Material culture

We are material specialists with in-depth knowledge of ceramics, textiles, metals and stone. We are object specialists in Viking Age weapons and wider domestic assemblages, ancient cloth and clothing, Mesolithic and Neolithic lithics, prehistoric settlements and monuments, Early Medieval churches and castles; Medieval glass, metal artefacts and metalworking. We work with museum collections across Europe and the Near East.

Our research environment hosts a microscope laboratory, furnace and kiln, flint knapping pit, cold room and freezers, DSLR cameras with a range of lenses, thin section facilities, fume cupboard and laboratory spaces. We collaborate with cognate disciplines across the university to access laboratory equipment for computed tomography, scanning electron microscopy and organic residue analysis.

People

The members of the Material Culture Research Cluster investigate the things people made and used in the past in order to uncover and understand the lives of past people. We are field archaeologists and finds specialists; we are equally enthusiastic digging in the ground or excavating in collections and archives.

We are synthesisers, working across assemblages to investigate archaeologies of towns and empire, death and burial, and the skills and materialities of personhood and daily life. Our approach is analytical and interpretative, blending empirical and scientific data with broader theories of materials and making, identity and society. Our specialisms range from the Mesolithic to the modern.‌ Scanning Electron Micrograph of willow fibre


Projects

Some recent publications

More publications


Examining a prehistoric net

Glass from Whithorn early medieval monastery

Scanning Electron Micrograph of willow fibre

Brooch

Viking Grave from College Green Dublin

Flax

flax growing

Costume Women 3 small

Fibres resized

Recording avocational lithic analysis. Avocational Archaeological Atelier/Archaeological Housework project © The University of Glasgow

Ceramic bowl with flints. Avocational Archaeological Atelier/Archaeological Housework project © Photographic Unit, The University of Glasgow

Arran bowl with flints

Recording avocational lithic analysis. Avocational Archaeological Atelier/Archaeological Housework project © The University of Glasgow