Staff – University of Copenhagen

Tobias Richter

Tobias Richter

Associate Professor

I study the late Pleistocene and early Holocene societies of southwest Asia (c. 22,000 – 7,000 BCE). Areas of interest during this time frame include: the relationship between climatic and cultural change, lithic technology, use-wear analysis, landscape archaeology, chronology, patterns of social interaction, burial practices, the meaning and use of architecture, social technologies and food cultures (the list keeps growing). More broadly, I am also interested in the relationship between archaeology and the present, e.g. with regards to heritage discourse, politics and identity, as well as broadly speaking archaeological theory and method. 

I have a BA and MPhil in Archaeology from the University of Wales Lampeter (now University of Wales Trinity Saint David) and a PhD in Archaeology from the Institute of Archaeology, University College London.

I currently direct two major fieldwork projects:

The Shubayqa Archaeological Project ( investigates a number of late Epipalaeolithic and early Neolithic sites in northeast Jordan. The project has led to a number of significant discoveries that affect the way we see the late Epipalaeolithic Natufian and the early Neolithic in the region. The Shubayqa project is funded by grants from the Frie Forskningsfond Denmark, the Danish Institute in Damascus and the H.P. Hjerl Mindefondet for Dansk Palæstinaforskning.

My current project Changing Foodways in Prehistoric southwest Asia: Reconstructing Food Procurement, processing and cooking during the Epipalaeolithic-Neolithic Transition emerged out of the Shubayqa project and investigates how people at the end of the Palaeolithic and the beginning of the age of farming turned raw plant and animal matter into digestible foods, and what changes occurred during this transition.  

Together with Hojjat Darabi and Peder Mortensen I also co-direct the Tracking Cultural and Environmental Change: the late Epipalaeolithic and early Neolithic in the Seimmareh Valley project ( This five-year project is funded by a generous grant from the Davids Samling and investigates the transition from the Epipalaeolithic to the early Neolithic in the central Zagros region of western Iran. The project is a collaboration between Razi University, the Iranian Centre for Archaeological Research and the University of Copenhagen.

These projects are organised into the the Centre for the Study of Early Agricultural Societies ( at the University of Copenhagen. This centre aims to be a research hub for archaeologists and other scholars with an interest in the emergence of agricultural societies around the world. It brings together a number of academics at KU and elsewhere with similar research interests.

I collaborate closely with colleagues at the Natural History Museum of Denmark, the SAXO Institute, Institute of Archaeology at University College London, Eberhard-Karls Universität Tübingen, University of California Berkeley, University of Nottingham, the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa and Razi University.

At ToRS I teach the Palaeolithic and Neolithic archaeology of southwest Asia, lithic technology, archaeological methods and classes on theory.


PhD Students:

Agnieszka Bystron

Anne Jörgensen-Lindahl

Patrick Pedersen

Golnaz Ehadi (jointly with the Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen)

Pia Nielsen (2nd supervisor) 

ID: 22888248