I’m an archaeologist with research interests in food and agricultural history, the history of science, and material culture studies. Specifically:
- Food technology, including artefact design and storage and processing techniques
- Prehistoric ceramics
- Human-plant interaction
- The origins of agriculture, and historiographies thereof
- 19th and early 20th century prehistoric and museum archaeology
- Research and pedagogic uses of museum collections
I have a BA in Archaeology from Newcastle University and an MA and PhD from the University of Southampton. I have worked on excavations in the Channel Islands, Sussex, the Stonehenge landscape, Northumberland, and the Outer Hebrides.
Research and knowledge exchange
Prehistoric food technology
This research explores food technologies of the British Mesolithic and Neolithic, including the establishment of ceramic technology from a culinary perspective, the roles of potters and craftspeople in the food process, culinary uses of organic artefacts, and pit cooking and storage practices. For this work I combine study of museum collections, scientific techniques such as organic residue analysis, and food historical and anthropological approaches.
Telling Time: Oscar Montelius and Britain
This project explores the exchange of ideas between 19th century Swedish archaeologist Oscar Montelius and his contemporaries in Britain, drawing primarily on archival material in Stockholm. The project has received funding from the Society of Antiquaries of London.
The Stone Age for Key Stage 2
I'm currently involved in the development of a teacher's resource of information and lesson plan material to support teaching the Stone Age component of the Key Stage 2 curriculum. I'm happy to respond to enquiries from schools about this project.
Teaching and subject expertise
I convene undergraduate modules on prehistoric Europe and archaeological theory, and I contribute to teaching of artefact analysis, heritage law, and research skills.
I welcome enquiries about postgraduate research in food history and archaeology, material culture studies, and the history of archaeology.
2016 - Prehistoric pottery: Time for a change? (with Alistair Barclay) Annual Meeting of the Prehistoric Ceramics Research Group, Canterbury Christ Church University, Canterbury
2014 - Neolithic Bodies (with Penny Bickle) Annual Meeting of the Neolithic Studies Group, British Museum, London
2012 - Insight from Innovation: New Light on Archaeological Ceramics (with Ben Jervis, Sarah Coxon and Pina Franco), University of Southampton
Conference papers and invited talks
2017 - Bowl food: A culinary view of the establishment of pottery in Early Neolithic Britain. European Association of Archaeologists, Maastricht, the Netherlands
2017 - Cooking pots and cooking potters in the Late Stone Age of northwest Europe. European Institute for the History and Culture of Food (IEHCA), University of Tours, France
2016 - What's cooking in the Neolithic? Annual Meeting of the Neolithic Studies Group: Food and Farming in the Neolithic, British Museum, UK
2016 - The lost revolution: Current archaeological thinking on the origins of agriculture. Dublin Gastronomy Symposium: Food and Revolution, Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland
2015 - A big ask? Sampling complex ceramic assemblages for scientific analysis. Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists, University of Glasgow, UK
2014 - Sherd science: A ceramic-friendly approach to residue analysis. Annual Meeting of the Prehistoric Ceramics Research Group, University of Sheffield, UK
2013 – Transformations in cookery and clay: the first thousand years of pottery in prehistoric Oxfordshire. Oxford Symposium on Food & Cookery, University of Oxford, UK
2013 – The relentless porridge: on the interpretive potential of Neolithic cookery. Later Prehistory of Atlantic Europe, University of Southampton, UK
2012 – Food and the 4th millennium BC: evidence from ceramic residues. Material Culture Series, Newcastle University, UK
2011 – Is agriculture the root of all evil? An archaeological perspective. Food Studies Interdisciplinary Conference, University of Nevada, US
2011 – Dietary dichotomies and new data. The Mesolithic-Neolithic Transition in North-West Europe: The Impact of New Scientific Techniques, University of Bradford, UK
2009 - Ceramic matters: the pottery from Early Neolithic Kilverstone, Norfolk. Neolithic Studies Group Annual Meeting, British Museum, London UK
The Prehistoric Society
Neolithic Studies Group
Prehistoric Ceramics Research Group (Secretary)
World Archaeological Congress
Publications and research outputs
2016. Insight from Innovation: New Light on Archaeological Ceramics. Papers in Honour of Professor David Peacock. (edited with B. Jervis and S. Coxon) Highfield Press
2015. Modern techniques of palaeodietary reconstruction. In K. Albala (ed.) Food Issues: An Encyclopedia. SAGE Reference
2015. Spread of food technology and ideas about food. In K.B. Metheny and M. Beaudry (eds.) Archaeology of Food: An Encyclopedia. Rowman & Littlefield
2014. Transformations in cookery and clay: the first thousand years of pottery in prehistoric Oxfordshire. In M. McWilliams (ed.) Food & Material Culture. Proceedings of the 2013 Oxford Symposium on Food & Cookery. Prospect Books
2013. (with A.M. Jones) Archaeological complexity: Materials, multiplicity and the transitions to agriculture in Britain. In B. Alberti, A.M. Jones, and J. Pollard (eds.) Archaeology After Interpretation: Returning Materials to Archaeological Theory. Left Coast Press
2013. Visitors at the trench edge: Archaeology and outreach at Historic Dilston, Northumberland, UK. In N. Carr & C. Walker (eds.) Tourism and Archaeology: Sustainable Meeting Grounds. Left Coast Press
2012. Social fabrics: People and pottery at Early Neolithic Kilverstone, Norfolk. In H. Anderson-Whymark & J. Thomas (eds.) Regional Perspectives on Neolithic Pit Deposition: Beyond the Mundane. Oxbow Books
In prep. Neolithic Bodies. (edited with P. Bickle) Oxbow Books