Dr Susan Sherratt FSASue Sherratt


On research leave for 2014/15

MA, DPhil

Email address: s.sherratt@sheffield.ac.uk

Telephone: 0114 22 20183

Department address: 220 Northgate House


I read Classics as an undergraduate at New Hall, Cambridge, and completed a DPhil on 12th century BC Mycenaean pottery at Somerville College, Oxford in 1982. I researched and taught in Oxford, based latterly in the Department of Antiquities, Ashmolean Museum, for many years before coming to Sheffield in 2005.

Research interests

My research interests are in the Bronze and Early Iron Ages of the Aegean, Cyprus and the wider eastern Mediterranean, particularly in all aspects of trade and interaction within and beyond these regions.

I am also interested in exploring the ways in which the Homeric epics and the archaeological record can most usefully be combined.

Current and recent research projects/collaborations

The Linking up of the Mediterranean, 3000-700 BC.
The period between c. 3000 and c. 700 BC (roughly the Bronze and Early Iron Ages) saw the progressive growth of economic and cultural links between regions bordering the Mediterranean (both maritime and overland) which became increasingly direct in nature.

This project builds on various aspects of my past research in an attempt to produce a multi-dimensional account of the long-term development of these interconnections, investigating the patterns of maritime and overland trade and communication networks, and the economic, social, cultural and ideological contexts and repercussions of contact and exchange.

The web-based ArchAtlas project was founded by the late Andrew Sherratt in 2003, and transferred to the Department of Archaeology in 2005. Since his death I have acted as academic director, along with Debi Harlan and Toby Wilkinson exploring ways in which it can continue to develop as a useful tool for research and teaching.

The project aims to provide a visual summary of spatial processes in prehistoric and early historic times, such as the spread of farming, the formation of trade contacts, and the growth of urban systems, and to illustrate the development of settlement history at a variety of scales. In partnership with other projects and groups, it also aims to create a scholarly digital atlas (eventually including sites, environments, cultures and chronologies). Visual essays which explore a range of archaeological problems and themes are published in the ArchAtlas Journal.

Other projects I am or have recently been involved in:

Sinop Regional Archaeological Project
A collaborative, interdisciplinary archaeological research project, directed by Professor Owen Doonan of California State University-Northridge and Dr Alex Bauer of Queens College, City University of New York.

Its aim is to investigate long-term patterns of land use and settlement and communication networks in the Black Sea coastal region of Sinop, Turkey, from the inland valleys and mountains to the sea, by employing both extensive reconnaissance of its numerous ecological zones and intensive techniques of systematic survey and excavation in selected zones.

Palaepaphos Urban Landscape Project
This project, directed by Professor Maria Iacovou of the University of Cyprus, aims to trace the long-term development and topography of the urban centre of Palaepaphos in south-west Cyprus in the 2nd -1st millennia BC. It is also concerned with the development of a framework of principles in which modern development and the preservation of archaeological landscapes can co-exist.

Materiality and Practice: Cultural Entanglements between 2nd millennium BC East Mediterranean Societies
This project (2007-12), co-ordinated by Professor Joseph Maran, formed part of a large interdisciplinary project, ‘Asia and Europe in a Global Context: Shifting Asymmetries in Cultural Flows’, based at the University of Heidelberg. It explored how the processes of appropriation of new goods and ideas contributed to the transformation of societies and cultures in east and west.

Current research supervision:

  • Rik Vaessen – The Ionian migration reconsidered from an archaeological point of view



  • The Aegean in the Late Bronze Age
  • Discoverers and Discoveries in Old World Archaeology
  • World Civilisations
  • Later Prehistoric Europe


  • The Archaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean, 14th-7th centuries BC
  • The Archaeology of Cyprus
  • The Homeric Epics and the Archaeological Record
  • Current Issues in Aegean Prehistory
  • Rethinking the Ancient Economy



  • Catalogue of Cycladic Antiquities in the Ashmolean Museum. The Captive Spirit. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.
  • Arthur Evans, Knossos and the Priest-King. Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 2000.

Edited books:

  • Minotaur and Centaur. Studies in the Archaeology of Crete and Euboea presented to Mervyn Popham. Oxford: Tempus Reparatum, 1996 (with Doniert Evely and Irene S. Lemos).
  • Proceedings of the First International Symposium, The Wall Paintings of Thera. Athens: Thera Foundation, 2000.
  • Autochthon. Papers presented to O.T.P.K. Dickinson on the Occasion of his Retirement. Oxford: Archaeopress, 2005 (with Anastasia Dakouri-Hild)
  • Interweaving Worlds: Systemic Interactions in Eurasia, 7th to 1st Millennia BC. Oxford: Oxbow, 2011 (with Toby C. Wilkinson and John Bennet)

Selected recent articles, etc.:

  • "The ceramic phenomenon of the 'Sea Peoples': an overview" in A.E. Killebrew and G. Lehmann (eds), The Philistines and Other "Sea Peoples" in Text and Archaeology, Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2013, 619-44.
  • "Late Cypriot writing in context" in P.M. Steele (ed.), Syllabic Writing on Cyprus and its Context, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013, 77-105.
  • "Feasting and the consuming body in Bronze Age Crete and Early Iron Age Cyprus" in G. Cadogan, M. Iacovou, K. Kopaka and J. Whitley (eds), Parallel Lives. Ancient Island Societies in Crete and Cyprus, London: British School at Athens, 2012, 187-207 (with Yannis Hamilakis).
  • "The intercultural transformative capacities of irregularly appropriated goods" in J. Maran and P.W. Stockhammer (eds), Materiality and Social Practice. Transformative Capacities of Intercultural Encounters, Oxford: Oxbow Books, 2012, 152-72.
  • "Between theory, texts and archaeology: working with the shadows" in K. Duistermaat and I. Regulski (eds), Intercultural Contacts in the Ancient Mediterranean, Leuven: Peeters, 2011, 3-29.
  • “Greeks and Phoenicians: perceptions of trade and traders in the early 1st millennium BC” in A. Bauer and A. Agbe-Davies (eds), Trade as Social Interaction: New Archaeological Approaches, Walnut Creek: Left Coast Press, 2010, 119-42.
  • “The Aegean and the wider world: some thoughts on a world-systems perspective” in M. Galaty and W. Parkinson (eds), Archaic State Interaction: The Eastern Mediterranean in the Bronze Age, Santa Fe: School for Advanced Research Press, 2010, 81-106.
  • “Homer’s Trojan War: history or bricolage?” Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies 53:2 (2010), 1-18.
  • “Representations of Knossos and Minoan Crete in the British, American and Continental press, 1900-c.1930” Creta Antica 10:2 (2009), 619-49.
  • “Vitreous materials in the Bronze and Early Iron Ages: some questions of values” in C.M. Jackson and E.C. Wager (eds), Vitreous Materials in the Late Bronze Age Aegean, Oxford: Oxbow Books, 2008, 209-32.

Full publications list

Other professional activities:

  • Editor, Annual of the British School at Athens (email: bsaeditor@sheffield.ac.uk)
  • Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries
  • Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland