Kristian Kristiansen


Department of Historical
Visiting address
Renströmsgatan 6
41255 Göteborg
Room number
Postal address
Box 200
40530 Göteborg

About Kristian Kristiansen

Date and place of birth August 21st, 1948, Hyrup, Denmark,

Academic degrees: PhD 1975, University of Aarhus, 1998 Dr. Phil (Habilitation)

Academic appointments:

  • 1976-1979: post-doctoral research-fellow at University of Aarhus,
  • 1979-1994: director of the Danish Archaeological Heritage Administration
  • 1985: co-founder and researcher (for two years) at the first Danish Humanities Centre at the University of Copenhagen (1985-1990)
  • 1994 -present: professor of archaeology (chair) at University of Gothenburg

Research interests: My main research is on the Bronze Age, but also archaeological theory and archaeological heritage are central to my research interests. In my books I have promoted a European perspective on the Bronze Age (see below), whereas in my archaeological excavations I concentrated on local areas in Sicily, Hungary and Denmark/Sweden (see below). The results of these projects are now in press. Throughout my career I have succeeded in achieving both national and international funding, most recently I am part of a new Marie Curie project: Forging Identities, which explores the movement of people, things, animals and ideas in Bronze Age Europe. 10 PhD positions are linked to the project, which just started, two positions are in Gothenburg. Another recent project is the creation of a Research Institute for Rock Art (homepage:, making primary documentation of rock art accessible to the public. Finally I am engaged in an interdisicplinary collaboration at University of Gothenburg, called : The Heritage Academy' to promote research and teaching on cultural heritage. Further information at

Leadership of international research excavations

  • The Thy Archaeological Project 1990 -1999 Denmark.
  • The Scandinavian-Sicilian Archaeological expedition. 1998-2006. Monte Polizzo.
  • The Scandinavian-Hungarian Archaeological Expedition 1998-2006. Szazhalombatta.
  • The Tanum Archaeological Project (Sweden) With Santiago-Compostela (1998-2006)  

Academic leadership/member of international committees Present:

  • European Science Fodundation: standing committee on European journals ERIH (archaeology committee)
  • National: Chairman of the board at the Archaeo-Experimental Research Centre at Lejre, Denmark (1994- present).
  • German Research council: Committee ‘Frühe Monumentalität’  


  • European Association of Archaeologists: I initiated and became first president of the European Association of Archaeologists (1994-1998), and also initiated its journal:European Journal of Archaeology.
  • Council of Europe: member of specialist group for "The Archaeological Plan of Europe", (1989-1994), in the organizing committee on the"Bronze Age Campaign" (1992-1997).
  • ICOMOS. In the organising group and later member of ICAHM, international Committee on Heritage Management, under ICOMOS, which produced the first international charter on heritage management (1982-1992).
  • University positions:1998-2000 member of the Board of Gothenburg University, 2000-2009: chairman of department.
  • Visiting professor: at Sorbonne, Stanford, Cambridge and Oxford.
  • International research assesment panels (last 5 years): Deutche Archaeologsiche Institut, Spanish Academy, Oxford University (Archaeology School), Cork University (3 departments), Leiden University (midterm review archaeology faculty)
  • Swedish Research Council (archaeology), and SIDA foreign aid research council  

National and international awards National: 1975 the University of Aarhus gold medal for PhD. In 1985 knighted by the Danish Queen: ‘Knight of Danebrog’ for my contribution to the reorganisation of the Danish archaeological heritage.

International: 2005 the “European Archaeological Heritage Prize”, 2007 the Society of American Archaeology’s international book prize for best scholarly book (co-authored with Thomas Larsson): ‘The Rise of Bronze Age Society’.

Academic societies and academies

  • Royal Swedish Society of Arts and Sciences, Gothenburg 1994
  • Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities, Stockholm 2002
  • Foreign member of the Deutsche Archäologisches Institut 2007.
  • Honorary fellow of Society of Antiquaries London 2009
  • Honorary fellow of Society of Antiquaries Scotland 1991
  • Honorary fellow of the European Association of Archaeologists 1999

Membership in editorial boards of international journals/books series

  • Archaeological Dialogues/Cambridge University Press/2008
  • Archaeology of Low Countries (new journal starting 2009)
  • Complutum/University of Madrid/1990
  • Nature + Culture/Berghahn Books /2007