Maria Guagnin

Research Interests

  • Rock art, specifically animal depictions in the context of environmental change
  • Population dynamics across changing environments and landscapes
  • Prehistoric human-animal relationships
  • Landscape archaeology and spatial analysis
  • Digitization of existing and historic archaeological datasets


PhD Archaeology (2010) – University of Edinburgh

Thesis: From Savanna to Desert: Animal Engravings in the Changing Prehistoric Environment of the Wadi al-Hayat, Libyan Sahara

M.Sc. Archaeology (2005) – University of Edinburgh

Thesis: Sinai in the Neolithic: Between two Centres of Animal Domestication

Undergraduate Studies in European Archaeology and Protohistory (2003) – Freie Universität Berlin

Current & Past Research Projects

Palaeodeserts: Climate Change and Human Evolution in the Arabian Desert. February 2014, on-going.

Hattuša/Boğazköy: GIS analysis of the archaeological landscape. 2012-2014.

Wadi al-Ajal Rock Art Survey, 2004-2010.

Western Sahara Rock Art Survey, 2006-2007.


in press

Guagnin, M., Jennings, R., Eager, H., Parton, A., Stimpson, C., Groucutt, H., Drake, N., Pfeiffer, M., Stepanek, C., Alsharekh, A., Petraglia, M. Rock art imagery as a proxy for Holocene environmental change: a view from Shuwaymis, NW Saudi Arabia. The Holocene.

Guagnin, M. The hunters and herders of Shuwaymis: new evidence for the population dynamics of the Neolithic transition in Saudi Arabia. In: D. Huyge, F van Noten and D. Swinne (eds.) What Ever Happened to the People? Humans and Anthropomorths in the Rock Art of Northern Africa. Brussels: Royal Academy for Overseas Sciences.


Guagnin, M., Jennings, R.P., Clark-Balzan, L., Groucutt, H.S., Parton, A., Petraglia, M. Hunters and herders: Exploring the Neolithic transition in the rock art of Shuwaymis, Saudi Arabia. Archaeological Research in Asia 4, 3-16.


Barnett, T. and M. Guagnin. Changing places: rock art and Holocene landscapes in the Wadi al-Ajal, south west Libya. Journal of African Archaeology 12 (2), 165-182.

Guagnin, M. Patina and Environment in the Wadi al-Hayat: Towards a Chronology for the Rock Art of the Central Sahara. African Archaeological Review 31 (3), 407-423. DOI 10.1007/s10437-014-9161-8

Guagnin, M. Animal Engravings in the Central Sahara: A proxy of a proxy. Environmental Archaeology 20 (1), 52-65. DOI 10.1179/1749631414Y


Guagnin, M. From savanna to desert: Rock art and the environment in the Wadi al-Hayat (Libya), in D.Huyge, F van Noten and D. Swinne (eds.) The Signs of Which Times? Chronological and Palaeoenvironmental Issues in the Rock Art of Northern Africa. Brussels: Royal Academy for Overseas Sciences, 145-157.

Guagnin, M. The rock carvings of the Messak: Monuments in a Changing Landscape, in M. Furholt, M. Hinz & D. Mischka (eds.)“As time goes by?“ Monumentality, Landscapes and the Temporal Perspective (Universitätsforschungen zur prähistorischen Archäologie 206). Bonn: Verlag Dr. Rudolf Habelt GmbH, 95-104.


Mattingly, D., M. Lahr, S. P. Armitage, H. Barton, J. Dore, N. Drake, R. Foley, J. Stock and K. White (with additional contributions by M. Ahmed, F. Cole, F. Crivellaro, M. Gonzalez Rodriguez, M. Guagnin, S. Jones, V. Karloukovsky, V. Leitch, L. Maher, F. Moussa, A. Radini, I. Reeds, T. Savage, M. Sterry). Desert Migrations: People, Environment and Culture in the Libyan Sahara. Libyan Studies 38, 115-156.

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