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Department of Archaeology



Nancy Highcock holds a BA in Classical and Medieval Studies from Bates College (Maine) and an MA in Medieval Studies from the University of York. She completed her PhD in Ancient Near Eastern and Egyptian Studies from New York University in 2018. She has worked on excavations in Turkey and Egypt and directed the excavations of the lower terrace/town at the  multi-period site of Niğde-Kınık Höyük in southern Cappadocia, Turkey since 2013, acting as field director in 2019.



My research focuses on individual and collective identity formation in the ancient Near East. In my PhD dissertation I highlighted the impact that high levels of mobility have on the construction and maintenance of collective identity and action in pastoralist and mercantile communities of the Middle Bronze Age. I am especially interested in how aspects of identity can become simultaneously fixed and malleable in multicultural trading communities and how this phenomenon manifests in the archaeological record.

I am currently engaged in projects on theories of mercantile economy in the ancient Near East, Anatolian material culture, and socio-economic transformations in the lower town Niğde-Kınık Höyük in southern Cappadocia, Turkey.

I recently finished my position as the  Postdoctoral Research Associate on the project “Memories for Life: Materiality and Memory of Ancient Near Eastern inscribed private objects", a 3-year collaborative project funded by the Swedish Research Council (PI Jakob Andersson, Uppsala, co-PI Christina Tsouparopoulou, Cambridge).






Key publications: 
forthcoming Highcock, N., and Matessi, A. “The Early Bronze Age at Kınık Höyük (Niğde)”, Proceedings of the 4th Kültepe International Meeting (eds. F. Kulakoğlu, C. Michel, G. Kryszat) Subartu, Brepols.


forthcoming d’Alfonso, L. and Highcock, N. “Dynamism and Scale in Western Asian Bronze Age Trade Networks”, in Material Worlds: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Contacts and Exchange in the Ancient Near East, Proceedings of a Workshop held at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (ISAW), New York University, March 7th, 2016, (ed. Arnulf Hausleiter). Oxford: Archaeopress.

2020 Highcock, N., and Tsouparopoulou, C. “The Construction of Women’s Identities through Commemorative Objects in Bronze Age Mesopotamia”, Altorientalische Forschungen.

2020  d’Alfonso, A., Yolaçan, B., Castellano, L., Highcock, N., Casagrande-Kim, R., Gorrini, M.E., Trameri, A. “NIĞDE KINIK HÖYÜK: New Evidence on Central Anatolia during the First Millennium BCE”, Near Eastern Archaeology

2020   Lanaro, A., Castellano, L., Highcock, N., Mantovan, A., d’Alfonso, L. “South-Central Anatolia during the Iron Age: a diachronic view from Kınık Höyük (Niğde) In: Proceedings of the 11th ICAANE. Harrassowitz Verlag.

2019      “To Toggle Back and Forth: Clothing Pins and Portable Identities in the Old Assyrian period", in Fashioned Selves: Dress and Identity in Antiquity, (ed. Megan Cifarelli). Oxford: Oxbow, 25-38.

2018      “Assyrians Abroad: Expanding Borders Through Mobile Identities in the Middle Bronze Age”, in Hic Sunt Dracones: Creating, Defining, and Abstracting Place in the Ancient World, (ed. Gina Konstantopoulos). Journal of Ancient Near Eastern History, Vol. 4, Issue 1-2: 61-93.

2015      Highcock, N., Crabtree, P., Campana, D., Capardoni, M., Lanaro, A., Matessi, A., Miller, N., Strosahl, P., Trameri, A., and d’Alfonso, L.  “Kınık Hoyuk, Niğde. A New Archaeological Project in Southern Cappadocia”, in S. Steadman and G. McMahon (eds.), The Archaeology of Anatolia: Recent Discoveries (2011-2014). Volume I. Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars: Pp. 98-127.


Other publications: 
[1] December 2017. Nancy Highcock “The Old Assyrian Period,” in Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000-. 
[2] 2017. Hatice Ergürer, Roberta Casagrande-Kim, Lorenzo Castellano, Marco de Pietri, Nancy Highcock,Andrea Trameri, and Lorenzo d’Alfonso, “Excavations at Kınık Höyük 2016,” in Kazı Sonuçları Toplantısı 39(2): 587-599.  
[3] 2016. Lorenzo d’Alfonso, Hatice Ergürer, Lorenzo Castellano, Nancy Highcock, Anna Lanaro, Alvise Matessi, Andrea Trameri, “Excavations at Kınık Höyük, 2015,” in  Kazı Sonuçları Toplantısı 38(3): 333-342.  
[4] 2015. Lorenzo D’Alfonso, Nancy Highcock, Anna Lanaro, Alvise Matessi, B.M. Tomassini Pieri, Andrea Trameri “Kınık Höyük (Niğde), 2013 / Kınık Höyük 2013 Yılı Kazıları”, in  Kazı Sonuçları Toplpantısı 36: 489-516.
[5] 2016. “Hyksos”, in Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception (Berlin: de Gruyter).
[6] 2016. Beate Pongratz-Leisten and Nancy Highcock “Hand(s) in the ANE”, in Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception (Berlin: de Gruyter).
[7] 2016. “Hymns in the ANE”, in Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception (Berlin: de Gruyter)

Teaching and Supervisions

A 3: Introduction to the Cultures of Egypt and Mesopotamia

A 25: Mesopotamian Archaeology I: Prehistory to Early States

G 07: Mesopotamian Archaeology I: Prehistory to Early States



Other Professional Activities

Research Associate, Darwin College

Job Titles

Teaching Associate in Mesopotamian Archaeology

General Info

Available for consultancy
Research Expertise / Fields of study: 
Material Culture
Socio-Politics of the Past
Assyriology and Mesopotamian Languages
Built Environment
Archaeological Theory

Contact Details

McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research
Downing Site


Person keywords: 
Cognition and Culture
Cultural Evolution
Dynamics of Complex Societies
Material culture and technology
Assyriology and Mesopotamian Archaeology
Material Culture
Rethinking Complexity
Geographical areas: 
Mesopotamia and the Near East
Periods of interest: 
Copper/Bronze Age
Iron Age
Other Late Prehistory