Peter’s research and teaching explores methods for measuring and describing change over time in cultural systems, especially with regard to traditionally non-quantifiable material. His first degree was in Art History, at the University of Missouri, Columbia, followed by several years working in the contemporary art world of London in the late 90s and early 2000s. Peter returned to academia to undertake an MSc degree in Human Evolution and Behaviour from the UCL Department of Anthropology, where he studied the application of sexual selection theory to the life histories of 20th century artists. This was followed by an AHRC-funded PhD in Archaeology, in which he tested the degree to which the neutral model of cultural evolution explains change in diversity of mythological characters on Attic figure-painted pottery.
After his PhD, Peter worked in IT and web development, including a startup which analysed semantic content of Tweets and other social media, before working on Stephen Shennan’s Leverhulme-funded Neomine project. This three-year study explored the relationship between change in stone axe production in Northwest Europe and Neolithic demography, using aggregated C14 dates as a proxy. After this project concluded, Peter was appointed Senior Teaching Associate in Quantitative Methods in Archaeology and Biological Anthropology at Cambridge University, where he taught “From Data to Interpretation”, a core course which introduced undergraduates and postgraduates to theoretical and practical hypothesis testing, using the R programming language. Following this, Peter worked on COREX, an ERC Synergy Grant COREX project, before moving to York to take up the role of Associate Lecturer in Digital Archaeology.
Peter’s research interests are diverse, including cultural evolution, the analysis, aggregation and use of radiocarbon dates, spatial analysis in the R programming language, comparative evidence of prehistoric demographic change, Attic figure-painted pottery, space archaeology, and contemporary art of Britain at the end of the millennium.
Recent conference presentations
As first author:
Schauer, P., and T. Kerig 2018. Viele Steine und Big Data: Wirtschaftsarchäologie 2.0. Archäologie in Deutschland 06 2018, 36-39.