Dr Julia Shaw
Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
Institute of Archaeology
- Joined UCL
- 1st Sep 2005
My current research focuses on interfaces between archaeology, ecological public health, & global climate-change activism including the history and archaeology of environmental ethics & attitudes, & the deep-time mindsets towards 'nature' that sustain both healthy & unhealthy human-animal environmental interactions in the past-present-future. Current book projects include an Archaeology of Buddhism that compliments the MA course of the same name that I've been teaching and updating for the last ten years, and an archaeological study of religion, 'nature' and society in South Asia.
- Archaeology & art of South Asia, urbanisation & state formation, land-use & environmental control, water studies, sectarianism, landscape & survey archaeology, ritual landscapes, 'natural' places, rock-art & rock-shelter studies.
- Archaeology of Asian religions including Buddhism & Hinduism.
- Archaeology, medical humanities & public ecological health.
- Archaeology, Climate change, Anthropocene & environmental activism.
- Perceptions of nature, 'pests' & pest-control.
Projects & grants:
- Pesticides, Toxicity & Urban Nature: A Comparative Social Study of Environmental Worldviews &Practices. (PI). 2021-current (related contributions to COP26).
- Religion, 'Nature' and Environmental Ethics in Ancient India. (PI). British Academy / Leverhulme Small Grant (2016-17), British Academy Mid Career Fellowship (2014-15).
- Sanchi Survey Project. PI. British Academy; British Association for South Asian Studies & various. 1998-current.
- Landscape, Water and Religion in Ancient India. PI. British Association for South Asian Studies. 2006-2008.
- Mapping Dams, Settlements and Monasteries in Central India. PI. British Association for South Asian Studies (BASAS) Grant. 2003-2005.
- Epidemics and Crisis Management in Pre-Modern South Asia ('Key Collaborator'), PI: Vitus Angermeier, Austrian Science Fund, FWF. 2022-26.
- One Health, Deep Time Research Network. PI: Naomi Sykes, Exeter. 2016-17.
- Tracking the Tiger: From Colonialism to Conservation. PI: Aleks Pluskowski, Reading. 2015-16.
- Ritual, Community and Conflict (SESHAT Global History Databank Initiative). PIs: Pieter Francois, Oxford; Edward Slingerland, UBC; Peter Turchin, UConn; Harvey Whitehouse, Oxford. 2013-18.
- Atman and Psyche: Cosmology and the Self in Ancient India and Ancient Greece. PIs: Richard Fynes, De Montford; Richard Seaford, Exeter. 2011-14.
- Relics & Relic Worship in India & Burma. PI: Janice Stargardt, Cambridge. 2003-07.
- Vidisha Research Group. PI: Michael Willis, British Museum. 2000-07.
On sabbatical leave from 26 Sept 2022 to 24 Sept 2023.
My teaching covers art & archaeology of South Asia, with an emphasis on complex society, religion and environment. I contribute to the MA in Archaeology and Heritage of Asia, and coordinate the Archaeology of Buddhism module, which as the first & only of its kind in the UK, acts as a cultural bridge between the diverse regional & chronological foci of the degree.
- MA Archaeology and Heritage of Asia (Degree Coordinator 2019/20; Current Contributor)
- ARCL0050 Archaeology of Early South Asia (Coordinator)
- ARCL0052 Archaeology and Art of Historic South Asia (Coordinator)
- ARCL0154 Archaeology of Buddhism (Coordinator)
- ARCL0152 Archaeologies of Asia (Contributor)
- ARCL0210 Archaeology of the Silk Roads (Contributor)
I am happy to supervise topics on South Asian, & comparative Asian archaeology, & more broadly, on landscape and survey archaeology; water & irrigation; archaeology of ritual & religion; historical ecology; archaeology & the medico-environmental humanities; archaeology & the Anthropocene; religious & intellectual responses to climate & environmental change.
- Anna Den Hollander. Social Stratification & the Introduction of Cash Crops in South India. 2nd Supervisor (1st Supervisor. Dorian Fuller). Since 2020.
- Mitzy Quinto Cortes, Destroyed but not lost: How to overcome an earthquake? Joint 2nd Supervisor with Caitlin O'Grady (1st Supervisor: Renata Peters). Since 2018.
- Bratatee Barman (external: Berlin). Archaeological Landscape of Brahmaputra River Valley, India. Joint 1st Supervisor with Elke Kaiser (Berlin). Since 2018.
- Ken Ishikawa (external: Oxford). Geographical & Chronological Contextualisation of Buddhist Rock-Cut Caves in Gujarat. Joint 1st Supervisor with Anke Hein (Oxford). Since 2016.
- Ellie Kingwell Banham, Early Rice Agricultural Systems in India. 2nd Supervisor (1st Supervisor: Dorian Fuller). Completed 2015.
- Alessandro Ceccarelli, From Harappa to Aryavarta: the Painted Grey Ware & the link between the Late Harappan & Proto-Historic cultures in North-Western India. 1st Supervisor (2nd Supervisor: Patrick Quinn). 2015-16.
- Urban Pesticides, Chemical Exposures and Ecological Public Health, UCL Chemical Exposures Workshop, 9-11/6/22.
- Pesticides, Toxicity & Urban Nature, UCL Anthropocene, Chemical Exposures Group. 21/3/22.
- Decline of Central Indian Buddhism. Vihara Project, Kyoto. 13/11/21.
- Upland-lowland Interactions in India. Accessing Water in the South Asian City. Erfurt. 8/7/21.
- University of Cambridge
- Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 2002
- University of Cambridge
- Other higher degree, Master of Philosophy | 1997
- School of Oriental and African Studies
- First Degree, Bachelor of Arts (Honours) | 1993
BA, MPhil, PhD
Associate Professor in South Asian Archaeology
Departmental Academic Writing Tutor
Chair of Departmental Sub-Committee for Academic Writing
Chair of Departmental Ethics Committee
Departmental Equal Opportunity Liaison Officer (DEOLO)
UCL research networks & affiliations
- UCL SHS Health, Mind, Society Initiative
- Heritage & Archaeology of Health & Medicine (HAHM) initiative (with Beverley Butler).
- UCL Institute of Archaeology Anthropocene Research Network.
- UCL Anthropocene. Member since 2021, including Chemical Exposures Group.
- UCL Centre for the Study of South Asia and the Indian Ocean World.
- UCL Environmental Group .
- UCL Enable.
- McDonald Institute For Archaeological Research, Cambridge. Research Fellow since 2015; Visiting Scholar 2012-15.
- Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society (LMU Munich, Germany). 2014-15.
Editorial Board Membership
- Material Religion in Antiquity. Center for Ancient Mediterranean & Near Eastern Studies. Florence & Oxbow Book Series. Member since 2019.
- Studies in Asian Art & Culture Series. University of Bonn / EB-Verlag Berlin. Member since 2016.
- South Asian Studies (Taylor & Francis). Member since 2015.
- Bloomsbury Studies in Religion, Space and Place. Member since 2014.
- Archaeology & Religion Book Series (Routledge India). Member since 2012.
- World Archaeology (Taylor & Francis). Member 2005-19. During this time I edited four special volumes on Water (2009), Religious Change (2013), Environmental Ethics (2016), Medicine & Healthcare (2018, with Naomi Sykes).