David Wengrow

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David Wengrow (born 25 July 1972) is a British archaeologist and Professor of Comparative Archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London.[1]

David Wengrow
OccupationArcheologist, Author, Professor
EducationBA, Mst, University of Oxford
Ph.D, University of Oxford


Wengrow enrolled at the University of Oxford in 1993, obtaining a BA in archaeology and anthropology.[2] He went on to qualify for an MSt in world archaeology in 1998 and then studied for a D.Phil. under the supervision of Roger Moorey completed in 2001.[3] Andrew Sherratt was a notable influence during Wengrow's time at Oxford.[4]

Academic careerEdit

Between 2001 and 2004 Wengrow was Henri Frankfort Fellow at the Warburg Institute and Junior Research Fellow at Christ Church, Oxford; he was appointed to a lectureship at the UCL Institute of Archaeology in 2004, and in 2011 was made Professor of Comparative Archaeology (a title formerly held by Peter Ucko).[5] Wengrow has conducted archaeological excavations in Africa and the Middle East, most recently with the Sulaymaniyah Museum in Iraqi Kurdistan[6] and is currently working on a historical study of social inequality with LSE anthropologist David Graeber.[7]


Wengrow is a recipient of the Antiquity Prize[8] and has delivered the Rostovtzeff Lectures (New York University),[9] the Jack Goody Lectures (Max Planck Institute)[10] and the Biennial Henry Myers Lecture (Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain).[11] He served as external coordinator of the Mellon Research Initiative at New York University's Institute of Fine Arts[12] and was Distinguished Visitor at the University of Auckland.[13]

Selected publicationsEdit


  • Wengrow, D. (2006). The Archaeology of Early Egypt. Social Transformations in North-East Africa, 10,000-2650 BC. Cambridge World Archaeology Series. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Wengrow, D. (2010). What Makes Civilization? The Ancient Near East and the Future of the West. Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Wengrow, D. (2014). The Origins of Monsters. Image and Cognition in the First Age of Mechanical Reproduction. Princeton: Princeton University Press

Short essaysEdit

  • Wengrow, D. (2018) ‘A history of true civilisation is not one of monuments’. Aeon.[1]
  • Graeber, D. and D. Wengrow (2018). ‘How to change the course of human history (at least the part that’s already happened)’. Eurozine. [2]
  • Wengrow, D. (2019) ‘Rethinking cities from the ground up’. The British Academy [3]


External links to academic articlesEdit