Marvin Demicoli

Postgraduate Research Student


Marvin was awarded with a BA in Archaeology and Psychology and then later he recieved a MA in Archaeology, both of these were completed at the University of Malta. Subsequently, Marvin recieved an MSc with distinction in environmental archaeology from University College London. 

Outside of his studies, Marvin worked as a professional commercial archaeologist in Malta, being involved with over 50 archaeological excavations and coordinating over half of these. Marvin also had the opportunity to work as a professional environmental archaeologist in the UK with Archaeology South East, UCL.

Research Interests

Thesis Title

"Fuelling urbanisation: a study of woodland composition in relation to the rise of urban centres in Neolithic China"

Marvin's thesis aims to identify the relationship humans had with arboreal vegetation during the Longshan Late Neolithic of Central China, through the analysis of anthracological (wood charcoal) remains from archaeological sites. Charcoal preserves the internal cellular anatomy of wood allowing identification of taxa and hence the possibility to reconstruct woodland vegetation. Moreover, archaeological charcoal is also an artefact of human activities and thus links the anthropic and environmental factors that impact vegetation change and vice-versa. This project will shed light on the initial stages of the Anthropocene when large scale landscape exploitation modifications, linked with urbanisation and agricultural intensification, commence. It will also promote new research collaborations between the University of Liverpool and Chinese academic institutions. 

Marvin's broader research interests include Anthracology, Palaeoclimatology and human-environment relationships of the past.

Research Funding 

Jointly funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council - North West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership (AHRC-NWCDTP) and a University of Liverpool, Department of Histories Languages and Cultures (HLC) scholarship scheme.