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ArchaeologyPart of Humanities
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Dr Fraser Sturt 

Professor, Director of Programmes

Dr Fraser Sturt's photo

Dr Fraser Sturt is a Professor of Archaeology at the University of Southampton.

I am a specialist in maritime prehistory and geoarchaeology who has been lucky enough to work on projects both on land and underwater across the globe: from survey and excavation in South, Central and North America, through to diver and ROV work in Europe.  Over the last five years my research interests have seen me work on a variety of Research Council funded projects whilst also developing close collaborative links with offshore industries.  I am a member of the Computational Modelling and the Sustainability Science Research Groups.  In addition, whilst the majority of my teaching is carried out in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities I also contribute to modules in the school of ocean and earth sciences, as well as broader university-wide multidisciplinary programmes.

Research interests

My research interests include Holocene palaeoenvironmental and palaeo-oceanographic change, integration of geophysical and geotechnical data to model prehistoric landscapes, prehistoric seafaring, and understanding the changing relationships between people, land and sea throughout prehistory. In particular I work on acquisition and integration of diverse datasets through use of advanced computational systems; from data capture in the field through to modelling in the laboratory. Within all of this work my interest remains focused on what the products of these methods offer us in terms of improving our understanding of past societies.

Research group

Centre for Maritime Archaeology

Affiliate research groups

Archaeological Computing, Southampton Ceramics Research Group, Human Evolution, Chronology, Dispersals and Lifeways, Maritime Archaeology, Prehistoric Landscapes, Monuments and Materialities

Research project(s)

Stepping Stones to the Neolithic

The Stepping Stones project, directed by Duncan Garrow (University of Liverpool) and Fraser Sturt (University of Southampton), aims to answer important research questions about the arrival of the Neolithic in and around Britain and Ireland c. 4000 BC.

Submerged Neolithic of the Western Isles

This project seeks to resolve the context, nature and significance of a number of recent spectacular underwater discoveries of complete and near complete Neolithic (c.4000-2500BC) pottery vessels from lochs in Lewis, Outer Hebrides. Their submerged contexts have led to an exceptional degree of preservation, allowing both radiocarbon dating and potential residue analysis. While significant in their own right, these finds are more exceptional for the questions they raise, and the potential they indicate for the islands’ lochs to transform our understanding of the Neolithic.

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Book Chapters


Journal Special Issue


PhD Supervision

I am always interested to hear from potential PhD students wanting to engage with topics to do with: maritime prehistory, geoarchaeology, environmental archaeology or innovative use of computational approaches to archaeology (including GIS, modelling techniques and data capture).

I currently supervise PhDs on the following topics

  • Holocene environmental change and its impact of past societies
  • Submerged Palaeolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic archaeology
  • Prehistoric artefact analysis
  • Maritime technology and innovation
  • Marine site formation processes
  • Geographical information system based modelling of past hunter-gather activity
Dr Fraser Sturt
Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Southampton
Avenue Campus, Highfield
SO17 1BF
United Kingdom

Room Number : 65A/2225

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