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The University of Southampton
Humanities Graduate School

Peter Bye Jensen

The last 14 years archaeology has been a great part of my academic and professional life. I started out excavating in the trenches as field archaeologist and continued to work almost full-time alongside my studies in prehistoric archaeology at Aarhus University in Denmark. This gave me a professional network via cooperation with colleagues from many different museums and university’s.

Peter Bye Jensen

The combination of studying prehistoric archaeology academically and excavating the real thing was what opened my eyes to functional analysis of flint artefacts, also called use-wear analysis.
The subject for my MA was a thematic use-wear analysis of tanged arrowheads from the mid-neolithic. The subject was chosen from my  passion for both the neolithic as a prehistoric period and flint artefacts. Since then I have done experimental based use-wear analysis and some commissioned use-wear analysis alongside my permanent contract as field archaeologist.

My research concerns the early neolithic monuments called causewayed enclosures. Causewayed enclosures are some of the most significant monuments in the British Early Neolithic, with a distribution focused mainly in southern England. A recent programme of radiocarbon dating has refined our understanding of the chronology of this important class of monuments, many sites having relatively restricted periods of use. However the precise character of the activities that occur at these is still unclear; are these sites gathering places, mortuary sites, stock enclosures or defensive structures? My thesis will focus on microwear analysis of the flint assemblages from the primary phases of a number of well excavated sites in southern England (including sites like Hambledon Hill, Windmill Hill, Hembury, Carn Brea, Etton and Haddenham) as a way of characterising activities at these sites. In addition to the comparison of sites across southern England the British sites will also be compared to the well-excavated site of Sarup on Fyn, Denmark.
A use wear analysis of these artefacts would contribute to the understanding of the artefacts and their use in connection with the occupation of causewayed enclosures and associated structures such as long barrows and megalithic tombs.
The interpretation of the use of flint artefacts from these places would significantly add to our understanding, not only of British causewayed enclosures, but also of causewayed enclosures on a European scale.

Key facts

Peter is supervised by Dr Andy M. Jones (Southampton), Mr Joshua Pollard (Southampton), and Prof Alasdair Whittle (Cardiff).

Email Peter here.

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