Kristian Kristiansen


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

About Kristian Kristiansen

Kristian Kristiansen, since 1994 professor of archaeology (chair) at the department of Historical Studies, University of Gothenburg, since 2020 affiliate professors at Globe Institute, Lundbech Center for Geogenetics, Copenhagen University.

Profile: I am a broad-minded interdisciplinary researcher. My research combines grand narratives with in depth studies of local settlements, and collaboration with scientists.

In my ERC advanced Grant: ‘The Rise’, (2011-2016), I collaborated with geneticists, (the Eske Willerlev team in Copenhagen) as well as scientists doing strontium isotopic research (Karin Frei and Doug Price), and this collaboration continued in the project ‘Towards a new European Prehistory’, funded by the Swedish Riksbank foundation with 4.5€ (2017-2022).

Most recently I coordinate an ERC Synergy grant Corex: ‘From correlation to explanation’ (2021-2027) with UCL and Copenhagen (10 million €, homepage:

Throughout my career I have also been engaged in various capacities in archaeological heritage, which resulted in the formation and funding of a Centre for Critical Heritage Studies at GU which I directed until 2019, since then as deputy ( I coordinated a Marie Curie Research Training Network with 15 PhD students on Critical Heritage (2017-2021).

Publication output. Kristian Kristiansen has published 25 books, and more than 150 papers in peers reviewed journals, seven books at Cambridge University Press, and one at Routledge. Google scholar H-index is 55, with 15.000 citations. 30.000 followers at and 430.000 views.

Conference organizer:(select) Kristian Kristiansen has organized a series of international conferences during the last 10 years on aDNA and archaeology, strontium isotopic analyses in archaeology, landscape and environmental research, Trade and Civilisation, and last year Trade before Civilisation. Most recently on language, genetics and archaeology. Several are published or in press with Cambridge University Press.

Keynote lectures (select). During the last five years Kristian Kristiansen has been invited key lecturers at all international archaeological associations: World Archaeological Congress, UISPP, and the European Association of Archaeologists among them.

Research innovations: Kristian Kristiansen was one of the initiators of the mobility turn in archaeology, launched in his prize awarded book with Thomas Larsson: The Rise of Bronze Age Society, and in his subsequent ERC advanced grant The Rise (2011-2016), in collaboration with the Eske Willerslev aDNA team, and other archaeological sciences (strontium and lead isotopic analyses) it was demonstrated that migrations and mobility had been a prominent feature of the genetic and cultural formation of western Eurasia during the Bronze Age.

See also my CUP Element book from 2022: Archaeology and the Genetic Revolution in European Archaeology.

Honours and awards

  • 2020 Elected fellow of the British Academy
  • 2018 Gordan Childe Annual Lecture/prize at UCL, London
  • 2017 Erik Westerby archaeological prize/Denmark.
  • 2016 The British Academy: Graham Clark Medal
  • 2013 Prehistoric Society’s Europa Prize 2013
  • 2011 Honorary doctor at Oslo University 2011
  • 2009 Honorary fellow of Society of Antiquaries London
  • 2007 the Society of American Archaeology’s international book prize
  • 2007 Foreign member of the Deutsche Archäologische Institut
  • 2005 The “European Archaeological Heritage Prize”
  • 2000 Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities
  • 1999 Honorary fellow of the European Association of Archaeologists
  • 1994 Royal Swedish Society of Arts and Sciences, Gothenburg
  • 1991 Honorary fellow of Society of Antiquaries Scotland
  • 1985 Knighted by the Danish Queen: ‘Knight of Danebrog’
  • 1974 University of Aarhus gold medal for PhD

Education, positions and Employment

1994-present Professor of Archaeology (chair) at University of Gothenburg

1979-1994 Director of the Danish Archaeological Heritage Administration

1985-1990 Co-founder and researcher (two years) at the first Danish Humanities Centre at the University of Copenhagen

1976-1979 Post-doctoral research fellow at University of Aarhus

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


During the past 25 years I have raised as PI or co-PI ca 32 million €. Herein I have not included my partnership in the Lundbech project at Globe Institute.

Academic leadership and international positions

2021-2027: Co-ordinating PI on ERC Synergy grant: Corex, with Gothenburg, Copenhagen (PI Kurt Kjær) and UCL (PI Mark Thomas)

2018-2023 Co-PI at the Lundbech Geogenetics Centre, Globe Institute at Copenhagen University.

2016-2020 Leader of Marie EU funded/Curie Research Training Network with 15PhDs in 7 European universities on Critical Heritage (CHEurope)

2017-2022 Leader of large Riksbank framework project: Towards a New European Prehistory

2015 - 2019 Leader of Centre for Critical Heritage Studies (CCHS), Gothenburg University, in partnership with UCL, London

2018-2023 Initiator and co-editor of Cambridge Element Series (50 planned small books) on the theme: Critical Heritage Studies

2015 – present Chairman of the Board for Grasca graduate school at Linné University in Kalmar

2014-2020 European Research Council: panel member

1994-present Chairman of the board at the Archaeo-Experimental Research Centre at Lejre, Denmark

2010 Visiting Professor, Oxford

2009-2015 German Research council: Committee ‘Frühe Monumentalität’

2000-2009 Chairman of department

2003-2006 SIDA foreign aid research council

2004 Visiting Professor, Stanford

2003 Visiting Professor, Cambridge

1998-2000 Member of the university Board of University of Gothenburg

1994-1998 First president of the European Association of Archaeologists. Took part in initiating the organisation, and also initiated its journal: European Journal of Archaeology.

1995-1997 Swedish Research Council

1989-1997 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)

1992 Visiting professor, Sorbonne

1982-1992 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 Co-founder and first editor of Journal of Danish Archaeology

Research projects:

Since 1994, won in competition, all based at University of Gothenburg, funding provided by the following major research financiers/programs: The Swedish Research Council, Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, Swedish Heritage, Knut & Alice Wallenberg Foundation, EU Marie Curie Training Networks, ERC Advanced grant, and Synery grant. Total 32 million €.

  • "From Coast to Coast" (in collaboration with Uppsala University): 1998-2002. A project on the neolithization process in Sweden with 20 full-time researchers.
  • “The Urbanization of Western Sweden" (1997-2000). Publication of the major excavations of urban settlements during 500 AD-1500 AD.
  • The Emergence of European Communities: Household, Settlement and Territory in Later Prehistory" (3200-300BC)". 1997- 2006 A Comparative project based on fieldwork in:Monte Polizzo, Sicily, Szazhalombatta, Hungary, and Tanum, Sweden.
  • Rock Art Research Archive of Sweden. 2007- present. A national archive and database of Swedish rock art started in collaboration with Swedish Heritage
  • Forging Identities: the mobility of culture in Bronze Age Europe. 2009 -2012. Marie Curie research training networks
  • The Rise:travels, transmissions and transformations in Europe during 3rd and 2nd millennium BC, 2011-2016. ERC Advanced grant
  • Centre for Critical Heritage Studies, CHS: 2016-2021.
  • Riksbankens Jubileumsfond: Towards a New European Prehistory(2017-22)
  • Marie Curie: Research Training Networks 15 PhD positions (2016-2020)
  • ERC Synergy grant: Corex, ‘From correlation to explanation’10 million(2021-2027)

Kristian Kristiansen at ResearchGate and Academia