- Archaeology, Landscape Archaeology, Neolithic Archaeology, Folklore, Archaeology of the Contemporary Past, Contemporary Archaeology, and 19 moreArchaeological Method & Theory, Historical Archaeology, Material Culture Studies, Prehistoric Archaeology, Anthropology, Contemporary Art, Cultural Geography, Interdisciplinarity, Early Neolithic, Neolithic Scotland, Prehistoric Orkney, Neolithic settlement, Orkney, Modern and Contemporary Archaelogy, Experimental Geography, Post-Medieval Archaeology, Worldview., Orkney and Shetland studies, and Visual Artsedit
- I am an archaeologist based in Orkney and I undertake a wide range of research, commercial and public archaeology projects for the Research Centre for Archaeology (ORCA) and the Archaeology Department, Orkney College, University of the H... moreI am an archaeologist based in Orkney and I undertake a wide range of research, commercial and public archaeology projects for the Research Centre for Archaeology (ORCA) and the Archaeology Department, Orkney College, University of the Highlands and Islands. My own research takes techniques and theories from landscape archaeology, such as surface survey and multi-temporal mapping, and applies them creatively to contemporary environments. This allows an exploration of folklore and the intangible aspects of heritage through deep mapping and process-led practice.
Being archaeologist-in-residence at Papay Gyro Nights (2013-14) has allowed the development of these ideas within an arts context and a contemporary, rural landscape. I’m particularly interested in creatively exploring an archaeology of now, of events and processes through mapping, walking and collaboration.
I completed a First Class honours degree in Archaeological Science from University of Sheffield with a dissertation focusing on later Neolithic monumentality and materiality in 2000, and completed an MA in Archaeological Practice at the University of the Highlands and Islands with distinction in 2008. My experience in developer funded archaeology has been up to Project Manager level.
I'm currently a Project Officer / Field Teaching Officer with the Orkney Research Centre for Archaeology (ORCA) and Archaeology Department, Orkney College, University of the Highlands and Islands. I am currently involved with a number of developer funded, community training and research projects. Teaching responsibilities include Field Practice on MSc/MLitt and BA degrees (Excavations modules, Archaeological Practice Module) and workshops with Post-grad students (AutoCAD, Illustrator, GIS).
I have recently designed and delivered a successful 3 year community training project in archaeology (excavation, survey, post-excavation). I have conducted numerous talks to local groups, and run workshops and training days.
Current research projects on Hoy (Hoy and Walls Landscape Project), Rousay (Quandale) and Wyre (Braes of Ha'Breck Early Neolithic Settlement, with Antonia Thomas) all in Orkney.
I am project supervisor and conduct MA/BA teaching at Ness of Brodgar Neolithic complex, Orkney.
I have recently been Archaeologist in Residence at Papay Gyro Nights contemporary art festival. edit
It has often been assumed that the islands of Orkney were essentially treeless throughout much of the Holocene‚ with any 'scrub' woodland having been destroyed by Neolithic farming communities by around 3500 cal. BC. This apparently open‚... more
It has often been assumed that the islands of Orkney were essentially treeless throughout much of the Holocene‚ with any 'scrub' woodland having been destroyed by Neolithic farming communities by around 3500 cal. BC. This apparently open‚ hyper-oceanic environment would presumably have provided quite marginal conditions for human settlement‚ yet Neolithic communities flourished and the islands contain some of the most spectacular remains of this period in north-west Europe. The study of new Orcadian pollen sequences‚ in conjunction with the synthesis of existing data‚ indicates that the timing of woodland decline was not synchronous across the archipelago‚ beginning in the Mesolithic, and that in some areas woodland persisted into the Bronze Age. There is also evidence to suggest that woodland communities in Orkney were more diverse, and therefore that a wider range of resources was available to Neolithic people, than has previously been assumed. Recent archaeological investigations have revealed evidence for timber buildings at early Neolithic settlement sites‚ suggesting that the predominance of stone architecture in Neolithic Orkney may not have been due to a lack of timber as has been supposed. Rather than simply reflecting adaptation to resource constraints‚ the reasons behind the shift from timber to stone construction are more complex and encompass social, cultural and environmental factors.