Designed by Francis and Jessica Wenban-Smith

Personal profile

Current position
I have recently been appointed Principal Research Fellow in the Archaeology Department, University of Southampton, leading the Medway Valley Palaeolithic Project, funded by the Aggregates Levy through English Heritage. I am also involved in a number of other Aggregates Levy projects, and as a consultant for numerous desk-based and field investigations in advance of development (see Current projects)

Academic background

BA Archaeology (1985) Institute of Archaeology University of London
MA Lithic Analysis and Microwear (1988) University College London
PhD Palaeolithic Archaeology of Baker's Hole (1996) University of Southampton

Recent employment
Following completion of my PhD in the mid-1990s I worked at Boxgrove (West Sussex) as senior supervisor and post-excavation lithics specialist on the hominid excavation project. Following this adventure, I returned to do research at Southampton in 1998, holding a series of post-doc research fellowships, working on first Red Barns (Hants), and then Priory Bay (Isle of Wight). Most recently I have been working on two other Aggregates Levy funded projects, the Stopes Palaeolithic Project and Palaeolithic Archaeology of the Sussex/Hampshire Coastal Corridor (see Previous projects)

Alongside these, I have continued my involvement in development archaeology, working, amongst many others, on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link at Baker's Hole (Kent), the Swan Valley School in Swanscombe (Kent), the newly discovered late Acheulian handaxe-manufacturing site at Harnham (Wilts) and Clactonian elephant butchery site in the Ebbsfleet Valley, Kent (see Current projects)

Previous experience
First excavation experience was at the Mesolithic site of Seamer Carr (North Yorkshire) in 1981. Since then I have worked on many Palaeolithic and Mesolithic sites including Boxgrove, Barnham, Swanscombe, Red Barns, Bakers Hole, Priory Bay, Klithi (Greece), Hermies (France), Bowman's Farm and Star Carr (see Previous projects). I have also served time on recent sites, such as Neolithic and Medieval (see Early field experience).

Research interests
Flint-knapping and experimental archaeology
Pleistocene geology
Kent Lower Palaeolithic
Kent Middle Palaeolithic
Levalloisian occupation in Britain
Lower/Middle Palaeolithic of the Solent region
Neanderthal behaviour and cognition
Archaic cognition, handaxe typology and raw material
Palaeolithic site formation processes
Lithic artefacts
Methods and strategies for Palaeolithic field evaluation.