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Professor Alex Bentley

Professor Alex Bentley

Professor Alex Bentley
BSc(Bowdoin), MA(C'nell), MSc(C'nell), PHd(Wis)

Professor of Archaeology and Anthropology

Area of research

Culture evolution, past and present

Office 2N06
43 Woodland Road,
Clifton, Bristol BS8 1UU
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 331 1191


Professor Alex Bentley's research concerns modelling and understanding collective behaviour in society, and testing these models against real-world phenomena. This work applies the insights of evolutionary biology - including 'neutral' evolutionary models - toward modern popularity data. By providing a means to characterize how behaviours spread in modern populations -- the subject of his 2011 book with MIT press and a recent column in the New York Times – Professor Bentley has applied his work to real-world problems in U.K. government policy and NGOs and commercial businesses. 

A second, distinct area of Bentley's research is the isotopic analysis of skeletal materials to explore questions of community diversity, kinship and social complexity in prehistoric settings. Recent projects focused on prehistoric Thailand and on early Neolithic of Europe to help reveal the nature and development of the world’s first agricultural communities. Recent isotopic results in PNAS (June 2012) report the oldest evidence for hereditary inequality in Neolithic Europe.


Please see personal homepage.



  • PhD. University of Wisconsin, Anthropology
  • M.S. Cornell University, Geology/Geochemistry
  • M.A. Cornell University, Archaeology
  • B.A. Bowdoin College, Physics (Magna Cum Laude)



Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Academics by department

Selected publications

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Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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