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Photo of Dr Nadia Khalaf

Dr Nadia Khalaf

BA (hons); MSc; PhD (UEA, Norwich)

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

I am a Postdoctoral Research Fellow on the project 'Mapping Africa’s Endangered Archaeological Sites and Monuments (MAEASaM)', funded by the Arcadia Foundation. The project aims to identify and document endangered archaeological heritage sites across Africa using a combination of remote sensing, records-based research, and selective archaeological surveys. Within this project I focus on mapping heritage sites in Ethiopia.

My research interests are in the use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and satellite remote sensing for landscape research in the African continent and how we can use these tools for identification, recording, and protection of cultural heritage. Alongside my academic work, I have over 10 years experience in field archaeology, including running my own excavations and surveys, and have worked in the UK, Ethiopia, Benin, Libya, Lebanon and Russia on a range of sites and research projects.


Research group links

Research interests

  • Archaeology in Africa
  • Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
  • Satellite remote sensing 
  • Cultural heritage managment
  • Climate change and cultural heritage
  • Cartography and mapping


I received my BA in 2008 from the University of Reading in Archaeology and History.  After graduation I became a full time commercial field archaeologist for three years working on a vast range of excavations throughout the UK. During this time I travelled to Central Asia and Libya for archaeological research projects. 

I have a MSc in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) from the University of Leicester graduating in 2012, I recieved a distinction and the Esri prize for best MSc GIS student of year.

I finished my PhD in Archaeology in 2016 from the Sainsbury Research Unit, University of East Anglia.  My project was entitled ‘A field survey and GIS based investigation of the Niger River Valley, Republic of Benin’.  During this time I established the ‘Niger Valley Survey Project’ and identified and documented over 300 previously undiscovered archaeological sites in the region through extensive field survey along the Niger River.

From 2016, I was a postdoctoral research associate at Durham University in the Department of Archaeology, where I undertook satellite imagery analysis of the landscapes of the Sasanian Empire for the ERC-funded Persia Project.  I also directed a topographic survey of the archaeological site of Tell Koubba in Lebanon.

I joined the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies in November 2016 as a postdoctoral research fellow.  My research investigates the archaeological landscape of Ethiopia using satellite remote sensing and GIS methods. 

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