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Department of Archaeology

Current Research Postgraduates

Miss Kristen Hopper

(email at

Research Topic

Nomads and Empires: Identifying mobile pastoral groups in the archaeological landscape


As part of the ERC funded project ‘Persia and its Neighbours: The Archaeology of Late Antique Imperial Power in Iran’ my research involves an investigation of rural, urban and nomadic patterns of settlement in north eastern Iran, specifically in relation to frontier walls. 

I am particularly interested in the archaeology of mobile pastoralism. ‘Nomads’ have traditionally been considered the most elusive segment of society in the ancient Near East and Central Asia. Therefore, how do we define and subsequently identify mobile pastoralist groups in the archaeological record? How do we integrate mobile groups into a model of settlement, land use and networks that demonstrates a more holistic understanding of the interaction occurring between mobile, urban and rural communities? How does this interaction manifest itself on the boundaries of empires? 

 My aim is to assess the ability of archaeological survey and remote sensing techniques to directly trace mobile pastoralist activity, and long-term land use patterns, highlighting the relationship between, pastoral and agricultural landscapes.

Is supervised by

Research Groups

  • Landscapes of Complex Society Research Group

Research Projects

  • Gorgan Wall Project
  • Persia and its Neighbours: the Archaeology of Late Antique Imperial Power in Iran (Persia Project)