Dr R Helen Farr
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Dr R Helen Farr is a SMMI Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of Southampton.
I am a maritime archaeologist with a focus on prehistoric submerged landscapes and early seafaring. I completed my PhD at Cambridge University studying Mediterranean obsidian circulation and maritime travel in the Neolithic. This research led into a post-doctoral position at Cambridge University and a fellowship within the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research. During this time I developed an interest in prehistoric submerged landscapes and worked on a project in Calabria, southern Italy. In 2009 I was awarded a three year Leverhulme early career fellowship to work at Southampton University studying the prehistoric submerged landscapes of the Solent and the dynamic relationship between people and their changing environment as sea-levels rose during the Holocene. This fellowship led into an interdisciplinary lectureship within the newly formed Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute where I am currently based in Archaeology with an affiliation to Ocean and Earth Science.
I am especially interested in prehistoric island colonisation in relation to the development of early seafaring. My doctoral research used a combination of obsidian analysis and palaeo-environmental modelling to discuss prehistoric seafaring and the obsidian trade as socially embedded systems of knowledge and practice in the central Mediterranean during the Neolithic period. This work has developed to focus on the social implications of seafaring, navigation, boat technology and the maritime environment more generally across the Mediterranean and into the Indian Ocean where I have been working on the island of Mauritius. I am an HSE commercial diver and currently hold the position of Reviews Editor for the Journal of Maritime Archaeology and am a UK delegate for SPLASHCOS.