Dr Timothy Clack

Research Profile

Research Activities

Drawing on archaeological, historical, and anthropological perspectives, my research explores the ways in which the past is choreographed in the present and, correspondingly, how the present is legitimised by the past. Recent projects have included: experiences of the material legacies of conflict (Falkland Islands, Belgium); cultural heritage destruction (Afghanistan, Mali, Ukraine); the past as a driver of contemporary conflict (Kenya, Somalia); changing understandings of heritage amongst semi-nomadic communities (Ethiopia, Kenya); cultural property protection (Georgia), and mutable religious identities in colonial settings (South Africa, Tanzania).

A range of funders have supported my research, including: Arts and Humanities Research Council; British Academy; Boise Fund, Oxford; British Institute in Eastern Africa, Nairobi; Christensen Fund, San Francisco; Fell Fund, Oxford; McDonald Institute, Cambridge; and the Royal Anthropological Institute.

Project websites:

Falklands War Mapping Project: https://www.falklandswarmappingproject.uk 

Climate Change & (In)Security Project: https://cciproject.uk

Mursiland Heritage Project: https://mursi-archaeology.com/about-the-project/about-the-project/

  • Co-Director Endangered Heritage of the Global South (with Bill Finlayson, Oxford)
  • Co-Director of the Falklands War Mapping Project (with Tony Pollard, Glasgow University)
  • Co-Director of the Climate Change & (In)Security Project (with Ziya Meral, Centre for Historical and Conflict Research)
  • Co-Director of the Heritage, Information and Conflict Project (with Mark Dunkley, Cranfield University)
  • Co-Director of the Mursiland Heritage Project (with Marcus Brittain, University of Cambridge and Juan Salazar Bonet, Florida State University Valencia)
  • Co-Director of the Roots of Divided Societies in the Horn of Africa Project (with Simon Mabon, Lancaster University)





  • Honour Moderations paper 3: Perspectives on Human Evolution
  • Final Honours School paper 1: Social Analysis and Interpretation
  • Final Honours School option paper: Culture at War: Archaeology, Anthropology and Conflict (course convenor)

Director of Studies for undergraduates at St Peter’s College.


  • MSc Archaeology of Colonialism (course co-convenor)

Tim welcomes interest from doctoral students in the areas of cultural heritage and conflict, particularly histories of cultural property protection and material culture as a driver of conflict and conflict resolution, the interfaces of archaeology and anthropology, representations of the past in popular media, and theoretical and methodological approaches to landscape, memory and ritual.

Doctoral Supervision

I am interested in supervising doctoral students in contemporary archaeology, conflict archaeology, and landscape archaeology. I am especially keen to hear from those intending to research the role of the material past in the construction of modern memories and identities, protection and destruction of cultural heritage, theoretical and methodological approaches to past and present conflicts, and the relationship between archaeology and anthropology.

Current students

The Influence of International Funders in Post-Conflict Heritage Reconstruction: State-Building and Reconciliation in Iraq and Afghanistan
Kristen Barrett-Casey | DPhil Archaeology | Supervisor: Timothy Clack
Sacred Heritage, Memory and Identity: Mazu belief of the Chinese diasporas in Southeast Asia
Yuxin Fu | DPhil Archaeology | Supervisors: Timothy Clack and Anke Hein
A comparative analysis of how armed conflict and the destruction of cultural heritage impacts communities
Beth Timmins | DPhil Archaeology | Supervisors: Timothy Clack and Dan Hicks

Key words: decolonisation, endangered heritage, wellbeing, policy, land use, Conflict, Climate change, Memory, Identity, Media, contemporary, Africa, Central Asia, Europe, South Atlantic, Antarctica, Caucasus