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 Sophie Moore

Sophie Moore


School of History, Archaeology and Religion

4.41, John Percival Building, Colum Drive, Cardiff, CF10 3EU

Sophie is a Late Antique and Byzantine Archaeologist who works on the experienced nature of the past. She is currently writing up the historic period cemetery at Çatalhöyük which includes Roman, Seljuk and Ottoman graves. Sophie is part of the Sagalassos project where she is working on using coarse-ware typologies and stratified deposits to shed light on what happened to the city after its Roman heyday.

Prior to joining Cardiff University Sophie held a two year post-doc at the Joukowsky Institute, Brown University, as well as teaching positions at Newcastle University and the University of Hull, where her teaching focused on memory, material culture, and archaeological theory and practice. She was post-doctoral research fellow at the British Institute at Ankara (2013-14) where she began to work on the cemetery contexts from Çatalhöyük. A graduate of Oxford Mst and Newcastle BA(hons), Ph.D., her doctoral thesis was titled ‘A Relational Approach to Mortuary Practices in Medieval Byzantine Anatolia’. Her doctoral work used published and unpublished evidence from Middle Byzantine Graves of the 9th to the 12th century to consider the nature of death and grief in Byzantine Anatolia, and to construct a regional and chronological taxonomy of grave and cemetery types.

Sophie is currently thinking about the nature of memory and how it differs from knowledge of the past. She is interested in how archaeologists create and validate knowledge.

Academic positions

2016 – 2018 Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, Brown University Postdoctoral Fellow in Archaeology.

2015 – 2016 University of Hull Lecturer in Archaeology.

2014 – 2015 Newcastle University Teacher in Archaeology.

2013 – 2014 British Institute at Ankara (BIAA) Post-Doctoral Research Fellow

Speaking engagements

2018 ‘Identifying Medieval Burials – What to do with unexpected Byzantines?’ Invited speaker within the Kings College London Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar, October 23 and the Oxford Archaeological Fieldwork Seminar, October 24.

2018 ‘The Phenomenology of Byzantine Song’ Invited speaker at ‘Art, Materiality and Representation’ Clore Centre, British Museum, June 1-3.

2018 ‘Archaeological Theory in the New Millennium’ Discussion panel member with Oliver Harris, Craig Cipolla, Robert Preucel and Peter van Dommelen, Brown University February 13.

2018 ‘Archaeological Illustration and Visual Science’ Public lecture presented at Wheaton College, Massachusetts January 16.

2018 ‘The Cemeteries of Roman Çatalhöyük’ Paper presented at the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) annual meeting, Boston January 4-7.




  • Moore, S. and Jackson, M. 2014. Late burials from 4040. In: Hodder, I. ed. Çatalhöyük Excavations: the 2000-2008 seasons, Volume 7... Cotsen Institute in association with the British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara, pp. 603-620.


  • Moore, S. V. 2013. Experiencing Mid-Byzantine mortuary practice: Shrouding the dead. In: Nesbitt, C. and Jackson, M. eds. Experiencing Byzantium: Papers from the 44th Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies, Newcastle and Durham, April 2011.. Publications of the Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies Abingdon and New York: Routledge, pp. 195-212.

My teaching and research are firmly entwined. At Cardiff I teach the history of archaeological thought alongside Professor James Whitley. Engaging closely with history of the disicpline alows our students to place arguments within their intelectual traditions and produces much more critically aware work throughout the later stages of the undergraduate degree. 

My theoretical focus on lived experience and materiality lends itself to pedagogy which challenges students to interrogate the material world and the place of humanity within it. I use a number of teaching methods which draw on my involvment with the development of MOOCS (Massive Open Online Courses). In particular I use mixed-media course materials and unconventionally structured teaching sessions to create an active, open forum for discussion and learning. I often require studnets to produce podcasts and presentations, to transfer their debate skills learnt in small group teaching sessions to larger lecture formats, and to be willing to consider art and objects from their own lives as gateways to better understanding the past. 

Sophie's research is deeply grounded in current movements in critical theory, particularly focusing on how the long-term nature of archaeology can contribute to posthumanism and the new materiality. She is a Late Antique and Byzantine Archaeologist focusing on the material culture of Anatolia from the 4th to roughly the 10th century AD. Sophie takes a phenomenological and relational approach to the past. Using these theories leads to the interrogation of particular moments in past lives, such as specific actions within mortuary rituals or liturgical singing. Her theoretical angle is applied to the three core strands of research: Late Antique and Byzantine mortuary practices (for example at Çatalhöyük, Turkey), Late Antique experiences (making, image, and sound), and the transformation of the Roman to Late Antique city at Sagalassos, Turkey.

Areas of expertise