London staff

Professor Bill Finlayson

CBRL Director 

Professor Bill Finlayson

Bill Finlayson has been the CBRL's Director and CEO since 1999, having previously managed the University of Edinburgh's applied archaeology research section. He works closely with the Board of Trustees (the CBRL Committee of Management) and CBRL's institute directors to provide overall management and guidance. He is a member of the British Academy's Middle East and North Africa Panel. He maintains an active research career, and is a Visiting Professor in the School of Human and Environmental Science at the University of Reading and an Honorary Research Associate in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Oxford Brookes University. He maintains strong international research links, being a Korrespondierenden Mitglied des Deutschen Archäologischen Institut.

His major current projects include:
- conducting long-term research at the PPNA site of Wadi Faynan 16, from which he is currently producing a major monograph on recent AHRC funded excavations with co-directors Steven Mithen and Mohammad Najjar. This followed on from an extensive evaluation project (B. Finlayson and S. Mithen (2007) The Early Prehistory of Wadi Faynan, Southern Jordan, Archaeological survey of Wadis Faynan, Ghuwayr and al-Bustan and evaluation of the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A site of WF16, Council for British Research in the Levant and Oxbow Books: Oxford)
- co-directing post-excavation analysis from the early Neolithic site of Dhra' with Ian Kuijt of Notre Dame University (USA) (publications from this include B. Finlayson, I. Kuijt, T. Arpin, M. Chesson, S. Dennis, N. Goodale, S. Kadowaki, L. Maher, S. Smith, M. Schurr, and J. McKay (2003) "Dhra' Excavation Project 2002, Interim Report, Levant 35, 1-38).
- running an experimental, conservation and public archaeology project at the Neolithic site of Beidha with Mohammad Najjar, formerly of the Department of Antiquities and a CBRL BIA Fellow. Current work on the presentation of the site is being conducted under a MOU with the Jordanian Ministry of Tourism, the Petra Development and Tourism Regional Authority, the Department of Antiquities and Siyaha. This includes a wider programme to develop a 'Neolithic Heritage Trail' running from Wadi Faynan to Beidha, including sites being worked on by teams from Berlin, Copenhagen and Las Vegas, together with the Department of Antiquities. In addition he is working with Brian Byrd on the publication of the old excavations at Beidha.

A full list of publications is available here


Rachel Telfer

CBRL UK Executive Officer (

Rachel has an undergraduate degree in History from Queen's University Belfast. After graduating in 2012 she went on to work in entry level library roles and completed a trainee-ship in Law Librarianship at the Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn in 2014. Following this, Rachel moved into the non-profit sector and has previously worked for the Islamic Manuscript Association and the M25 Consortium of Academic Libraries.