School of History, Classics and Archaeology

Staff Profile

Dr Matthew Haysom

Lecturer Ancient History & Archaeology


Research Interests

Archaeology of Religion and Ritual; Comparative Archaeology of Social Complexity; Household Archaeology; Archaeology of Greece

Office (2.27) Hours

2019/20 Semester 2: Tuesdays 3pm-5pm, Thursdays 10am-11am

Previous Positions

Knossos Curator, British School at Athens (2012-2015)

Lecturer (UTO), University of Cambridge (2010-2012)

Visiting Assistant Professor, Lake Forrest College (2009-2010)

A.G. Leventis Research Fellow, British School at Athens (2006-2009)

Macmillan Rodewald Student, British School at Athens (2004-2005)


D.Phil. in Archaeology, University of Oxford

M.St. in Literae Humaniores, University of Oxford

MA in Ancient History and Archaeology, University of Edinburgh


My primary research interest is the archaeology of religion from the Bronze Age down to the Classical period. My interest is twofold. Religion is traditionally seen as one of the most difficult topics for non-text assisted archaeologists to approach. It is, therefore, a fascinating proving-ground for the development of methodologically robust interpretive approaches. At the same time, religion is a nexus for many other elements of social, economic and political change, making it an opportune focus for holistic attempts at the reconstruction of ancient societies and their dynamics. Thus far, my research has focused on Crete, which is the most extensively excavated and surveyed region of modern Greece. It has touched upon all periods from the Late Bronze Age through to the Hellenistic period, although it has been focused on the former. Throughout this time-frame Crete has a rich archaeological record with minimal textual records making it an important case study for archaeological approaches to Greek antiquity.


Module Leader

ARA2016 Aegean Prehistory

CAH2020 Greek and Roman Religions

CAH2009 Portfolio in Ancient History I: Commentaries

ARA8293 From Palaces to City States: Structure, Mobility and Change in Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age Greece


ARA1027 Introduction to Archaeology

CAH1012 West meets East: Greek History and Society, 776-323 BC

CAC1012 Greek and Roman Art and Archaeology

CAH2006 In Alexander's Footsteps: Classical and Hellenistic Empires

ARA3100 The Rise of the Middle Sea: An Armchair Voyage Across the Prehistoric Mediterranean

CAH3000 Portfolio in Ancient History II: Dissertation

ARA3001 Dissertation in Archaeology

CAC8000 Research Skills and Development

CAH8020 Masterclass in Ancient History

ARA8190 Research Themes, Theories and Skills in Archaeology


  • Haysom M. Religion and Cult. In: I S Lemos and A Kotsonas, ed. A Companion to the Archaeology of Early Greece and the Mediterranean. Oxford, UK: Wiley Blackwell, 2019.
  • Haysom M. Entangled religion, ritual and social practice: the case of Karphi. In: Lemos, I. S.; Tsingarida, A, ed. Beyond the Polis: Rituals Rites and Cults in Early and Archaic Greece (12th - 6th Centuries BC). Brussels: Centre de Recherches en Archéologie et Patrimoine, Université libre de Bruxelles, 2019, pp.53-64.
  • Haysom M. The find contexts of Knossian relief wall paintings: some ramifications. In: Becker, J; Jungfleisch, J; von Rüden, C, ed. Tracing Technoscapes: The Production of Bronze Age Wall Paintings in the Eastern Mediterranean. Leiden, The Netherlands: Sidestone Press, 2018, pp.253-78.
  • Haysom M. Mass and elite in Minoan peak sanctuaries. In: Vavouranakis, G; Kopanias, K; Kanellopoulos, Ch, ed. Popular Religion and Ritual in Prehistoric and Ancient Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean. Oxford, UK: Archaeopress, 2018, pp.19-28.
  • Haysom M. Recent research into Minoan extra-urban sanctuaries. Archaeological Reports 2015, 61, 94-103.
  • Haysom M. Crete (prehistoric to Hellenistic). Archaeological Reports 2014, 60, 81-87.
  • Haysom M. Crete (Iron Age to Hellenistic). Archaeological Reports 2013, 59, 68-76.
  • Haysom M. Review of: Cline E. (ed.). The Oxford Handbook of the Bronze Age Aegean. Journal of Hellenic Studies 2013, 133, 256-7.
  • Haysom M, Wallensten J, ed. Current Approaches to Religion in Ancient Greece. Stockholm: The Swedish Institute at Athens, 2011.
  • Haysom M. Fish and ships: Neopalatial seascapes in context. In: G. Vavouranakis, ed. The Seascape in Aegean Prehistory. Aahus: Aarhus University Press, 2011.
  • Haysom M. Review of: Privitera S. Case e rituali a Creta nel period neopalaziale (Tripodes 9). Classical Review 2011, 61, 253-4.
  • Haysom M. The strangeness of Crete: problems for the protohistory of Greek religion. In: Current Approaches to Religion in Ancient Greece. 2011, Athens, Greece: The Swedish Institute at Athens.
  • Haysom M. Review of: Berg, Ina. Negotiating Island Identities: the Active use of Pottery in the Middle and Late Bronze Age Cyclades. Journal of Hellenic Studies 2010, 130, 244-6.
  • Haysom M. The double-axe: a contextual approach to the interpretation of a Cretan symbol in the Neopalatial period. Oxford Journal of Archaeology 2010, 29(1), 35-55.
  • Haysom M. In what context? Competing and complementary approaches to contextual analysis in the study of Minoan religion. In: Cult in Context: Comparative Approaches to Prehistoric and Ethnographic Religious Practices. 2007, Cambridge: Oxbow.