Dr Rachel Crellin

Rachel CrellinLecturer in Later Prehistory

BA (Cambridge), MA (UCL), PhD (Newcastle upon Tyne), FHEA, FSA Scot

Email: rjc65@le.ac.uk

 

Rachel’s key research interest is in the study and theorisation of change. She specialises in Later Neolithic and Bronze Age Britain and Ireland and is an expert in metalwork wear-analysis.
Rachel studied Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Cambridge where she developed a keen interest in archaeological theory and material culture. She went to UCL to continue exploring this through an MA in Material and Visual Culture Studies before starting a PhD at Newcastle University supervised by Chris Fowler, Andrea Dolfini and Jan Harding; her thesis focused on theoretical approaches to the study of change and drew on a study of the transition from the Late Neolithic to the Early Bronze Age on the Isle of Man.

Rachel’s key research interest is in the study and theorisation of change. She specialises in Later Neolithic and Bronze Age Britain and Ireland and is an expert in metalwork wear-analysis.Rachel studied Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Cambridge where she developed a keen interest in archaeological theory and material culture. She went to UCL to continue exploring this through an MA in Material and Visual Culture Studies before starting a PhD at Newcastle University supervised by Chris Fowler, Andrea Dolfini and Jan Harding; her thesis focused on theoretical approaches to the study of change and drew on a study of the transition from the Late Neolithic to the Early Bronze Age on the Isle of Man.

Teaching

Rachel co-ordinates and teaches a range of undergraduate courses including both distance learning and campus-based teaching. Her teaching centers around the Neolithic, Bronze Age, archaeological theory, practical methods, and artefact analysis.

Research

Rachel’s primary research interest is the study and theorisation of change. The study of change is arguably one of the most important things that archaeology has to offer the humanities: changes in materials, communities, identities, environments and ideas are all traceable over the very long term in the archaeological record. Rachel’s research explores how it is that we come to talk about, understand, and interpret change in the past. She is currently working on a monograph for Routledge titled: Archaeology and Change. The book explores how archaeologists have approached the topic and develops a new materialist approach to the study of change.

New materials, new worlds: understanding the uses of Bronze Age axes

Rachel completed a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship between 2015-17 at Leicester. The project considered how axes were used, understood, and deposited at the start of the Early Bronze Age in Britain and Ireland. Through experimental archaeology and primary metalwork wear-analysis of over 250 flat axes from across Britain and Ireland Rachel explored how understanding of metal, as a material, changed through this period. She is continuing to work on the big dataset this project has created.

Round Mounds of the Isle of Man

Rachel is also co-director of the Round Mounds of the Isle of Man project which explores changing burial practices from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age on the island and in the wider Irish Sea context. The project is funded by Culture Vannin and Manx National Heritage and began in September 2016. It involved the first modern osteological analysis of all Neolithic and Bronze Age human remains from the island as well as a re-assessment of the burial evidence. Radiocarbon, isotopic, and aDNA analysis of samples from the project is currently underway. In addition, there was extensive landscape research using GIS and LiDAR to map the location of more than 180 mounds across the island. In 2017 the project began excavation of a burial mound near the village of Kirk Michael. The mound is one of a cluster of three with stunning views across the Irish Sea. Excavations will continue at the site in future years (do get in touch if you are interested in getting involved!). You can learn more about the project here: https://roundmounds.wordpress.com/

Bronze Age Combat Project

Rachel is also a member of the Bronze Age Combat project. The project is investigating Bronze Age Combat techniques through a series of controlled field tests with replica weapons to create a reference collection of use-wear marks that can then be compared to the marks observable on archaeological swords, spears, axes and shields from museum collections. The aim of the project is to understand how Late Bronze Age weapons were used, in what kind of combat situations, and with what strikes and bodily motions.

Beyond the Three Age System

Rachel is also part of the Beyond the Three Age System team tracing a new history of materials from 3000-600 BC through microwear analyses.

Supervision

I am interested in supervising doctoral research across a range of themes:

  • Post-human and new materialist approaches to archaeological theory
  • Metalwork in prehistory
  • Neolithic or Bronze Age Britain and Ireland
  • Burial archaeology

If you have an idea and would like to discuss it further, do not hesitate to contact me.

Learn more about studying for a PhD at Leicester

Publications

Crellin, R.J. in prep. Change and Archaeology. London: Routledge.

Crellin, R.J. in press 2019. The Emergence of a Bronze Age on the Isle of Man. In, Brandherm, D. (ed.). Aspects of the Bronze Age in the Atlantic Archipelago and Beyond. Proceedings from the Belfast Bronze Age Forum 9-10 November 2013. Archaeologia Atlantica – Monographiae III Hagen/Westf: 13-34.

Hermann, R., Dolfini, A., Crellin, R.J. and Ucklemann, M. in press 2019. Researching Bronze Age swordsmanship: experiments and wear analysis. In Deutscher, L., Kaiser, M. & S. Wetzler (eds.), The Sword: Form and Thought. Martlesham, Suffolk: Boydell & Brewer: 187-207.

Crellin, R.J. 2018. Examining the British and Irish Early Bronze Age Flat Axes of the Greenwell Collection at the British Museum. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 18: 858-888.

Harris, O.J.T. and Crellin, R.J. 2018. Assembling new ontologies from old materials: towards multiplicity. In, Astor-Aguilera, A. and Harvey, G. (eds). Rethinking Relations and Animism: personhood and materiality. London: Routledge: 55-74

Dolfini, A. Crellin, R.J., Horn, C., Uckleman, M. (eds.). 2018. Prehistoric Warfare and Violence: quantitative and qualitative approaches. Springer Press.

Crellin, R.J., Dolfini, A., Ucklemann, M. and Hermann, R. 2018. An experimental approach to prehistoric violence and warfare. In, Dolfini, A. Crellin, R.J., Horn, C., Uckleman, M. (eds.). 2018. Prehistoric Warfare and Violence: quantitative and qualitative approaches. Springer Press: 279-305.

Dolfini, A., Crellin, R.J., Horn, C. and Ucklemann, M. 2018. Interdisciplinary approaches to prehistoric warfare and violence: past, present and future. In, Dolfini, A. Crellin, R.J., Horn, C., Uckleman, M. (eds.). 2018. Prehistoric Warfare and Violence: quantitative and qualitative approaches. Springer Press: 1-18

Crellin, R.J. 2018. New Materialism. In, López Varela, S.L. (ed.). The Encyclopaedia of Archaeological Sciences. Wiley-Blackwell. Available here

Dolfini, A., Hermann, R., Crellin, R.J and M. Uckelmann. 2018. L’arte della guerra nell’età del Bronzo: la parola alle armi, in N. Negroni Catacchio (ed.) Preistoria e Protostoria in Etruria. Atti del XIII Incontro di Studi. Milan: Centro Studi di Preistoria e Archeologia: 183-200

Crellin, R.J. 2017. Changing Assemblages: tracing vibrant matter in burial assemblages. Special Edition of Cambridge Archaeological Journal 27 (1): 111-125.

Crellin, R.J. 2017. Violent Times? Use-wear analysis of bronze weapons from the Isle of Man. Isle of Man Studies XV:

Dolfini, A. and Crellin, R.J. 2016. Metalwork wear analysis: the loss of innocence. Journal of Archaeological Science 66 (2016): 78-87.

Jones, A., Diaz-Guardamino, M. and Crellin, R.J. 2016. From artefact biographies to ‘multiple objects’: a new analysis of the decorated plaques of the Irish Sea Region. Norwegian Archaeological Review 49 (2): 113-133.

Crellin, R.J., Fowler, C. and Tipping R. (eds.). 2016. Prehistory without borders: the prehistoric archaeology of northeast England and southeast Scotland. Oxbow Books.

Crellin, R.J., Fowler, C. and Tipping, R. 2016. Introduction. In, Crellin, R.J., Fowler, C. and Tipping R. (eds.). In Press. Prehistory without borders: the prehistoric archaeology of northeast England and southeast Scotland. Oxbow Books: 1-15

Woodcock, J. and Crellin, R.J. 2016. Cup-marked rocks on the Meayll Peninsular. Isle of Man Studies XIV: 30-44.

Crellin, R.J. 2015. Tracing change at Killeaba. Isle of Man Studies XIII: 29–44.

Crellin, R. J. 2014. Transformative material, transformative object: the impact of a bronze axe. In, Brown, S., Clarke, A., and Fredrick, U., (eds.). 2014. Object Stories. California: Left Coast Press: 213-7.

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