Joshua Britton

My interests are the history and archaeology of Turkey and Iraq during the second millennium BCE, specifically topics of commerce and cultural interaction.

My AHRC-funded research project investigates the role of individual merchants in shaping intercultural contact within the long-distance trade network between Assur in northern Iraq and cities in central Turkey during the 20th-18th centuries BCE. The project explores how an understanding of individual action can elucidate the intersections between socio-cultural change, mobility, and early political economy.

The rich archives documenting the lives of Assyrian traders participating in this trade while living abroad in Anatolia as well as the archaeological remains of their houses and their contents provide an exceptional dataset to conduct a novel investigation into how individuals negotiated intercultural interaction.

As well as a historian, I am an active field archaeologist and have worked at the sites of Uşaklı Höyük and Çadır Höyük in Yozgat, Turkey.


Supervisor: Professor Eleanor Robson (Primary Supervisor) and Dr. Yağmur Heffron (Secondary Supervisor)
Working title: Individual agency and cultural interaction during the kārum period in central Anatolia (20th-18th centuries BCE)

Conference Papers and Presentations

  • ‘Individual agency and cultural negotiation and mediation during the Old Assyrian kārum period’. ‘People and Places’ at the Oxford Postgraduate Conference in Assyriology: Liminality and Hybridity in the Ancient Near East and Beyond. 2nd April 2022.
  • ‘Female Agency and Long-distance Trade During the Kārum Period’. ‘Movement and Communication’ at the London Postgraduate Conference for the Ancient Near East: Ancient Lives, New Stories: Current Research on the Ancient Near East. 1st December 2018.
  • ‘Female Agency and Long-distance Trade During the Kārum Period’. ‘Putting Gender Back on the Agenda’ at the Cambridge Annual Student Archaeology Conference: Coming Together. 14th September 2018.


  • SPGTA for Babylon from Hammurabi to Alexander (c.1800–300 BC) (HIST0650)


  • AHRC-LAHP Studentship 2021-2024; UCL Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences Deans List 2018