University of Glasgow
Mesolithic Arran in the Anthropocene: the value of a deep time perspective on landscape for ecological thinking
I am undertaking doctoral research on the Mesolithic Isle of Arran, assessing lithic scatter sites and taking an embodied deep time narrative approach to activating Scottish hunter-gatherer archaeology. I aim to challenge prehistoric hunter-gatherer narratives and present new ways to study Mesolithic lithic scatter sites. My research is set to explore the modern relevance of Mesolithic archaeology, arguing that a deep time perspective on landscape presents an alternative way of understanding human time and place in the so-called human era, the Anthropocene. This perspective will be practically implemented using a narrative walking method, which, in promoting local community participation in outdoors walking activities, allows to explore prehistoric hunter-gatherer archaeology through an embodied participation in deep time, challenge anthropocentric perspectives and promote ecological thinking inspired by Indigenous philosophies. Successful public engagement will demonstrate sustainable archaeological practice and transformative engagement with hunter-gatherer archaeology in Scotland and beyond.
My current fieldwork objective is to fulfil a landscape evaluation survey aimed at activating extensive lithic artefact collections of local avocational archaeologist Fiona Gorman. This involves identifying, mapping and locating Mesolithic sites in the landscape following Gorman’s collections and fieldwalking records and subsequently assessing their accessibility, visibility and relationship to established footpaths on Arran. Including other known Mesolithic discoveries on the island, hunter-gatherer sites will be integrated into storied walking trails that facilitate local community engagement with their prehistoric cultural heritage, giving a new dimension to exploring the island with new creative ecological and ancestral narratives.
Hunter-gatherers; Mesolithic Scotland; Isle of Arran; Western Isles; Stone Age archaeology; lithic technology; lithic analysis; archaeology in the Anthropocene; applied archaeology; public archaeology; landscape archaeology; public engagement in archaeology; participatory action research (PAR); transdisciplinary approaches; Indigenous philosophies; decolonising methodologies; deep time; place and place-making; more-than-human geographies; ecological knowledge; modern relevance of prehistory.
- Analysing and Interpreting Lithic Artefact Scatters: a Surface Collection from Balnagore, Isle of Arran in a Western Scottish Mesolithic Context. Unpublished MLitt dissertation. University of Glasgow, September 2018
- Rock-art in Context: Rethinking Hunter-Gatherer Landscapes. Unpublished MA (Hons) dissertation. University of Glasgow, April 2017.
- University of Glasgow College of Arts Doctoral Scholarship
- Archaeology Prize for Best Overall Performance at Masters Level
- Scottish Funding Council (SFC) Postgraduate taught degree scholarship
- Prehistoric Society Undergraduate Dissertation Prize – Highly Commended
- The Erasmus+ grant for Placements in Environmental, Archaeological and Traditional Skills (PEATS) at the Stone Age Centre, Kierikki, Finland
MLitt with Distinction
Material Culture and Artefact Studies
University of Glasgow, 2018
MA (Hons) First Class
University of Glasgow, 2017
- SERF Project and Fieldschool
- Iona Research Group
- Historical Archaeology Research Project on Staffa (HARPS)
- Intern for Archaeology at the Centre for Scottish and Celtic Studies, author for the CSCS blog.