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ArchaeologyPart of Humanities

Dr Stephanie L Blankshein 

Research Fellow

Dr Stephanie L Blankshein's photo

Dr Stephanie L. Blankshein is a Research Fellow in Archaeology at the University of Southampton.

I am a prehistoric maritime archaeologist specialising in the computational analysis of archaeological and environmental datasets as well as the digital recording, processing and dissemination of sites and artefacts.

I currently work on the AHRC-funded Islands of Stone project aimed at investigating Neolithic crannogs in the Outer Hebrides. I have also been fortunate enough to work on terrestrial and underwater excavation and survey projects in Spain, Bulgaria, Hungary, Scotland and England as well as an EU-funded capacity building project in Egypt. I am also passionate about education and learning and have taught on a range of UG and PGT modules at the University of Southampton, focusing on terrestrial and underwater survey and excavation techniques as well as field school supervision.

Additional qualifications include an MSc in Maritime Archaeology and an MFA in Historic Preservation as well as PADI recreational, HSE commercial and BSAC Assistant Instructor scuba diving certifications.

Research interests

My research interests are focused on exploring the nature of prehistoric seafaring through innovative digital methodologies with a strong emphasis on the integration of terrestrial and maritime/underwater datasets.

My doctoral thesis explored the nature of movement and connectivity in the Outer Hebrides during the Neolithic. Methodologies included the creation of palaeogeographic reconstructions and the use of palaeotidal models in order to computationally model terrestrial and maritime movement through a least-cost approach. These models were then analysed alongside a spatial and statistical analysis of the Neolithic archaeological record in order to understand how movement may have contributed to the creation of a unique Hebridean identity during the Neolithic.

Prior to my PhD thesis, my MSc dissertation sought to explore the maritime aspects of Iron Age communities in the Outer Hebrides. My research included the creation of palaeogeographic reconstructions, topographic prominence indices and landcover classifications before conducting a visibility analysis to and from Iron Age roundhouses. This dissertation was subsequently awarded the 2014-2015 Royal Archaeological Institute’s Master’s Dissertation Prize.

Although my research has thus far been focused on maritime aspects of culture in the Outer Hebrides, it is encompassed within a broader interest in the transmission and maintenance of a unique ‘Atlantic’ identity along the Atlantic façade of prehistoric Europe beginning with the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition. I am keen to explore these concepts further through innovative and interdisciplinary methodologies and welcome any collaboration with others wishing to do the same.

Research project

Islands of Stone

This AHRC-funded project is aimed at investigating Neolithic crannogs in the Outer Hebrides, with methodologies including GIS-based assessment, terrestrial and underwater excavation, paleoenvironmental work, geophysical and photogrammetric survey and machine learning along with the creation of an augmented reality application and pop-up exhibitions for community engagement.


Research group

Centre for Maritime Archaeology

Dr Stephanie L Blankshein
Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Southampton
Avenue Campus, Highfield
SO17 1BF
United Kingdom

Room Number : 65A/3057

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