Institute of Archaeology

Dr Patrick Quinn

Dr Patrick Quinn

Principal Research Fellow

Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square

Institute of Archaeology

Joined UCL
1st Jan 2011

Research summary

Dr Patrick Quinn is a leading expert in the field of ceramic analysis, particularly thin section petrographic analysis and geochemistry. His recent book on the topic is essential literature for any serious studies of ceramics. He has over 20 years of experience developing and undertaking research projects on ancient pottery and other ceramics from different archaeological periods and geographical regions. These include studies of ceramic production and distribution patterns in prehistoric Greece, as well as migration and cultural interaction in pre-contact North America. Patrick was one of the first western scholars to analyse scientifically the ceramic sculptures of the Terracotta Army in China. Patrick coordinates the Archaeomaterials Research Network at the Institute of Archaeology. He has an exceptional track record in high quality publications, including three books and over 60 peer review journal articles. He has taught specialist courses on ceramic analysis since 2005, including a highly successful intensive course on ceramic analysis, which draws participants from all continents. Patrick has significant experience in supervising masters and doctoral theses on ceramic analysis, as well as guiding post-doctoral research. Patrick also conducts commercial scientific analysis of ceramics from various periods and parts of the globe. His current research projects include:

PlaCe (Training the Next Generation of Archaeological Scientists: Interdisciplinary Studies of Pre-Modern Plasters and Ceramics from the Eastern Mediterranean) Marie Curie Innovative Training Network. Coordinated by The Cyprus Institute. Scientist-in-charge of UCL participation.

Sourcing the Zea Limani Stone Anchors, Piraeus, Greece: New Data for Identifying Shipbuilding Locations and Ancient Medierranean Sailing Routes.

Imperial Logistics: The Making of the Terracotta Army. Collaboration with Museum of Emperor Qin Shihuang's Mausoleum Site Museum, China. Funded by British Academy. Co-investigator on ceramic technology and organisation of production.

EPRAC (Economy of Pre-Roman Communities and Trade Patterns in a Changing World). Marie Curie Individual Fellowship of Maja Mise. Supervisor.

Agios Petros and the Neolithic Pottery Making Traditions of the Deserted Islands, Northern Sporades, Greece. Research collaboration with Nikos Efstratiou, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. Co-investigator.

Teaching summary

Patrick coordinates modules on archaeological ceramics and their scientific analysis at undergraduate and postgraduate level. He also contributes ceramics lectures and demonstrations to other modules at the IoA. He runs a intensive course for external participants.

Patrick supervises undergraduate, masters, doctoral and postdoctoral research. Current doctoral projects include:

Archontoula Barouda. Ceramic and Plaster Technologies and Traditions at Neolithic Makri, Thrace, Greece. 2021–present.

Sara Carrión Anaya. Early Ceramic Technologies and Traditions in the Edom Lowlands Region of Southern Jordan: A Diachronic Perspective. 2021–present. 

Andrea Martínez, State Control of Production, Distribution and Consumption of Inca-Style Pottery in the Southern Border of Tawatinsuyu (Inka State). Joint principal supervisor. 2021—present.

Bruno Lagarde García-Delgado. Circulation of Goods, People and Ideas in Western Europe – Supply, Demand and Circulation of Worked stone. Secondary supervisor. 2020—present.

Elanor Preston. The Ubaid in the Persian Gulf: compositional and petrographic analysis of potsherds from Iraq to the Straits of Hormuz. University College London. Joint Principal Supervisor. 2018-present.


Principal Research Fellow in Ceramic Petrography, UCL Institute of Archaeology, 2018

Senior Research Fellow in Ceramic Petrography, UCL Institute of Archaeology, 2011

Research Officer in Archaeological Ceramic Analysis, University of Sheffield, Department of Archaeology, UK, 2005

Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Biological Sciences, California State University San Marcos, USA, 2004

Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Geological Institute, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland, 2000

Teaching Fellow in Archaeomaterials,  University of Sheffield, Department of Archaeology, UK, 1999

PhD Archaeological Ceramics,  University of Sheffield, Department of Archaeology, UK, 1995

MSc Industrial Micropalaeontology, UCL Department of Earth Sciences, 1995

BSc Geology and Geography, Keele University, UK, 1993