Stuart Campbell


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Personal profile


Supervision areas

I would be very interested in supervising research students in the following areas:

  • Prehistoric and early historic Near East (Neolithic to Bronze Age).
  • Obsidian sourcing and exchange
  • Complex Societies and early urbanism.
  • Landscape and settlement.
  • Death, burial and the body
  • Heritage and culture protection in the Middle East
  • The historical context of archaeology in the Middle East
  • Ceramics
  • The use of portable XRF in archaeology
  • Innovative uses of computing in archaeology.

Further information

Additional Information




Stuart Campbell completed an MA in archaeology at University of Edinburgh (1984), followed by a PhD at the same university (1992) where he was a post-doctoral research fellow until 1995 when he was appointed to a position in Near Eastern archaeology in Manchester.

Stuart's field research has, since 1983, taken place in a number of locations along the northern borders of Iraq and Syria and in south east Turkey. In Iraq this involved participation in the Eski Mosul Dam salvage project on the Tigris at the Halaf site of Kharabeh Shattani (published in 1986 and 1995 with Trevor Watkins and Douglas Baird) and the 4th to 2nd millennium site of Gir Matbakh. Later, during 3 years of almost permanent work in Iraq, he directed the rescue excavations at the ceramic neolithic site of Ginnig and the late 6th millennium site of Khirbet Garsour and was involved with the prehistoric sections of the major North Jazira survey project.

From1993 he was the ceramicist and, for four seasons, field director of the University of Edinburgh excavations at Jerablus Tahtani in the Tishreen dam area on the Euphrates in Syria, close to the ancient city of Carchemish, working particularly on the Early Bronze material.

In 1995 he started a joint University of Manchester/University of California Los Angeles excavation at the 20ha 7th and 6th millennium site of Domuztepe in south-east Turkey (co-director Elizabeth Carter until 2005) with the intention of examining developing social complexity, for the first time in this period at a site of this size. In total, 13 excavation seasons and 2 study seasons were completed at the site. After 2008, the project was joint with the British Museum and is it is now in a phase of post-excavation and publication.

In 2013, Stuart began a new phase of fieldwork with a return to southern Iraq, co-directing the Ur Region Archaeology Project with Jane Moon and Robert Killick. This project, one of the very few working in the south of Iraq, investigated Tell Khaiber, a rural site with a large, fortified, administrative structure dating to c.1550 BC. Since 2016, the team has continued work at the city of Charax Spasinou, the major port at the north of the Gulf during the Hellenistic, Parthian and Sasanian periods.

Research interests

Much of my research has focussed across the period between 7,000 and 1,500 BCE in the Near East, a period of dramatic social change between the mature Neolithic and the emergence of urbanism. More recently I have extended that range to the 1st millennium CE.  I am broadly interested in the development and dyanmics of early complex societies, with particular interests in identity and symbolism as well as the use of space. My research has included directing large scale, collaborative field projects in several countries in the Near East. I also work on specific aspects of material culture, including innovative approaches to the interpretation of pottery, provenance studies of pottery and obsidian, and most recently multi-element surveys of archaeological soils. This work has led to a specific expertise in the use of portable XRF instruments in archaeology. Other research interests have focused on a critical examination of how Near Eastern archaeologists develop their interpretations and on the use of computers in archaeology, including 3 dimensional recording. Most recently, new fieldwork in southern Iraq has produced a particular focus on the role of cultural heritage in post-conflict social reconstruction.

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 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water

Areas of expertise

  • CC Archaeology
  • Obsidian
  • pXRF

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Digital Futures
  • Creative Manchester


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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