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Department of Archaeology



PhD Archaeology. University of Cambridge (2017-present)

MSc Technological Analysis of Archaeological Materials University College London (Distinction) (2015-2017)

MA Archaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East University College London (Merit) (2010-2011)

BA Archaeology University College London (UCL) 2007-2010


My PhD research is looking at how social transformations from the 4th-early 3rd millennium BCE influence and manifest themselves in the choice of raw materials, and chaîne opératoire of pottery from the Shahrizor and Bazyan Valley of Northern Mesopotamia (modern Iraqi-Kurdistan). In particular, my research is looking at the effects of the Uruk Phenomenon upon the rural communities located at the foothills of Zagros.

Within this, I aim to identify ceramic manufacture and modes of production. I also am looking at functional comparisons of the ceramics, and finally the interpretation of local, regional and interregional trade and exchange through archaeometric analysis of the pottery. 

Key Publications

Key publications: 

Peer Reviewed Articles.

2022. Renette, S., Lewis, M. P., Wencel, M., Farahani, A., Cabral, R., and Tomé, A. In press. ‘Establishing an Absolute Chronological Framework for the Late Chalcolithic to Early Bronze Age in Iraqi Kurdistan: Radiocarbon Dates from Kani Shaie’. Radiocarbon.

2021. Renette, S., Abu Jayyab, K., Gibbon, E., Lewis, M. P., Abdulkarim Q, Z., Cabral, R. and Tomé, A. G. ‘Late Chalcolithic Ceramic Development in Southern Iraqi Kurdistan: The Stratigraphic Sounding at Kani Shaie'. Iraq. doi:10.1017/irq.2021.1

2020. Lewis, M, P., Quinn, P. S. and Carter, R. ‘Uruk Expansion or Integrated Development? A Petrographic and Geochemical Perspective from Gurga Chiya, Iraqi Kurdistan.’. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 33.

2020. Carter, R., Wengrow, D., Saber, S. A., Hamarashi, S. J., Shepperson, M., Roberts, K., Lewis, M, P., Marsh, A., Carretero, L, G., Sosnowska, H., D’Amico, A., Sagan, W and Lockyear, K. ‘The Later Prehistory of the Shahrizor Plain, Iraqi Kurdistan: Further Investigations at Gurga Chiya and Tepe Marani’. Iraq 82. 41-71

Book Chapters.

2022. Lewis, M. P. ‘The “Uruk Conundrum” in the Shahrizor, Iraqi-Kurdistan: Petrographic Developments, Ceramic Variation and Cultural Connections at Gird-i Shamlu and Gurga Chiya’. In Baldi, J. S., Iamoni, M., Peyronel, L. and Sconzo, P. (eds.). ‘Societies in Contact. Late Chalcolithic and Uruk Mesopotamian Communities at the Dawn of the Urban World’. Subartu Series, Brepols, Tournhout. 65-85.

Edited Volumes.

2020. Arntz, M and Lewis, M, P. (eds.). 'The Chaîne Opératoire: Past, Present and Future'. The Archaeological Review from Cambridge. 35 (1).  Available Open Access;



Other publications: 

Book Reviews

2019. Lewis, M. Review of ‘The Emergence of Pottery in West Asia,’ Tsuneki, A; Nieuwenhuyse, O and Campbell, S (eds). Papers from the Institute of Archaeology 28 (1). 1-5.

2019. Lewis, M. 2019. Review of Domenici, D and Marchetti, N (eds.). ‘Urbanised Landscapes in Early Syro-Mesopotamia and Prehispanic Mesoamerica: Papers of a Cross-Cultural Seminar held in Honor of Robert McCormick Adams’. Rosetta 23:28-32.

Teaching and Supervisions


I am involved in the teaching of the following courses:

A1: World Archaeology.

A3: Introduction to the Cultures of Egypt and Mesopotamia.



Research supervision: 

Supervisor: Dr Augusta McMahon


Other Professional Activities

  • Member of Magdalene College, Cambridge
  • Secretary of Magdalene College MCR (2018-2019)
  • General Editor of the Archaeological Review from Cambridge (2020-2021)
  • Secretary of the Archaeological Review from Cambridge (2018-2020)
  • Member of the British Institute of Persian Studies (2019-present)
  • Member of the Ceramic Petrology Group (2016-present)
  • Member of the British Association of Near Eastern Archaeology (BANEA) 2014-present

Job Titles

PhD Student in Archaeology

General Info

Available for consultancy
Research Expertise / Fields of study: 
Material Culture
Socio-Politics of the Past
Artefact Analysis & Technology
Archaeological Theory

Contact Details

ml830 [at]


Person keywords: 
Ceramic petrography
Complex societies
Material culture
Assyriology and Mesopotamian Archaeology
Science, Technology and Innovation
Material Culture
Rethinking Complexity
Geographical areas: 
Central Asia
Mesopotamia and the Near East
Periods of interest: 
Copper/Bronze Age
Other Late Prehistory
Other Prehistory