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Selected popular science and other writing


The Guardian Opinion on Neanderthals and the Nobel Prize

Broadcast Magazine Close Encounters in the Fourth Dimension


The New York Times [Review] What Made Our Species Unique: Walking

The Times How accurate is The Dig? 

Aeon Sheanderthal 

BBC History Extra The Neanderthal In The Mirror

Anthropology News Ten Things Archaeology Can Tell Us About Neanderthals

Current Archaeology The Outermost West: Neanderthals in Britain.


Kindred: Neanderthal Life, Love, Death and Art. Bloomsbury Sigma

Time  Much of What We Thought About Neanderthals Was Wrong. Here's Why That Matters.

BBC Science Focus Did Neanderthals Have a Society?

Big Issue Why We Were Wrong About The Neanderthals


The Neanderthal Renaissance AEON magazine, March 2019

Opinion piece for Guardian on Mary Anning and upcoming Ammonite film


Ancient Neanderthal-Denisovan hybrid unearthed in Siberian cave BBC Focus magazine, September Issue 326

Rethinking the Neanderthals BBC Focus magazine, July Issue 324


Trowelblazers: Raising our trowels to pioneering women archaeologists, Current Archaeology magazine, February Issue 324


Prehistory consultant for Dorling Kindersley Big History, History Year by Year, History Map by Map.


Why archaeology needs to come out of the cave and into the digital age Guardian Science Blogs, December 

Trowelblazers: women have been digging geosciences longer than you think Guardian Science Blogs, November 


Who invented clothes? A Palaeolithic archaeologist answers Guardian Science Blogs
2012 Time is Not Made to Flow in Vain: Eternity and Apocalypse in Assynt and Mars  and  Re-igniting the Fire: Challenge and Chance in Science Career Trajectories  Guest Blogger at Scientific American


Personal blog, The Rocks Remain

Day of Archaeology, various posts 2011-2017

Creative and consulting projects


Scientific consultant for television production company


Research consultant and story developer for feature film company

Researcher for The National Trust


Project director and creative collaborator for Raising Horizons exhibition (on behalf of TrowelBlazers).


Led Women Write Science workshop for British Science Week (British Science Foundation).

Consultant for Time STEAM project with Dr P. Hommel, Oxford University, building new networks for embedding prehistory teaching within UK primary curriculum.

Consultant for Heart(h) project to connect The School of Archaeology with the Oxford Playhouse theatre in exploring performative aspects of prehistoric craft and materials (with Dr Pete Hommel, funded by TORCH).

Interview for Stefan Milo history and anthropology YouTube channel.

Interview for Beatrice Hillman, novelist


Designed panels for National Trust at Avebury's Breaking Ground exhibition (on behalf of TrowelBlazers)

Selected public communications


BBC Radio 4's Infinite Monkey Cage, and Front Row ;

Bill Nye's Science Rules! podcast; New Scientist Weekly podcast; Current Archaeology Live; Leakey Foundation Origins Stories podcast; Alan Alda's Clear and Vivid podcast; BBC History Extra lecture



BBC Radio 4  Start the Week;  You're Dead To Me;  BBC Radio 3 Freethinking; In conversation with Brian Cox, How To Academy; CBC Quirks and Quarks; Smithsonian Institution seminar; Tides of History podcast; Symbiosis conference; American Museum of Natural History seminarHong Kong Literary FestivalScience Salon podcast with Michael Shermer; History Hit Live Travels Through Time podcast; Life Lessons Festival; Who Were The Neanderthals? New Scientist; History Hit Podcast: The Neanderthals; New Scientist Instant Expert Human Origins day


Interviews and comments in media concerning archaeological discoveries e.g. The Times, The Atlantic, RealClear Life


Guest on The Curious Cases of Rutherford and Fry, BBC Radio 4

Guest on podcast Science for the People

Panellist at PopPalaeo exhibition and public discussion event

Featured in Cosmic Superheroes portrait exhibition.


Invited panellist at British Science Festival


Profiled in Cosmos Magazine


2020 Honorary Fellow, University of Liverpool.

Scientific committee for SETI session at 43rd COSPAR Assembly (Committee on Space Research) Finding Life beyond Earth: Modern methods for technosignature searches

2018 Invited member of Anthropology Working Group for Breakthrough Listen project.

2016-18 Fellow of Society of Antiquities

2013-2015 Université de Bordeaux, Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship

2013-11 University of Manchester, Honorary Research Fellow

2005-2012 Various seminars, invited lectures at Universities of Bristol, Derby, Chester, Sheffield.


PhD, University of Sheffield, 2010

MA Archaeology of Human Origins, University of Southampton, 2004

BA Archaeology, 2003

Academic publications (since 2015)

Nelson, E., Kubicka, A., Nowell, A. and Wragg Sykes, R. Forthcoming. Sexual Behaviour In Neanderthals. In T. K. Shackelford (Ed.). The Cambridge Handbook of Evolutionary Perspectives on Sexual Psychology. Cambridge University Press


Hassett, B., Herridge, V., Pilaar Birch, S. and Wragg Sykes, R.M. 2019. Activism from the Archives: Changing Narratives to Engage New Audiences. In: Jameson, J. H. and Musteaţă, S. (eds) Transforming Heritage Practice in the 21st century. Springer.


Hassett, B., Herridge, V., Wragg Sykes, R.M. and Pilaar Birch, S. 2018. TrowelBlazers: Accidentally crowdsourcing an archive of women in archaeology, In: Apaydin, V. and Johnston, J. (eds) Increasing Heritage Awareness through Participatory Public Archaeology. Springer.


Wragg-Sykes, R.M., Delvigne, V., Fernandes, P., Piboule, M., Lafarge, A., Defive, E., Raynal, J.P., 2017. “Undatable, unattractive, redundant”? The Rapavi silcrete source, Saint-Pierre-Eynac (Haute-Loire, France): challenges studying a prehistoric quarry-workshop in the Massif Central mountains. Journal of Archaeological Science Reports.


Wragg Sykes, R.M. and Will, Manuel. 2017. Guest Editorial – Silcrete as a lithic raw material in global context: geology, sourcing and prehistoric techno-economics. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports.


Wragg Sykes, R.M. 2017. Isolation, Exploration or Seasonal Migration? Investigating technological organisation in the Late Middle Palaeolithic of Britain during Marine Isotope Stage 3. In Lithic Technological Organization and Paleoenvironmental Change. (Eds. E. N. Robinson, F. Sellet). Studies in Human Ecology and Adaptation. Springer. 

Wragg Sykes, R.M. 2017. Neanderthals in the Outermost West: technological adaptation in the Late Middle Palaeolithic (re)-colonization of Britain, Marine Isotope Stage 4/3. Quaternary International.

Delvigne, V., Fernandes, P., Piboule, M., Chomette, D., Defive, E., Lafarge, A., Liabeuf, R., Moncel, M-H., Wragg Sykes, R., Raynal, J.P. 2016. Circulation du silex barrémo-bédoulien depuis le Paléolithique moyen de Vivarais en Velay par les monts du Mézenc. Ardeche Archeologie 33, 11-18


Ruebens, K and Wragg Sykes, R.M. 2016. Spatio-temporal variation in Late Middle Palaeolithic Neanderthal behaviour: British bout coupé handaxes as a case study. Quaternary International.


Wragg Sykes, R.M., Riel-Salvatore, J., Pilaar Birch, S. 2015. Reconstructing hunter-gatherer mobility: building new inter disciplinary frameworks in the Quaternary- 1502P. Quaternary Perspectives 22 (1): 9.


Wragg Sykes, R.M. 2015. To see a world in a hafted tool: birch pitch composite technology, cognition and memory in Neanderthals. In Settlement, Society and Cognition in Human Evolution: Landscapes in the Mind. (Eds F. Coward, R. Hosfield, M. Pope, F. Wenban-Smith). Cambridge University Press 

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