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Ceri Z. Ashley

Outline biography:

I did my PhD at the Institute of Archaeology, UCL (2001-2005). Since then I have held postdoctoral research positions at UCLA (Cotsen Visiting Scholar 2006-7) and UCL (British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, 2007-10), and have been a Senior Lecturer in Archaeology at UP since 2011.

Research interests:

Broadly my research focuses on material culture, with a specific focus on ceramics. This includes collaborations with material science specialists on technology, as well as research on material engagements within and between hunter-gatherer ceramic producers and early farming communities in eastern Africa, and the material discourses of missionaries in nineteenth century Botswana. I have directed archaeological research in Kenya, Uganda, Botswana and South Africa.

Research activity:

I have an ongoing research project co-directed with my colleague, Dr Alexander Antonites, on Mapungubwe hinterland communities in the Limpopo Valley (NRF CSUR grant, 2014-2016). From 2016 onwards, we have also begun a new programme of research (NRF African Origins Platform to Dr Antonites) on so-called ‘commoner’ communities in the greater Mapungubwe landscape


Diskin, S. & Ashley, C2016  Characterisation of Archaeological Ceramics from the Khwebe Hills of Northern Botswana. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports.

Ashley, C. & Grillo, K. 2015  Archaeological ceramics from eastern Africa: past approaches and future directions. Invited paper for 50th Anniversary Issue, Azania: Archaeological Research from Africa.

Ashley, C. 2015 Chess Piece from Lake Ngami Mission, Botswana. In K. Jacobs, C. Knowles & C. Wingfield (eds) Trophies, Relics and Curios? Missionary Heritage from Africa and the Pacific. 167-171. Sidestone Press

Reid, A. & Ashley, C.Z.  2014 Islands of Intensive Agriculture in Victoria Nyanza. In C. Stevens, S. Nixon, M-A. Murray  & D.Q. Fuller (eds) Archaeology of African Plant Use. 179-188. Walnut Creek: Left Coast Press.

Ashley, C 2013  Migration in Africa. In P. Lane and P. Mitchell (eds) Handbook of African Archaeology. 77-86. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Ashley, C & Boukaze-Khan, D. 2011 Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites in Sub-Saharan Africa. Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites Vol. 13, No. 2-3:95-102.

Insoll, T., MacLean, R., Ashley, C. & Kankpeyeng, B.W. 2011 The Iron Age ceramics from the Tong Hills, Northern Ghana. Sequence and Comparative Perspective. Journal of African Archaeology 9(1): 15-39.

Ashley, C. 2010 Migration, Missionaries and Contact: Recent Archaeological Research in the Khwebe Hills, Botswana. Archaeology International. 36-41

Ashley, C.Z. 2010 Towards a Socialised Archaeology of Great Lakes Ceramics. African Archaeological Review 27: 135-163

Dale, D. & Ashley, C. 2010 Kansyore hunter-fisher-gatherers: New Research from Western Kenya. Azania: Archaeological Research from Africa. 45, 1: 24-48.

Ashley, C. & Reid, A.  2008 A reconsideration of the figures from Luzira. Azania XLIII: 95-123

Reid, A. & Ashley, C.Z. 2008 A New context for the Luzira Head. Antiquity 82: 99-112

P. Lane, Ashley, C., Seitsonen, O.,  Harvey, P., Mire, S. & Odede, F.  2007 The Transition to Farming in Eastern Africa: New Faunal and Dating Evidence from Wadh Lang’o and Usenge, Kenya. Antiquity 81: 62-81

Lane, P., Ashley, C. & Oteyo, G. 2006 New Dates for Kansyore and Urewe Wares from Northern Nyanza, Kenya. Azania XXXXI: 123-138

Posnansky, M., Reid, A. &  Ashley, C. 2005 Archaeology on Lolui Island, Uganda 1964-5. Azania XL: 73-100


I teach Honours courses in Advanced Archaeological Theory (AGL751) and Advanced Archaeological Methods (AGL752). For undergraduates, I have recently taught Archaeological Theory (AGL213 – AGL310 from 2017 onwards) and Field Methods and Techniques (AGL220). I also contribute guest lectures to The Archaeology of Southern Africa (AGL310 – AGL210 from 2017 onwards).

I supervise Masters and PhD students

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Last edited by Alexander AntonitesEdit