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Suggested reading list for applicants and offer holders 

Here are some books and resources that you can use to pursue your interests in Archaeology, Assyriology, Biological Anthropology and Egyptology in advance of making an application or while you’re waiting to start your degree. They are what we find interesting, thought-provoking and entertaining, but this list is in no way required reading. Many books can be bought quite cheaply second-hand (for example via abebooks).  



Biological Anthropology



Barnett, Ross (2019). The Missing Lynx: The Past and Future of Britain's Lost Mammals. Bloomsbury Wildlife. 

Broodbank, C. 2013. The Making of the Middle Sea. Thames and Hudson.  

Diamond, J. (1998). Guns, Germs, and Steel: A Short History of Everybody for the Last 13,000 Years. New York: Norton. 

Diamond, J. (2011). Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Survive. Penguin. 

Gamble, C. (1993). Timewalkers: The Prehistory of Human Colonisation. Sutton. 

Yoffee, N. ed. (2019). The Evolution of Fragility: Setting the Terms. McDonald Institute Conversations. ​ [This book was intended to be a partial response to "Collapse" which has been quite controversial in the academic world]  

Fauvelle, F.X. (2018). The Golden Rhinoceros: Histories of the African Middle Ages. Princeton University Press. 

Graeber, D. and M. Sahlins (2017). On Kings. Chicago, Illinois HAU Books. 

Jones, M. (2008). Feast: Why Humans Share Food. Oxford University Press, U.S.A. 

Parker Pearson, M. (2013). Stonehenge. Simon and Schuster. 

Pascoe, B. (2018). Dark Emu. Broome: Magabala Books 

Pauketat, T. (2010). Cahokia. Penguin.  

Rathje, WL. & Murphy, C. (2001). Rubbish! The Archaeology of Garbage, University of Arizona Press 

Renfrew, C. (2009). Prehistory: The Making of the Human Mind, Modern Library. 

Rutherford, A. (2016). A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived: The Stories in Our Genes. Weidenfeld & Nicolson. 

Smith, S. T. (2003). Wretched Kush. London and New York: Routledge. 

Wynn, T. and F. Coolidge (2013). How to think like a Neanderthal. Oxford University Press. 

Yong, E. (2017). I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life (01 edition). Vintage. 


Textbooks used in the first year 

Renfrew, C. and Bahn, P. 2012. Archaeology: Theory, Methods and Practice, 6th edition, 

Thames and Hudson, London. 

Scarre, C. (ed.) 2009. The Human Past: World Prehistory and Development of Human Society, 

2nd edition, Thames and Hudson, London. 



Neil McGregor’s History of the World in 100 Objects podcast series:  

Women in Archaeology Blog and Podcast Series 

Archaeopodnet - a collection of podcast series about archeology 

The Museum of Lost Objects​ . BBC Podcast tracing the histories of antiquities and landmarks that have been destroyed or looted in Iraq and Syria, India and Pakistan. 

Featuring Dr Augusta McMahon and Dr Martin Worthington 


Blogs and news websites 

Heritage Daily - Archaeology news stories 

The Conversation. Research news - Archaeology topics 



Cultural heritage: a basic human need - Sada Mire at TEDxEuston 

Recording Archaeology​ . A Youtube channel that shows presentations from conferences 

Archaeosoup​  - educational videos about Archaeology 

The Golden Road: Materials, Value and Exchange in the Ancient Americas.​  (Dr Joanne Pillsbury, Taster Lecture) 

The Political Economy of Precolonial African States​  (Professor Shadreck Chirikure, Taster Lecture) 

Naked Archaeology 



Mesopotamian archaeology and history 

Crawford, H. 2017. Sumer and the Sumerians. Cambridge University Press. 

Foster, B.R.  and K. Foster. 2011. Civilisations of Ancient Iraq. Princeton University Press. 

Kuhrt, A. 1995. The Ancient Near East, c 3000-330 BC. Routledge. 

Matthews, R. (2003). Archaeology of Mesopotamia: Theories and Approaches. Routledge. 

Oates, J. (2005) ed. Babylon. Thames & Hudson. 

Postgate, N. (1994). Early Mesopotamia: Society and Economy at the Dawn of History. Routledge. 

Roaf, M. (1990). Cultural Atlas of Mesopotamia. 

Snell, D. (1997). Life in the Ancient Near East. Yale University Press. 

van de Mieroop, M. (2007) ed. A History of the Ancient Near East, ca. 3000-323 BC. Blackwell. 


Akkadian language and literature 

Dalley, S. (2000) Myths from Mesopotamia. OUP 

Finkel, I. L. and Taylor, J. (2015). Cuneiform. British Museum. 

Foster, B. 2005 (3rd ed.). Before the Muses: Anthology of Akkadian Literature. CDL Press. 

George, A.R. (2007). ​ Babylonian and Assyrian​ . In J.N. Postgate, ed., Languages of Iraq Ancient and Modern. British Institute for the Study of Iraq. 

George, A. 1999. The Epic of Gilgamesh. Penguin. 

Charpin, D. (2010). Reading and Writing in Babylon. Harvard University Press 



Ancient Near East Today monthly newsletter   

ArchéOrient, le blog​ . News about the ancient Middle East and Mediterranean from CNRS/ Lyon  

Penn Museum blog, including news from the Ur Digitization Project  



The Poor Man of Nippur​ , a film in Babylonian (with subtitles) which was made by our students.  


Recordings of modern scholars reading Akkadian 


Biological Anthropology 

Cochran, G. and H. Harpending (2009). The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution, Basic Books. 

Dawkins, R. (1989) The Selfish Gene. New edit. Oxford University Press. 

de Waal, F. (2013) The Bonobo and the Atheist: In Search of Humanism among the Primates. WW Norton, New York. 

de Waal, F. (2016). Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?, Granta Publications. 

Diamond, J. (2012) The World until Yesterday. Penguin 

Harari, Y. N. (2015). ​ Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind​  . Vintage. 

Lieberman, D. (2013). The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health and Disease, Penguin Books Limited. 

Martin, R. (2013) How We Do It: The Evolution and Future of Human Reproduction. Basic Books, New York. 

Mesoudi, A. (2011) Cultural Evolution. Univ. Chicago Press 

Stringer, C. & Andrews, P. (2011) The Complete World of Human Evolution. 2nd edition. Thames & Hudson 

Stringer, C. (2011) The Origin of Our Species. Allen Lane 

Tattersall, I. (2012) Masters of the Planet. MacMillan Press. 

Wood, B. (2019). Human Evolution: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press.  

Wynn, T. & Coolidge, F.L. (2012) How To Think like a Neandertal. Oxford Univ. Press 

Wrangham, R. (2010) Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human. Profile Books, London. 



The Leakey Foundation.​  A podcast about human origins, evolution, and behavior 

Blogs and news websites 

Digital museum collections 

African Fossils 

Natural History Museum. Discover Human Evolution 



Egyptian archaeology 

Bard, K. (2008). Introduction to the Archaeology of Ancient Egypt. Malden MA: Blackwell 

James, T. G. H. (1984). Pharaoh’s People: Scenes from Life in Imperial Egypt. London: Bodley Head. 

Morris, E. (2018). Ancient Egyptian Imperialism.  

Quirke, S. (1992). Ancient Egyptian Religion. London: British Museum Press. 

Robins, G. (1997). The Art of Ancient Egypt. London: British Museum Press. 

Shaw, I. (2000) (ed.), The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 

Shaw, I. (2003). Exploring Ancient Egypt. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 


Digital Egypt for Universities 


Egyptian Language 

Collier, M. and Manley B. (1998). How to Read Egyptian Hieroglyphs: a step-by-step guide to teach yourself. London: British Museum Press, 1998. 

Fischer, H. G. (1999). Ancient Egyptian Calligraphy: A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Hieroglyphs (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art).  

Hoch, J. E. (1997). Middle Egyptian Grammar (Mississauga: Benben Publications).  

Simpson, W. K. et al. (2003). The Literature of Ancient Egypt. Yale University Press. 


Lots of freely available journals and books on here, in case you want to delve deeper​ : 


A long list of journals  

More journals 

And books