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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 foothills.

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: 

Peer Reviewed Articles.

In press. Renette, S., Abu Jayyab, K., Gibbon, E., Lewis, M. P., Abdulkarim Q, Z., Cabral, R. & Tomé, A. G. ‘Late Chalcolithic Ceramic Development in Southern Iraqi Kurdistan: The Stratigraphic Sounding at Kani Shaie'. Iraq.

In press. Carter, R., Wengrow, D., 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.

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

Forthcoming   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.


Edited Volumes.

Arntz, M and Lewis, M, P. (eds.). 'The Chaîne Opératoire: Past, Present and Future'. The Archaeological Review from Cambridge. 35 (1). ISSN 0261-4332



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 course:

   A1: World Archaeology.


Research supervision: 

Supervisor: Dr Augusta McMahon

Advisor: Prof Charly French

Other Professional Activities

  • Member of Magdalene College, Cambridge
  • Secretary of Magdalene College MCR (2018-2019)
  • Secretary of the Archaeological Review from Cambridge (2018-present)
  • 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

Not available for consultancy

Contact Details


Person keywords: 
Ceramic petrography
Complex societies
Material culture
Assyriology and Mesopotamian Archaeology
Geographical areas: 
Mesopotamia and the Near East
Periods of interest: 
Copper/Bronze Age