Institute of Archaeology

Prof Mark Altaweel

Prof Mark Altaweel

Professor of Near East Archaeology and Archaeological Data Science

Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square

Institute of Archaeology

Joined UCL
1st Sep 2011

Research summary

Dr. Altaweel takes a data science approach to his research. He is interested in investigating a variety of heritage, landscape, and social-environmental topics in his teaching and research. Dr. Altaweel has been involved in numerous projects on the ancient Near East, application of complex system modelling, and use of machine/deep learning methods for insights on heritage and archaeological topics. He has also broad interests in the ancient climate, environment, and land use in the ancient Near East. Additionally, his work has been published in many leading journals in various fields, with application to modern and ancient studies.

Research Interests

Data science

Machine learning

Complex adaptive systems

Computational Social Science

Urban systems and complexity science

Image analysis and computer vision techniques

Natural language processing

Near Eastern history and archaeology


Since 2011, Dr. Altaweel has been involved in fieldwork in Iraq, conducting geoarchaeological and landscape research in Northern Iraq, Kurdistan, and Southern Iraq. Recent work includes the Peshdar Plain region in Iraqi Kurdistan, Nimrud, Nineveh, regions around Nippur and Uruk, and Shalaii Cave near Chamchamal, Iraqi Kurdistan.

Teaching summary

Mark takes an interdisciplinary perspective in his teaching philosophy and integrates a variety of methods and fields in his courses. He has taught courses on Near Eastern history and archaeology, GIS, remote sensing methods, computational modelling, data science, social-ecological theory, introduction to archaeology, and on land use and environmental change. Mark helped establish the UK's first data science focus in archaeology while his courses in the Near East focus on material culture and its change over time and space. Current courses he teaches are listed below.



Professor on Near East Archaeology and Archaeological Data Science

Vice-Dean Innovation, Enterprise and Knowledge Exchange, Social and Historical Sciences, UCL

Associate Editor: Social Science Computer Review, Iraq

Educational Background
PhD (University of Chicago, 2004)
MA (University of Chicago, 2000)
BA (University of Illinois, 1997)