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Professor Paul Lane

Professor Paul Lane

Professor Paul Lane is the inaugural Jennifer Ward Oppenheimer Professor of the Deep History and Archaeology of Africa at the University of Cambridge, he is also the Mandela Magdalene Memorial Fellow.

Professor Lane was the Director of the British Institute in Eastern Africa, based in Nairobi, for eight years from 1998-2006, directed and coordinated the Historical Ecologies of East African Landscapes project at the University of York and has been the Professor of Global Archaeology at Uppsala University since 2013.
His main research interests are in the organisation and use of space and time in pre-industrial societies, the historical ecology of African landscapes, the archaeology of colonial encounters, cultural perceptions of place, the materialisation of memory, maritime archaeology and the transition to farming in Africa.

Research Interests

Archaeology and material culture of sub-Saharan Africa; Politics of the past; Heritage and memory studies.


BA (Hons.) Archaeology and Anthropology (1979, Cantab.), MA (1982), PhD (1986)

Career/Research Highlights

Director, British Institute in Eastern Africa (Nairobi) 1998-2006; President, Society of Africanist Archaeologists 2008-10; Professor of Global Archaeology, Uppsala University 2013-18.

Professional Affiliations

Fellow, Society of Antiquaries

Fellow, Royal Anthropological Institute

Member of Council, British Institute in Eastern Africa

Member, Prehistoric Society

Member, Kungl. Humanistiska Vetenskaps-Samfundet i Uppsala (Royal Society of the Humanities in Uppsala)

Member, Scientific Steering Committee, Integrated History and Future of People on Earth (IHOPE)

Member, Association of Southern African Professional Archaeologists

Selected Publications

The Oxford Handbook of African Archaeology.
Peter Mitchell and Paul Lane (eds.)
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.

Slavery in Africa: Archaeology and Memory.
Paul Lane and Kevin MacDonald (eds.)
London: Oxford University Press (Proceedings of the British Academy 168), 2011.

Archaeology in the age of the Anthropocene: A critical assessment of its scope and societal contributions
Lane, PJ
Journal of Field Archaeology 2015; 40; 485-498