Institute of Archaeology

Dr Mark Altaweel

Dr Mark Altaweel

Reader in Near East Archaeology

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 research approaches. 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 journals in many different 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, 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.


Reader in Near East Archaeology & Graduate Tutor
Associate Editor: Social Science Computer Review, Iraq (editorial board)

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