Dr Joshua Wright

Dr Joshua Wright
Dr Joshua Wright

Dr Joshua Wright

BA (Vassar), M.Phil (Cambridge), Ph.D. (Harvard)




Wright is a landscape archaeologist with a research focus on East Asia. He studies the monumentality and movement, settlement patterns, mobile pastoralist economies, political landscapes, and the spatial structure of communities in many contexts. Currently he carries out research in Mongolia and China using primarily archaeological survey and other spatial data sources. His scholarly interests include the anthropology of mobility, the history of archaeology,  the application of the archaeological perspective to the modern human experience of the past, studying the way that archaeological and other material remains of the past are interpreted as they are discovered and transformed into public presentations. 

Previously, Wright was one of the directors of the first intensive archaeological surveys in Eastern Eurasia, the Egiin Gol Survey (1997-2002) and the Baga Gazaryn Chuluu Project (2004-2008) in Mongolia and key member of the Chengdu Plain Archaeological Survey (2007-2010).  He was also a participant in field research on the origins of rice agriculture, and the foundations of the Bronze Age Erlitou and Shang states.   He received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from Harvard University (2006, Anthropology) where he studied the adoption of nomadic pastoralism and the dynamics of  subsistence and landscape in Northern Mongolia and before that an M.Phil. from Cambridge University (East Asia Archaeology 1995) with a thesis on Neolithic Dawenkou culture mortuary ritual.   In addition to China and Mongolia, he has carried out fieldwork in Greece,Turkey, China, Egypt, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Greece, Mexico, India, Pakistan Jordan and Belize.

Internal Memberships

Convener of the Northern Archaeology Research Seminar Series

Undergraduate Programme Coordinator for Archaeology

Member of the Geosciences IT working group and Virtual Learning Environment Teaching and Learning Group


Current Research

Khitan-Liao Archaeological Survey and History Project, Mongolia, Inner Mongolia, China

Dornod Mongol SurveyMongolia

Keros-Naxos Seaways Project , Greece

Say Kah Archaeological Project, Belize

Available to supervise PhD Students in topics involving Eurasia, Asia, Landscape Archaeology, Monuments, Mobility, Archaeological GIS and Databases.



Teaching Responsibilities

Course Coordinator

Caves to Kingdoms: An Introduction to Prehistoric Archaeology (AY1503)

Past Lives (AY2508)

Archaeological Research Project Design (AY3512)

The Archaeology of East Asia:Rice, Rites and Sacrifice (AY4519)


Contributing Lecturer

Archaeology in Action (AY1003)

Prehistoric Britain (AY2009)

Practical Archaeology I (AY3010)

Advanced Archaeological Science (AY3021)

Archaeologies of Landscape (AY3504)

Northern Peoples and Cultures (AY5501)

Current Issues in Archaeology (AY4510)

Archaeological Methods (AY5002)

Advanced Archaeological Approaches (AY5504)


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Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings

Contributions to Journals