Peter Rowley-Conwy

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Peter Rowley-Conwy, FSA (born 1951, Copenhagen, Denmark) is an archaeologist and academic. He is Professor of Archaeology at Durham University.

Early life[edit]

Rowley-Conwy was born of Welsh and Danish parents in 1951. He is the son of Geoffrey Alexander Rowley-Conwy, 9th Baron Langford.[1] He was educated at Marlborough College, and then read Archaeology at Magdalene College, Cambridge, graduating in 1973. For his PhD (awarded in 1980) he studied the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in Denmark, under the supervision of Professor Grahame Clark.


After completing his PhD, from 1982 to 1985 Rowley-Conwy worked on the Tell Abu Hureyra project, directed by Anthony Legge, and later held the position of Research Fellow at Clare Hall, University of Cambridge (1986-88, 1989-90). He spent the year 1988-89 as an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology, Memorial University of Newfoundland. In 1990, Rowley-Conwy was appointed to a lectureship in the Department of Archaeology at Durham University, where he was promoted to Reader in 1996[2] and Professor in 2007.

Rowley-Conwy’s research has focussed on hunter-gatherers and early farmers, in particular the nature of the transition between these cultural episodes. He also has an interest in the history of archaeological approaches to that period. A specialist on faunal remains and their contribution to archaeology, he has published widely on European material, including in Scandinavia[3] and Britain,[4] and analysed the major faunal assemblage from Arene Candide in Italy.[5] Since 2000 he has run the Durham Pig Project, which has examined pig domestication around the world by a variety of means.[6] Beyond Europe, his work on the animal bones from Tell Abu Hureyra has been published.[7] Rowley-Conwy has collaborated in a book on the anthropology and archaeology of hunter-gatherers.[8] His work on the remains of agricultural crop plants from Qasr Ibrim (in collaboration with Dr. Alan Clapham) is in course of publication.[9]

His Danish background has enabled him to study the original publications on the 3 age system of Stone-Bronze-Iron Ages, put forward by Christian Jürgensen Thomsen and others in the 1830s. He has written a book on this subject, and on its differential impact on the archaeological communities of England, Scotland and Ireland.[10]


Rowley-Conwy was elected Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries (FSA) on 2 July 2009.[11]


  1. ^ Mosley, Charles (2003). Burke's peerage, baronetage & knightage, clan chiefs, Scottish feudal barons (107th ed. ed.). Wilmington: Burke's Peerage & Gentry. ISBN 0971196621. 
  2. ^ "University news". The Times. 31 July 1996. p. 16. 
  3. ^ Rowley-Conwy, P. 1999. 'Economic prehistory in southern Scandinavia.' In World Prehistory. Studies in Memory of Grahame Clark, eds. J. Coles, R.M. Bewley and P. Mellars, 125-159. Oxford University Press (Proceedings of the British Academy 99).
  4. ^ Legge, A.J. and Rowley-Conwy, P.A. 1988. Star Carr Revisited. A Re-Analysis of the Large Mammals. University of London, Centre for Extra-Mural Studies.
  5. ^ Rowley-Conwy, P. 1997. 'The Animal Bones from Arene Candide. Final Report.' In Arene Candide: Functional and Environmental Assessment of the Holocene Sequence, ed. R. Maggi, 153-277. Rome: Ministero per i Beni Culturali e Ambientali.
  6. ^ Albarella, A., Dobney, K., Ervynck, A. and Rowley-Conwy, P. 2007. Pigs and Humans. 10,000 Years of Interaction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  7. ^ Legge, A.J. and Rowley-Conwy, P. 2000. 'The exploitation of animals.' In Village on the Euphrates, From Foraging to Farming at Abu Hureyra. eds. A.M.T. Moore, G.C. Hillman and A.J. Legge, 475-525. Oxford University Press.
  8. ^ Panter-Brick, C., Layton, R. and Rowley-Conwy, P. 2001. Hunter-Gatherers. An Interdisciplinary Perspective. Cambridge University Press.
  9. ^ Clapham, A.J. and Rowley-Conwy, P. 2007. 'New discoveries at Qasr Ibrim, Lower Nubia.' In Fields of Change. Progress in African Archaeobotany, ed. R. Cappers, 157-164. Groningen Archaeological Studies 5.
  10. ^ Rowley-Conwy, P. 2007. From Genesis to Prehistory. The archaeological Three Age System and its contested Reception in Denmark, Britain and Ireland. Oxford University Press.
  11. ^ "List of Fellows - R". Society of Antiquaries of London. Retrieved 25 January 2014.