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Dr. Duncan Keenan-Jones

Research Associate -



I am currently a research associate in the Leverhulme-funded project "Hero of Alexandria and his Theatrical Automata", using CAD and 3-D printing to reconstruct primitive ancient Greek robots. After completing an honours degree in chemical engineering (University of New South Wales), I completed MA and PhD degrees in ancient (primarily Roman) history (Macquarie University). I recently completed a three-year postdoctoral position at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where I was Mellon Fellow at the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities and a member of the Departments of Geology and Classics and of the Institute for Genomic Biology. I have several years’ experience as an archaeological & heritage consultant and have excavated and surveyed in Italy, Israel and Australia.

Research and Teaching Interests

• The ancient Mediterranean world, especially Italy and the East
• Archaeological science, quantitative/evolutionary approaches to history and archaeology
• Big History and the relationship between different methods of reconstructing the past (esp. geology, genetics, archaeology and history)
• Ancient technology (especially water systems and mechanics), innovation and environment
• Formation and cultural uses of calcium carbonate and related bio-minerals (e.g. teeth)


  • Classics - School of Humanities, College of Arts