Mrs Ellen Simmons

B.Sc (Hons) Archaeological Science
M.Sc Environmental Archaeology and Palaeoeconomy

Phone number: 0114 2222933


Department Address:

Sheffield Archaeobotanical Consultancy
Department of Archaeology
Northgate House
West Street
Sheffield, S1 4ET



I work as an Archaeobotanical Consultant for the Sheffield Archaeobotanical Consultancy (SAC) which is based within the Sheffield Centre for Archaeobotany and ancient Land-usE (SCALE). I specialise in the identification and analysis of waterlogged plant remains, charred plant remains and wood charcoal. My research interests focus on the analysis of wood charcoal and charred plant assemblages from archaeological sites in Britain, particularly those of prehistoric date. I have also worked on archaeobotanical material from sites in Jordan, Palestine, Turkey, Greece, Italy and Poland. My work with the Sheffield Archaeobotanical Consultancy primarily involves advising on sampling stratergies, undertaking sample processing and carrying out assessments and technical reports on a variety of archaeobotanical remains for commercial archaeological units, universities and local archaeological societies.

I completed my BSc and MSc degrees at the University of Sheffield. My undergraduate dissertation involved investigating the spatial patterning of cereal grains and other remains in house floor contexts from a Norse period site in the Outer Hebrides excavated as part of the SEARCH project (Sheffield Environmental and Archaeological Research Campaign in the Hebrides). My MSc dissertation involved the analysis of charred plant remains from an Iron Age site in Jordan. My experience as an archaeobotanical specialist has included working as an Environmental Archaeology Supervisor for the Cambridge Archaeology Unit, supervising the archaeobotanical sample processing and analysis of charred plant remains from excavations carried out in Jordan by the University of Pennsylvania, from excavations in Palestine carried out by the Palestinian Institute of Archaeology and from excavations carried out as part of five years of the Stonehenge Riverside Project. I was also part of the archaeobotanical team at the 2007 and 2008 seasons of excavations at Çatalhöyük, Turkey. I have assited in teaching archaeobotanical practical classes at the University of Sheffield and the University of Cambridge and I have taken part in demonstrating archaeobotany as part of various public outreach initiatives.


Selected publications

Simmons, E. Forthcoming. Charred plant remains and wood charcoal. In M. Parker Pearson, J. Pollard, C. Richards, J. Thomas, and K. Welham, Stonehenge for the Ancestors: The Stonehenge Riverside Project Volume 1. London: Prehistoric Society

Simmons, E. Forthcoming. Charred plant remains and wood charcoal. In M. Parker Pearson, J. Pollard, C. Richards, J. Thomas, and K. Welham. Durrington Walls and Woodhenge: a place for the living. The Stonehenge Riverside Project Volume 2. London: Prehistoric Society.

Simmons, E. Forthcoming. Charred plant remains and wood charcoal. In M. Parker Pearson, J. Pollard, C. Richards, J. Thomas, and K. Welham. After Stonehenge: later prehistory and the historical period in the Stonehenge landscape. The Stonehenge Riverside Project Volume 3. London: Prehistoric Society

Craig O.E. Shillito, L-M. Albarella. U. Viner-Daniels, S. Chan, B. Cleale, R. Ixer, R. Jay, M. Marshall, P. Simmons, E. Wright, E. and Parker-Pearson, M. Forthcoming. Feeding Stonehenge: cuisine and consumption at the Late Neolithic site of Durrington Walls. Antiquity.

Porter, B.W. Routledge, B.E. Simmons, E.M. and Lev-Tov, J.S.E. 2014. Extensification in a Mediterranean semi-arid marginal zone: an archaeological case study from early Iron Age Jordan’s Eastern Karak Plateau. Journal of Arid Environments 104: 132-148.

Simmons, E . 2013. Charred plant remains and charred wood remains. In D. Pinnock (ed.) The Romans at Nostell Priory: Excavations at the New Visitor Car Park in 2009. York: On-Site Archaeology Ltd.

Simmons, E. 2011. Charcoal from the roundhouse and associated pit. In J. P. Salvatore and H. Quinnell. Excavation of a Bronze Age roundhouse and other prehistoric, Romano-British and Early Medieval features at the Langage Energy Centre and park, and the Choakford-Langage gas pipeline, Sparkwell, South Hams. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society 69: 53-93.

Simmons, E. 2011. Waterlogged plant remains. In K. Baker, S. Baker and J Symonds. Archaeological Investigations at the Upper Chapel, Norfolk Street, Sheffield, UK. Internet Archaeology 29.