Professor Gina Barnes

Key information

Japan Research Centre Emeritus Research Associate Professorial Research Associate & Senior Teaching Fellow
MA (Cantab), MA, PhD (Michigan), BSc (Open Univ.), Prof. Em. (Durham), FGS (Fellow of the Geological Society of London)
Email address


Gina Barnes, a California native raised in Colorado, has spent her working life in England, finishing her Ph.D. on Japanese state formation for the University of Michigan (1983) while teaching East Asian Archaeology as Assistant Lecturer in the Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge (1981-85). She worked briefly at the University of Leiden (1986), where she expanded her interests in Korean state formation, then returned to St. John's College, Cambridge, as a Senior Researcher (1987-95). In 1996, she took up the post of Professor of Japanese Studies at Durham University, from which she retired as Emeritus Professor in 2006 and then collected a BSc in Geosciences (Geology) from the Open University in 2012. She founded the East Asian Archaeology Network in 1990, which became the Society for East Asian Archaeology (SEAA) in 1996. She served as first President (1996-1998), Treasurer & Membership Secretary (2004-2012), and organized the first two SEAA Worldwide Conferences in Honolulu (1996) and Durham (2000). Now officially retired as Professor Emeritus of Durham University, she is a SOAS Professorial Research Associate, teaching in the Diploma in Asian Art and occasionally substituting for lecturers on leave.

Research interests

She is Professorial Research Associate in the Department of History of Art & Archaeology and the Japan Research Centre. Her publications include five single-authored books: Protohistoric Yamato (U. Michigan, 1988); The Rise of Civilization in East Asia (Thames & Hudson, 1993/1999); State Formation in Korea (Curzon, 2001); State Formation in Japan (Routledge, 2007); and the Archaeology of East Asia (Oxbow, 2015). Her latest book TephroArchaeology in the North Pacific was co-edited with T. Soda (Archaeopress, 2019). Her publications can be found at

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