Alison Betts

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Alison Betts
Born Scotland
Nationality British
Title Professor of Silk Road Studies
Academic background
Alma mater Institute of Archaeology, University of London
Thesis 'The prehistory of the basalt desert, Transjordan: an analysis (1986)
Academic work
Discipline Archaeology and prehistory
Institutions University of Edinburgh
Queen's University Belfast
University of Sydney

Alison Venetia Graham Betts, FSA, FAHA is a British archaeologist and academic, who specialises in the "archaeology of the lands along the Silk Roads" and the nomadic peoples of the Near East.[1] Since 2012, she has been Professor of Silk Road Studies at the University of Sydney.[1][2]

Early life and education[edit]

Betts was born and raised in Scotland.[3] She studied at the Institute of Archaeology, University of London, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree, a Master of Arts (MA) degree, and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree.[4] Her doctoral thesis was submitted in 1986 and was titled "The prehistory of the basalt desert, Transjordan: an analysis".[5]

Academic career[edit]

In 1986, Betts joined the University of Edinburgh as a British Academy Teaching Fellow. In 1989, she moved to the Queen's University, Belfast, where she worked as a research fellow. In 1991, she was appointed a lecturer in Levantine archaeology at the University of Sydney.[4] By 2010, she had been promoted to senior lecturer.[3] In 2012, she was appointed Professor of Silk Road Studies.[1][2]

Betts has excavated in the Near East and in Central Asia, including directing excavations in Eastern Jordan, in Uzbekistan, and in Xinjiang, China.[2][3] Her research is mainly focused on the Bronze Age, archaeology of the Levant, archaeology of the Silk Roads, and nomadic pastoralism of the Near East.[4][1]

In August 2016, Betts gave that year's Petrie Oration on "Kingship and the Gods in Ancient Khorezm: new light on the early history of Zoroastrianism";[6] the Petrie Oration is an "annual public lecture sponsored by the Australian Institute of Archaeology on ancient world archaeology".[7]


In 2010, Betts was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities (FAHA), the top learned academy in Australia for the humanities.[4] On 13 October 2016, she was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London (FSA).[8]

Selected works[edit]

  • Khozhaniyazou, G.; Helms, S.; Betts, A. (2006). The military architecture of ancient Chorasmia. Paris: De Boccard. ISBN 978-2701801964. 
  • Betts, A. V. G.; Cropper, D.; Martin, L.; McCartney, C. (2013). The Later Prehistory of the Badia: Excavations and Surveys in Eastern Jordan. Oxford: Oxbow Books. ISBN 978-1842174739. 
  • Betts, A.; Kidd, F., eds. (2015). Buddhist Iconography of Northern Bactria. New Delhi: Manohar Publications. ISBN 978-9350980972. 


  1. ^ a b c d "Professor Alison Betts". Department of Archaeology. The University of Sydney. Retrieved 25 October 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c "Alison Betts". LinkedIn. Retrieved 25 October 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c Webber, Pauline (10 April 2010). "Access All Areas: Alison Betts". The Australian. Retrieved 25 October 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Betts, Alison, FAHA". Australian Academy of the Humanities. Retrieved 25 October 2016. 
  5. ^ Betts, Alison Venetia Graham (1986). "The prehistory of the basalt desert, Transjordan: an analysis". E-Thesis Online Service. The British Library. Retrieved 25 October 2016. 
  6. ^ "2016 Petrie Oration". Australian Institute of Archaeology. 25 August 2016. Retrieved 25 October 2016. 
  7. ^ "Petrie Oration". Australian Institute of Archaeology. Retrieved 25 October 2016. 
  8. ^ "13 Oct Ballot Results". Society of Antiquaries of London. 13 October 2016. Retrieved 25 October 2016.