Dr Susan Sherratt FSASue Sherratt

Reader in Mediterranean Archaeology

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

Silver before coinage: a history of silver from the fifth millennium to the mid-first millennium BC
This project traces the history of silver from its beginnings in the 4th millennium BC in western Asia (roughly contemporary with the appearance of the Uruk urban centres) to the mid-1st millennium BC (shortly after the introduction of coinage), by which time silver resources were being exploited over a very wide area of the western Old World. Among other things, this history investigates and seeks to explain the social, cultural and economic processes by which silver became the elite metal of choice in southern Mesopotamia during the 4th millennium BC, and subsequently for ceremonial drinking equipment, as a standard and medium of exchange and eventually for coinage over a much wider area.

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.

Current research supervision:

  • Catania, Angela - The iconography of decorated larnakes pertaining to the late Bronze Age, originating from Crete
  • Olah, Dora - Marble figurines of the 3rd Millennium BC Aegean and south-west Anatolia



  • The Aegean in the Late Bronze Age
  • Emerging Europe: from Storage to Stonehenge and States
  • Towards Modernity: Anthropology, Archaeology and Colonialism
  • The Ancient Greek Economy


  • The Archaeology of Cyprus
  • The Homeric Epics and the Archaeological Record
  • Current issues in Aegean prehistory
  • Rethinking the Ancient Economy
  • Heritage, History and Identity
  • Funerary Archaeology



  • 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.:

  • “Sinop Regional Archaeological Project: report on the 2010-2012 field seasons” in S. Steadman and G. McMahon (eds.), The Archaeology of Anatolia: Current Work, Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2015, 298-327 (with O. Doonan, A. Bauer, A. Casson, J. Feathers, M. Conrad, M. Besonen, E. Evren, K. Domzalski and A. Smokotina).
  • “Cyprus and the Near East: cultural contacts (1200-750 BC)” in A. Babbi, F. Bubenheimer-Erhart, B. Marin-Aguilera and S. Mühl (eds.), The Mediterranean Mirror. Cultural Contacts in the Mediterranean Sea between 1200 and 750 B.C., Mainz: Römisch-Germanischen Zentralmuseum, 2015, 71-83.
  • "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.

Full publications list

Other professional activities:

  • Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries
  • Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland