Dr Oliver Harris

Oliver HarrisAssociate Professor of Archaeology

BA, MA, PhD (Cardiff), FHEA, FSA Scot, FSA

Tel: +44 (0)116 252 2729

Email: ojth1@le.ac.uk






Personal details

I fell in love with archaeology after 25 minutes of my first lecture as a student. What made me love it was the realisation that people, places, things, burial practices – everything really – are so different from what I had assumed was simply ‘normal’. Ever since then I’ve been trying to find ways to develop and push at this notion of difference when studying the past, whether it’s looking at how the human body changes through time, Neolithic monuments, or Vikings burials. I do that through research and teaching looking at a variety of scales from individual objects to landscapes to continents over millennia.


I teach archaeological theory at both undergraduate and graduate level, as well as period focused courses on the Neolithic and Bronze Age of Britain and Europe. My teaching often focuses in these periods on conceptions of power, difference, the body and gender.


My research focuses on how we can use archaeological theory, especially what are termed new materialist approaches, to say new things about the past, including the long-term history of gender and the use of materials in the Neolithic and Bronze Age. I also co-direct fieldwork in Ardnamurchan, Western Scotland.

Current and recent projects

The Ardnamurchan Transitions Project: This long-running excavation project looks at the occupation of one part of Scotland from the first occupation to the present day. The project has excavated sites from the Early Neolithic to the 19th century, including Neolithic burials, Bronze Age settlements, Iron Age cremations, post-medieval houses and the first Viking boat burial discovered on the UK mainland.

Beyond the Three Age System: mapping a history of materials from 3000 – 600 BC

Research Student Supervision

Topics available for PhD supervision

I am interested in supervising PhD topics that integrate archaeological theory with Mesolithic, Neolithic and Bronze Age Britain.

Current research students

First Supervisor

Yvonne O’Dell (2017)

Nathan Gubbins (2018)

Jonny Graham (2020)

Second Supervisor

Brendon Wilkins (Museum Studies) (2017)

Bernard Guinan (2017)

Andy Rogers (2020)

David Osborne (University of Nottingham) (2018)

Past research students

First supervisor

Emily Banfield (2014-2018)

Matteo Cantisani (2016-2020)

Second supervisor

Doug Mitcham (2012 – 2016)

Marta Fanello (2011 – 2014)

Emma Dwyer (2011 – 2014)

Learn more about studying for a PhD with us


Link here: https://www2.le.ac.uk/departments/archaeology/people/academics/harris/selected-recent-publications

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