Details of our current projects can be found below.
This collaboration with colleagues from Slovenia, Croatia and France, led by Professor Ian Armit, investigates the nature of Iron Age cultural identities at ‘gate-way’ regions, lying between the social worlds of the Mediterranean and temperate Europe. Initial networking grants were provided by HERA, and further developments are planned.
A four year project (2008-12) to publish the major 1970s excavations at Broxmouth hillfort, East Lothian, has been funded by Historic Scotland, and by AHRC through their Collaborative Doctoral Award scheme, which provides three PhD researchers (Mhairi Maxwell, Rachael Reader and Lindsey Büster) funded through the AHRC’s Collaborative Doctoral Award scheme.
The Northern Isles of Orkney and Shetland contain settlement foci of long duration which, due to ash midden curation and phases of rebuilding, have resulted in multi period settlement mounds.
Many of these sites are occupied by present day farms, giving rise to the term "farm mound". These sites may span periods of either natural or cultural change. These long sequences provide the opportunity to examine past strategies of resilience and sustainability enabling us to identify adaptive responses to these events together with evidence for continuity and change.
The Gateway to the Atlantic is a new (Bradford led) international research initiative (run as a Global Human Ecodynamics Alliance (GHEA) project) focussing on the human exploitation of the island of Rousay from the Neolithic to the modern day. Research is currently focussing on two sites which have their origins in the Iron Age and contain long sequences of occupation both of which are suffering from coastal erosion. These two multi period mounds Brough (South Howe) and Swandro are providing compatible data sets that can be examined within the context of the known archaeological record and new information obtained by strategic sampling and survey.
Since 2003, excavation and survey at High Pasture Cave, Isle of Skye, Scotland, has uncovered a fascinating range of Late Bronze to Iron Age structures and deposits indicating a unique and intensively used ritual site.
Directed by Steven Birch of West Coast Archaeological Services, this is a site of international importance. A major feature of the High Pasture site are the deeply stratified occupation deposits which surround the Cave itself, rich in bones and fuels, interspersed with hearth structures - the physical debris connected to ritual activity within the cave itself.
Dr Jo McKenzie is directing an integrated programme of soil micromorphological and geoarchaeological analysis focusing on understanding the ritual activity at the Cave through analysis of these soils and the materials contained within, and is a key member of the High Pasture Cave post-excavation collaborative team.
Since 2007, Bradford archaeologists directed by Professor Ian Armit have been working on a programme of collaborative fieldwork examining the societal and landscape context of hillfort development in the southern French Iron Age.
So far, this has included geophysical prospection and topographic survey, with Dr Chris Gaffney, at the iconic site of Entremont, near Aix-en-Provence (funded by the Society of Antiquaries), in collaboration with Dr Patrice Arcelin of CNRS, the oppidum of Le Castellan and open site of Vigne Gaste, Istres (British Academy), in collaboration with Dr Frédéric Marty of the Musée d’Istres, and a programme of archaeomagnetic dating on the oppidum of Verduron, Marseille (Nuffield Foundation) in collaboration with Dr Loup Bernard of the University of Strasbourg.
A collaboration between the University of Bradford and Dr Henri Tréziny, CNRS, has recently begun at the Greek colony of Megara Hyblaea in Sicily.
The Bradford part of the project is directed by Professor Ian Armit and Dr Chris Gaffney. The project aims to examine the emerging urbanism of the earliest Greek colonial settlements. An initial season of geophysical survey was undertaken in November 2011 and further work is planned in 2012.
This collaborative project is directed by Professor Ian Armit with palaeo-climatologist Dr Graeme Swindles (University of Leeds) and managed by post-doctoral researcher, Dr Katharina Becker, formerly of University College Dublin.
It examines the changing picture of the Irish Iron Age made possible by 20 years of development-led archaeology, and examines cultural and demographic shifts during the 1st millennia BC and AD in relation to changes in the palaeoenvironmental record. Funding has been made available through a British Academy BARDA grant.
This project is currently in the last stages of preparation for publication and has produced exciting new insights into Iron Age society and how this developed from the Middle Iron Age through into the Late Iron Age (Pictish period). An important cultural change occurs in the late 9th century AD with the arrival of the Vikings. The evidence for change is very strong, suggesting an almost complete Scandinavian identity being stamped on the site.
The site spans over two millennia from circa 400BC to the early 20th century and has transformed our understanding of people living in a marginal location and how they responded to changes in environment and climate over time. The site has now been consolidated and is open to the public, with a visitors centre and tour guides.
Beginning in summer 2012, a major new project will undertake analysis and publication of the large scale excavations at Wetwang/Garton Slack, East Yorkshire, carried out from the 1960s to 1980s By Tony Brewster and John Dent.
Wetwang Slack contains Britain’s largest Iron Age cemetery, set within a densely settled landscape of roundhouses and enclosures. Stage 1 of the project is directed by Professor Ian Armit and managed by Rachael Kershaw. Landscape analysis is being undertaken by PhD researcher Emily Fioccoprile.