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Duncan Keenan-Jones


Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Climate of Roman Central Italy
Ancient Rome's aqueducts
Aqueduct mineral deposits as archives of past rainfall
Indigenous floodplain resource use and management in Australia's Channel Country
Mortars in the ancient Mediterranean

Personal profile


Duncan is Lecturer in Classical Archaeology at the University of Manchester. His research focuses on the relationship between environment, technology and society in the past, especially in the ancient Mediterranean and in Australia. He is particularly interested in how past and Indigenous practices can help us manage this relationship today. Duncan's research interests are focused on the intersection between Roman society, environment and technology, which he investigates using Latin and Greek texts, archaeological evidence, and geoscientific analyses of limestone deposits.

Duncan has current projects on the climate, flooding and water management in ancient Italy and floodplain management and carbon storage in Australia's channel country, as well as how Roman mortar developed and why it is so durable.  Duncan's long-term research agenda is a holistic, large-scale comparison of key factors – including climatic and environmental variability, population dynamics, land use, disease, instability and governance – influencing Rome's long history, using quantitative estimates (proxies) in a humanities-based interpretative framework. Duncan has previously excavated in Italy, Israel and Australia.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

Areas of expertise

  • DE The Mediterranean Region. The Greco-Roman World
  • Roman history
  • ancient technology
  • QE Geology
  • Carbonate sedimentology
  • CC Archaeology
  • Roman archaeology
  • Australian Indigenous archaeology

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • John Rylands Research Institute and Library


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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