Dr Oliver Harris

Oliver HarrisAssociate Professor of Archaeology

BA, MA, PhD (Cardiff), FHEA

Tel: +44 (0)116 252 2729

Email: ojth1@le.ac.uk

 

 

 

 

 

Personal details

BA, MA, PhD, FHEA

I began studying archaeology at Sheffield, and graduated with a BA in 2002. I then took an MA at Cardiff University, and stayed on to do a PhD under the supervision of Alasdair Whittle. My PhD focussed on developing new theoretical approaches to identity, emotion and memory and applying them to the British Neolithic. Since finishing my PhD I worked in contract archaeology, and held two post-docs. The first, at Cambridge, was part of the interdisciplinary changing beliefs of the human body project, which turned into the book The Body in History, co-written with John Robb. The second, at Newcastle, was a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship looking at the different kinds of community that occupied Southern Britain in the Mesolithic, Neolithic and Bronze Age, and what happens when we think about communities not just as collections of people, but as assemblages of people, things, animals, places and monuments. I spend my summers digging in Ardnamurchan, Western Scotland, where all sorts of archaeological wonders can be found.

In June I published my new book with Craig Cipolla: Archaeological Theory in the New Millennium: introducing current perspectives

Teaching

I co-ordinate and contribute to a range of modules at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Research

Projects

Oliver is co-director of the Ardnamurchan Transitions Project. This is a long running research project into changing lifeways on the Ardnamurchan peninsula, western Scotland. The project aims to understand how human occupation of one specific landscape changed at key moments of social transition, such as the start of farming, the beginning of metal work, the arrival of the Vikings, or the Highland Clearances. Through this project Oliver has directed excavations of a Neolithic chambered cairn, a Bronze Age kerbed cairn and a Viking boat burial. The latter has hit the headlines in the UK and beyond - have a look at one newspaper's coverage. This project has also developed numerous innovative teaching strategies, leading to it recently being awarded the Archaeological Training Forum award at the 2014 IfA conference.

Research interests

Neolithic Britain; archaeological theory (in particular relational approaches to the past); new materialism; assemblage theory; the archaeology of the body; prehistoric communities; emotion and affect in archaeology.

Supervision

Emily Banfield - Animals and ontology: addressing the role and meaning of faunal remains in the Neolithic long barrows of Wessex (co-supervised with Richard Thomas).

Topics available for PhD supervision

I would welcome PhD applications from anyone interested in looking at:

  • Mesolithic, Neolithic or Bronze Age Britain
  • New materialist / symmetrical approaches to the past
  • archaeology of the body
  • emotion and affect in archaeology

Learn more about studying for a PhD with us

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