Dr Louise IlesLouise Iles photo

Leverhulme Early Career Fellow

PhD (2011, University College London)

email address: l.iles@sheffield.ac.uk

Telephone: 0114 22 22951

Department Address:

Department of Archaeology
University of Sheffield
Minalloy House
10 – 16 Regent Street
Sheffield
S1 3NJ
United Kingdom

Profile

Biography

I studied for my undergraduate degree in archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology, UCL between 2001 and 2004. After graduating, I spent six months as a graduate attaché at the British Institute in Eastern Africa in Nairobi, working on various research projects across east Africa. Once back in the UK, I returned to UCL to join the MSc programme ‘The Technology and Analysis of Archaeological Materials’, followed by a PhD that examined the trajectory of iron production in western Uganda.

Between 2013 and 2015 I was a Marie Curie Research Fellow at the University of York and the School of Anthropology, University of Arizona, where I worked with Professor David Killick. I joined the University of Sheffield in May 2016 as a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow.

Professional Roles

Member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists

Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Research

Research interests

My research focus is the iron metallurgy of sub-Saharan Africa. I have led archaeometallurgical research in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda, but have worked on metal assemblages from around the world, including Mali, Togo, India, Cambodia, the UK and China.

I am interested in the networks through which technology spreads, the relationship between iron production and the environment, and the role of gender in technologies, as well as the interplay between archaeological, historical and ethnographic datasets.

My current research examines the spread of iron production technology through the Old World, using statistical modelling of radiocarbon dates.

https://sheffield.academia.edu/LouiseIles

Current collaborations

  • Iron working in Pare, Tanzania Paul Lane (Uppsala University) Daryl Stump (University of York)
  • Iron metallurgy in Bassar, Togo: Early Iron Age and Late Iron Age technologies Philip de Barros (Palomar College) David Killick (University of Arizona)
  • Iron objects of Munsa and Ntusi, Uganda Peter Robertshaw (California State University) Andrew Reid (University College London) Funded by the British Institute in Eastern Africa, and the British Society for the History of Science
Publications

Selected publications

Selected book chapters

  • Iles, L. 2015. Iron production in Uganda: memories of a near-forgotten industry. In: H. Orange (ed.) Reanimating Industrial Spaces: conducting memory work in post-industrial societies. Walnut Creek: Left Coast Press, 158-175
  • Iles, L. and Childs, S. T. 2014. Ethnoarchaeological and historical methods. In: B. Roberts and C. Thornton (eds.) Archaeometallurgy in Global Perspective: methods and syntheses. New York: Springer, 193-216
  • Iles, L. 2014. The use of plants in iron production: insights from smelting remains from Buganda. In: C. Stevens, S. Nixon, M. Murray and D. Fuller (eds.) The Archaeology of African Plant Use. San Francisco: Left Coast Press, 267-274
  • Iles, L. 2013. Applying ethnographic presents to archaeological pasts: the relevance of memories of iron production in western Uganda. In: J. Humphris and Th. Rehren (eds.) The World of Iron. London: Archetype, 281-287

Full publications list

  • Iles, L. 2018. Forging networks and mixing ores: rethinking the social landscapes of iron metallurgy. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 49: 88-99
  • Iles, L., Heckmann, M., Lang, C., Stump, D. and Lane, P. 2018. Iron production in North Pare, Tanzania: archaeometallurgical and geoarchaeological perspectives on landscape change. African Archaeological Review
  • Iles, L. 2017. African iron production and iron-working technologies: methods. In: T. Spear (ed.) Oxford Research Encyclopedia of African History. New York: OUP
  • Iles, L. 2016. The role of metallurgy in transforming global forests. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 23: 1219-1241
  • Iles, L. 2016. Review article: ‘Metals in past societies: a global perspective on indigenous African metallurgy’. Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa 51: 284-286
  • Iles, L. and Lane, P. 2015. Iron production in second millennium AD pastoralist contexts on the Laikipia Plateau, Kenya. Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa 50: 372-401
  • Iles, L. and Lyaya, E. 2015. Making metals in East Africa and beyond: archaeometallurgy in Azania, 1966–2015. Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa 50: 481-494
  • Iles, L. 2015. Iron production in Uganda: memories of a near-forgotten industry. In: H. Orange (ed.) Reanimating Industrial Spaces: conducting memory work in post-industrial societies. Walnut Creek: Left Coast Press, 158-175
  • Gurdasani, D., Carstensen, T., Tekola-Ayele, F., Pagani, L., Tachmazidou, I., Hatzikotoulas, K., Karthikeyan, S., Iles, L. et al. 2015. The African Genome Variation Project shapes medical genetics in Africa. Nature 517 (7534): 327-332
  • Iles, L. 2014. The exploitation of manganese-rich ‘ore’ to smelt iron in Mwenge, western Uganda, from the mid second millennium AD. Journal of Archaeological Science 49: 423-441
  • Iles, L. and Childs, S. T. 2014. Ethnoarchaeological and historical methods. In: B. Roberts and C. Thornton (eds.) Archaeometallurgy in Global Perspective: methods and syntheses. New York: Springer, 193-216
  • Iles, L., Robertshaw, P. and Young, R. 2014. A furnace and associated ironworking remains at Munsa, Uganda. Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa 49: 45-63
  • Iles, L. 2014. The use of plants in iron production: insights from smelting remains from Buganda. In: C. Stevens, S. Nixon, M. Murray and D. Fuller (eds.) The Archaeology of African Plant Use. San Francisco: Left Coast Press, 267-274
  • Gurdasani, D., Iles, L. et al. 2014. A systematic review of definitions of extreme phenotypes of HIV control and progression. AIDS: Official Journal of the International AIDS Society 28: 149-162
  • Iles, L. 2013. The development of iron technology in precolonial western Uganda. Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa 48: 65-90
  • Iles, L. 2013. Applying ethnographic presents to archaeological pasts: the relevance of memories of iron production in western Uganda. In: J. Humphris and Th. Rehren (eds.) The World of Iron. London: Archetype, 281-287
  • Iles, L. 2013. Analysis of iron working remains from Kooki and Masindi, western Uganda. Nyame Akuma: Bulletin of the Society of Africanist Archaeologists 80: 43-58
  • Humphris, J. and Iles, L. 2013. Pre-colonial iron production in Great Lakes Africa: recent archaeometallurgical research at UCL Institute of Archaeology. In: J. Humphris and Th. Rehren (eds.) The World of Iron. London: Archetype, 56-65
  • Iles, L. 2009. Impressions of banana pseudostem in iron slag from eastern Africa. Ethnobotany Research and Applications 7: 283-291
  • Iles, L. 2009. Pre-colonial iron production in western Uganda: recent survey and excavation. Nyame Akuma: Bulletin of the Society of Africanist Archaeologists 71: 35-45
  • Iles, L. and Martinón-Torres, M. 2009. Pastoralist iron production on the Laikipia Plateau, Kenya: wider implications for archaeometallurgical studies. Journal of Archaeological Science 36: 2314-2326