Cookies

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Centre for the Study of the Ancient Mediterranean and the Near East

Members of the Centre for the Study of the Ancient Mediterranean and the Near East

Dr Robin Skeates, B.A., D.Phil., F.S.A.

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 41156

Contact Dr Robin Skeates (email at robin.skeates@durham.ac.uk)

Biography

Through my research over the last two decades, I have contributed in particular to the prehistoric archaeology of Italy and the Central Mediterranean region. My publications explore a wide variety of themes within the overlapping inter-disciplinary fields of material culture, visual and sensual culture, museum and heritage studies. A central concern is with interpreting social relations, strategies and transformations between the Upper Palaeolithic and the Bronze Age, including those relating to age, gender and the body. This relates to my interest in ritual performance, including mortuary practices and meanings, and in the cultural construction and transformation of landscape, including liminality, the underworld, the social dynamics of enclosure, and commemoration. It equally relates to my interest in the biographies and power of objects, including the production, exchange and ascription of value to early copper artefacts, greenstone axe-amulets, flint arrowheads, decorated pottery, shell trumpets, coral, and prehistoric objects in museum collections. Out of this has evolved my strong interest in archaeologies of art and visual culture, including ways of seeing, creativity and tradition, visual communication and transformation, the politics of representation and display, and the symbolising of social boundaries, identities, status and prestige. This, in turn, has led to my involvement with sensual culture studies. I am interested in settlement strategies and resource exploitation, including transitions to agriculture in Italy, and upland archaeology in Wales where I have undertaken extensive field-survey work. I work on radiocarbon chronologies relating to prehistoric Italy, and promote a more widespread and critical use of them. More generally, I am interested in the history of archaeological thought, including the intellectual and political history of archaeological collectors, museum collections and exhibitions in the Mediterranean and beyond. I am also concerned with archaeological ethics, and have contributed to debates surrounding public archaeology in Britain and abroad.

Research Groups

Department of Archaeology

  • Prehistory of Eurasia Research Group
  • Ritual, Religion, Belief and Place Research Group

Research Projects

Department of Archaeology

  • An Archaeology of the Senses: Prehistoric Malta
  • Journeys to the Underworld: Ritual Transformations of Persons, Objects and Caves in Prehistoric Central Sardinia

Research Interests

  • Archaeological collecting
  • Archaeological theory
  • Artefact studies
  • Cave archaeology
  • Cultural representation
  • Ethics
  • Heritage studies
  • Material culture studies
  • Museum studies
  • Politics of the past
  • Prehistoric art
  • Prehistory of the central Mediterranean
  • Public archaeology
  • Sensual culture studies
  • Visual culture

Selected Publications

Articles: review

  • Skeates, Robin (2009). Book Review: An Introduction to Museum Archaeology. By Hedley Swain. The Archaeological Journal

Books: authored

Books: booklets

Books: edited

Books: reviews

Departmental working papers

Edited essays

Edited works: journals

Essays in edited volumes

  • Skeates, R. (Published). Constructed caves: transformations of the underworld in prehistoric southeast Italy. In Sacred Darkness: A Global Perspective on the Ritual Use of Caves. Moyes, H. University Press of Colorado. 27-44.
  • Gradoli, G. & Skeates, R. (Published). Intellectual and spiritual expression in central Sardinia during the Neolithic and Bronze Age: the Seulo Caves Project. In The Intellecual and Spiritual Expressions of Non-Literate Peoples. Colloquio UISPP – CISNEP, Capo di Ponte, Valcamonica, 22-24 June 2012. Anati, E. UISPP and CISNEP. 128-136.
  • Skeates, Robin (2014). Communicating over space and time in the world of the Iceman. In Space and Time in Mediterranean Prehistory. Souvatzi, S. & Hadji, A. Routledge. 138-159.
  • Bergsvik, K.A. & Skeates, R. (2012). Caves in context: an introduction. In Caves in Context: The Cultural Significance of Caves and Rockshelters in Europe. Bergsvik, K.A. & Skeates, R. Oxbow Books. 1-9.
  • Skeates, R. (2012). Caves in need of context: prehistoric Sardinia. In Caves in Context: The Cultural Significance of Caves and Rockshelters in Europe. Bergsvik, K.A. & Skeates, R. Oxbow Books. 166-187.
  • Skeates, R. (2012). Making sense of the history of archaeological representation. In The Oxford Handbook of Public Archaeology. Skeates, R., McDavid, C. & Carman, J. Oxford University Press. 82-99.
  • Skeates, R., Carman, J. & McDavid, C. (2011). Introduction: questioning archaeology's place in the world. In The Oxford Handbook of Public Archaeology. Skeates, R., McDavid, C. & Carman, J. Oxford University Press. 1-10.
  • Skeates, Robin (2010). The art of memory: personal ornaments in Copper Age South-East Italy. In Material Mnemonics: Everyday Memory in Prehistoric Europe. Lillios, K.T. & Tsamis, V. Oxford: Oxbow Books. 73-84.
  • Skeates, R. (2009). Trade and interaction. In The Oxford Handbook of Archaeology. Cunliffe, B., Gosden, C. & Joyce, R.A. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 555-578.
  • Skeates, Robin (2007). Abstract and figurative representation and the politics of display in Neolithic Southeast Italy. In Image and Imagination:a global prehistory of figurative representation. Renfrew, C. & Morley, I. Cambridge: McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research. 199-210.
  • Skeates, Robin (2007). Religious experience in the prehistoric Maltese underworld. In Cult in Context: Reconsidering Ritual in Archaeology. Barrowclough, David & Malone, Caroline Oxford: Oxbow Books. 90-96.
  • Skeates, R. (2005). Chronological bibliography of Luigi Cardini’s publications. In Explorations in Albania, 1930-39: the Notebooks of Luigi Cardini, Prehistorian with the Italian Archaeological Mission. Francis, K. London: British School at Athens. 205-9.
  • R. Skeates (2005). Luigi Cardini (1898-1971): a biography. In Explorations in Albania, 1930-39: the Notebooks of Luigi Cardini, Prehistorian with the Italian Archaeological Mission. K. Francis London: The British School at Athens. 4-9.
  • R. Skeates (2005). Museum archaeology and the Mediterranean cultural heritage. In The Archaeology of Mediterranean Prehistory. Blake, E. & Knapp, A. B. Oxford: Blackwell. 303-320.
  • Skeates,R.G. (2005). Visual culture in Neolithic South East Italy. In Papers in Italian Archaeology VI: Communities and Settlements from the Neolithic to the Early Medieval Period. Attema,P., Nijboer,A. & Zifferero,A. Oxford: Archaeopress. II: 541-544.
  • R. Skeates (2003). Radiocarbon dating and interpretations of the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in Italy. In The Widening Harvest. The Neolithic Transition in Europe: Looking Back, Looking Forward. Ammerman, A. J. & Biagi, P. Boston: Archaeological Institute of America. 157-187.
  • R. Skeates (2002). The Neolithic enclosures of the Tavoliere, South-East Italy. In Enclosures in Neolithic Europe: Essays on Causewayed and Non-Causewayed Sites. G. Varndell & P. Topping Oxford: Oxbow Books. 51-8.
  • R. Skeates (2001). Archaeologies of art: contributions to World Art Studies. In Raising the Eyebrow: John Onians and World Art Studies. An Album Amicorum in his Honour. L. Golden Oxford: British Archaeological Reports. 289-300.

Journal papers: academic

Journal papers: professional

Show all publications


GRADUATE STUDENTS

Archaeology

  • Heba Abd El Gawad
  • Saud Al-Ghamdi
  • Waleed Alsadeqi
  • Arthur Anderson
  • George Azzopardi
  • Jennie Bradbury
  • William Cooney
  • Maria Correas-Amador
  • Rana Daroogheh-Nokhodcheri
  • T A Fitton
  • Amr Gaber
  • Lyn Gatland
  • Michelle de Gruchy
  • Kristen Hopper
  • Emmanouil Kalkanis
  • R C Lange
  • Francis Lankester
  • Dan Lawrence
  • Mark Manuel
  • Jenny Marshall
  • Eric Olijdam
  • Louise Rayne
  • D J Rohl
  • J E Shoebridge
  • Keir Strickland)
  • Veronica Tamorri
  • Matthew Whincop 

Classics and Ancient History

Physics

  • Jennifer Gray

Theology and Religion

  • Ben Blackwell
  • Maria Chrysovergi
  • Robert Cavin
  • Joan Crooks
  • Andrew Cunningham
  • Douglas Earl
  • Judith Fain
  • James Fowler
  • John Goodrich
  • Nijay Gupta
  • Ed Kaneen 
  • Brad Matthews
  • Sam Newington
  • Dean Pinter
  • Tyson Putthoff
  • William Telford
  • Jennifer Wilkinson