Staff – University of Copenhagen

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Tim Flohr Sørensen

Tim Flohr Sørensen

Associate Professor

Primary fields of research

I am a reactionary archaeologist, and I primarily work within contemporary archaeology and archaeological theory. In my work, contemporary archaeology and theory are closely connected. This stems from the fact that the empirical focus of my research does not seek to understand a delineated historic or prehistoric epoch or material complex. Instead, it aims to frame the archaeology of the present as a methodological exploratorium, probing into the limits of archaeological reasoning. In my work, contemporary archaeology is thus characterized by being:

  1. the study of unfinished processes
  2. the study of what is hidden
  3. studies contingent on subjectivity
  4. studies that seek to make the familiar unfamiliar
  5. studies that move the focus from causes to consequences

Since 2005, I have studies cemeteries in Denmark through a contemporary archaeological gaze. In recent years, my work has been complemented by the study of contemporary processes of decay and ruination (see current research)

Other aspects of my research are centred the Early and Middle Neolithic and the study of megalithic burial monuments; on burial mounds and cremation in the Early Bronze Age, in addition to technology and metalwork in the Early Bronze Age, focusing on themes such as prototyping, copying and serial production.

Thematically, I focus on burial, architecture and technology, and more generally on archaeological theory, in particular materiality studies, but also more abstract topics such as time and temporality, light, absence, movement, the senses, emotion, affect and atmosphere.

Current research

My current research seeks to explore the methodological potential of arcaheology in a ‘post-historical’ perspective: if contemporary archaeology implies that the discipline is no-longer retrospective, then archaeological traces must constitute a different kind of resource than the one aiming to explain and understand past and finished events. Therefore, I aim to accept the archaeological material at face value in all its unfinishedness. I am particularly interested in developing the field of contemporary archaeology towards being a framework for rethinking the time concepts of archaeology. These largely hinge on chronology and linearity, but are in need of complementary concepts in order to grasp the present tense and multitemporality of the unfinished.

This research initiative is based on studies of archaeological de/formation processes at cemeteries and in various modern ruins, including decaying domestic architecture and Holmegaard Glassworks in southern Zealand, Denmark.


I teach theoretical courses at BA and Master's levels, in addition to themed courses at the Master's level.

  • I am interested in supervising BA projects and Master's dissertations within the following periods and topics:
  • Modernity and the recent past, including contemporary archaeology
  • The Early and Middle Neolithic
  • The Early Bronze Age
  • death and burial
  • materiality studies
  • archaeological theory
  • landscape studies and architecture
  • contemporary archaeology and (critical) heritage studies
  • ruins, ruination and decay
  • emotions, affect, atmosphere, the senses
  • time, temporality and chronology


Supervision of MA dissertations

I supervise MA dissertation students continuously and have finalised the supervision of 18 dissertations since 2014.


PhD projects

I co-supervise PhD projects for Pernille Desirée Peiter Pantmann (University of Copenhagen), Casper Toftgaard (University of Copenhagen),, Julie de Vos (Aarhus University), Silke Holmqvist (Aarhus University) and Linda Boye (University of Copenhagen). I was co-supervisor for  Anna Severine Beck (Aarhus University) and external advisor for Sebastian Becker (graduated, University of Cambridge)

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