Ph.D. The University of Sydney, 1996
Areas of Focus:
Archaeology of imperialism in south and west Asia, human habitation of arid environments and the history of European exploration of the Middle East, particularly Arabia.
My research interests include the archaeology of imperialism in south and west Asia, human habitation of arid environments and the history of European exploration of the Middle East, particularly Arabia.
The substantive data with which the first two issues are addressed is gathered through archaeological fieldwork, re-examination of previously excavated material and archaeometric analysis. This has encompassed:
- Since 1994, directing the on-going excavations of the Iron Age settlement of Muweilah in the United Arab Emirates. These excavations focus on the social and economic organisation of a settlement located in a hyper-arid environment and examine the manner in which external contacts with the then economic and political centres affected economic and social complexity in southeastern Arabia.
- Since 1997, co-directing the on-going excavations at the site of Akra in North-West Pakistan. This is part of the Bannu Archaeological Project and is co-directed with Prof. Farid Khan of the Pakistan Heritage Society, Mr. Robert Knox from the British Museum and Professor Ken Thomas from the Institute of Archaeology. My involvement in the project is driven by a desire to examine the effects of the Achaemenid (c.538-332BC) annexation of a periphery of its Empire. It has often been assumed that imperial episodes in south Asian prehistory were a catalyst for the emergence of economic and political complexity. This view was largely estabished during the period of colonial rule in what was then India and it is as reflective of the British view of the benefits of their own imperial activities as it is of their view of the past. This project seeks to examine this issue by providing fresh data on the economic, political and social configuration of settlements before during and after this imperial episode.
- The examination and publication of the Iron Age material stored at Harvard University from the site of Tepe Yahya in southeastern Iran. This site is the only excavated Iron Age settlement in that region and its publication will provide for the first time an understanding of Iron Age cultural processes in this area.
- Compositional analysis of ceramic samples from Iran, Pakistan, Mesopotamia and Arabia. Using the PIXE-PIGME technique this project has provided evidence for the complex trade networks which linked these areas in the first millennium BC and explores the relationship between political hegemony and economic interaction.
An Introduction to the Archaeology of the ancient Near East
Araby the Blest: The Archaeology of Arabia from 3000 to 300 BC
In the Land of the Buddha
The Archaeology of south Asian society in the first millennium BC
Women in the Ancient Near East
Archaeological Fieldwork Methods
Senior Seminar: Materials and Trade in the Late Bronze Age and early Iron Age in the Near East.
Archaeological Method and Theory and the Application of Archaeometric Techniques
The Archaeology of Iron Age Iran
Gendering the Past (GSEM)
* in preparation: (under contract): The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Arabia, Oxford University Press.
*2014: The Archaeology of Arabia: Social formation and adaptation from the Neolithic to the Iron Age, Cambridge University Press
*2004: The Iron Age settlement at Tepe Yahya, southeastern Iran. Harvard University Press
2000: Khan F, Knox JR, Magee P and Thomas KD: Akra: The ancient capital of Bannu, NWFP, Pakistan. (= Journal of Asian Civilisations Vol. XXIII (1): 1-202).
Chapters in Books (last 5 years only)
2013: The Iron Age in southeastern Iran, In: The Oxford Handbook to the Archaeology of Iran, Oxford University Press, 493-502.
2012: The foundation of antiquities departments, In: A Companion to the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East, Wiley, Blackwell, London: 70-87.
*2011a: Ceramic production and exchange and the impact of domesticated camelus dromedarius in southeastern Arabia, In: Between Sand and Sea: The archaeology and human ecology of southwestern Asia. Festschrift in honor of Hans-Peter Uerpmann. Tübinger Monographien zur Urgeschichte. Tübingen: 213-227.
* 2011b: Iran And The Gulf in the first half of the first millennium BC, In: Eastern Arabia in the first millennium BC, L’Erma di Bretschneider, Rome: 45-56.
*2010: Magee, P and C. Petrie, West of the Indus—East of the Empire: The Archaeology of the Pre-Achaemenid and Achaemenid Periods in Baluchistan and the North-West Frontier Province, Pakistan, In: The World of Achaemenid Persia. History, Art and Society in Iran and The Ancient Near East. Proceedings of a conference at the British Museum. I.B. Tauris, London: 503-522.
Journal Articles (last 5 years only)
2013: (invited): Comment on: McCorriston J. Pastoralism and Pilgrimage: Ibn Khaldun’s Bayt-State model and the rise of Arabian Kingdoms, Current Anthropology 54: 630-631.
*2012: Wilkinson, T.J., Boucharlat, R., Ertsen, M.W., Gillmore, G. Kennet, D., Magee, P., Rezakhani, K. de Schacht, T. From human niche construction to imperial power: long-term trends in ancient Iranian water systems, Water History 4: 155-176.
*2010: Revisiting Indian Rouletted Ware and the impact of Indian Ocean trade in early historic south Asia, Antiquity 326: 1043-1054.
*2009: Magee, P. H.-P. Uerpmann, M. Uerpmann, S.A. Jasim, M. Handel, D. Barber, C. Fritz and E. Hammer. Multi-disciplinary research on the past human ecology of the east Arabian coast: Excavations at Hamriya and Tell Abraq (Emirate of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates), Arabian archaeology and epigraphy 20: 18-29.
*2009: Petrie, C. Magee, P and M.N. Nasim. Emulation at the edge of Empire: the adoption of non-local vessel forms in the North West Frontier Province, Pakistan during the mid- to late first millennium BC. Ghandaran Studies 2: 1-10.
In my research, I enjoy the opportunity to examine how people lived and interacted with their environment by using all avenues of archaeological enquiry from representations of The Queen of Sheba on cigarette cards to obtaining compositional data on ancient Arabian ceramics using Inductively Coupled Plasma - Mass Spectometry. Conducting fieldwork provides an opportunity to gather data but also to bring students into a part of the world they rarely have a chance to see. In teaching, I enjoy bringing together fieldwork results with existing knowledge that may enhance and sometimes challenge existing interpretative structures and paradigms.