Professor Dan Hicks

Research Profile

Dan Hicks is Professor of Contemporary Archaeology in the School of Archaeology, Curator of Archaeology at the Pitt Rivers Museum, and a Fellow of St Cross College. Dan was previously Lecturer in Archaeology & Anthropology at Bristol University, Lecturer in Archaeology & Anthropology at St John's College, Oxford, and Research Fellow in Archaeology at Boston University, USA. Dan is a full Member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (MCIfA), and a Fellow (FSA) of the Society of Antiquaries of London. He also spent more than ten years in the commercial and public sectors as a professional archaeologist, and continues to collab orate regularly with partners across the arts, heritage and museums sector. Dan has previously served as a Trustee of Oxford University Press, the University of Oxford, the Society of Antiquaries of London, and the Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology. He was the Junior Proctor of the University of Oxford for 2017-18.

Dan directs the  AHRC Oxford University Museums Collaborative Doctoral Partnership programme (2015-2022). With modern historian William Whyte, he is the General Editor of a series, A Cultural History of Objects, for Bloomsbury Publishers. Dan sits on the Editorial Boards of the International Journal of Historical Archaeology and the Journal of Contemporary Archaeology. He was Visiting Professor at the  Musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac in 2017-2018.

Dan's research explores the connections between Archaeology and Anthropology, and falls across three inter-connecting fields:

1) The archaeological study of the recent past (including world historical archaeology and contemporary archaeology);

2) The theoretical and applied study of material culture (including the politics of museum collections and the history of archaeology and anthropology); and

3) The archaeology and anthropology of landscape and heritage in comparative perspective.

Current projects are focused on (a) the material culture and built environments of national borders and refugee camps (with an exhibition on the Calais "Jungle" open at the Pitt Rivers Museum from April-November 2019), and (b) the current debates and dialogues around the restitution of cultural heritage from western anthropological museums, a topic on which he holds a  major Fellowship running from April 2019-April 2020).

He has published five books:  The Cambridge Companion to Historical Archaeology (Cambridge University Press 2006),  The Garden of the World: An Historical Archaeology of Sugar Landscapes in the Eastern Caribbean  (British Archaeological Reports 2007),  Envisioning Landscape: Situations and Standpoints in Archaeology and Heritage (Left Coast Press 2007),  The Oxford Handbook of Material Culture Studies (OUP 2010), and  World Archaeology at the Pitt Rivers Museum (Archaeopress 2013). His edited volume  Archaeology and Photography (Bloomsbury) will be published in 2018. Dan has written for a range of journals, from  Current Anthropology and  World Archaeology to the  Times Literary Supplement, Art Newspaper and Apollo Magazine.   Dan has also co-curated several museums exhibitions, including the forthcoming Pitt Rivers show LANDE: the Calais " Jungle" and Beyond , which opens in April 2019. 

Dan is the kind of archaeologist who places public engagement and cross-sector collaboration at the centre of his research activity. He has regularly appeared on a range of broadcast media, including BBC 4 TV documentaries and BBC Radio 4's Today Programme, In Our Time, and Making History, and is an active Twitter user:  @ProfDanHicks

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  • Archaeology and Photography: time, objectivity and archive

  • Lande: the Calais "Jungle": and beyond

  • World Archaeology at the Pitt Rivers Museum: A Characterization

  • The Oxford Handbook of Material Culture Studies

  • Excavating the Archives: Archive Archaeology and the Higher Education Sector

  • More

Undergraduate teaching

Lecturer for core papers:

  • Honour Moderations -  The Nature of Archaeological and Anthropological Enquiry

Convenor for FHS option course:

  • Understanding Museums and Collections

Postgraduate teaching

Postgraduate taught course options in: 


Dan welcomes interest from doctoral students in the fields of historical archaeology, material culture and museum studies, and the archaeology of the contemporary world.

Publication links


Papers and Book Chapters (Selected)

Book Reviews and Review Articles

  • 2016. Review of Shannon Dawdy Patina: a profane archaeology. Sculpture Journal 25(3): 448-449.  
  • 2010. Review of Owen Hatherley ‘Militant Modernism’. Planning Perspectives 25(2).
  • 2009. The Smallest Rooms. Times Literary Supplement 5568/5569: 35. (2009)
  • 2009. Review of B. Bender et al. ‘Stone Worlds: narrative and reflexivity in landscape archaeology’.American Antiquity 74(3): 590-591. (2009)
  • Review of Trevor Rowley ‘The English Landscape in the Twentieth Century’ Landscapes 8 (2008)Review of S. Kane (ed.) 2003. ‘The Politics of Archaeology and Identity’.Journal of Historical Geography32 (3): 665-667 (2006)
  • 'From 'Questions that Count' to Stories that 'Matter' in Historical Archaeology'.Antiquity 78: 934–939 (2004)

Selected Other Publications