Research (PhD, MPhil, BA)

This is a particularly well-written and well-structured thesis. The author is to be commended for the clarity of her prose and argumentation.

…[T]o the best of our knowledge this is the first study of the impacts of archaeology on resident, non-descendant communities. Accordingly, the thesis makes a unique and timely contribution to the scholarly literature on the reception of archaeology among local communities and publics in non-Western contexts, and the consequences that archaeological projects can have for these communities.

In many respects, the thesis also goes well beyond its stated objectives of exploring the ‘socio-economic impacts’ of archaeology in the particular contexts of its main case study, to provide a nuanced examination of the entanglement of archaeology and heritage management in local political dynamics.

In this regard, a particular strength of the thesis is the recognition that the social, political and economic landscapes around the sites of Meroe… are far from uniform, and consequently…the effects, or ‘impacts’ as the candidate terms them, of archaeological research projects are not entirely uniform.

Overall this is an excellent piece of research.

Prof Paul Lane
Jennifer Ward Oppenheimer Professor, Deep History & Archaeology of Africa, University of Cambridge
Prof Paul Basu
Professor of Anthropology, SOAS University of London

[Rebecca’s] work on the impact of cultural heritage and archaeological practices in Sudan argues for an approach focusing on the concerns of the local Sudanese people involved in archaeological excavations. This area is particularly under-studied and Rebecca has devised innovative research questions in order to produce viable hypotheses and gather reliable evidence in the field.

The written work she has produced is of a very high standard, clear, well argued and substantiated, and offers an original line of argument.

Rebecca is one of the most talented doctoral students I have taught to date, with a clear, logical mind, commitment and an ability to think independently. She is ambitious, determined, reliable and very hard working, and demands the highest standards from herself.

Dr Tania Tribe
Senior Lecturer, SOAS University of London

On the application of my PhD findings to my work at UCL Qatar:

Rebecca carefully developed her research to produce an outstanding PhD thesis which in part provides a sensitive, concise and very insightful critique on the impacts of archaeologists on the local communities around Meroe.

Her research aims and methods have enabled her to develop an in-depth understanding of the complexities of the community structures, and the needs and wants of these groups, whilst building enduring relationships of trust and friendship across a wider area.

She consistently worked hard to ensure I was updated and informed of her results, and regularly provided me with her views on the ways in which I can ensure my team works better in relation to the communities amongst which we live and work.

Dr Jane Humphris, Director, British Institute in Eastern Africa
(Formerly Head of Research at UCL Qatar)