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Department of Archaeology



Having studied undergraduate archaeology here at Cambridge, and then a Masters in material anthropology at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, I returned in 2016 to start my PhD. Aside from my doctoral research, I have also taken part in undergraduate teaching, co-editing the Archaeological Review from Cambridge, and been involved in several other research projects. I also run the King’s College Allotments and Apiary.


My main topic of research looks at the intersection of landscape, settlement and household in the development of East African environments, particularly the highlands of Elgeyo Marakwet County in the northern Rift Valley of Kenya. I am generally interested in ecological approaches that tie in both physical and anthropocentric factors in complex networks that examine how human lives have changed/been changed by the landscapes in which they are situated. As such I deal both with geoarchaeological and more historical/ethnographic techniques and methodologies, in addition to a firm grounding in archaeological and other critical theory.


Key publications: 


Kay, D.K., Lunn-Rockliffe, S. and Davies, M.I.J. (forthcoming) ‘The Archaeology of South Sudan from c. 3,000 BC to AD 1,500’ Azania (forthcoming special issue on Sudanese archaeology)

Kay, D.K. and Kay, K. (2018) ‘Review: Assemblage Theoryby Manuel DeLanda’ Archaeological Review from Cambridge, 33 (1): 168-173

Haour, A., Nixon, S., Livingstone Smith, A., Nikis, N., and Kay, D.K. (2018) ‘The Pottery’ in A. Haour (ed.) Two Thousand Years in Dendi, Northern Benin: Archaeology, History and Memory. Leiden: Brill, pp. 139-173

Teaching and Supervisions


From 2017-2019 I was the Teaching Assistant and supervisor for Paper 6: Being Human. I have also done occasional practical demonstrations for undergraduates/MPhils within the McBurney Lab for Geoarchaeology.

Research supervision: 

Supervisors: Prof Charly French, Dr Matthew Davies (external - UCL)

Advisors: Dr Elizabeth DeMarrais

Job Titles

PhD Student in Archaeology

General Info

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

Contact Details


Person keywords: 
East Africa
Environment, Landscapes and Settlement
Material Culture
Rethinking Complexity
Geographical areas: 
Periods of interest: 
Other Historical
Other Late Prehistory