Professor Robin Dennell


School of History, Philosophy and Digital Humanities

Emeritus Professor


Professor Robin Dennell, held a Personal Chair in Archaeology until his retirement in 2010.

He obtained his undergraduate degree in archaeology and anthropology at Cambridge University in 1969, where he continued postgraduate study, obtaining his PhD in 1977. (Topic: Early farming in South Bulgaria: VIth to IIIrd Millenium b.c.)

After serving as Head of Department from 1999-2002, he was awarded a three-year British Academy Research Professorship (2003-2006), to undertake the writing of "The Early Hominin Settlement of Asia" (Cambridge University Press). This was the first overview of the Asian Early Palaeolithic and Pleistocene prior to the last interglacial, ca. 125 ka

Research interests

For the first half of his career, he was primarily interested in archaeobotany, early farming, and the neolithic of Europe and Southwest Asia.

He began teaching prehistoric archaeology at Sheffield in 1973, worked in Iran until 1978, and published a seminal work European Economic Prehistory: A New Approach in 1983, which was later translated into Spanish and Japanese.

He was made a Senior Lecturer in 1983, a Reader in 1994, and appointed a Professor in 1995. From 1981 to 1999, his main research was on the Palaeolithic and Pleistocene of Pakistan as part of a wider interest in early human evolution in Asia.

He began working in Pakistan in 1981, and was appointed Field Director of the British Archaeological Mission to Pakistan in 1988, eventually conducting 12 field seasons of fieldwork in northern Pakistan, spanning 24 months, with another 12 months of study trip.

This research has been published in several papers, and as two major monographs:

  1. Palaeolithic and Pleistocene Investigations in the Soan Valley, Northern Pakistan (with H. Rendell and M. Halim (1989); British Archaeological Reports (International series) 544, 1-346;
  2. Early Hominin Landscapes in Northern Pakistan: Investigations in the Pabbi Hills; British Archaeological Reports (International series) 1265, 1-454. (2004)