Institute of Archaeology


Dr Rachel King

Associate Professor

Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square

Institute of Archaeology

Joined UCL
1st Oct 2017

Research summary

Research interests:

  • ‘Outlaw’ polities in colonial southern Africa
  • Interactions between hunter-gatherers and domestic stock-keepers in southern Africa
  • Integrating oral historical, archival, and archaeological views of marginal environments
  • Changing social dynamics and technological innovations during the historic period in southern Africa and in global perspective, especially related to the adoption of agriculture and of the horse
  • Archaeological and historical constructions of ethnic identities
  • Historical, archaeological, and anthropological approaches to southern African borderlands
  • Innovations in approaches to historic preservation and heritage management in Africa

Teaching summary

Deputy Chair, Departmental Teaching Committee 


  • ARCL0189 Critical Heritage Research Skills
  • ARCL0215 Presenting the Past to the Public
  • ARCL0219 Interpreting Collections


2017-present: Lecturer in Cultural Heritage Studies, UCL Institute of Archaeology


  • 2014: DPhil, Archaeology, University of Oxford (United Kingdom). Thesis title:Voluntary Barbarians of the Maloti-Drakensberg: The BaPhuthi Chiefdom, Cattle Raiding, and Colonial Rule in the Nineteenth-Century Maloti-Drakensberg
  • 2010: MSt. World Archaeology, University of Oxford (United Kingdom).
  • 2009: BA Archaeology, Stanford University (USA)

Professional Background:

  • Smuts Research Fellow in African Studies, Centre of African Studies, University of Cambridge (United Kingdom), 2015-2017
  • Claude Leon Postdoctoral Fellow, Rock Art Research Inst., Univ. of the Witwatersrand (South Africa), 2015