Research

I studied archaeology at the University of Edinburgh under Professor Stuart Piggott who was one of the archaeological greats of the twentieth century. I did a second degree, In Heritage Management, at the University of Birmingham.

I am a specialist in Stone Age archaeology: both Mesolithic and Neolithic. I have been lucky in that, as an archaeological consultant, most of my work has been related to research. For this I specialized in the earliest people who came to live in Scotland, about ten thousand years ago, after the Ice Age. These people were hunter-gatherers living at an intimate level with the world around them. They used stone tools and had a mobile lifestyle that meant that they did not build permanent monuments. Many communities favoured the coast and were specialized seafarers, but we have recently found increasing evidence that people lived in the mountains too.

Damsay

Above: islands in the Bay of Firth, Orkney

I have also undertaken research on stone tools, including using experimental archaeology to make them. Recently, I have been working on the ways in which the landscape of Scotland has changed over the ages, especially here in the north where rising sea-levels, together with environmental developments meant that the people of the past were more used to change in the world around them than we are today.

I am fascinated by the relationship between people and the land in which they live and by the relationship between people and the sea. I have also been researching the way in which hunter-gatherer traits survive, though today in Britain we rely on farming for our food.

Finally, I’m keen to work to make sure that archaeology, and particularly Mesolithic archaeology, permeates twenty-first century culture. There are obvious routes, such as television, the press, and books, and less obvious routes including food, recipes and travel. Do get in touch if you would like to discuss  ideas of your own that make use of archaeological information.

Please contact me for a full CV and Bibliography.