Peter Robertshaw was appointed as Assistant Director in 1979, prior to which he was employed as an archaeologist at the Albany Museum in Grahamstown, South Africa. While in post, he completed his PhD from Cambridge in 1980.
While at the institute, he conducted research in the southern Sudan, at Later Stone Age shell midden sites on Lake Victoria and on early pastoralist sites in south-western Kenya. Shortly before leaving his post in 1988 to take up a one-year appointment at the University of Georgia, Robertshaw began to investigate state formation in western Uganda, which continues to be one of his main research interests.
He is now Professor of Anthropology at California State University, San Bernardino.