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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.

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

Kelly, R. (2016). The Fifth Beginning : What Six Million Years of Human History Can Tell Us about Our Future.

McCorriston, J. and Field, J. (2020). Anthropocene: A New Introduction to World Prehistory Parker Pearson, M. (2013). Stonehenge. Simon and Schuster.

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

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

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

Wragg Sykes, R. (2020). Kindred: Neanderthal life, love, death and art. London Bloomsbury Sigma

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 

History Hack Podcast: The Terracotta Warriors with Prof Marcos Martínon Torres

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 





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  


Thin end of the wedge


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

Digital Hammurabi


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.  

Desilva, J. (2021) A Most Interesting Problem: What Darwin’s Descent of Man Got Right and Wrong about Human Evolution. Princeton 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. 

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 

Roberts, A. (2021). Ancestors: A Prehistory of Britain in Seven Burials. United Kingdom: Simon & Schuster UK.

Saini, A. (2019). Superior: the return of race science. Boston: Beacon Press.

Saini, A. (2017). Inferior : How science got women wrong - and the new research that's rewriting the story

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

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 


CARTA: Center for Academic Research & Training in Anthropogeny - a large video archive of talks exploring and explaining human origins 


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).  

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

Egyptology resources on HE+ website



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