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Professor John Chapman

B.A. (Hons.) in Archaeology & PhD, University of London


After completing a London PhD in Balkan prehistory with John Nandris, and working in provincial museums for 3+ years, I was appointed as a Lecturer in Archaeology (later Senior Lecturer) at Newcastle upon Tyne in 1980. My main fieldwork in the 1980s was the "Neothermal Dalmatia Project" in what is now Croatia. In the 1990s, I worked in Hungary on the "Upper Tisza Project" and transferred this project with me to Durham, where I was appointed as a Reader in Archaeology in 1996. Soon after the foundation of the Journal of European Archaeology in 1994, I was asked to be its first Editor, which I did until 2001. My current project - "Early urbanism in Europe?: the case of the Tripillye mega-sites" - aims to study the Nebelivka mega-site, Uman Region, Ukraine in its wider settlement and ecological context.

Research interests

  • Tripolye mega-sites and the problem of European Neolithic urbanism
  • Prehistory of central and Eastern Europe
  • Archaeological theory
  • Field survey techniques
  • Colour studies in prehistory
  • Fragmentation in archaeology

Research groups

  • Prehistoric Worlds

Research Projects

  • Aesthetics and Ethics of Archaeology Research Network
  • Early urbanism in prehistoric Europe?: the case of the Tripillia mega-sites
  • Materiality and depositional practices in the later Prehistory in Europe: an interdisciplinary approach using central Iberia (Spain) record as a case study
  • Megaliths and cultural identity in Bulgaria
  • Upper Tisza Project
  • Varna Eneolithic cemetery

Esteem Indicators

  • 2012: AHRC Research Grant for Ukrainian prehistory: I have been awarded a four-year AHRC Research Grant for "Early urbanism in Europe?: the case of the Tripillye mega-sites, Ukraine" (February 2012 - January 2016).
  • 2012: Chair of Advisory Board, IANSA: IANSA (Interdisciplinarna Archaeologia in Natural Sciences and Archaeology) is a new journal founded in Moravia (University of Brno). I have been appointed as Chair of the international Advisory Board to support the new journal and to find high-flying members of the archaeological community to serve on the Board.
  • 2012: EU Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship : I have been awarded a EU Intra-European Fellowship n° 298285 (Project Acronym: PAST: FRAGMENTS Call identifier FP7-PEOPLE-2011-IEF) for Dr. Antonio Gonzales Blanco to study

    “Materiality and depositional practices in the later Prehistory in Europe: an interdisciplinary approach using central Iberia (Spain) record as a case study” in Durham, starting May 2012 and ending April 2014.

  • 2012: Honorary Member of Bulgarian Academy of Sciences Institute of Archaeology: I have been awarded an Honorary Membership of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences Institute of Archaeology (2012) in recognition of my services to Bulgarian prehistory.
  • 2007: Vice-President of the Prehistoric Society: The Prehistoric Society is the leading period Society in the UK and the two Vice-Presidential roles run for four years. My term of office was 2007 - 2011. ;The holders are recognised as leading figures in British, European and world prehistory.

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Europe: History & Archaeology: prehistory of Central and Eastern Europe
  • World perspectives & techniques: archaeological theory
  • World perspectives & techniques: field survey techniques
  • Landscape & buildings: past aspects (prehistory)
  • European Prehistory:
  • World perspectives & techniques:


Authored book

Chapter in book

Conference Paper

Edited book

Journal Article