Maikel is an Assistant Professor of the Archaeology of Early Europe at Leiden University. Alongside this he is a research coordinator for the Centre of Global Heritage and Development, a collaboration between Technical University Delft, Erasmus University Rotterdam, and Leiden University. He studied archaeology in Leiden and attended the Royal Art Academy in The Hague. He obtained a PhD from the University of Cambridge (2014) with a dissertation on metalworking craftsmanship in the Bronze Age.
Maikel’s main interests are craftsmanship and skill. These specific human-material relationships are studied both in archaeology as well as contemporary society. His book An Archaeology of Skill was recently published by Routledge (2018). He is the producer of a documentary Craft: The Future is Handmade, published online by The Craftsmanship Initiative. Another line of interest is the value of archaeology for today, in terms of politics, grand narratives, branding, and most importantly, tackling societal challenges.
His current project explores the idea of “material mentalities," how materials influence and shape human minds and thinking. Maikel visited the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science from October 2018-January 2019. At Max Planck, his aim was to show how in the Bronze Age the qualities of bronze guided the formulation of a shape-based economy, followed by a system of weighing.