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Professor Mark Horton

Professor Mark Horton

Professor Mark Horton

Emeritus Professor

Office Room 2N09
65 Woodland Rd,
Bristol, BS8 1UL
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 954 6080


My research focuses on historical archaeology, historical landscapes, maritime landscapes, long distance trade and social responses, early spread of Islam and Christianity, archaeology and the media.

I have undertaken archaeological research and directed excavations in East Africa (Kenya and Tanzania), Egypt, mainland Central America (Panama, Honduras, Belize), island Caribbean (St Kitts, St Lucia, Cayman Islands), Bermuda, Sri Lanka, as well as England, (mostly Shropshire, Gloucestershire, Somerset), Isle of Man, Ireland, and France.


  • Specialist in the archaeology of historical societies around the world
  • Programme Director of MA Maritime Archaeology and History

Research projects

East African coastal societies
Swahili towns, early Islam, long distance Indian Ocean trade, and maritime archaeology. Excavations include Shanga (1980-86) several sites on Zanzibar and Pemba (1984, 1988-94). Publications include The Swahili: the social landscape of a mercantile society (with J. Middleton) (Oxford: Blackwell 2001) and Shanga: The Archaeology of a Muslim Trading Community on the Coast of East Africa (British Institute in Eastern Africa 1996). Monograph on the Archaeology of Zanzibar and Pemba (in preparation).

Caribbean historical archaeology
Projects include Darien colony, Panama (1979, 2003), Honduras and Bay Islands (1984) Cayman Islands (1990), St Lucia (2000-) St Kitts (2001- ) and Bermuda (2002-).

Industrial and Historical Archaeology
Current projects include: The Papers of Isambard Kingdom Brunel (AHRB-funded digitization project).

Completed projects include: Excavations at Newdale Farm (1986), Great Laxey Wheel and Mine (1985), Royal Fort Bristol (Civil War masonry fortress), (2002) Rapparee Cove, Ilfracombe (1999)

Nubian Archaeology
Field director of Egypt Exploration Society excavation at Qasr Ibrim (1988-96), with early Christianity, long distance trade and complex urban archaeology in exceptionally well preserved conditions.

Medieval and monastic Archaeology
L'Abbaye de Grosbot (Charente, France), Cistercian Abbey (1996-2002)
Bishop's Palace, Wells Somerset (2003- 04)
Abbey (Carthusian Abbey, Co. Galway, 2002)
Carscliffe Farm Somerset (multiperiod medieval settlement on the Mendip Edge), Aston Eyre Old Hall, Shropshire, (2001)
Much Wenlock and Wenlock Abbey (1986-92)
Medieval Floor tiles

Archaeology and Media
Time Life Television, Lost Civilisations - Africa (1996)
Channel Four Untold History season, The Atlantic slave trade (1998)
Channel Four Time Team (1994-2001).
Discovery Channel "The Curse of the Rat" (2003/4)
BBC Four "Universities Challenged" (2004)
Radio Four "History of the Voice" (2000)
Radio Four "The Long Search" (2003)

BBC2 Time Flyers (6 part series, Nov-Dec 2002, 8 part series October-December 2003)


  • historical archaeology
  • historical landscapes
  • maritime landscapes
  • long distance trade and social responses
  • early spread of Islam and Christianity
  • archaeology and the media



Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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