School of History, Classics and Archaeology

Staff Profile

Dr Andrea Dolfini

Senior Lecturer in Later Prehistory


Roles and Responsibilities

Co-convenor of the Materiality, Artefacts & Technologies in Culture & History (MATCH) Faculty Research Group

Degree Programme Director for the Archaeology Research Students


2010         PhD in Archaeology, St. John's College, University of Cambridge (UK)
2003         Post-Graduate Diploma in European Prehistory, University of Milan (Italy)
1998         First Degree in Classics and Archaeology, University of Milan (Italy)

Previous Positions

2008-16    Lecturer in Later Prehistory, Newcastle University

2004-05    Lecturer in European Prehistory, Golden Age University, Milan (Italy)

Google Scholar



Research Interests

  • Prehistoric metallurgy (especially copper alloys) and metalwork wear analysis
  • The later prehistory of Italy in its central Mediterranean context
  • Prehistoric warfare and violence
  • Experimental archaeology
  • Technological change, invention and innovation
  • The archaeology of death and burial

Recent and Current Projects

2019-21   Euro-Dag - The First European Daggers: Function, meaning, and social significance. Horizon2020 Marie-Curie Individual Fellowship investigating early lithic and metal daggers from Europe (Fellow: Dr Isabella Caricola)

2015-17   TEMPI - The Time of Early Metalwork in Italy. Horizon2020 Marie-Curie Individual Fellowship investigating the chronology and classification of early Italian metalwork (Fellow: Dr Cristiano Iaia)

2015-17   The First Halberds in Europe. Project investigating the chronology and function of early Italian halberds by radiocarbon dating and use-wear analysis (funding body: The Prehistoric Society)

2014-17   BATWEP - Bronze Age Tree-felling and Woodworking Experimental Project. Project investigating the use-value of Bronze Age axes by field and lab tests and wear analysis (with T. Joyce, J. Desrosier & L. Ansley)

2013-   Bronze Age Combat: An Experimental Approach. Project investigating Late Bronze Age sword, spear, axe and shield fighting through field experiments, combat tests, and wear analysis (with R. Crellin, R. Hermann, M. Uckelmann, Q. Wang and others; funding bodies: Newcastle University and the British Museum)

2013-   Case Bastione Archaeological Project. Excavation and analysis of a multi-stratified settlement site in Sicily, third-second millennia BC (with E. Giannitrapani, F. Ianni' and others)

In 2011-12 I also contributed (as a specialist advisor) to The Cutting Edge, an innovative online archive of archaeological and ethnographic objects with sharp edges held in the Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums (TWAM)

A broad selection of my research papers can be downloaded from my webpage.

Future Projects

I am due to start in January 2021 a new MSCA-IF project titled What this Awl Means: A functional and social analysis of prehistoric metal awls from Europe (Fellow: Dr Stefano Viola). 

Postgraduate Supervision

I am keen to supervise doctoral students working on any of my research areas; informal enquires are welcome. I am currently supervising the following students:

2019 - Alessandro Armigliato (NBDTP funded)

2018-   Eleonora Montanari (NBDTP funded)

2017-   Violeta Tsenova (NPIF funded)

2017-   Alicia Sawyer (REA funded)

2015-   Marco Romeo Pitone (NBDTP funded)


Undergraduate Teaching

ARA1001 - Stuff: Living in a Material World

ARA1026 - Introduction to Archaeological Science (module leader)

ARA1027 - Introduction to Archaeology

ARA2011 - Prehistoric Europe

ARA3100 - Archaeologies of the Middle Sea (module leader)

ARA3119 - You Are What You Make

Postgraduate Teaching

ARA8184 - Bodies in Prehistoric Europe

ARA8186 - Ancient Metals: Technology and Scientific Analysis (module leader)

ARA8190 - Research Themes, Theories and Skills in Archaeology