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Dr Robin Skeates, B.A., D.Phil., F.S.A.
Available for media contact about:
- Ethics: Archaeological ethics
- European Prehistory: Mediterranean prehistory - Italy, Malta, etc
- Art: Visual culture studies
- Museums: Museum studies
Through my research over the last two decades, I have contributed in particular to the prehistoric archaeology of Italy and the Central Mediterranean region. My publications explore a wide variety of themes within the overlapping inter-disciplinary fields of material culture, visual and sensual culture, museum and heritage studies. A central concern is with interpreting social relations, strategies and transformations between the Upper Palaeolithic and the Bronze Age, including those relating to age, gender and the body. This relates to my interest in ritual performance, including mortuary practices and meanings, and in the cultural construction and transformation of landscape, including liminality, the underworld, the social dynamics of enclosure, and commemoration. It equally relates to my interest in the biographies and power of objects, including the production, exchange and ascription of value to early copper artefacts, greenstone axe-amulets, flint arrowheads, decorated pottery, shell trumpets, coral, and prehistoric objects in museum collections. Out of this has evolved my strong interest in archaeologies of art and visual culture, including ways of seeing, creativity and tradition, visual communication and transformation, the politics of representation and display, and the symbolising of social boundaries, identities, status and prestige. This, in turn, has led to my involvement with sensual culture studies. I am interested in settlement strategies and resource exploitation, including transitions to agriculture in Italy, and upland archaeology in Wales where I have undertaken extensive field-survey work. I work on radiocarbon chronologies relating to prehistoric Italy, and promote a more widespread and critical use of them. More generally, I am interested in the history of archaeological thought, including the intellectual and political history of archaeological collectors, museum collections and exhibitions in the Mediterranean and beyond. I am also concerned with archaeological ethics, and have contributed to debates surrounding public archaeology in Britain and abroad.
- Archaeological collecting
- Archaeological theory
- Artefact studies
- Cave archaeology
- Cultural representation
- Heritage studies
- Material culture studies
- Museum studies
- Politics of the past
- Prehistoric art
- Prehistory of the central Mediterranean
- Public archaeology
- Sensual culture studies
- Visual culture
- Skeates, Robin (2009). Book Review: An Introduction to Museum Archaeology. By Hedley Swain. The Archaeological Journal
- Skeates, Robin (2010). An Archaeology of the Senses: Prehistoric Malta. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- R. Skeates (2005). Visual Culture and Archaeology: Art and Social Life in Prehistoric South-East Italy. London: Duckworth.
- Skeates R (2000). Debating the Archaeological Heritage. London: Duckworth.
- Skeates R (2000). The Collecting of Origins: collectors and collections of Italian prehistory and the cultural transformation of value (1550-1999). Oxford: British Archaeological Reports.
- Hicks, D., Milne, G., Shepherd, J. & Skeates, R. (2009). Excavating the Archives: Archive Archaeology and the Higher Education Sector. London: HEFCE.
- Bergsvik, K.A. & Skeates, R. (2012). Caves in Context: The Cultural Significance of Caves and Rockshelters in Europe. Oxbow Books.
- Skeates, R., McDavid, C. & Carman, J. (2011). The Oxford Handbook of Public Archaeology. Oxford University Press.
- Robin Skeates (2011). Book review. Mortuary Customs in Prehistoric Malta. Edited by C. Malone, S. Stoddart, A. Bonanno and D. Trump. 2009. European Journal of Archaeology 14(1-2): 299-301.
- Skeates, R. (2010). Book Review: Prehistoric Europe: Theory and Practice, edited by Andrew Jones, 2008. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 20(1): 132-133.
- Skeates, R. (2009). Book review: M. Fitzjohn ed. Uplands of Ancient Sicily and Calabria. European Journal of Archaeology 12(1-3): 255-257.
- Skeates, R. (2007). Book Review: Dougless W. Bailey. Prehistoric Figurines: Representation and Corporeality in the Neolithic. Abingdon & New York: Routledge; 2005. Antiquity 81(313): 801-802.
- Skeates, R. (2007). Review: Menotti, F. (ed.) 2004. 'Living on the Lake in Prehistoric Europe: 150 Years of Lake-Dwelling Research'. London: Routledge. Environmental Archaeology 12(1): 95-97.
- Skeates, R. (2006). The Power of Art: Aesthetics and Rock Art, edited by Thomas Heyd & John Clegg, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2005. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 16(2): 261-262.
- R. Skeates (2002). What’s in store: Regional Museums Store, Beamish Open Air Museum, Durham. Museums Journal 102(9): 37.
- R. Skeates (2001). Book review: Making City Histories in Museums, by Gaynor Kavanagh and Elizabeth Frostick (eds), London: Leicester University Press, 1998. Urban History 28(1): 133-134.
- Skeates, R. & Gheorghiu, D. (2008). Prehistoric Stamps: Theory and Experiments. Bucureşti: Editura Universităţii din Bucureşti.
Edited works: journals
- eds. Skeates, R. & Robb, J. (2008). Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology. Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology, 21 (1): Equinox Publishing Ltd.
Essays in edited volumes
- Skeates, R. (Published). Constructed caves: transformations of the underworld in prehistoric southeast Italy. In Sacred Darkness: A Global Perspective on the Ritual Use of Caves. Moyes, H. University Press of Colorado. 27-44.
- Gradoli, G. & Skeates, R. (Published). Intellectual and spiritual expression in central Sardinia during the Neolithic and Bronze Age: the Seulo Caves Project. In The Intellecual and Spiritual Expressions of Non-Literate Peoples. Colloquio UISPP – CISNEP, Capo di Ponte, Valcamonica, 22-24 June 2012. Anati, E. UISPP and CISNEP. 128-136.
- Bergsvik, K.A. & Skeates, R. (2012). Caves in context: an introduction. In Caves in Context: The Cultural Significance of Caves and Rockshelters in Europe. Bergsvik, K.A. & Skeates, R. Oxbow Books. 1-9.
- Skeates, R. (2012). Caves in need of context: prehistoric Sardinia. In Caves in Context: The Cultural Significance of Caves and Rockshelters in Europe. Bergsvik, K.A. & Skeates, R. Oxbow Books. 166-187.
- Skeates, R. (2012). Making sense of the history of archaeological representation. In The Oxford Handbook of Public Archaeology. Skeates, R., McDavid, C. & Carman, J. Oxford University Press. 82-99.
- Skeates, R., Carman, J. & McDavid, C. (2011). Introduction: questioning archaeology's place in the world. In The Oxford Handbook of Public Archaeology. Skeates, R., McDavid, C. & Carman, J. Oxford University Press. 1-10.
- Skeates, Robin (2010). The art of memory: personal ornaments in Copper Age South-East Italy. In Material Mnemonics: Everyday Memory in Prehistoric Europe. Lillios, K.T. & Tsamis, V. Oxford: Oxbow Books. 73-84.
- Skeates, R. (2009). Trade and interaction. In The Oxford Handbook of Archaeology. Cunliffe, B., Gosden, C. & Joyce, R.A. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 555-578.
- Skeates, Robin (2007). Abstract and figurative representation and the politics of display in Neolithic Southeast Italy. In Image and Imagination:a global prehistory of figurative representation. Renfrew, C. & Morley, I. Cambridge: McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research. 199-210.
- Skeates, Robin (2007). Religious experience in the prehistoric Maltese underworld. In Cult in Context: Reconsidering Ritual in Archaeology. Barrowclough, David & Malone, Caroline Oxford: Oxbow Books. 90-96.
- Skeates, R. (2005). Chronological bibliography of Luigi Cardini’s publications. In Explorations in Albania, 1930-39: the Notebooks of Luigi Cardini, Prehistorian with the Italian Archaeological Mission. Francis, K. London: British School at Athens. 205-9.
- R. Skeates (2005). Luigi Cardini (1898-1971): a biography. In Explorations in Albania, 1930-39: the Notebooks of Luigi Cardini, Prehistorian with the Italian Archaeological Mission. K. Francis London: The British School at Athens. 4-9.
- R. Skeates (2005). Museum archaeology and the Mediterranean cultural heritage. In The Archaeology of Mediterranean Prehistory. Blake, E. & Knapp, A. B. Oxford: Blackwell. 303-320.
- Skeates,R.G. (2005). Visual culture in Neolithic South East Italy. In Papers in Italian Archaeology VI: Communities and Settlements from the Neolithic to the Early Medieval Period. Attema,P., Nijboer,A. & Zifferero,A. Oxford: Archaeopress. II: 541-544.
- R. Skeates (2003). Radiocarbon dating and interpretations of the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in Italy. In The Widening Harvest. The Neolithic Transition in Europe: Looking Back, Looking Forward. Ammerman, A. J. & Biagi, P. Boston: Archaeological Institute of America. 157-187.
- R. Skeates (2002). The Neolithic enclosures of the Tavoliere, South-East Italy. In Enclosures in Neolithic Europe: Essays on Causewayed and Non-Causewayed Sites. G. Varndell & P. Topping Oxford: Oxbow Books. 51-8.
- R. Skeates (2001). Archaeologies of art: contributions to World Art Studies. In Raising the Eyebrow: John Onians and World Art Studies. An Album Amicorum in his Honour. L. Golden Oxford: British Archaeological Reports. 289-300.
Journal papers: academic
- Skeates, R. (Published). Editorial. European Journal of Archaeology 15(2): 183-185.
- Skeates, R. (2013). Neolithic Italy at 4004 BC: people and places. Accordia Research Papers 12.
- Skeates, R.G., Beckett, J. & Gradoli, M.G. (2013). The cultural life of caves in Seulo, central Sardinia. Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology 26(1): 97-126.
- Skeates, R. (2012). Editorial. European Journal of Archaeology 15(1): 1-3.
- Skeates, R. (2012). On the noble digger's ode to the trowel. Norwegian Archaeological Review 45(1): 102-103.
- Skeates, R. (2011). Editorial. European Journal of Archaeology 14(1-2): 7-10.
- Skeates, Robin (2011). Making sense of world art: an archaeological perspective. World Art 1(1): 143-149.
- Skeates, Robin (2011). The Seulo caves project, Sardinia: a report on archaeological work undertaken in 2009 and 2010. Cave and Karst Science 38(3): 131-136.
- Skeates, R. (2008). Embodiment and visual reproduction in the Neolithic: the case of stamped symbols. Documenta Praehistorica 35: 179-184.
- Skeates, R. (2008). Making sense of the Maltese Temple Period: An Archaeology of Sensory Experience and Perception. Time and Mind: The Journal of Archaeology, Consciousness and Culture 1(2): 207-238.
- Skeates, R. (2007). Neolithic stamps: cultural patterns, processes and potencies. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 17(2): 183-198.
- R. Skeates (2003). New radiocarbon dates for prehistoric Italy: supplementary list 5. The Accordia Research Papers 9: 163-182.
- R. Skeates (2003). Prehistoric chert exploitation in the Valle del Cesolone (Macerata): a preliminary project report. Papers of the British School at Rome 71: 1-15.
- R. Skeates (2003). Speaking for the past in the present: text, authority and learning in archaeology museums. Public Archaeology 2(4): 209-18.
- R. Skeates (2003). Visual culture in prehistoric South-East Italy. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society 68: 165-83.
- R. Skeates (2000). The social dynamics of enclosure in the Neolithic of the Tavoliere, south-east Italy. Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology 13.2: 155-88.
Journal papers: professional
- Skeates, Robin (2010). Journeys to the underworld: ritual transformations of persons, objects and caves in prehistoric Central Sardinia. Past: The Newsletter of the Prehistoric Society (65): 13-14.
- Skeates, Robin (2009). Archaeological discoveries in the caves of Seulo, Central Sardinia. The European Archaeologist (32): 4-5.
- Skeates, R. (2008). Pounding and grinding stones in prehistoric Malta. The European Archaeologist (29): 8.