UCL Qatar
كلية لندن الجامعية قطر


Dr Jane Humphris

Jane Humphris

Head of UCL Qatar Research in Sudan
Tel: +974 4000 2840/ext.2842

Dr Jane Humphris heads UCL Qatar's research in Sudan. Her main research project concerns the ancient iron production industries associated with the Kingdom of Kush. This research sees her excavating in Sudan for a number of months each year with her multinational, multi-disciplinary team, who are based at the UCL Qatar dig house close to the Royal City of Meroe. She utilises a combination of geophysics, aerial mapping, ground survey, archaeological and archaeometallurgical methods to investigate the extensive remains of the iron industries, with the aim of revealing the technological nature, socio-cultural role and politico-economic impact of the iron industries during this key period of Nubian history. Furthermore, she hopes to define the position of Meroitic iron production within the broader debates surrounding the origins of iron production in Africa. Alongside the academic research she runs a community engagement and capacity building programme, which involves community meetings, interviews and lectures to universities, as well as training University of Khartoum archaeology graduates. Recently Jane initiated the first iron smelting festival at the Royal City of Meroe. This week-long event, which through its experimental archaeology approach greatly enhanced the understandings of the methods and ingredients used by the ancient smelters of Meroe, also provided the opportunity for over 700 people to come and learn about this ancient technology. It formed the bases of an hour long documentary film (in English and Arabic) which will be available as an open access educational tool.

Dr Humphris holds a PhD in African Archaeometallurgy and an MA in African Archaeology from UCL, and a BA in Ancient History and Archaeology from the University of Manchester. As well as working in Botswana, Kenya and Tanzania, her undergraduate and Master’s dissertations focused on the ethno-historical and archaeometallurgical research she carried out in Uganda, while her PhD thesis addressed the reconstruction and the role of iron smelting industries in pre-colonial Rwanda

Selected Publications