I joined the School in 2009 following the completion of my doctoral thesis at Cardiff University (Reassembling the Bronze Age: Exploring the southern British midden sites). My research focusses on the settlement and material culture practices of the later Bronze Age and Iron Age in Britain, and I have specific interests in the hillforts and settlements of north-west Wales and the midden sites and material culture practices of Late Bronze Age-Early Iron Age southern Britain. I teach a range of undergraduate and postgraduate modules on British prehistory and archaeological theory and practice.
- In prep. Meillionydd Eastern Area Excavations 2010-2014: a first millennium BC double ringwork enclosure in north-west Wales. With R. Karl.
- 2013. The settlements of northwest Wales from the Late Bronze Age to the end of the early medieval period. Cardiff: University of Wales Publications.
- 2010. The Whitchurch excavations 2006-9. Cardiff University: Cardiff Studies in Archaeology (Specialist Report no. 29). With N. Sharples.
- 2008. Changing perspectives on the first millennium BC. Oxford: Oxbow Books. With O. Davis and N. Sharples.
- In prep. Creative Destruction at the end of the Bronze Age: an exploration of material culture practices at the southern British midden sites.
- 2019. Histories of deposition: creating chronologies for the Late Bronze Age – Early Iron Age transition in southern Britain. Archaeological Journal 176, 84-133. With A. Bayliss, R. Madgwick, and N. Sharples.
- 2014. The biography of a settlement: an analysis of Middle Iron Age deposits, houses and boundaries at The Howe, Orkney. Archaeological Journal, 171, 61-96.
- 2007. The poetics of scale: miniature axes from Whitchurch. Journal of Iberian Archaeology 9/10, 187-206.
CHAPTERS IN EDITED VOLUMES
- Waddington, K.E. and Sharples, N. 2019. The stratigraphic sequence in Mound 2A. In N. Sharples (ed), A Norse settlement in the Outer Hebrides. Excavations on Mounds 2 and 2A, Bornais, South Uist, 26-28. Oxford: Oxbow Books.
- Sharples, N. and Waddington. K.E. 2019. The Early Norse activity on mound 2A. In N. Sharples (ed), A Norse settlement in the Outer Hebrides. Excavations on Mounds 2 and 2A, Bornais, South Uist, 97-136. Oxford: Oxbow Books.
- Sharples, N. and Waddington, K.E. 2019. The Middle Norse activity on Mound 2A. In N. Sharples (ed), A Norse settlement in the Outer Hebrides. Excavations on Mounds 2 and 2A, Bornais, South Uist, 275-302. Oxford: Oxbow Books.
- Sharples, N. and Waddington, K.E. 2019. The Late Norse activity on Mound 2A. In N. Sharples (ed), A Norse settlement in the Outer Hebrides. Excavations on Mounds 2 and 2A, Bornais, South Uist, 386-469. Oxford: Oxbow Books.
- Sharples, N., Davis, O. and Waddington, K.E. 2019. The final occupation of the settlement. In N. Sharples (ed), A Norse settlement in the Outer Hebrides. Excavations on Mounds 2 and 2A, Bornais, South Uist, 495-520. Oxford: Oxbow Books.
- 2012. Re-cycles of life in Bronze Age Britain. In R.L.C. Jones (ed.), Manure matters. Farnham: Ashgate Publishing Ltd.
- 2010. The politics of the everyday: exploring ‘midden’ space in Late Bronze Age Wiltshire. In M. Maltby and J. Morris (eds), Integrating social environmental archaeologies: reconsidering deposition, 103-18. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports (International Series 2077).
- 2008. Topographies of accumulation at Late Bronze Age Potterne. In O.P. Davis, N.M. Sharples and K.E. Waddington (eds), Changing perspectives on the first millennium BC, 161-84. Oxford: Oxbow Books.
- 2008. New perspectives in later prehistory. In O.P. Davis, N.M. Sharples and K.E. Waddington (eds), Changing perspectives on the first millennium BC, 1-10. Oxford: Oxbow Books. With O. Davis and N. Sharples.
SUBJECT SPECIFIC CONTRIBUTIONS: EXCAVATION REPORTS AND PUBLISHED NOTES IN PROFESSIONAL ARCHAEOLOGY MAGAZINES
- 2019. Middens and the end of the Bronze Age. British Archaeology 167, 28-33. With Alex Bayliss, Richard Madgwick and Niall Sharples.
- 2015c. Characterising the double ringwork enclosures of Gwynedd: Meillionydd Excavations, July and August 2013. Interim report. Bangor University: Bangor Studies in Archaeology (Report no. 12). With R. Karl.
- 2015b. Characterising the double ringwork enclosures of Gwynedd: Meillionydd Excavations, July 2012. Interim report. Bangor University: Bangor Studies in Archaeology (Report no. 11). With R. Karl.
- 2015a. Characterising the double ringwork enclosures of Gwynedd: Meillionydd Excavations, July 2011. Stratigraphic Report. Bangor University: Bangor Studies in Archaeology (Report no. 10). With R. Karl.
- 2012. A first millennium BC double ringwork enclosure at Meillionydd. PAST 71, 11-13. With R. Karl.
- 2012. Site notebook: the Meillionydd project. Young Archaeologist 153, 14. With R. Karl.
- 2011. Characterising the double ringwork enclosures of Gwynedd: Meillionydd Excavations, July 2011. Preliminary Report. Bangor University: Bangor Studies in Archaeology (Report no. 6). With R. Karl.
- 2010. Excavations at Meillionydd 2010: Characterising the double ringwork enclosures on the Llŷn Peninsula. Bangor: Bangor University School of History, Welsh History and Archaeology (Bangor Studies in Archaeology, Report No. 2). With R. Karl.
- 2010. The Meillionydd Project: Characterising the double ringwork enclosures in Gwynedd. Preliminary Excavation Report. Bangor University: Bangor Studies in Archaeology (Report No. 4). With R. Karl.
- 2008. Geophysical fieldwork at Whitchurch, Warwickshire. PAST 58, 12-13. With N. Sharples and T. Young.
- 2007. Pins, pixies and thick dark earth. British Archaeology 94, 28-33. With N. Sharples.
I currently teach a range of modules which focus on the archaeology of prehistoric Britain, as well as archaeological principles, techniques and theory.
Part One (Year 1)
- Introduction to British Prehistory
- Introduction to Archaeological Principles and Techniques
Part Two (Years 2 and 3)
- Experimental Archaeology
- Later Prehistoric Communities
- Field Archaeology in Britain
- The Contemporary Past
- Undergraduate Dissertation
- Initiating a Research Project
- Post-graduate Portfolio
- Dissertation supervision
I am willing to supervise PhD topics that have a focus on the later prehistoric period of Wales and southern Britain, specifically relating to settlement, material culture and depositional practices of the later Bronze Age and earlier Iron Age.
My current PhD student, Nebu George, is exploring the use of space within houses dating to different periods of British prehistory through phosphate and multi-element analysis of the floors.
Assembly sites of the British Late Bronze Age - Early Iron Age transition
I am currently in the initial stages of writing a large AHRC grant which seeks support for a multi-disciplinary and collaborative project that will carry out much needed analysis of the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age midden sites of southern England. This project will complete and substantially take forward my recent work on the midden sites (including published work and my unpublished PhD), and it will continue and expand the chronological work that has recently been published for one of the case study sites in Wiltshire (East Chisenbury; see below). The proposed work will bring previously isolated and unquantified data-sets together, and will expand the range of scientific and analytical techniques applied, helping to illuminate some of the processes of change, communication and expression in this period.
The Meillionydd Project and understanding the chronologies of hillforts in north-west Wales
With Professor Raimund Karl.
For more information and to download interim reports, please see:
This research concerns the investigation of a hilltop enclosure at Meillionydd in Rhiw, Gwynedd. The site forms one of ten ‘double ringwork’ enclosures on the Llŷn peninsula. Despite representing a distinct regional tradition, the development of these enclosures is not well understood. The results of our first five seasons of excavations (2010–2014), which examined the eastern side of the site and the entrance-way, is currently undergoing post-excavation and it is being written up into a monograph. The excavation results and GPR survey have revealed a long and complex sequence of occupation, beginning with a timber settlement of roundhouses and a palisade enclosure, and culminating with a double ringwork of stone and earth banks with internal stone roundhouses. Current radiocarbon dates span c. 750 – 100 cal. BC. An ORADS NERC grant of £7200 for 21 radiocarbon dates from the eastern area excavations was awarded in 2017. Recent research grants awarded by the Society of Antiquaries and the Prehistoric Society in 2022 have facilitated the specialist analyses of the object assemblages and the Bayesian analysis of the 23 existing radiocarbon dates fron the Eastern Area excavations (seasons 2010-2014). The results are transforming current understandings of the nature of the hillfort record in northwest Wales and how it ties in more generally with the monument sequence in the rest of Britain. The research is being disseminated regularly through a range of community focussed outreach events which are organised and supported by the LIVE Ecomuseum project (HOME | LIVE Ecomuseums (ecomuseumlive.eu)).
Histories of deposition: creating chronologies for the Late Bronze Age – Earliest Iron Age transition in southern Britain
With Professor Niall Sharples and Dr Richard Madgwick (Cardiff University), and Dr Alex Bayliss (English Heritage). Published.
This radiocarbon dating project aimed to provide a refined chronology for the Late Bronze Age – Early Iron Age midden deposits at East Chisenbury, Wiltshire. Bayesian analysis of the radiobcarbon dates not only produced much finer grained chronologies for the sequences of material accumulationin (laid down during the earlier Iron Age radiocarbon plateau), but it has also enabled a reassessment of the validity of current interpretations surrounding the chronology of post Deverel-Rimbury decorated wares. This has implications for understanding of the nature of this transitional period in Wessex.
The Whitchurch Project
With Professor Niall Sharples (Cardiff University)
Whitchurch is a large later prehistoric midden and occupation complex located in the Feldon area of Warwickshire. An initial campaign of excavation and field survey has been undertaken using a variety of funding sources. The aims were to define the extent and characterise the nature of the site – this was achieved via geophysical surveys (with Tim Young, GeoArch), metal detector surveys (with Archie Gillespie) and the excavation of eight trial trenches (with Cardiff University undergraduate students). The geophysical surveys defined a Late Bronze Age midden, 300m by 175m in extent, and confirmed the presence of several ditched enclosures, linear earthworks and post-built roundhouses. The excavations between 2006 and 2009 confirmed the nature and size of the varying midden accumulations (between 0.10m – 0.75m thick) and assessed their relationship with a series of enclosures and linear boundaries, many of which proved to be later Iron Age in date. The project has been initially written up into a book, entitled, The Whitchurch Excavations 2006–9: an interim report (published 2010), but further post-excavation analysis of the large material culture assemblage is still required.