Professor Caroline JacksonCaroline Jackson

Professor of Archaeological Materials
Departmental Director of Research and Innovation


Email address:

Telephone: +44 (0)114 2222918

Department address:
Department of Archaeology, Graduate School, University of Sheffield, West Court, 2 Mappin Street, Sheffield S1 4DT UK


My undergraduate degree is in Archaeology and I took an MA and PhD in Archaeological Sciences, specialising in the study and analysis of archaeological materials.

Before starting as a lecturer at Sheffield, I held posts as a Research Assistant at the University of Toronto (working at Carthage) and the University of Cardiff, and worked as a Teaching Fellow in Archaeology at Sheffield.

I have excavated and conducted archaeological fieldwork projects in Italy (Florence and Rome), Tunisia, Swaziland, Croatia, Egypt and the UK, and have published articles on material originating from Egypt, UK, Croatia, Slovenia, Greece, Italy, France and North America.

Research interests

My research interests are very varied and diverse. For instance I have worked on lithics in Swaziland, conducted surveying work with the University of Cardiff at the Sacred Animal Necropolis in Saqqara and excavated at Amarna in Egypt.

My main research is however, on the study and scientific analysis of archaeological materials, specialising in glass and other vitreous materials such as faience. The primary focus of this work is in Bronze Age Egypt and the Aegean mainly from production sites and on Roman glasses from consumption contexts. I use scientific methods to analyse archaeological glass and experimental archaeology to elucidate patterns relating to provenance, trade and consumption in the ancient and historic world.

Current research projects

Recycling and reuse in the Roman world
This project uses the analysis of glass from consumption contexts throughout the Roman world to identify patterns of recycling in glasses, through chemical analysis. This evidence informs our knowledge of production and consumption of glasses and how they moved within the Roman Empire.
Even the Romans recycled glass

Glass production in New Kingdom (Bronze Age) Egypt
This research gathers primary evidence from glass factories in Egypt (primarily Amarna) to identify glass production in Bronze Age Egypt and then to trace consumption throughout the Mediterranean. Experimental reconstruction of the Amarna furnaces, in collaboration with Cardiff University, and scientific analysis of the excavated remains have shown Egypt was one of the first glass producers and that the products were transported by land and sea to the Aegean and beyond. This research links different political regimes throughout the Mediterranean in the Late Bronze Age through the control and consumption of material culture.

Experimental reconstruction and understanding material choice
The experimental reconstruction of glassmaking practices allows an examination of the differences in the use of raw materials relating to geographic, climatic and regional factors and more allows an assessment of the influence of choice on manufacturing regimes and products from the Bronze Age Mediterranean to the later historic period in Northern Europe.

The material culture recovered from shipwrecks is instrumental for understanding long distance trade. This project examines the material culture from such wrecks from the Bronze Age to the 18th century.

Research supervision

I have supervised and co-supervised MA and PhD theses on a variety of topics ranging from ceramics in the early Bronze Age in the Aegean, Late Roman glass in Britain to the bead movements in the late historic period in the Great Lakes region of Canada and from analytical analyses of glasses to experimental reconstructions.

I am interested in supervising research students who have an interest in:

  • Material culture in the Roman world
  • The analysis of glasses to explore production and consumption patterns
  • Experimental archaeology



World Civilisations
Archaeology in Action
Discoverers and Discoveries in Old World Archaeology
Research Methods
The Archaeology and Ethnography of Production Technologies
People and Material culture


Ancient Vitreous Materials
The Analysis of Inorganic Materials
The Archaeology and Ethnography of Production Technologies
Rethinking the Ancient Economy

Selected recent publications

Jackson C.M., Greenfield, D. and Howie, L.A. 2012. An assessment of compositional and morphological changes in model archaeological glasses in an acid burial matrix. Archaeometry 54, 3 (2012) 489–507.
Jackson, C.M. and Wager, E.C. 2011. Glass in the Aegean Bronze Age: value, meaning and status in A Vianello (ed) Exotica in the Prehistoric Mediterranean. Oxford: Oxbow Books, 115-123.
Foster, H. and Jackson, C.M. 2010. The composition of late Romano-British colourless vessel glass: glass production and consumption. Journal of Archaeological Science. 37(12), 3068-3080.
Jackson, C.M. and Nicholson, P.T. 2010. The Provenance of Some Glass Ingots From The Uluburun Shipwreck. Journal of Archaeological Science 37, 295-301.
Foster, H. and Jackson, C.M. 2009. The composition of ‘naturally coloured’ late Roman vessel glass from Britain and the implications for models of glass production and supply. Journal of Archaeological Science 36, 189–204.
Jackson, C.M. and Wager, E.C.W. 2008. Vitreous materials in the Late Bronze Age Aegean. Sheffield Centre for Aegean Archaeology volume 9. Oxford: Oxbow Publications.
Jackson, C.M. and Smedley, J.W. 2008. Medieval and post-medieval glass technology: the chemical composition of bracken from different habitats through a growing season. Glass Technology: European Journal of Glass Science and Technology Part A., 49(5), 240–245.
Bingham, P.A. and Jackson, C.M. 2008. Roman blue-green bottle glass: chemical - optical analysis and high temperature viscosity modelling. Journal of Archaeological Science 35, 302-309.
Jackson, C.M. 2005. Making colourless glass in the Roman period. Archaeometry 47(4), 763-780.
Jackson, C.M., Smedley, J.W. and Booth, C.M. 2005. Glass by Design? Raw materials, recipes and compositional data. Archaeometry 47(4), 781-795.
Jackson, C.M. 2005 Glassmaking in Bronze Age Egypt. Science 308, 1750-1752.

Full publications list


Invited keynote speaker American Ceramic Society, Savannah Georgia, May 2011.

Organiser, Chair and speaker at the Association for the History of Glass/Association Internationale de l’histore du verre, Neighbours and Successors of Rome: traditions of glass production and use in Europe and the Middle East in the later first millennium AD, York, UK, May 2011.

Invited speaker at the Workshop on Site Formation and Postdepositional Processes in Archaeology (University of Barcelona) funded by the Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación and the Universitat de Barcelona, GEPEG and the Equip de Recerca Arqueològica i Arqueomètrica de la Universitat de Barcelona, Spain, May 2010.

Study day Organiser for the Association for the History of Glass. Glass for vessels, glass for windows: Medieval Glass 1066-1500 AD. Wallace Collection London, UK, March 2010.

Invited Speaker, ‘Ars Nautica: Maritime archaeology and the history of the middle ages and the post-medieval period’. Dubrovnik, September, 2009.

Other professional activities

  • Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries
  • President Association for the History of Glass
  • Executive board member on L’Association Internationale de l’Histoire du Verre
  • Executive board member of the NERC Inductively Coupled Plasma Spectrometry Steering Committee (to 2008).
  • Expert and appearance on BBC4 (Invention of materials), C4 (Time team) programmes.
  • Associate editor of Archaeometry (to 2007)
  • Past external examiner of undergraduate archaeology and archaeological science programmes at the Institute of Archaeology, University of London, Bournemouth University and at Keele University.
  • Past external examiner for MSc programmes at the Institute of Archaeology, University of London and PhD examiner at UK and international Universities.

Web links

Even the Romans recycled glass

Ancient Romans Recycled Glass

Even the Romans recycled glass - ArchaeoHeritage