I believe that it's important to make my background clear, so that people can take my identities and experiences into account as they read my work; but I haven't found a way to do that in an interesting or meaningful way, so...
I grew up in a small town outside London. I did my BA in Archaeology and Prehistory at the University of Sheffield (2000-2003); during that time, I excavated primarily in an agricultural village in Greece, but also in cities in England and on a farm in Wales. In my dissertation I examined, "objective morality in archaeological interpretation: confronting injustice in education".
When possible, before and/or after the excavations in Greece, I travelled in south-eastern Europe, which never failed to make an impression. Once, walking around in Sarajevo in Bosnia and Hercegovina, I found a recent ruin with graffiti imploring, "write about us: stop [an]other genocide".
After that, I took an MA in Cultural Heritage Studies at University College London (2003-2004), in the dissertation for which, in the context of the war in Iraq, I asked, "is there a human right to loot?"
I won a 1+3 MSc+PhD award from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and took the MSc in Social Research Methods at the University of Sussex (2004-2005).
During the MSc, as part of the feasibility study for my Ph.D., I spent a month in Kosova/Kosovo, but it proved infeasible, so I reworked the application to address cultural heritage concerns in Cyprus and spent the last few months of 2005 working up the material I had collected in Kosovo.
Then, I did my DPhil (2005-2010), at the Law School of the University of Sussex. It involved Interrogating Archaeological Ethics in Conflict Zones: Cultural Heritage Work in Cyprus.(1)
In 2006 and 2007, I had Greek language training at the University of Cyprus, and Turkish language training at TÖMER, although, for many reasons, I am fluent in neither language. Outside that training, between 2006 and 2008, I conducted the fieldwork for my DPhil. Between April 2008 and September 2009, I worked on my thesis in London.
I won a Greek state (IKY) scholarship for Study of Greek Language and Culture at the University of Ioannina, between October 2009 and May 2010; there, I studied Greek by day and wrote my thesis by night.
Between May and September 2010, I returned home and finished my thesis. I was in London, unemployed, between October 2010 and March 2011 (notwithstanding voluntary English teaching work in March 2011).
I worked as an English teacher at a private language school (dershane) in Kayseri, Turkey, from April until August 2011. But now I'm unemployed again.
- In the original research proposal, its title was: Placing Cultural Rights: Resolving Conflicts over Cultural Heritage - Querying Cultures' Rights and Archaeologists' Responsibilities.
During the fieldwork, its title was first, Interrogating Archaeological Ethics: Reconciling Professional Responsibilities with Humanitarian Duties, then, Interrogating Archaeological Ethics: Cultural Heritage Destruction in the Cyprus Conflict, and Cultural Heritage Work in a Divided Society.