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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)'. 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 archaeology in Ethiopia.

My overall research focuses on 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 cultural heritage management. 

Aside from my work in Ethiopia, I have been working on a project that considers climate risk to heritage sites in coastal African World Heritage Sites. 

Research group links

Research interests

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


I received my BA in 2008 at the University of Reading in Archaeology and History.  Following this I pursued a career as a contract archaeologist and surveyor working mainly in the UK, but also in central Russia and Libya.

I undertook my MSc in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) at the University of Leicester graduating in 2012.  After the completion of my Masters I received the Esri prize for ‘best MSc GIS student of the year 2012’.

I obtained 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.

After completion of my PhD 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 eastern Ethiopia focusing on Islamic period sites.

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