John Kinahan is an archaeologist with more than 40 years in the field and has a broad range of research interests ranging from mid-Pleistocene hominids, to rock art and ritual behaviour, to the advent of farming and the archaeology of early colonial settlement.
He has published several books and more than 70 peer-reviewed research papers dealing mainly with the archaeology of adaptation to arid environments by hunter-gatherer and nomadic pastoralist economies. He has worked in several African countries including Mali, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Botswana, but most of his career has been spent in the desert regions of Namibia. He has served as an international consultant to UNESCO (ICOMOS) on numerous occasions, and has held several appointments as visiting researcher, lecturer and postgraduate research advisor at universities in Africa, Europe and Australia. He is the Honorary Curator of Archaeology at the National Museum of Namibia, and Honorary Research Fellow at the School of Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. He is currently co-Principal Investigator for a National Science Foundation research project based at Arizona State University on the use of strontium isotopes as a means to investigate archaeological evidence of regional trade networks in the Namib Desert. He maintains strong collaborative research interests and regularly presents new research results at international conferences, most recently in the United Kingdom, Spain and Chile. His latest book Namib: the archaeology of an African desert will be published by the University of Namibia Press in October 2020.