The University of Southampton
Geography and EnvironmentPostgraduate study

Mr Benjamin T Pennington BA, MSci

Postgraduate Research Student

Mr Benjamin T Pennington's photo
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Mr Benjamin T Pennington is a Postgraduate Research Student at the University of Southampton, whose primary research interest lies in the Holocene evolution and geoarchaeology of world delta systems, particularly that of the Nile.

Academic & Work History:

2014 – present: University of Southampton, Geography & Environment, PhD
2012 – 2014: Assistant Hedge Fund Manager; Senior Financial Analyst, London
2011 – 2012: Freelance Geoscientist
2007 – 2011: University of Cambridge, Dept of Earth Sciences, BA & MSci (Double First)

Hand auger surveys in Egypt (2012 – present):

Hand auger surveys in Italy (2014 – 2015):

Other fieldwork (2011):

Grants and Awards:




Research interests

  • Geoarchaeology
  • Paleolandscape reconstruction
  • Holocene
  • Deltas
  • Geomorphology
  • Fluvial sedimentology

I am interested in understanding past landscape changes, particularly in fluvial and deltaic environments, and how these changes impacted upon both ecosystems and human settlement. On a regional level my research has centred on the impacts of changing channel dynamics on the natural and human landscape, while at a site-specific level I have also been able to apply my skills in answering specific geoarchaeological questions.

PhD Project:

“Environmental Change in Deltaic Systems and the Emergence of Civilisation”.

Supervisors: Prof Tony Brown & Dr Fraser Sturt (Soton)

Research group

Palaeoenvironmental Laboratory at the University of Southampton (PLUS)


Bunbury, J.M.; Tavares, A.; Pennington, B.T.; Gonçalves, P. (2017). "Development of the Memphite floodplain – landscape and settlement symbiosis in the Egyptian capital zone”, in Willems, H.; Dahms, J.M. (eds) The Nile: Natural and Cultural Landscape in Egypt. Proceedings of the International Symposium held at the Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, 22 & 23 February 2013. Transcript Verlag.

Pennington, B.T.; Thomas, R.I.; (2016) "Paleoenvironmental surveys at Naukratis and the Canopic branch of the Nile". Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 7, pp180-188.

Pennington, B.T.; Bunbury, J.; Hovius, N.; (2016). "Emergence of Civilisation, Changes in Fluvio-Deltaic Styles and Nutrient Redistribution Forced by Holocene Sea-Level Rise". Geoarchaeology 31(3), pp194-210.

Pennington, B.T.; (2016). “Naukratis in its riverine setting”. Egyptian Archaeology 48, pp7-9.

Graham, A.; Strutt, K.D.; Toonen, W.H.J.; Pennington, B.T.; Löwenborg, D.; Masson-Berghoff, A.; Emery, V.L.; Barker, D.S.; Hunter, M.A.; Lindholm, K.J.; (2015). “Theban Harbours and Waterscapes Survey, 2015”. Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 101, pp37-49.

Strutt, K.D.; Graham, A.; Toonen, W.H.J.; Pennington, B.T.; Löwenborg, D.; Emery, V.L.; Barker, D.S.; Hunter, M.A.; Masson, A.; Lindholm, K.J.; (2015). “Manipulating mud: (re)constructing cosmogonical landscapes in the Nile Valley, Thebes, Egypt”. Archaeologia Polona 53.

Graham, A.; Strutt, K.D.; Masson, A.; Pennington, B.T.; Hunter, M.A.; Millet, M.; Toonen, W.; Barker, D; (2014). "Theban Harbours and Waterscapes Survey, 2014". Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 100, pp41-53.

Graham, A.; Strutt, K.D.; Hunter, M.; Jones, S.; Masson, A.; Millet, M.; Pennington, B.T.; (2012). "Reconstructing Landscapes and Waterscapes in Thebes, Egypt". eTopoi: Journal for Ancient Studies Special volume 3. Proceedings of the Landscape Archaeology Conference 2012 (LAC 2012) eds. Bebermeier, W.; Hebenstreit R.; Kaiser, E.; Krause J.

Graham, A.; Strutt, K.D.; Hunter, M.A.; Jones, S.; Masson, A.; Millet, M.; Pennington, B.T.; (2012). “Theban Harbours and Waterscapes Survey, 2012”. Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 98, pp27-42.


Thomas, R.I.; Pennington, B.; Villing, A.; (2016) “Naukratis in its riverine setting”. 6th International Congress for Underwater Archaeology (IKUWA 6), Fremantle, West Australia, 30 Nov 2016.

Pennington, B.T.; Brown, A.G.; Sturt, F.; (2016) “Landscape evolution of the Nile Delta and the emergence of Ancient Egypt”. 4th International Landscape Archaeology Conference (LAC) 2016, Uppsala, 25 Aug 2016.

Pennington, B.T.; (2016) “Naukratis in its riverine setting”. Current British Archaeology in Egypt, Egypt Exploration Society, London, 10 Jul 2016.

Toonen, H.J.; Graham, A.; Pennington, B.; Hunter, M.; Strutt, K.; Barker, D.; Masson, A.; Emery, V.; (2016) “The Nile floodplain, hydroclimatic variability, and its relation with cultural dynamics in ancient Thebes (Luxor, Egypt)”. European Geosciences Union, Vienna, 22 Apr 2016.

Pennington, B.T.; (2014). “Fluvio-deltaic landscapes of the Nile Delta”. Archaeological Landscapes of the Egyptian Delta Lakes. Institute of Arab & Islamic Studies, University of Exeter, 29 Nov 2014.

Graham, A.; Hunter, M.A.; Pennington, B.T.; Strutt, K.D.; Toonen, W.H.J.; (2014). "Dialogues and analogues: an integrated holistic approach to ancient Egyptian landscapes and waterscapes". 3rd International Landscape Archaeology Conference (LAC) 2014, Rome, 18 Sep 2014.

Graham, A.; Hunter, M.A.; Pennington, B.T.; Strutt, K.D.; (2014). “Calcareous palaeosols and temples in the floodplain of Thebes, Egypt: droughts and decisions”. European Geosciences Union, Vienna, 29 Apr 2014.

Bunbury, J.; Pennington, B.T.; Pryer, L.; (2011). “The Development of the Geography of the Nile Delta”. Naukratis Workshop, British Museum, London, 16 Dec 2011.

Pennington, B.T.; (2011) “Holocene fluvial changes and possible impacts on the emergence of civilisation”. Petrie Museum Seminar Series, UCL, London, 11 Oct 2011.

Pennington, B.T.; Hovius, N.; Bunbury, J.; (2011). “Coupled eustatic, fluvial and nutrient controls on the initiation and location of human civilisation during the Holocene”. European Geosciences Union, Vienna, 4 Apr 2011.


Mr Benjamin T Pennington
Building 44 University of Southampton University Road Southampton SO17 1BJ

Room Number:44/1067

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