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Department of Archaeology



My BSc (2015) and MSc (2016) are in archaeology and in the scientific analysis of inorganic archaeological materials from UCL. I recently completed my PhD here at Cambridge (2023), in collaboration with the Museo del Oro in Bogotá. As part of my doctorate, I specialised in the application of computational methods in the archaeological sciences, developing new Bayesian modelling methods to the cross-regional analysis of archaeological legacy datasets. I have also collaborated on a project focused on reverse engineering gold production activities at Great Zimbabwe. 

My thesis focused on using compositional data as a proxy to understand past material engagements involving metals and metallurgy within the region of present-day Colombia, in particular the Muisca region. As a research associate on the REVERSEACTION project, I will continue working to improve our understanding of raw material procurement practices in pre-Hispanic Colombia, conducting spatial analyses of movement in relation to known archaeological sites and raw material sources of metals, lithics, ceramics, and textiles.


My research interests lie in examining how humans in the past engaged with different classes of material culture, how craft production activities were organised underneath different socio-political and economic systems of organisation, as well as the role of different technologies and material exchanges in the materialisation of ideologies and in the promotion of social cohesion. More broadly, I am interested in building large-scale cross-comparative narratives of the variability of human responses to different environmental, technological, and cultural stimuli through space and time. For this reason, I have a strong interest in developing quantitative methods within the field that allow us to add scientific rigour to such cross-regional analyses, whilst incorporating local nuance in human behaviour into computational model outputs.

I further have a strong interest in promoting sustainability in archaeology through the preservation and use of legacy datasets, as well as in the use of computational approaches to derive meaning from large-scale spatio-temporal datasets.

Key Publications

Key publications: 

Vieri, J., Chirikure, S., Lane, P., Martinón-Torres, M., 2023. Archaeological science, globalisation, and local agency: gold in Great Zimbabwe. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences 15, 127.

Vieri, J., Uribe-Villegas, M.A. and Martinón-Torres, M., 2020. Of forming, gilding and intentionality in pre-Columbian goldwork: Analytical characterisation of artefacts from the Museo del Oro, Bogotá. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 34.



Teaching and Supervisions


2023-2024 Guest Lecturer, A34/G16: Archaeology of North America & Mesoamerica, "Intermediate Area - Colombia"
2023-2024 Guest Lecturer, AS9: Archaeological Materials and Technologies, "Metals (ferrous)"
2021-2022 Undergraduate Supervisor, A11/B5 From Data to Interpretation
2021-2022 Undergraduate Supervisor on Materials Analysis, A21 Introduction to Archaeological Science
2019-2021 Teaching Assistant, A1 World Archaeology
2019-2021 Undergraduate Supervisor, A1 World Archaeology


Job Titles

Research Associate, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research

General Info

Not available for consultancy
Research Expertise / Fields of study: 
Material Culture
Socio-Politics of the Past
Artefact Analysis & Technology
Computational and Quantitative Archaeology
Environmental Archaeology, Geoarchaeology, and Landscape studies

Contact Details

jmkv2 [at]
McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research


Person keywords: 
Computational archaeology
Spatial analysis
Material culture
Materials science
Archaeological Science
Science, Technology and Innovation
Material Culture
Geographical areas: 
Periods of interest: 
Other Historical
Other Late Prehistory
Other Prehistory