publisher description, read online
[7] Wilkinson, T.C. (2014) The Early Transcaucasian phenomenon in structural-systemic perspective: cuisine, craft and economy. Paléorient 40.2: 203-229. [link to pdf: ]
[8] Wilkinson, T. C., Sherratt, S. and Bennet, J. eds. (2011). Interweaving Worlds: Systemic Interactions in Eurasia, 7th to 1st millennia BC. Oxford, Oxbow.
Other publications: 

For most up-to-date full publication list, see:

Other Professional Activities

  • Fellow of Churchill College
  • Member of the British Institute at Ankara
  • Fellow of the British Institute of Persian Studies

Job Titles

Research Associate, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research
Junior Research Fellow, Churchill College

General Info

Not available for consultancy
Research Expertise / Fields of study: 
Material Culture
Computational and Quantitative Archaeology
Environmental Archaeology, Geoarchaeology, and Landscape studies

Contact Details

McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research
Downing Street


Person keywords: 
Material Culture
Migration and Mobility
The Near East
Science, Technology and Innovation
Environment, Landscapes and Settlement
Material Culture
Rethinking Complexity
Geographical areas: 
Central Asia
Mesopotamia and the Near East
Periods of interest: 
Copper/Bronze Age
Other Prehistory