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The University of Southampton
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Dr Elaine Morris 

Visiting Fellow

Dr Elaine Morris's photo

Dr Elaine Morris is a Visiting Fellow in Archaeology at the University of Southampton.

I received my BA in Anthropology and Archaeology from Cornell University and my PhD on salt and ceramic exchange in western Britain during the first millennium BC from the University of Southampton (supervisor, Prof. David Peacock).  My earlier professional work was focussed on the analysis of post-Roman pottery from rescue excavations in Shropshire, Staffordshire and Worcestershire for the West Midlands Rescue Archaeology Committee. Subsequently I worked as a self-employed post-excavation and prehistoric pottery specialist and then Finds Manager for Wessex Archaeology from 1985-1993.  I managed the Later Prehistoric Pottery Collections Gazetteer, a database register and bibliography of later prehistoric pottery collections in England, funded by English Heritage which is available for access via the Archaeological Data Service (ADS).

I am co-founder, past Chair, and Committee Member of the Prehistoric Ceramics Research Group.

Research interests

My interests lie in the study of ceramics, in particular pottery, briquetage (salt production) and fired clay objects, and what analysis can reveal about the technological and social history of the people who made and used them.  I specialise in the production, distribution and use of later prehistoric ceramics in Britain, as well as prehistoric pottery in the Caribbean.  I use ceramic petrography to investigate the character of ceramic fabrics and identify inclusions as a scientific method to provenance vessels and objects. 

I am currently immersed in the analysis of pottery assemblage from a midden-rich prehistoric site and four assemblages of handmade, coarseware Afro-Caribbean pottery from historical period sites all excavated on the island of Nevis as part of the Nevis Heritage Project. With regard to archaeological science, I have initiated research in collaboration with Dr Rex Taylor (Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanographic Centre) to explore the potential for using ICP-MS and Pb-isotope analysis to identify the changing modes of production for Afro-Caribbean pottery over the past 350 years through characterisation of rocks, clays and pottery fabrics from Nevis.  Recently, I have been invited to analyse assemblages of coarseware, historical period creole pottery recovered from sites in Cape Verde for colleagues at Cambridge University.

Research group

Southampton Ceramics Research Group

Affiliate research group

Centre for Applied Archaeological Analyses

Research project(s)

NEVIS heritage project

In 1995, the Government of St Kitts-Nevis in the Leeward Islands announced that it would begin to develop the Newcastle Airport on Nevis in response to demand from increasing tourism and general economic growth in the Caribbean.

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Book Chapters

  • Morris, E. (2012). Briquetage. In T. Allen, M. Donnelly, A. Hardy, C. Hayden, & K. Powell (Eds.), A Road Through The Past: Archaeological Discoveries on the A2 Pepperhill to Cobham Road-Scheme in Kent (pp. 228-245). (OA Monograph; No. 16). Oxford Archaeology.
  • Morris, E. L. (2010). Cheshire salt containers. In R. A. Philpott, & M. H. Adams (Eds.), Irby, Wirral Excavations on a Late Prehistoric, Romano-British and Medieval Site, 1987-96 (pp. 122-124). National Museums Liverpool.
  • Morris, E. L. (2009). The prehistoric pottery, the clay weights, the briquetage. In A. Richmond, & G. Coates (Eds.), Archaeological Excavations at Pode Hole Quarry: Bronze Age Occupation on the Cambridgeshire Fen-edge (pp. 59-82). (BAR British Series; No. 484). Archaeopress.
  • Morris, E. (2004). Later prehistoric pottery. In Green Park (Reading Business Park) Phase 2 Excavations 1995: Neolithic and Bronze Age sites (pp. 58-91). (Thames Valley Landscapes Monograph; Vol. 19). Oxford Archaeology.
  • Morris, E. (2002). Staying Alive: The function and use of prehistoric ceramics. In A. Woodward, & J. D. Hill (Eds.), Prehistoric Britain: The Ceramic Basis (pp. 54-61). Oxbow Books Limited.


  • Morris, E., & Zakrzewski, S. R. (2007). Unusual neck pathology in a Nevisian prehistoric individual. In S. Zakrzewski, & W. White (Eds.), Proceedings of the Seventh Annual Conference of the British Association for Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology (pp. 43-48). (British Archaeological Reports International Series; No. 1712). Archaeopress.
Dr Elaine Morris
Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Southampton
Avenue Campus, Highfield
SO17 1BF
United Kingdom

Room Number : 65/3025

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