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Professor Christopher Ramsey

Bodley Fellow, Non-stipendiary Lecturer in Physics


Physics and its applications to Archaeology and Environmental Science


I am a scientist specialising in radiocarbon dating and other methods of scientific dating.  I work on the development of dating techniques, including improvements to precision and accuracy and the statisical methods that can be used to develop chronologies for archaeological and enviromental research.  I have been particularly interested in the application of high precision chronologies to the development of early civilisations in the Near East and Aegean, and on the timing and processes of climate change during the last ice age with its effect on early modern humans and Neanderthals.

Teaching Interests

At Merton I have taught undergraduate Physics since 1985 particularly in mathematical methods, but also atomic physics and statistical mechanics.  I also mentor Merton graduate students in Archaeology and Archaeological Science.  In my department, I teach on the MSc in Archaeological Science, and supervise DPhil students.  I run two courses for the Department of Continuing Education on radiocarbon dating.

Photo: © James King-Holmes/SciTech Image