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Prof Peter Rowley-Conwy, MA, PhD
Department of Archaeology
- Bioarchaeology Research Group
- Prehistory of Eurasia Research Group
Department of Archaeology
- Agriculture at Qasr Ibrim, Nubia, 1000 BC - AD 1800
- Experimental archaeobotany and geoarchaeology
- Mesolithic Denmark and southern Sweden
- Origins and Spread of Agriculture
- Earlier 19th century Scandinavian archaeology
- Eurasian mammal bones, especially pigs, and agricultural plants from archaeological sites
- Hunter-gatherers, origins of agriculture, early agriculture
Peter Rowley-Conwy likes animal bones, plant remains, hunter-gatherers and early agriculturalists, and the history of archaeology.
He is particularly keen on pigs, and in recent years has had two major research awards to examine pig archaeology. One from the AHRB brought UMBERTO ALBARELLA to Durham for four years to study pig domestication and management in various parts of the world (Umberto has now moved on to a position in the Department of Archaeology and Prehistry at Sheffield University). The other involved sponsoring the three-year Wellcome Research Fellowship of Dr. KEITH DOBNEY. On completion Keith got further Wellcome support and is still in Durham. The presence of these serious pig fanciers turned Durham into a major centre of porcine excellence. PR-C's own pig research involves determining the season of hunting by looking at tooth eruption and bone growth, and the detection of domestication. He is at the moment heavily involved in two areas: the Baltic, including the major sites of Ringkloster (Denmark) and Ajvide (on the Swedish island of Gotland); and the Russian Far East, including the major sites of Peschany 1 and Zaisanovka 2 (near Vladivostok). He has numerous publications out an in press on pigs and associated subjects.
While pigs are his first love, PR-C also turns his hand to other species when required. He has a long background in zooarchaeology, and has done a lot of work on animal bones in various parts of the world, species including horse, various deer species, and sheep (no jokes about his Welsh ancestry please). He has also edited a major volume containing a series of papers by animal bone specialists from around the world.
While fascinating in their own right, animal bones are really a means to a greater end: the reconstruction of past societies and ways of life. Reconstruction of hunter-gatherer settlement patterns is a major goal of his research, because this can make a major contribution to understanding wider aspects of prehistoric societies. He has worked on the mesolithic of Denmark and southern Sweden, and is currently writing a book on the South Scandinavian mesolithic. he has also worked on the Muge and Sado shell middens in Portugal, and is involed in the current investigations by the Vale of Pickering Research Trust near the world-famous site of Star Carr. His interest in this field is taken further in a lecture course, Hunters and Gatherers Past and Present, which he teaches together with PROFESSOR ROBERT LAYTON (Department of Anthropology, University of Durham).
He is also very interested in the origins and spread of agriculture, and has worked in various areas of Europe and the Near East. Faunal assemblages he has examined include those from Tell Abu Hureyra (Syria) and Arene Candide (Italy), both of which have provided long and detailed sequences. This is part of a more general consideration of the nature of the spread of agriculture, the social changes which accompany it, and the speed of the change itself. He usually finds himself opposed to the post-processual orthodox view of long-term hunter-gatherer intensification followed by a neolithic still based mainly on hunting and gathering. A major paper on this subject can be found in Current Anthropology 45, for 2004.
One aspect of agricultural spread concerns the pollen evidence for the earliest cultivation in Northwest Europe. He has recently completed a two-year project funded by the Leverhulme Trust (co-applicant Dr. Jeff Blackford) , in which JIM INNES looked at the ecological contexts of the earliest cereal pollen grains in a variety of NW European sites.
He also studies prehistoric crop plants, in particular from the major stratified site of Qasr Ibrim in Egyptian Nubia. The plant remains from this site are superbly preserved in the extreme desert environment; in collaboration with DR. CHARLES SHAW (Department of Biological Sciences, University of Durham), ancient DNA has been extracted from the sorghum remains and has cast much light on the history of this major crop plant. This has been followed up by a three-year NERC-funded project to analyse the Qasr Ibrim material fully. ALAN CLAPHAM has recently completed this work, which is now being written up for final publication in book form.
Finally, PR-C is also actively studying the history of archaeology. He is completing a book entitled From Genesis to the Stone Age: the Archaeological Three Age System and its contested Reception in the British Isles, due to go to press in 2006. He is also working on a longer-term project on the Three Age System in Scandinavia. This involves the translation of the major works by the four main protagonists, C.J. Thomsen, Sven Nilsson, J.J.S. Steenstrup, and J.J.A. Worsaae (PR-C is half-Danish and is fluent in that language); the teasing out of the multifarious intellectual currents that led up to their publications in the years 1836-43; and its impact on archaeology after that.
- Rowley-Conwy, P. (2007). From Genesis to Prehistory. The archaeological Three Age System and its contested reception in Denmark, Britain and Ireland. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Albarella, U., Dobney, K., Ervynck, A. & Rowley-Conwy, P. (2007). Pigs and Humans: 10,000 Years of Interaction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Panter-Brick, C., Layton, R.H. & Rowley-Conwy, P. (2001). Hunter-Gatherers: an Interdisciplinary Perspective. Biosocial Society Symposium 13. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Rowley-Conwy, P A , Gourichon, L, Helmer, D & Vigne, J-D (2013). Early Domestic Animals in Italy, Istria, the Tyrrhenian Islands, and Southern France. In The Origins and Spread of Domestic Animals in Southwest Asia and Europe. Sue Colledge James Conolly Keith Dobney Katie Manning & Stephen Shennan Left Coast Press. 161-194.
- Rowley-Conwy, PA (2013). North of the Frontier: Early Domestic Animals in Northern Europe. In The Origins and Spread of Domestic Animals in Southwest Asia and Europe. Sue Colledge James Conolly Keith Dobney Katie Manning & Stephen Shennan Left Coast Press.
- Wilkie, T., Mainland, I., Albarella, U., Dobney K. & Rowley-Conwy, P. (2007). A dental microwear study of pig diet and management in Iron Age, Romano-British, Anglo-Scandinavian and medieval contexts in England. In Pigs and Humans: 10,000 Years of Interaction. Albarella, U., Dobney, K., Ervynck, A. & Rowley-Conwy, P. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 241-254.
- Larson, G., Albarella, U., Dobney, K. & Rowley-Conwy, P. (2007). Current views on Sus phylogeography and pig domestication as seen through modern mtDNA studies. In Pigs and Humans: 10,000 Years of Interaction. Albarella, U., Dobney, K., Ervynck, A. & Rowley-Conwy, P. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 30-41.
- Albarella, U., Manconi, F., Vigne, J-D. & Rowley-Conwy, P. (2007). Ethnoarchaeology of pig husbandry in Sardinia and Corsica. In Pigs and Humans: 10,000 Years of Interaction. Albarella, A., Dobney, K., Ervynck, A. & Rowley-Conwy, P. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 285-307.
- Albarella, A., Dobney, K., Ervynck, A. & Rowley-Conwy, P. (2007). Introduction. In Pigs and Humans: 10,000 Years of Interaction. Albarella, A., Dobney, K., Ervynck, A. & Rowley-Conwy, P. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1-12.
- Jones, G. & Rowley-Conwy, P. (2007). On the importance of cereal cultivation in the British Neolithic. In The Origins and Spread of Domestic Plants in Southwest Asia and Europe. Colledge, S. & Conolly, J. Walnut Creek, California: Left Coast Press. 391-419.
- Lubell, D., Jackes, M., Sheppard, P. & Rowley-Conwy, P. (2007). The Mesolithic-Neolithic in the Alentejo: archaeological investigations 1984-1986. In From the Mediterranean Basin to the Portuguese Atlantic shore: Papers in Honor of Anthony Marks. Bicho, N. & Thacker, P. Faro: Universidade do Algarve. 209-229.
- Dobney, K., Ervynck, A., Albarella, U. & Rowley-Conwy, P. (2007). The transition from wild boar to domestic pig in Eurasia, illustrated by a tooth developmental defect and biometrical data. In Pigs and Humans: 10,000 Years of Interaction. Albarella, U., Dobney, K., Ervynck, A. & Rowley-Conwy, P. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 57-82.
- Rowley-Conwy, P. & Dobney, P. (2007). Wild boar and domestic pigs in Mesolithic and Neolithic southern Scandinavia. In Pigs and Humans: 10,000 Years of Interaction. Albarella, U., Dobney, K., Ervynck, A. & Rowley-Conwy, P. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 131-155.
- Albarella, U., Manconi, F., Rowley-Conwy, P. & Vigne, J-D. (2006). Pigs of Corsica and Sardinia: a biometrical re-evaluation of their status and history. In Archaeozoological Studies in Honour of Alfredo Riedel. Tecchiati, U. & Sala, B. Bolzano: Province of Bolzano. 285-302.
- Albarella, U., Dobney, K. & Rowley-Conwy, P. (2006). The Domestication of the Pig (Sus scrofa): New Challenges and Approaches. In Documenting Domestication: New Genetic and Archaeological Paradigms. Zeder, M. A., Bradley, D.G., Emshwiller, E. & Smith, B.D. Berkeley: University of California Press. 1: 209-227.
- Rowley-Conwy, P. (2004). Animal bones and plant remains. In A Companion to Archaeology. Bintliffe, J.L. Oxford: Blackwell. 291-310.
- Rowley-Conwy, P. (2004). Complexity in the Mesolithic of the Atlantic Façade: development or adaptation?. In The Mesolithic of the Atlantic Façade. Gonzalez Morales, M.R. & Clark, G.A. Tempe: Arizona State University. 1-12.
- Bettinger, R.L. & Rowley-Conwy, P. (2004). Discussants' comments and overview. In Hunters and Gatherers in Theory and Archaeology. Crothers, G.M. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University, Center for Archaeological Investigations. 475-490.
- Rowley-Conwy, P. (2004). From Arene Candide to the Atlantic: the Bernabò Brea excavations and early domestic animals in the West Mediterranean. In Dalle Arene Candide a Lipari. Scritti in Onore di Luigi Bernabò Brea. Pelagatti, P. & Spadea, G. Rome: Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali. 123-132.
- Rowley-Conwy, P. (2004). Hunter-Gatherer intensification and the straight arrow of progress: Australia and Northwest Europe compared. In Combining the Past and the Present: Archaeological Perspectives on Society. Oestigaard, T., Anfinset, N. & Saetersdal, T. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports. 49-59.
- Hodgetts, L. & Rowley-Conwy, P. (2004). Mammal and bird remains from the underwater excavations at Møllegabet II. In Møllegabet II. A submerged Mesolithic Settlement in southern Denmark. Skaarup, J. & Grøn, O. Oxford: Archaeopress. 144-147.
- Rowley-Conwy, P. (2003). No fixed abode? Nomadism in the Northwest European Neolithic. In Stones and Bones. Formal disposal of the dead in Atlantic Europe during the Mesolithic-Neolithic interface 6000-3000 BC. Archaeological Conference in Honour of the Late Professor Michael J. O'Kelly. Burenhult, G. & Westergaard, S. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports. 115-144.
- Shaw, C.H., Deakin, W. & Rowley-Conwy, P. (2001). Ancient DNA from archaeological sorghum from Qasr Ibrim, Egyptian Nubia: methods and results. In Archaeological Sciences 1997. Proceedings of the Conference held at the University of Durham, 2nd-4th September 1997. Millard, A.R. Oxford: Archaeopress. 96-99.
- Rowley-Conwy, P. (2001). Determination of season of death in European wild boar (Sus scrofa ferus): a preliminary study. In Archaeological Sciences 1997. Proceedings of the Conference held at the University of Durham, 2nd-4th September 1997. Millard, A.R. Oxford: Archaeopress. 133-139.
- Rowley-Conwy, P. (2001). European Mesolithic. In Encyclopedia of Archaeology. History and Discoveries vol. 2. Murray, T. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO. 478-491.
- Panter-Brick, C., Layton, R.H. & Rowley-Conwy, P. (2001). Lines of enquiry. In Hunter-Gatherers. An Interdisciplinary Perspective. Panter-Brick, C., Layton, R.H. & Rowley-Conwy, P. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1-11.
Edited works: contributions
- Rowley-Conwy, P. (2003). Early domestic animals in Europe: imported or locally domesticated?. In The Widening Harvest. The Neolithic Transition in Europe: Looking Back, Looking Forward. Ammerman A. & Biagi P. Boston: Archaeological Institute of America. AIA Colloquia and Conference Papers 6: 99-117.
- Rowley-Conwy, P. (2001). Time, change and the archaeology of hunter-gatherers: how original is the 'Original Affluent Society'?. In Hunter-Gatherers: An Interdisciplinary Perspective. Panter-Brick, C., Layton, R.H. & Rowley-Conwy, P. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Biosocial Society Symposium Series 13: 39-72.
Edited works: journals
- Rowley-Conwy, P. (2004). Debates in World Archaeology. World Archaeology, 36 (4): Routledge.
- Rowley-Conwy, P. (2002). Ancient Ecodisasters. World Archaeology, 33 (3): Routledge.
Journal papers: academic
- Rowley-Conwy, PA, Albarella, U & Dobney, K (2012). Distinguishing Wild Boar and Domestic Pigs in Prehistory: A Review of Approaches and Recent Results. Journal of World Prehistory 25(1): 1-44.
- Rowley-Conwy, PA & Layton, RH (2011). Foraging and farming as niche construction: stable and unstable adaptations. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 366(1566): 849-862
- Rowley-Conwy, PA & Owen, AC (2011). Grooved Ware Feasting in Yorkshire: Late Neolithic Animal Consumption at Rudston Wold. Oxford Journal of Archaeology 30(4): 325-367.
- Rowley-Conwy, PA (2011). Westward Ho! The spread of agriculture from Central Europe to the Atlantic. Current Anthropology 52(S4): S431-S451.
- Larson, G., Albarella, U., Dobney, K., Rowley-Conwy, P., Schibler, J., Tresset, A., Vigne, J-D., Edwards, C.J., Schlumbaum, A., Dinu, A., Balaçsescu, A., Dolman, G., Tagliacozzo, A., Manaseryan, N., Miracle, P., van Wijngaarden-Bakker, L., Masseti, M., Bradley, D.G. & Cooper, A. (2007). Ancient DNA, pig domestication, and the spread of the Neolithic into Europe. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 104(39): 15276-15281.
- Albarella, U., Tagliacozzo, A., Dobney, K. & Rowley-Conwy, P. (2006). Pig hunting and husbandry in prehistoric Italy: a contribution to the domestication debate. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society 72: 193-227.
- Albarella, U., Davis, S.J.M., Detry, C. & Rowley-Conwy, P. (2005). Pigs of the ‘Far West’ the biometry of Sus from archaeological sites in Portugal. Anthropozoologica 40(2): 27-54.
- Dobney, K., Anezaki, T., Hongo, H., Matsui, A., Yamazaki, K., Ervynck, A., Albarella, U. & Rowley-Conwy, P. (2005). The transition from wild boar to domestic pig as illustrated by dental enamel defects (LEH): a Japanese case study including the site of Torihama. Torihama Shell Midden Papers 4/5: 51-76.
- Larson, G., Dobney, K., Albarella, U. Fang, M., Matisoo-Smith, E., Robins, J., Lowden, S., Finlayson, H., Brand, T., Willerslev, E., Rowley-Conwy, P., Andersson, L. & Cooper, A. (2005). Worldwide phylogeography of wild boar reveals multiple centers of pig domestication. Science 307(5715): 1618-1621.
- Rowley-Conwy, P. (2004). Age at death: a zooarchaeological technique with implications for anthropology, agricultural economics and history. Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in History and Archaeology 1(1): 51-59.
- Rowley-Conwy, P. (2004). How the West was lost: a reconsideration of agricultural origins in Britain, Ireland and southern Scandinavia. Current Anthropology 45(S4): 83-113.
- Copley, M.S., Jim, S., Jones, V., Rose, P., Clapham, A., Edwards, D.N., Horton, M., Rowley-Conwy, P. & Evershed, R.P. (2004). Short- and long-term foraging and foddering strategies of domesticated animals from Qasr Ibrim, Egypt. Journal of Archaeological Science 31(9): 1273-1286.
- Dobney, K.M., Ervynck, A., Albarella, U. & Rowley-Conwy, P. (2004). The chronology and frequency of a stress marker (linear enamel hypoplasia) in recent and archaeological populations of Sus scrofa in north-west Europe, and the effects of early domestication. Journal of Zoology 264(2): 197-208.
- Rowley-Conwy, P. (2004). The Three Age System in English: new translations of the founding documents. Bulletin of the History of Archaeology 14(1): 4-15.
- Innes, J., Blackford, J. & Rowley-Conwy, P. (2003). The start of the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in North-West Europe – the palynological contribution. Antiquity 77(297).
- Rowley-Conwy, P., Halstead, P. & Collins, P. (2002). Derivation and application of a Food Utility Index (FUI) for European wild boar (Sus scrofa L.). Environmental Archaeology 7: 77-87.
- Stokes, P. & Rowley-Conwy, P. (2002). Iron Age cultigen?: experimental return rates for fat hen (Chenopodium album L.). Environmental Archaeology 7: 95-99.
- Rowley-Conwy, P. (2002). Sir Grahame Clark (1907-95). American Anthropologist 104(3): 1009-1012.
- Rowley-Conwy, P. (2001). Science, theory and archaeology in Britain: a minimalist view of the debate. Archaeologia Polona 39: 17-36.
Indicators of Esteem
- 2006: Member of Executive and International Committee of International Council for Archaeozoology (2002-2006): This came about following the highly successful ICAZ conference in Durham in 2002, attended by over 500 delegates from all over thr world.
- 2004: Executive Editor, World Archaeology (2000-2004): Executive editor of World Archaeology for four years starting on 1.1.2001. I am the only editor to serve four years; I was asked to stay on for 2004 to manage the transition of the journal from three to four issues per year.
- 2004: International early agriculture projects: four major research grants totalling £680K:
- 2004: NERC Terrestrial Sciences Peer Review Committee (2001-2004): Member of Terrestrial Sciences Peer Review Committee 2001-2004. Attended many funding meetings in Swindon, read numerous grant applications, member and deputy chairman of sub-committee awarding NERC Fellowships in spring 2004. This is my third stint on a NERC funding panel.
Available for media contact about:
- Europe: History & Archaeology: economic archaeology
- Europe: History & Archaeology: zooarchaeology
- Europe: History & Archaeology: origins of agriculture
- Europe: History & Archaeology: hunter gatherers
- Europe: History & Archaeology: Scandinavia
- Europe: History & Archaeology: Mesolithic
- Europe: History & Archaeology: Neolithic
- European Prehistory: economic archaeology
- European Prehistory: animals in archaeology
- European Prehistory: origins of agriculture
- European Prehistory: hunter gatherers
- European Prehistory: ancient DNA
- European Prehistory: Scandinavia
- European Prehistory: Mesolithic and Neolithic
- People: Civilisation & land use: early agriculture
- People: Civilisation & land use: ancient DNA