Institute of Archaeology

Prof Michael Parker Pearson

Prof Michael Parker Pearson

Professor of British Later Prehistory

Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square

Institute of Archaeology

Joined UCL
1st Aug 2012

Research summary

Research Interests:
  • Stonehenge: its purpose and people
  • The Beaker people: diet and mobility in Britain 2500-1700BC
  • The Outer Hebrides: settlement and society from prehistory to the post-medieval period on the island of South Uist
  • Death and burial: funerary archaeology
  • Madagascar: society and change in the Indian Ocean
  • Prehistoric Britain and Europe in the 1st millennia BC and AD
  • Identifying mummification from skeletonised remains: soft tissue preservation in prehistoric Europe
  • Public archaeology and heritage
  • Ethnoarchaeology and material culture
Research Projects:

  • The Archaeology of the Western Isles (Outer Hebrides)
  • The Beaker People
  • Feeding Stonehenge
  • The Stones of Stonehenge
  • Supply and Demand in Prehistory? Economics of Neolithic Mining in NW Europe

Teaching summary

  • Course Co-ordinator: ARCL0076 Iron Age Europe
  • Course Co-ordinator: ARCL0078 The Age of Stonehenge
  • Course Co-ordinator: ARCL0146 British and European Prehistory: Neolithic to Iron Age
  • Course Co-ordinator: ARCL0156 Funerary Archaeology


  • BA, PhD, FBA, FSA, FSA Scot, MCIfA
  • Professor of British Later Prehistory
  • Winner of Antiquity's Ben Cullen Prize 2013

Prizes and Awards:

  • 2012 Visiting Professorship, Aarhus University, Denmark
  • 2012 AIA's Samuel H. Kress Lecturer in Ancient Art
  • 2010 UK Archaeologist of the Year
  • 2010 UK Archaeological Research Project of the Year (Stonehenge Riverside Project)
  • 2009 Royal Society of Northern Antiquaries Award (Stonehenge Riverside Project)
  • 2008 Andante Travels Archaeology Award (Stonehenge Riverside Project)

Educational Background:

  • PhD, King's College, University of Cambridge, 1985. Thesis title: Death, society and social change in the Iron Age of southern Jutland
  • BA Single Honours (1st Class) in European Archaeology, University of Southampton, 1979