Academic Staff Research Interests and PhD Supervision


Click on a member of staff to see further detail on their research interests and examples of current and recent PhD projects they have supervised.


Umberto Albarella: Projects with a substantial zooarchaeological component

Research Interests

  • Animal domestication and husbandry intensification
  • Ethnoarchaeology
  • Ritual use of animals
  • Husbandry evidence of Romanization
  • Animals and medieval life
  • Integration in archaeology
  • Archaeology and politics

Current & recent PhD supervision

  • The neglected goat: a methodological approach to the understanding of the role of this species in English medieval husbandry
  • Hyaenas and Neanderthals in the British Middle Palaeolithic
  • The neglected goat: a methodological approach to the understanding of the role of this species in English medieval husbandry
  • A methodological approach to the identification of duck and goose remains from archaeological sites with an application to Roman Britain
  • The Identification of Jewish Patterns of Food Preparation and Consumption: a Zooarchaeological Approach to the Medieval and Early Modern Evidence from Central-Eastern Europe
  • Birds of prey in the Bronze Age Near East: their role and identification
  • Animal husbandry in Sicily during the Islamic-Christian transition, 8th-12th Centuries
  • Developments in the exploitation of animal resources between the late Roman period and the early Middle Ages: a comparative study of the evidence from Britain and the lower Rhine region
  • The origins and evolution of pig domestication in Italy: a regional and diachronic study of husbandry practices
  • Livestock and landscape: changing husbandry, livestock improvement and landscape enclosure in late and post-medieval England
  • Animals, Economy and Status: The Integration of Zooarchaeological and Historical Evidence in the Study of Dudley Castle, West Midlands (c.1100-1750)
  • The Origins and evolution of pig domestication in prehistoric Spain
  • A diachronic study of Sus and Bos exploitation in Britain from the Early Mesolithic to the Late Neolithic
  • The vertebrate faunal remains from Grotta del Romito and Grotta del Cavallo. Society, economy, environment and climate in the Upper Pleistocene of Southern Italy
  • The history of the European aurochs from the late Pleistocene to its extinction: an archaeological investigation of its evolution, morphological variability and response to human exploitation
  • The Etruscans and their animals: the zooarchaeology of Forcello di Bagnolo San Vito, (Mantova) Italy
  • Zooarchaeology of the Early Medieval Period in Northern Spain
  • Animal Exploitation during the Late Neolithic in the Strymon (Struma) valley: the case of the Greek sector
Gianna Ayala: Topics relating to geoarchaeology, landscape archaeology and Mediterranean prehistory

Research Interests

  • Geoarchaeology (landscape and on-site investigations)
  • Italian and Mediterranean prehistory
  • Landscape archaeology and field survey techniques
  • Contemporary archaeology

Current & recent PhD supervision

  • Early Medieval Penllyn, an environmental landscape study.
  • The Geoarchaeology and Micromorphology of Viking and Anglo-Saxon Occupation Sequences: understanding changes in use of space in a Viking camp and Anglo-Scandinavian settlement at Torksey, Lincolnshire
  • The influence of environmental changes upon occupation practice and land use during the prehistory of the Furness Peninsula, South Cumbria, UK
John Bennet: Aegean archaeology, early writing

Research Interests

  • The archaeology of complex societies -particularly the Minoan and Mycenaean cultures of the Bronze Age Aegean
  • The archaeology and history of Crete
  • Early writing and administrative systems - especially Linear B
  • Diachronic regional studies
  • Integration of material and textual evidence
  • Ottoman Greece
  • Combining material and textual data in study of the past

Current & past PhD supervision

  • The iconography of decorated larnakes pertaining to the late Bronze Age, originating from Crete and continental Greece
  • Towards a social bioarchaeology of the Mycenaean period: A multi-disciplinary analysis of funerary remains from the Late Helladic chamber tomb cemetery of Voudeni, Achaea, Greece (supervised with Pia Nystrom)
  • A comparative study of the archaeology of writing in the Bronze Age Aegean
Maureen Carroll: The Roman empire, funerary archaeology, infancy and childhood, clothing and identity

Research Interests

  • Roman death, burial and commemoration
  • Latin funerary epigraphy
  • Infancy and earliest childhood in the Roman world
  • Clothing, identity and self-presentation in the Roman empire
  • The archaeology and history of ancient Greek and Roman gardens

Current & recent PhD supervision topics

  • A Biocultural Study of the Vestini population of Loreto Aprutino: Diet, Health, Status, and Identity in the 6th–4th centuries B.C. in Central-Southern Italy (supervised with Pia Nystrom)
  • The metal economy of Roman South Yorkshire, 1st-2nd c. A.D. (supervised with Roger Doonan)
  • Archaeology of Identity: (Un)Dressing the female 'other' in Classical Greek Art (supervised with Jane Rempel)
  • Cultural and Socio-Economic Interaction Reflected by Glass Beads in Early Iron Age Taiwan (supervised with Caroline Jackson)
  • Roman migration patterns based on skeletal, archaeological, and written evidence (supervised with Elizabeth Craig-Atkins)
Elizabeth Craig-Atkins: Human osteology and funerary archaeology, health, the archaeology of childhood

Research Interests

  • Multidisciplinary analysis of osteological and funerary data from early medieval to post-medieval contexts
  • Health status and social status in past populations
  • Disease, disability and disfigurement in the past (including social attitudes to sickness and medical/surgical interventions)
  • The archaeology of childhood
  • The character and provision of funerary practices in early Christian and medieval England

Current & recent PhD supervision

  • What are we missing? the importance of archaeothanatology for revealing funerary practices
  • An archaeological and osteological investigation of the medieval hospital cemetery in England and Wales
  • Osteoarthritis in past populations: risk factors and comparative analysis of clinical diagnoses and treatments (supervised with Julia Beaumont)
  • Roman migration patterns based on skeletal, archaeological, and written evidence
  • An Experimental Examination of the Effectiveness and Development of the Anglesey Leg and an Analysis of Prosthesis during the Long Nineteenth Century (supervised with Caroline Jackson)
Peter Day: Archaeological material culture, ceramics, Aegean archaeology

Research Interests

  • Archaeological material culture
  • The technology of ceramics
  • Ethnographies of craft
  • The archaeology of the Aegean and the application of analytical techniques to the study of ancient materials, notably through ceramic petrography
  • Early Bronze Age I-II Ceramics from Korinthia and the Argolid.
  • Pottery production, consumption and distribution at Heraion on Samos, Greece during the Early Bronze Age (ca. 3200/3000-2000 BC)
  • Pottery production at Phaistos, Mesara from the Final Neolithic to Middle Minoan II.
  • Continuity and change in the ceramic technology of Medieval Sicily
  • The inception and transmission of metallurgy: A regional approach (supervised with Roger Doonan)
  • The Bronze age Metallurgical traditions of Northern Xinjiang, China (supervised with Roger Doonan)
  • Writing artefact biographies: Analyzing the impacts and ramifications of culture contact as interpreted through changing procurement, production, and consumption strategies of copper among the First Nations of the Northwest Coast of North America (supervised with Roger Doonan)

Current & recent PhD supervision

  • Envaluing past practice: metal production in first millennium BC Britain (supervised with Roger Doonan)
  • Ceramic production and exchange in the LHIIIB Saronic Gulf
  • Materialising Identities in the Panhellenic Sanctuary of Nemea
  • Sealstones and sealing systems in Early Minoan Crete (K. Branigan co-supervisor)
  • Provenance and technology of Late Neolithic pottery from Makriyalos
  • Mortuary practices and their importance for the reconstruction of society and life in Prepalatial Crete. (K. Branigan co-supervisor).
  • Ceramic Micropalaeontology: the analysis of microfossils in archaeological ceramics with special reference to its application in the Southern Aegean
  • The Production, Circulation and consumption of ceramic vessels at Early Neolithic Knossos, Crete
  • Rise to the occasion: rethinking the emergence of the ‘Palatial Phenomenon’ in Minoan Crete
  • Middle Minoan Polychrome pottery: production technology, decoration and provenance
  • Early Bronze Age pottery production and consumption in Western Crete
  • Social Arenas in Crete: the Mesara in the Bronze Age.
  • Production and distribution of Classic Maya pottery from Lamanai, Belize
  • Ceramics of the Hanseong Paekche Period, Korea
  • The technology of cooking vessels in the Bronze Age at Akrotiri, Thera. (V. Kilikoglou co-supervisor)
  • Phaistos and the Mesara Plain in the Prepalatial Period
  • Late Neolithic to Early Bronze Age ceramics in North-central Portugal
Roger Doonan: Material culture, experimental archaeology, community archaeology

Research Interests

  • Material Culture Studies
  • Archaeological theory
  • Community archaeology
  • Experimental Archaeology
  • Archaeometallurgy
  • Social theory and technology
  • Craft production in the Mediterranean
  • Aspects of Eurasian Archaeology

Current & recent PhD supervision

  • Material Economies of South Yorkshire in the early first Millennium AD: The organisation of metal production in Roman South Yorkshire
  • The Bronze age Metallurgical traditions of Xinjiang, China
  • Material Culture Studies - The impacts and ramifications of cultural contact as interpreted through changing procurement, production and consumption strategies of copper metal among the First Nations of the Northwest Coast of North America due to European contact.
  • The inception and transmission of metallurgy: A regional approach
  • Mycenaean Ways of War: The Past, Politics and Personhood
  • Byzantine and Ottoman mineral exploration and smelting in Eastern Macedonia, Greece
  • Social Complexity in the Southern Urals during the Middle Bronze Age
  • Locating craft Practice in the British Iron Age
Dawn Hadley: Anglo-Saxon and medieval archaeology, the Vikings, funerary archaeology, the archaeology of childhood

Research Interests

  • The society and culture of Anglo-Saxon and medieval England
  • The impact of the Vikings on Britain
  • The construction of gender, especially masculinity, in Anglo-Saxon and medieval England
  • Funerary archaeology
  • The antiquarian Thomas Bateman (1821-61)
  • The Tudor hunting lodge and working-class community at Sheffield Manor Lodge
  • The archaeology of nineteenth-century working-class communities
  • The archaeology of childhood

Current & recent PhD supervision

  • Profiling the dead: demographic characterisation of mass fatality incidents in the past and the present (funded by a University of Sheffield studentship)
  • Post-depositional treatment of late medieval human remains (funded by a University of Sheffield studentship)
  • Play, Performance and Representation: Entangled Biographies of Medieval Material Culture
  • The medieval hospitals of England and Wales: investigating the archaeology of a forgotten institution (funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council) (first supervisor: Dr Hugh Willmott)
  • Execution practices in Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Norman England (funded by a University of Sheffield studentship) (co-supervised with Dr Charles West, History)
  • The effects of industrialization on the state of health and disease of a Victorian urban population: a case study from St. Hilda’s church, South Shields (Newcastle) (first supervisor: Dr Pia Nystrom)
  • Burial practices and identity in Lombard Italy (funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council) (co-supervised with Prof. John Moreland)
  • Masculinity and medieval dining practices (funded by a Wolfson Scholarship)
Paul Halstead: Neolithic communities in southeast Europe, farming and land use, ethnoarchaeology

Research Interests

  • Neolithic communities in southeast Europe
  • Farming in the prehistoric or classical Mediterranean
  • Ethnoarchaeology of ‘traditional’ land use

Current & recent PhD supervision topics

  • Diet & Management of Ancient Sheep and Goats: the Potential of Dental Microwear
  • Breaking boundaries: Lithic analysis and the characterisation of Later Prehistoric land division on Dartmoor and in East Devon
  • Animals, People & Gods: Domestic, Civic & Sacred Consumption of Livestock in Hellenistic-Late Antique Messenia, Greece
  • The Marketisation of Agriculture: The archaeobotanical evidence for the development of a market economy for arable agricultural and horticultural products in Britain and Central Europe during the Roman and medieval periods
Katie Hemer: Early medieval western Britain, human osteology and funerary archaeology, the archaeology of childhood

Research Interests

  • Early medieval western Britain
  • Bioarchaeology, including stable isotope analysis (diet and population mobility)
  • Early medieval trade and migration
  • The Archaeology of Children and Childhood
  • Human osteology & Palaeopathology
  • Funerary Archaeology
  • Disability and physical impairment in past populations
Caroline Jackson: Material culture, analysis of glass, experimental archaeology

Research Interests

  • Material culture in the Roman and Ancient Egyptian worlds.
  • The technology of glasses
  • The analysis of glasses to explore production and consumption patterns
  • Experimental archaeology
  • Craft production in Egypt
  • Provenance studies

Current & recent PhD supervision

  • The chemistry of medieval beer/ale
  • The compleat metalsmith: Craft and Technology in the British Bronze Age
  • Evaluating the Future for Grey Literature Publications: Is there a Better Way of Creating a Lasting Archaeological Resource for West Yorkshire
  • An investigation of production technologies of Byzantine glazed pottery from Corinth Greece
  • European trade glass beads on Native American sites in Canada
  • Late Romano-British vessel glass: investigating compositional and typological changes to the assemblage in historical context
  • One Foot in the Grave: An Experimental Examination of the Effectiveness and Development of the Anglesey Leg and an Analysis of Prosthesis during the Long Nineteenth Century
  • Cultural and Socio-Economic Interaction Reflected by Glass Beads in Early Iron Age Taiwan
Bob Johnston: Landscape archaeology, Bronze Age archaeology of Britain and Ireland, highlands, uplands and mountains, public archaeology

Research interests

  • Landscape archaeology
  • Bronze Age archaeology of Britain and Ireland
  • Social and cultural aspects of later prehistoric agriculture
  • The archaeology of highlands, uplands and mountains
  • Theoretical approaches to human-environment relations
  • Community and public archaeology

Current & recent PhD supervision

  • A landscape and contextual study of Bronze Age metalwork deposition in northern England
  • A multi-proxy investigation of Late Holocene coastal landscapes in North Wales: modelling impacts of past and future climate change
  • Snowdonia's Early Fieldscapes
  • Prehistoric field systems in West Estonia – sustainability and human-environment relations during 1200 BC - AD 1200
  • Perceptions of rural cultural heritage and the formation of militarised landscapes
  • Archaeology as therapeutic practice: a narrative investigation
  • Evaluating the Future for Grey Literature Publications: Creating a Lasting Archaeological Resource
Kevin Kuykendall: hominid fossil record, origin and evolution of Homo sapiens

Research interests

  • Plio-Pleistocene hominid fossil site survey and excavation
  • Evolution of early hominid life history
  • The origin and evolution of Homo sapiens in Africa
  • Evolution and variation of the paranasal sinuses in primates

Current & recent PhD supervision

  • Refining locomotory style in the fossil record through the use of muscle attachment sites, pelvic proportions and 3D morphometrics in extant and fossil species.  Second supervisor: Pia Nystrom
  • The application of primate life history models to life history reconstruction in Homo erectus. Second supervisor: Sue Sherratt
  • The perennial or occasional ‘Nutcracker Man’? Does dietary adaptation explain the derived craniofacial morphology of Paranthropus? Second supervisor: Pia Nystrom
  • The implication of a grasping hallux for structure and function of the lower limb of early hominids and evolution of bipedalism, University of Sheffield. Second supervisor: Pia Nystrom
John Moreland: Writing and images in medieval and early modern societies, Sheffield and its region in the Middle Ages

Research interests

  • The use of writing in Antiquity and the Middle Ages – as a technology of control, a vehicle for resistance, and as a means of communicating with the supernatural
  • The role of images (particularly the Cross) in medieval and early modern societies
  • The transition from late Antiquity to the middle ages in Europe (particularly in the Britain and the Mediterranean)
  • The archaeology of the Reformation
  • The archaeology and history of South Yorkshire from Antiquity to the Reformation

Current & recent PhD supervision

  • Burial practices and identity in Lombard Italy (funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council)
Pia Nystrom: Human osteology, anatomy, diet, growth and development

Research interests

  • Examination of skeletal pathology in non-human primates using standards developed for the human species, examining the influence of age, sex, positional behaviour, and captivity. The aim is to establish if non-human primates suffer from the same range of skeletal pathologies as frequently noted in extant, historic and prehistoric human populations
  • Reconstruction of diet in past societies, especially on an individual level, and how diet impact on individual health, wealth and position within a population
  • The position of children in past societies, their health and well-being and how well integrated they were within the adult social world
  • Growth and development, especially from a comparative primate perspective
  • Skeletal pathology in non-human primates especially as it pertains to degenerative disease
Jane Rempel: Mediterranean archaeology, funerary archaeology, ethnicity & identity, the Black Sea

Research interests

  • Territorial expansion and rural landscape in the Bosporan kingdom
  • Monumental burial traditions in the Aegean and Black Sea in the fourth century BC
  • Mounded burial and mortuary landscapes in the ancient world
  • Funerary commemoration and social connections in the northern Black Sea region
  • Greek colonisation
  • Greek ethnicity and identity
  • The Hellenistic East
  • Funerary commemoration in the Greek world
  • The Black Sea in the Classical and Hellenistic periods

Current & recent PhD supervision

  • Archaeology of Identity: (Un) Dressing the female 'other' in Classical Greek Art
  • Animals, People & Gods: Domestic, Civic & Sacred Consumption of Livestock in Hellenistic-Late Antique Messenia, Greece (co-supervised with Paul Halstead)
  • Marble figurines of the 3rd Millennium BC Aegean and south-west Anatolia (co-supervised with Sue Sherratt)
  • Non-citizen commemoration in Classical Athens
Sue Sherratt: The Aegean, Cyprus and Mediterranean

Research interests

  • The Bronze and Early Iron Ages of the Aegean, Cyprus and the wider eastern Mediterranean, particularly in all aspects of trade and interaction within and beyond these regions
  • Exploring the ways in which the Homeric epics and the archaeological record can most usefully be combined

Current & recent PhD supervision

  • The iconography of decorated larnakes pertaining to the late Bronze Age, originating from Crete
  • Marble figurines of the 3rd Millennium BC Aegean and south-west Anatolia
  • Tying the threads of Eurasia: trans-regional routes in eastern Anatolia and western Central Asia, 3000-1500 BC
  • Cultural dynamics in Ionia at the end of the second millennium BCE: new archaeological perspectives and prospects
Hugh Willmott: Medieval and early modern Europe, archaeology of monasticism

Research interests

  • The medieval and early modern periods in Europe, and the archaeology of monasticism in particular
  • Exploring the archaeology of the Dissolution of the Monasteries in England, although other aspects of his work include the examination of early medieval industrial processes and the evolution of early monastic settlement in Lincolnshire

Current & recent PhD supervision

  • An archaeological study of the medieval Charterhouses of the English Province (WRoCAH)
  • The application of structure-from-motion 3D modeling in material culture studies (Transforming Research Methods in the Humanities Award)
  • Christian and Muslim interactions in the post-medieval Adriatic: an examination of cultural and economic exchange through the analysis of shipwreck assemblages (UoS Studentship)
  • An archaeological and osteological investigation of the medieval hospital cemetery in England and Wales (WRCoAH)
  • The Medieval Hospitals of England and Wales: investigating the archaeology of a forgotten institution (AHRC)
  • The social and economic role of freshwater fish in medieval England (WRCoAH)
  • Leather and Life: Objects and their Actors in Early Modern England (WRoCAH) (Co-supervised with Prof. Karen Harvey, Dept. History, University of Sheffield)
  • An Archaeological Study of the Monastic Order of the Gilbertines
  • The social role of material culture in Civil War period castles (2013)
  • Dress accessories in England AD 1200-1500, an archaeological study of consumption (2014)
  • The material culture of drinking in the 17th-century Dutch Republic (2014)
  • Book fittings and fixtures: an archaeology of medieval literacy (2016)
  • Ritual practices and special deposits in vernacular housing of the post-medieval period (2014)
  • The material environment and the formulation of social identity amongst Huguenot communities in London (2011)
  • The neglected goat: a methodological approach to the understanding of the role of this species in English medieval husbandry (2016)
  • Maiolica and the construction of ideologies in New Spain (2015)