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Department of Archaeology



Benny Q. Shen is a PhD student with a specific interest in the archaeology and anthropology of sub-Saharan. His PhD project explores the contemporary past of apicultural specialization among the Okieks on the Mau Escarpment, Kenya from an archaeological perspective. He received his Master’s in Archaeology at the University of Cambridge. His MPhil dissertation focuses on the reassessment of current approaches in the archaeology of apiculture from the angle of Indigenous beekeeping practices in East Africa. He received his B.A. in Archaeology and Anthropology from IoA, UCL where he was awarded the Peter Ucko Prize for Anthropology and Archaeology and the Jonathan Lowe Prize for work in Palaeoecology. He worked as a field archaeologist for ASE in the commercial setting whilst also participated in a range of research excavations all over the world. 


I have a specific interest in the roles beekeeper communities played in the landscape domestication, ecological conservation, regional and transregional exchange network,  shifts in food subsistence strategies, and various other social and historical processes in East Africa. I have broader interests in the history and archaeology of beekeeping across the world, human-livestock relationship, entomological archaeology, Indigenous archaeology, hunter-gatherer studies, and general archaeological and anthropological theory. In my spare time, I also have a keen interest in ethnomusicology and have been coordinators and active members of a few London-based World Music ensembles.

Teaching and Supervisions

Research supervision: 

Supervisor: Dr Matthew Davies

Other Professional Activities

Secretary (Executive) and Convenor of the Indigenous Studies Discussion Group (ISDG)

Job Titles

PhD student in Archaeology

General Info

Not available for consultancy
Research Expertise / Fields of study: 
Archaeological Theory
Environmental Archaeology, Geoarchaeology, and Landscape studies

Contact Details


Person keywords: 
Archaeology of apiculture
Landscape domestication
Historical ecology
Contemporary archaeology
Human-livestock relationship
Environment, Landscapes and Settlement
Rethinking Complexity
Geographical areas: 
Periods of interest: 
Iron Age
Other Historical
Other Late Prehistory
Other Prehistory