Landscape and Environment
Dr Andrew Hoaen is an environmental archaeologist with a long interest in human interaction with the environment. He currently has several research projects that address this theme, including The Archaeology of Nature Reserves in Worcestershire. Recently, he started to investigate the neglected topic of trees as an integral part of the historic environment and as part of this is researching both veteran trees and ancient woodland in the Forest of Dean and the iconic Cumbrian Borrowdale Yews, made famous by Wordsworth. He is also investigating the concept of the wild in an archaeological context.
Dr Andrew Hoaen and Dr Helen Loney also work together on The Matterdale Project, a multi-period investigation of an upland landscape in the Lake District and its connections with other parts of Northern Britain.
Dr Caroline Rosen has recently completed a PhD on the use of Mesolithic caves in south-west Britain. Her research considers the cave as an active agent of the landscape and relates the properties of individual cave sites both to the wider landscape and the activities happening within. Dr Rosen particular interests are in the conceptualisation and use of karst landscapes during the Upper Palaeolithic and Mesolithic periods.
The properties of karst landscapes appear also in Dr Jodie Lewis’ research, with a focus on the Mesolithic to the Bronze Age periods on the Mendip Hills, Somerset. She is currently investigating the prehistoric use of sinkholes on the Mendip plateau; the relationship between dry valleys and round barrows and the properties of tufa springs and their place in Mesolithic cosmologies. This current research includes bringing to publication the excavation of a Mesolithic site at a tufa spring near Midsomer Norton, Somerset; five round barrows on the Mendip plateau (excavated with Dr David Mullin) and deposition within Brimble Pit Swallet, Mendip.
The real and conceptual nature of borders and borderlands is central to much of Dr David Mullin's research. His work on the Anglo-Welsh border in prehistory has led him to investigate the particular properties of this landscape and how social practice may have both reinforced and rejected the concept of the border according to particular (pre)historic contingencies. His research is multidisciplinary, combining archaeological, anthropological and geographical approaches to border studies.
Dr Neal Johnson employs a landscape approach in his research and is particularly interested in using new technologies to record and interrogate archaeological sites and landscapes. His recent study of round barrows and cairns in the diverse Welsh border landscape used a multi-scaler approach combined with geophysical survey and GIS analysis to bring a new understanding to this important though often neglected region.
Research student Jack Rowe (supervised by Dr Jodie Lewis) is studying how people may have moved around and between upland and lowland landscapes during the Neolithic, with a geographical focus on the Somerset Levels and Mendip plateau.