Dr Maeve McHugh FHEA

Dr Maeve McHugh

Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology
Lecturer in Classical Archaeology

Contact details

University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

I am an archaeologist with expertise in the Greek Archaic to Classical periods. I work with historical and archaeological data to reconstruct the lives of rural non-elite individuals and communities in the Greek world to learn more about the interrelationships between physical, social, and cultural landscapes.

Feedback and office hours

  • Monday 15:00-15:50 
  • Thursday 14:00-14:50


  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2018)
  • PhD  (2014, UCD)
  • MA  (2009, UCD)
  • BA (2008, UCD)


I completed my PhD at University College Dublin in 2014, after which I worked as an occasional lecturer for the School of Classics and the Adult Education Centre, UCD. During this time, I worked as a survey team leader on the Mazi Archaeological Project (MAP), a diachronic pedestrian landscape survey in northwestern Attica. I continue to be actively involved in archaeological fieldwork, and I am the intensive survey co-director for the Bays of East Attica Regional Survey, a multiscalar survey of the bay of Porto Rafti in eastern Attica. I joined CAHA in 2017 as a Teaching Fellow in Classical Archaeology, and  I am fascinated by how people lived and worked in the ancient Greek world and this fascination drives my research and teaching, which you can learn more about below.


I teach on a wide range of modules covering aspects of the art and archaeology of the ancient Greek and Roman worlds.

Teaching 2017-present

First-year modules

  • The Parthenon: temple, church, mosque, and powder keg (module lead)
  • Classical Group Research (module lead)
  • The Greek World
  • The Roman World
  • Rethinking the Ancient World
  • Greek Archaeology
  • Roman Archaeology
  • Ancient Worlds
  • Practical Archaeology
  • World Archaeology

Second-year modules

  • Study Tour (module lead)
  • The Hellenistic World (module lead)
  • Artefacts and Material Culture (module lead)
  • Cities and Monuments of the Ancient World
  • Mediterranean and European Archaeology

Third-year modules

  • Myths and Mortals: Greek and Roman Myth in Visual Arts (module lead)
  • Greek and Roman Wall-Painting (module lead)
  • Greek Mythology
  • Death, Burial, and Society

Postgraduate modules

  • Research and Scholarship
  • Archaeological Theory, Method, and Interpretation
  • Empire and Identity
  • Landscape Archaeology
  • Greek Archaeology

Postgraduate supervision

I welcome research students interested in the archaeology and material culture of the Archaic and Classical periods of the Greek world, social and cultural histories of non-elites, including the lives of women, children, and marginalised groups.


I am an active field archaeologist, and I am a senior member of the Bays of East Attica Regional Survey (BEARS). My research interests lie in using historical and archaeological evidence to reconstruct the lives and experiences of rural groups. My research's core aim is to create multi-vocal narratives from the perspectives of varying sexes, ages, and statuses to rebalance orthodox perceptions of rural inhabitants as shaped by elite authors. My ultimate goal is to provide a better-rounded picture of the lives and economic objectives of free and enslaved individuals and rural communities from their perspective. My first monograph, The Ancient Greek Farmstead, is a fully realised example of this approach to rural communities, which uses digital, archaeological, and historical data to reconstruct and analyse the role that farmsteads had in supporting agriculture as an economic and communal activity. My second monograph, under contract with Routledge, The Experience of Agricultural Labour in Classical Greece examines the lives of agricultural workers utilising texts, iconography, and archaeological datasets to create a well-rounded understanding of how they made sense of their lives and the necessity of work to survive.

Along with my co-organisers Dr Andrew Bayliss and Dr Will Mack, I organised a colloquium Rural Communities in Ancient Greece held virtually at the University of Birmingham (October 2020), which inaugurated a new research network on rural communities. The research network will provide a space for new and innovative research on rural communities.

Other activities

I am the academic coordinator for the CAHA's Archaeology Museum, which is a collection of over 1000 antiquities from the worlds of Greece, Rome, and Egypt. The Archaeology Museum is a teaching collection intended for student use and engagement.

I have developed a suite of projects in the last three years, including a paid student internship to research the history of the collection, a series of Objects in Focus engagement talks for students and the wider public, and a podcast series Stories from Objects aimed at the general public. Most recently, students completed a project researching evidence for the work of child potters in the museum's collection. Learn more about the project on CAHA’s student blog.



  • McHugh, M. 2017. The Ancient Greek Farmstead. Oxford: Oxbow Books.

Peer-reviewed articles

  • S. Murray, C. Pratt, R. Stephan, M. McHugh, and G. Erny. Forthcoming. "The 2019 Bays of East Attica Regional Survey (BEARS): New Evidence for the Archaeology of the Bay of Porto Raphti," Mouseion 17.2 DOI: 10.3138/mous.17.2.005
  • McHugh, M. 2019. "To reap a rich harvest: experiencing agricultural labour in ancient Greece" World Archaeology 50.5. DOI: 10.1080/00438243.2019.1612193
  • McHugh, M. 2019. "Going the extra mile: travel, time, and distance in Classical Attica" Annual of the British School at Athens. DOI: 10.1017/S0068245419000017 

Chapters in edited volumes

  • McHugh, M. 2017. "A GIS exploratory analysis of farmsteads: A case study of the Karystian farmsteads on the Paximadhi Peninsula" In An Island Between Two Worlds: The Archaeology of Euboea from Prehistoric to Byzantine Times. Tankosic, Z., Kosma, M., and F. Mavridis (eds.). Athens: Norwegian Institute of Archaeology in Athens.