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Prof Kevin Macdonald
  • Professor of African Archaeology
  • Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
  • Institute of Archaeology
  • Faculty of S&HS

Kevin C. MacDonald is Programme Chair of African Studies at the UCL Centre for Multidisciplinary & Intercultural Inquiry and Professor of African Archaeology at the  Institute of Archaeology where he has taught since completing his PhD at Cambridge in 1994. He has worked in Mali for more than twenty-five years on field projects ranging from the Historic Era to the Late Stone Age, principally in the Gourma, Méma, Haute Vallée and Segou regions. Since 2000, he has also worked on the archaeology and history of the African Diaspora in Louisiana and on the survey and excavation of Tichitt Tradition sites in the Dhar Nema region of Mauritania. Currently his research in West Africa focuses on the settlement landscapes and oral traditions of the Empire of Mali and Bamana Segou. MacDonald's analytical specialities include the historical anthropology of political traditions, ceramics analysis, archaeozoology, and the study of earthen structures. He has over 70 research publications, with five books including Ethnic Ambiguity and the African Past: Materiality, History and the Shaping of Cultural Identities (co-edited with François Richard, 2015),  Slavery in Africa: Archaeology and Memory (co-edited with Paul Lane, 2011) and African Re-Genesis: Confronting Social Issues in the Diaspora (co-edited with Jay Haviser, 2006). He is co-editor of the Routledge journal Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa.

Research Summary

Research Interests

    Historical Anthropology of African Political Traditions
    The African Diaspora
    Oral Traditions
    Pottery Analysis
    Lithics Analysis
    African Pastoralism and its Development
    Historical Archaeology in the New World

Co-Director of the Cane River African Diaspora Archaeological Project in collaboration with Dr David Morgan of the US National Park Service.

Co-Director of Projet Segou: historical and archaeological research on the settlement geography of the Segou region (Mali) with Dr Seydou Camara of the Malian Institut des Sciences Humaines. Periods covered range from the development of the Empire of Mali through to the fall of Segou (c. AD 1200 - 1861).

Teaching Summary

01-OCT-2011 Professor of African Archaeology Institute of Archaeology University College London, United Kingdom
2008 – 2011 Reader in African Archaeology Institute of Archaeology UCL, United Kingdom
2001 – 2008 Senior Lecturer in African Archaeology Institute of Archaeology UCL, United Kingdom
1994 – 2001 Lecturer in African Archaeology Institute of Archaeology UCL, United Kingdom
Academic Background
1994 PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Archaeology University of Cambridge
1989 BA Bachelor of Arts Rice University, Houston
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