Marion Shiner Profile Picture

Marion Shiner

Supervisor: Dr. Katie Hemer & Prof. Dawn Hadley

Email address:

PhD Title

Transient relations: non-adult funerary practices in 1st – 10th century AD Wales and Ireland and the origin of separate infant burial grounds.

PhD Abstract

Archaeology unexpectedly reveals that normative Christian burial was not always practiced in 5th to 10th century Ireland and Wales. Some cemeteries appear to have excluded the very young, while others contain their graves in significant numbers. Differences in grave types within and between sites are also observed. At several sites in Wales, the burial of non-adults appears to continue after it has ceased for older individuals. Yet despite the presence of hundreds of later Cillíní (infant burial grounds) in Ireland, Carrowkeel, Co. Galway is the only dated early medieval example. My research, which is WRoCAH/AHRC-funded, will examine 1st – 10th century AD mortuary practices within Wales and Ireland, as they have the potential to identify pre- and post-Conversion attitudes to children and childhood and the origin of the practice of separate infant burial.

About Me

After gaining my Masters from Cardiff University in 2002, I was employed in the Heritage Management department of the Dyfed Archaeological Trust. Initially I assisted with both Development Control and the Historic Environment Record, along with occasional excavation. I became the Historic Environment Record (HER) Manager in 2004 and held this position until I left the Trust in 2017 to begin my PhD. During my time as the HER Manager I worked with staff in the other three Welsh HERs to migrate the records of over 100,000 archaeological sites from stand-alone, in-house databases to a web-based data management system, with integrated GIS, that enables access to information via websites and apps. As well as managing the HER I was Project Manager for DAT’s role in the Portable Antiquities Scheme. I have been involved in several DAT excavations, most recently the St Patrick’s Chapel Excavation Project. I am the Review Editor of the Carmarthenshire Antiquary.
I maintained my interest in early medieval archaeology, with a focus on Wales, through membership of the Early Medieval Wales Archaeology Research Group (EMWARG). I manage the EMWARG Facebook group and organise the biennial EMWARG Colloquium with Professor Nancy Edwards of Bangor University. My wider research interests include the archaeology of infancy and childhood; the archaeology of gender; British archaeology c.800BC – AD 1088 and the relationship between archaeology and the public.



2002 MA Archaeology (Distinction), Cardiff University
2000: BA (Hons) Archaeology (2:1), Trinity College, Carmarthen

Publications and Conferences

Publications and Conferences

Shiner, M., K. A. Hemer and R. Comeau. 2019. 'The St Patrick's Chapel Excavation Project: Public Engagement with the Rescue Excavation of an Early Medieval Cemetery in South West Wales' in Howard Williams, Benedict Wills-Eve and Jennifer Osborne (eds) The Public Archaeology of Death. Sheffield. Equinox Publishing Ltd. 17-36.

Shiner, M. 2016. ‘Recent archaeological discoveries in Carmarthenshire.’ Carmarthenshire Antiquary 52: 9–22

Page, M. R. 2011. ‘Ble mae’r babanod?: Infant burial in early medieval Wales’, in Moore & Lally (eds) (Re)Thinking Little Ancestors: New Perspectives on the Archaeology of Infancy and Childhood BAR International Series SS2271: 100–109

Page, M. 2010. ‘Discovering the past with Archwilio’ Carmarthenshire Antiquary 46: 138–140

Page, M. 2008. ‘News from the Regional Historic Environment Record’ Carmarthenshire Antiquary 44: 5–12

Grey Literature

Murphy, K., M. Shiner, H. Wilson & K. Hemer. 2016. Excavation at St Patrick's Chapel 2016 interim report. Unpublished Dyfed Archaeological Trust report no. 2016/59

Murphy, K., M. Shiner & H. Wilson. 2015. Excavation at St Patrick's Chapel 2015 interim report. Unpublished Dyfed Archaeological Trust report no. 2015/35

Murphy, K., M. Page, P. Crane & H. Wilson. 2014. Excavation at St Patrick's Chapel 2014 interim report. Unpublished Dyfed Archaeological Trust report no. 2014/26

Page, M. T. Driver, L. Barker, K. Murphy & P. Crane. 2009. Prehistoric Defended Enclosures: Remote sensing. Unpublished Dyfed Archaeological Trust report no. 2009/12

Page, M. 2008. Carmarthenshire Natural Capital Audit: The Historic Environment. Unpublished Dyfed Archaeological Trust report no. 2008/20

Page, M. 2008. Pembrokeshire Natural Capital Audit: The Historic Environment. Unpublished Dyfed Archaeological Trust report no. 2008/12

Page, M. 2007. Dinefwr Park East Drive: Archaeological Evaluation of the Proposed Footpath. Unpublished Dyfed Archaeological Trust report no. 2007/15