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Cambridge Heritage Research Centre


I manage the Mapping Heritage in South Asia (MAHSA) project at the McDonald Institute.

I am also a Research Associate at the Fitzwilliam Museum, where I curated the Gold of the Great Steppe exhibition (28th September 2021 to 30th January 2022)


  • 2016 PhD in Archaeology, University College London. Thesis title: Late Bronze to Iron Age Land use and subsistence strategies in the Semirech'ye region of Kazakhstan
  • 2007 MLitt in Middle East and Central Asia Security Studies, University of St Andrews. Thesis title: How useful is the notion of 'environmental security' to Kazakhstan? A case-study of the Ili-Balkhash Basin
  • 2004 BA in Archaeology and Anthropology University of Oxford. Thesis title: The role of archaeology in the development of the concept of the nation in Kazakhstan: a case study of archaeological material in Semirech'ye



My PhD research explored the relationship between climate, subsistence strategies, and land use in the Late Bronze and Early Iron Ages in the Semirech'ye region of Kazakhstan through phytolith and faecal spherulite analysis. I am also interested in the political use of archaeology in modern day nation building in post-Soviet states, as well as cultural heritage management.

My previous experience in archaeological project management was gained during my time working for the ERC ADaPt project in Cambridge, and as Post Excavation Officer at Birmingham Archaeology, University of Birmingham. I have also worked as an Archaeologist at the Laboratory of Geoarchaeology, Almaty, Kazakhstan.


Key publications: 


2021 Roberts, R. (ed.), Samashev, Z., Toleubayev, A., Amir, S., Martinon-Torres, M, Recht, L., Chang, C. Gold of the Great Steppe. London: Paul Holberton Publishing

2019 Roberts, R., A. Haruda & A.A. Goryachev The Turgen II archaeological complex in its regional environmental context: geography, vegetation, fauna, and palaeoclimate.  Submitted to История и археология Семиречья №6/History and Archaeology of Semirech’ye No 6., Almaty, Kazakhstan.

2016 Stevens, C.J., C. Murphy, R. Roberts, L. Lucas, F. Silva & D.Q. Fuller. Between China and South Asia: A Middle Asian corridor of crop dispersal and agricultural innovation in the Bronze Age. The Holocene, Vol. 26, No. 10, pp.1541-1555.

(As Beardmore)

2015 Chang, C. and R. Beardmore. The Tale of a Mud Brick: Lessons from Tuzusai and De-Assembling an Iron Age site on the Talgar Alluvial Fan in South-eastern Kazakhstan. In Bonney, E. M., J.A. Johnson, K.J. Franklin, and L. Smejda (eds) Incomplete Archaeologies: Assembling Knowledge in the Past and Present. Oxford: Oxbow

2015 Doumani, P. N., M.D. Frachetti, R. Beardmore, T. Schmaus, R.N. Spengler and A. Mar'yashev. Burial Ritual, Agriculture, and Craft Production among Bronze Age Pastoralists at Tasbas (Kazakhstan), Archaeological Research in Asia, 1-2, pp.17-32.

2010 Beardmore, R., R. Cuttler, F. Al-Naimi, E. Ramsey, S. Fitch & H. Kallweit. The Qatar National Historic Environment Record: a bespoke cultural resource management tool and the wider implications for heritage management within the region. Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies, Vol. 40, pp. 5-17 

2008 Beardmore, R., G.L. Bonora & Zh. Kurmankulov. Preliminary Report on the 2007-2008 IAEK Campaigns in the Syrdarya Delta. East and West, 58, 1-4, pp. 385-90.

2007 Beardmore, R. Arkheologiya na sluzhbe natsionalnoy idei: na primere arkheologicheskish nakhodok v Semirech'ye (The role of archaeology in the development of the concept of the nation in Kazakhstan: a case study of archaeological material in Semirech'ye). Vestnik Evrasii, No.4 (38), pp. 91-114.


Other publications: 


Journal articles


  • Amir, S. and Roberts, RC., 2023. The Saka 'Animal Style' in Context: Material, Technology, Form and Use ARTS, v. 12 10.3390/arts12010023


  • Longman, DP., Murray, A., Roberts, R., Oakley, S., Wells, JCK. and Stock, JT., 2021. Energetics as a driver of human morphological thermal adaptation; evidence from female ultra-endurance athletes EVOLUTIONARY HUMAN SCIENCES, v. 3


  • Longman, DP., Murray, AM., Roberts, R., Oakley, S., Wells, JCK. and Stock, JT., 2019. Ultra-endurance athletic performance suggests that energetics drive human morphological thermal adaptation EVOLUTIONARY HUMAN SCIENCES, v. 1


  • Stevens, CJ., Murphy, C., Roberts, R., Lucas, L., Silva, F. and Fuller, DQ., 2016. Between China and South Asia: A Middle Asian corridor of crop dispersal and agricultural innovation in the Bronze Age. Holocene, v. 26


  • Doumani, PN., Frachetti, MD., Beardmore, R., Schmaus, TM., Spengler, RN. and Mar'Yashev, AN., 2015. Burial ritual, agriculture, and craft production among Bronze Age pastoralists at Tasbas (Kazakhstan) Archaeological Research in Asia, v. 1



  • Roberts, R., 2021. Gold of the Great Steppe People, Power and Production

Conference proceedings


  • Longman, DP., Macintosh, A., Roberts, R., Oakley, S., Wells, JCK. and Stock, JT., 2019. Endurance activity as a driver of morphological thermal adaptation: the energetics of ultramarathons in extreme temperatures AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY, v. 168
  • Merzbach, V., Longman, D., Macintosh, A., Roberts, R., Stock, J., Pinto, JM., Ferrandino, M. and Gordon, D., 2019. The Isokinetic Muscular Strength Characteristics Of Ultra-endurance Runners MEDICINE AND SCIENCE IN SPORTS AND EXERCISE, v. 51

Other Professional Activities

Curator, Gold of the Great Steppe exhibition. Fitzwilliam Museum, 28th September 2021 to 30th January 2022

Project Coordinator (Arcadia MAHSA)
Research Associate (Fitzwilliam Museum)
A profile photo of CHRC Member, Dr Rebecca Roberts
Not available for consultancy