I am an archaeologist who spent over 20 years working in cultural heritage — mainly for Historic Scotland — before returning to academia. Graduating from University College London with a degree in Medieval Archaeology, I completed my PhD at the University of Glasgow. Before joining Stirling in 2014, I was an archaeology lecturer at Glasgow and Aberdeen universities.
My research is interdisciplinary in nature, cutting across cultural heritage management, archaeology, history, art history and museology. Reflecting my background, I aim to make a difference on the ground and to curatorial practices. Particular interests include:
- understanding value, significance and authenticity
- historiography of cultural heritage
- biographical approaches to material culture
- Picts and their northern European early medieval neighbours
- understanding, protection, conservation, display and interpretation of carved stones (notably prehistoric rock art, early medieval sculpture, graveyards and gravestones).
My current research focuses on:
My publications range from academic articles and edited volumes to semi-popular books — the bestseller Picts, Gaels and Scots is now in its third edition (2014) — and guidebooks, such as Maes Howe and the Heart of Neolithic Orkney (an updated edition, co-authored with Rachel Pickering, published in 2017).
My external duties include Chairing the National Committee on Carved Stones in Scotland. For three years until 2016 I was Secretary of the Medieval Europe Research Committee. For six years until 2012, I was the Hon. Editor of the international journal Medieval Archaeology. I am a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and the Society of Antiquaries of London, and a Member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists.
See my publications here.
My projects: Multiplying Lives, , ECCLES and Future Thinking on Carved Stones in Scotland
Telephone +44(0)1786 467571