Dr Andrew R Millard, B.A., D.Phil.
My first degree was in chemistry at Oxford, but whilst studying for that I discovered the delights of archaeology, going digging at weekends. I managed to combine these interests when I found a place for my undergraduate project and doctoral work in the Research Laboratory for Archaeology at Oxford. My D.Phil. explored the uptake of uranium into bone in order to improve the basis of uranium-series dating of bone, and a post-doctoral project explored wider issues of the effect of groundwater hydrology on the decay and preservation of bones.
In 1995 I came to Durham a Lecturer, where my research has broadened to cover the chemistry of bones and teeth applied to archaeological problems, and Bayesian statistics applied to archaeology, particularly to the analysis of scientific dating techniques, and with wider applications in Quaternary science. My research is a mixture of work conducted alone and collaborative projects with a range of scholars within Durham (I have collaborated with colleagues in Archaeology, History, Earth Sciences, Geography and Mathematics) and external to Durham (including Leiden, Groningen, Cambridge, Sheffield, British Geological Survey).
Bayesian statistics in archaeology and Quaternary science
Bayesian statistics, as applied to dating in archaeology, allows the combination of different types of dating methods, substantial improvements in the resolution of dates, and the assigning of dates to events previously considered undateable. My contribution in this area has been to extend the method from its initial application to radiocarbon dates, to application to a wide variety of other dating methods, including uranium-series, luminescence and ESR dating. This has been applied to a major re-evaluation of the dating evidence for hominid fossils in the timeframe 500,000 to 50,000 years ago. I have also worked on the development of novel methods to interpolate the age of events identified in palaeoenvironmental sequences from sediment cores. The Bayesian statistical paradigm has a wide range of potential applications in archaeology, which has led me to work on estimating age-at-death of humans and sheep, and on predicting the location of archaeological sites in the landscape. Through MSc students in Statistics at Sheffield I have also been involved in work on mathematical models for changes in nitrogen isotopes with weaning, and the analysis of uncertainty in chronologies constructed from ancient near eastern King Lists. I have co-supervised PhD students working on modelling the Mousterian-Aurignacian transition in Europe using radiocarbon dates, and on estimating the uncertainty in luminescence dates.
Chemistry of archaeological bones and teeth
My bone and tooth chemistry research mixes technique development, theoretical studies, and archaeological application in collaboration with period specialists. Past work has examined age of weaning using nitrogen isotope ratios, developing a mathematical model and examining its application to a 19th century population from London. A major project examined migration into and around Britain using strontium and oxygen isotope ratios measured in Anglo-Saxon and Viking remains. More recent projects have examined migration of Crusaders and their horses, and diet and migration in the Dutch middle Neolithic. PhD topics in this area that I have supervised include the application of isotope techniques to investigate the diet and migration of 18th-19th century populations, the link between diet and DISH (a disease of the skeleton), comparing the diets of Christians and Muslims in medieval Spain, and the migration of the animals hunted by Upper Palaeolithic humans.
I welcome enquiries from potential PhD students in any of the above areas, or in related topics.
Department of Archaeology
Department of Archaeology
- Charcoal production in Medieval Iceland
- Early urbanism in prehistoric Europe?: the case of the Tripillia mega-sites
- Migrations of Crusaders
- Re-examination of the chronology of Pleistocene hominid sites circa 500,000-50,000 years ago
- Applications of computers and statistics in archaeology
- Chemical and biochemical methods in archaeology
- Scientific dating techniques
- Buck, CE & Millard, AR (2003). Tools for Constructing Chronologies: Crossing Disciplinary Boundaries. Lecture Notes in Statistics. London: Springer.
- Millard, A. R. (2001). Proceedings of Archaeological Sciences '97. British Archaeological Reports International Series. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports.
Edited works: contributions
- Millard, AR (2013). The radiocarbon dates. In The Anglo-Saxon Church of All Saints, Brixworth, Northamptonshire: survey, excavation and analysis, 1972-2010. Parsons, D & Sutherland, DS Oxford: Oxbow Books.
- van Leusen, M, Millard, AR & Ducke, B (2009). Dealing with uncertainty in archaeological prediction. In Archaeological Predictions and Risk Management: Alternatives to Current Practice. Kamermans, H, van Leusen, M & Verhagen, P Leiden: Leiden University Press. 123-160.
- Millard, A.R. (2006). A Bayesian approach to ageing sheep/goats from toothwear. In Recent advances in ageing and sexing animal bones. Ruscillo-Cosmopoulos, D. Oxford: Oxbow Books. 145-154.
- Millard, A. R. (2005). What can Bayesian statistics do for archaeological predictive modelling?. In Predictive modelling for archaeological heritage management: a research agenda. van Leusen, P. M. & Kamermans, H. Amersfoort: Rijkdienst voor het Oudheidkundig Bodemonderzoek. Nederlandse Archeologische Rapporten 29: 169-182.
- Buck, C. & Millard, A. (2003). Preface: Towards joined up thinking in chronology building. In Tools for Constructing Chronologies: Crossing Disciplinary Boundaries. Buck, C. & Millard, A. London: Springer Verlag. V-XIV.
- Millard AR (2003). Taking Bayes Beyond Radiocarbon: Bayesian Approaches to Some Other Chronometric Methods. In Tools for Constructing Chronologies: Crossing Disciplinary Boundaries. Buck CE & Millard AR London: Springer Verlag. 231-248.
- Millard, AR (2001). Deterioration of bone. In Handbook of Archaeological Sciences. Brothwell, D & Pollard, M Chichester: Wiley. 633-643.
- Millard AR (2000). A model for the effect of weaning on nitrogen isotope ratios in humans. In Perspectives in Amino Acid and Protein Geochemistry. Goodfriend, GA Collins, MJ Fogel, ML Macko, SA & Wehmiller, JF New York: Oxford University Press. 51-59.
Journal papers: academic
- Millard, A. R. & Schroeder, H. (2010). 'True British sailors': A comment on the origin of the men of the Mary Rose. Journal of Archaeological Science 37(4): 680-682.
- Smits, E, Millard, AR, Nowell, G & Pearson, DG (2010). Isotopic investigation of diet and residential mobility in the Neolithic of the Lower Rhine Basin. European Journal of Archaeology 13(1): 5-31.
- Hale, D, Platell, A & Millard, A (2009). A late Neolithic palisaded enclosure at Marne Barracks, Catterick, North Yorkshire. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society 75: 265-304.
- Mitchell, PD & Millard, AR (2009). Migration to the medieval Middle East with the crusades. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 140(3): 518-525.
- Millard, A. R. (2008). A critique of the chronometric evidence for hominid fossils: I. Africa and the Near East 500-50ka. Journal of Human Evolution 54(6): 848-874.
- Millard, AR (2008). Comment on article by Blackwell and Buck, ‘Estimating radiocarbon calibration curves’. Bayesian Analysis 3(2): 255-262.
- Casford, J. S. L. , Abu-Zied, R. Rohling, E. J. Cooke, S., Fontanier, C. Leng, M., Millard, A. & Thomson, J. (2007). A stratigraphically controlled multiproxy chronostratigraphy for the eastern Mediterranean. Paleoceanography 22: PA4215.
- Church, MJ, Dugmore, AJ, Mairs, KA, Millard, AR, Cook, GT, Sveinbjarnardóttir, G, Ascough, PA & Roucoux, K.H. (2007). Charcoal Production During the Norse and Early Medieval Periods in Eyjafjallahreppur, Southern Iceland. Radiocarbon 49(2): 659-672.
- Mitchell, PD & Millard, AR (2007). Migration in the Crusades to the Medieval Middle East. British Academy Review 10: 24-25.
- Millard, A. R. (2007). Review of 'Demography in Archaeology' (Cambridge Manuals in Archaeology), by Andrew Chamberlain (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2006). American Journal of Archaeology 111(4).
- Millard, AR (2006). Bayesian analysis of ESR dates, with application to Border Cave. Quaternary Geochronology 1(2): 159-166.
- Millard, A. R. (2006). Bayesian analysis of Pleistocene Chronometric Methods. Archaeometry 48(2): 359-375.
- Millard, A. R., Roberts, C. A. & Hughes, S. S. (2005). Isotopic evidence for migration in Medieval England: the potential for tracking the introduction of disease. Society, Biology and Human Affairs 70: 9-13.
- Budd P, Millard A, Chenery C, Lucy S & Roberts C (2004). Investigating population movement by stable isotope analysis: a report from Britain. Antiquity 78(299): 127-141.
- Millard, A. R. (2003). Recensioner: It's about time: the concept of time in archaeology edited by Håkon Karlsson. Fornvännen 98(2): 160-162.
- Millard, A. & Gowland, R. (2002). A Bayesian approach to the estimation of the age of humans from tooth development and wear. Archeologia e Calcolatori 13: 197-210.
- Millard, A (2002). Bayesian approach to sapwood estimates and felling dates in dendrochronology. Archaeometry 44(1): 137-143.
- Philip, G., Jabour, F., Beck, A., Bshesh, M., Grove, J., Kirk, A. & Millard, A. (2002). Settlement and landscape development in the Homs Region, Syria: research questions, preliminary results 1999-2000 and future potential. Levant 34: 1-23.
- Collins MJ, Nielsen-Marsh CM, Hiller J, Smith CI, Roberts JP, Prigodich RV, Weiss TJ, Csapo J, Millard AR & Turner-Walker G (2002). The survival of organic matter in bone: A review. Archaeometry 44(3): 383-394.
- S. J. Roberts,, C. I. Smith,, A. Millard, & M. J. Collins (2002). The taphonomy of cooked bone: characterizing boiling and its physico–chemical effects. Archaeometry 44(3): 485-494.
- Chapman, J., Monah, D., Dumitraoia, G., Armstrong, H., Millard, A. & Francis, M. (2001). The exploitation of salt in the prehistory of Moldavia, Romania. Archaeological Reports Universities of Durham and Newcastle-upon-Tyne 23: 10-20.
- Millard AR & Pike AWG (1999). Uranium-series dating of the Tabun Neanderthal: a cautionary note. Journal of Human Evolution 36: 581-585.
- Millard AR & R.E.M. Hedges (1996). A diffusion-adsorption model of uranium uptake by archaeological bone. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 60: 2139-2152.
- Hedges, R. E. M. & Millard, A. R. (1995). Bones and groundwater: towards the modelling of diagenetic processes. Journal of Archaeological Science 22: 155-164.
- Hedges, R. E. M., Millard, A. R. & Pike, A. W. G. (1995). Measurements and relationships of diagenetically altered bone from three archaeological sites. Journal of Archaeological Science 22: 201-209.
- Millard, A. R. & Hedges, R. E. M. (1995). The role of the environment in uranium uptake by buried bone. Journal of Archaeological Science 22: 239-250.
Journal papers: professional
- Millard, A. (2007). Review of the BABAO Conference 2006. British Association for Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology Annual Review 8: 36-38.
Available for media contact about:
- Europe: History & Archaeology: dating techniques
- Human biology and development: analysis of bones for diet
- World perspectives & techniques: applications of chemistry in archaeology
- World perspectives & techniques: dating techniques
- World perspectives & techniques: statistics in archaeology
- Middle Ages & Early Modern History: dating techniques
- The Earth: Animals: chemical analysis of bones
- People: Evolution and Biology: dating techniques
- People: Evolution and Biology: analysis of bones for diet
- People: Civilisation & land use: archaeological information from soil chemistry
- Chemistry: applications of chemistry to archaeology
- Chemistry: analysis of bones for diet
- Industrial materials: statistics in archaeology