skip to content

Department of Archaeology



Dr Rebecca Wragg Sykes is an archaeologist with diverse interests and activities that bridge between academic research and public scholarship. Her particular academic expertise is in the Palaeolithic, Neanderthals and lithic technology, and between 2013–2015 she held a Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship at PACEA (University of Bordeaux). She also has interests in gender archaeology, women in prehistory and the history of archaeology, in particular the role of women within the discipline and Earth Sciences; in 2013 she co-founded the influential organisation TrowelBlazers, which highlights the latter theme.

Since returning to the UK in 2017, Rebecca began to refocus her career trajectory to merge continuing academic activity including collaborations, sole and co-authored publications (see CV), with high-profile public scholarship through popular writing, diverse speaking and broadcast work. In 2021 her first book Kindred: Neanderthal Life, Love, Death and Art won the 2021 PEN Hessell-Tiltman prize for history, Current Archaeology’s Book of the Year and was listed in the New York Times’ 100 Notable Books. In recognition of her achievements, in 2022 she received the Royal Anthropological Institute's Public Anthropology Award, and the President's Award from the Prehistoric Society.

Rebecca continues to develop a variety of projects with diverse partners. She maintains an affiliation with the School of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology, University of Liverpool, and in particular collaborates with Dr Peter Hommel on projects relating prehistoric materiality with public outreach. Her next popular book, Matriarcha: Prehistory Re-imagined is forthcoming in 2025, alongside other writing. She has also gained a reputation as an expert consultant working with numerous stakeholders, and is currently in partnerships with heritage organisations, film and television companies. 

Job Titles

Honorary Research Associate, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research

General Info

Not available for consultancy

Contact Details