Friday, October 14, 2005

Academic background: identity, experience and practice

This is an archaeoblog, which I'm writing to enable the public to access, contribute to, question and criticise my research - from initial research proposals, to field notes extracts, to final research conclusions; it also helps me to organise and map my thinking.

I believe that it's important to make my background clear, so that people can take my identities and experiences into account as they read my work; but I haven't found a way to do that in an interesting or meaningful way, so...

I grew up in a small town outside London. I did my BA in Archaeology and Prehistory at the University of Sheffield (2000-2003); during that time, I excavated primarily in an agricultural village in Greece, but also in cities in England and on a farm in Wales. In my dissertation I examined, "objective morality in archaeological interpretation: confronting injustice in education".

When possible, before and/or after the excavations in Greece, I travelled in south-eastern Europe, which never failed to make an impression. Once, walking around in Sarajevo in Bosnia and Hercegovina, I found a recent ruin with graffiti imploring, "write about us: stop [an]other genocide".

After that, I took an MA in Cultural Heritage Studies at University College London (2003-2004), in the dissertation for which, in the context of the war in Iraq, I asked, "is there a human right to loot?"

I won a 1+3 MSc+PhD award from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and took the MSc in Social Research Methods at the University of Sussex (2004-2005).

During the MSc, as part of the feasibility study for my Ph.D., I spent a month in Kosova/Kosovo, but it proved infeasible, so I reworked the application to address cultural heritage concerns in Cyprus and spent the last few months of 2005 working up the material I had collected in Kosovo.

Then, I did my DPhil (2005-2010), at the Law School of the University of Sussex. It involved Interrogating Archaeological Ethics in Conflict Zones: Cultural Heritage Work in Cyprus.(1)

In 2006 and 2007, I had Greek language training at the University of Cyprus, and Turkish language training at TÖMER, although, for many reasons, I am fluent in neither language. Outside that training, between 2006 and 2008, I conducted the fieldwork for my DPhil. Between April 2008 and September 2009, I worked on my thesis in London.

I won a Greek state (IKY) scholarship for Study of Greek Language and Culture at the University of Ioannina, between October 2009 and May 2010; there, I studied Greek by day and wrote my thesis by night.

Between May and September 2010, I returned home and finished my thesis. I was in London, unemployed, between October 2010 and March 2011 (notwithstanding voluntary English teaching work in March 2011).

I worked as an English teacher at a private language school (dershane) in Kayseri, Turkey, from April until August 2011. But now I'm unemployed again.
  1. In the original research proposal, its title was: Placing Cultural Rights: Resolving Conflicts over Cultural Heritage - Querying Cultures' Rights and Archaeologists' Responsibilities.

    During the fieldwork, its title was first, Interrogating Archaeological Ethics: Reconciling Professional Responsibilities with Humanitarian Duties, then, Interrogating Archaeological Ethics: Cultural Heritage Destruction in the Cyprus Conflict, and Cultural Heritage Work in a Divided Society.
[Last edited on 24th August 2011; largely replaced redundant blogger profile.]


  1. Would like to hear more on Cyprus, particularly Northern part..
    Muge Sevketoglu

  2. I would be most interested to learn on what legal framework the current law in TRNC is based? I believe it is based on the english legal system circa 1960's as per when it was a British colony. What has happened since then? Are there rules for the police to follow? Are there stated cases?

  3. What has happened since then? Are there rules for the police to follow? Are there stated cases?

    According to the property websites that crowd out any search for discussions of TRNC law, TRNC law is based upon British law (and I remember being told that it has accepted all of the 1960 Republic of Cyprus's laws).

    Of course there are rules for the police to follow and cases; it may not be a legally-recognised state, but it does act like one. Actually, you might be able to find everything you want by searching simply for "TRNC", then browsing its website.

  4. do u have any ideea about politics of cyprus?please help

  5. what do you think the morality of archaeoligy is

  6. There are lots of different moralities. Every archaeologist and everyone else has a morality; and each organisation has an ethic. Sometimes they contradict each other; and often individuals will apply their organisations' ethics, rather than their own. Personally, I would like archaeology to practice and promote a human rights morality/ethic.

  7. I feel like you reports dont have the academic objectivity that is a key point. You seem to jump to conclutions to fast. But thats my opinion, you should work harder to be more objectiv.

  8. I believe that I am as objective as possible.

    Since (from your website) you appear to deny the Armenian Genocide, Sancak Beyi Emre, I do not believe we will ever agree on evidence, historical fact, and academic objectivity.