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Department of Archaeology

Current Research Postgraduates

Dr Rosie Bishop

Research Associate in the Department of Archaeology

(email at


My main research interest is the changing nature of the relationship between humans, plants and their environment during the transition to farming in North-West Europe and the environmental consequences of the spread of agriculture across the North Atlantic islands (Atlantic Scotland, Faroes, Iceland and Greenland) from prehistory to the Viking-Norse periods. I am also particularly interested in the archaeobotanical evidence for agricultural innovation and changing wild plant use in Scotland from prehistory to the post-Medieval period and the potential role of environmental archaeology in informing current and future responses to environmental change.


I completed my PhD on Mesolithic-Neolithic plant use in Scotland in the Department of Archaeology, Durham University in 2013 and I am currently a Post-doctoral Research Associate for the Uig Landscape Project (, which will bring to publication the excavation results of a multi-period (Bronze Age-post-Medieval) transhumance landscape at Guinnerso and a Neolithic hearth and palaeoenvironmental sequence at Aird Calanais in Lewis. The latter publication will consider the timing and mechanisms of woodland decline through a novel synthesis of palaeobotanical data from across the region.


I am actively involved in several ongoing excavation and post-excavation projects in Scotland, Iceland and Greenland, including the early Neolithic settlement at the Braes of Ha’Breck, Orkney ( and the Norse site at Brattahlið, Greenland. I am a key member of a Mesolithic research project in the Western Isles, and I am the co-director and archaeobotanist for the recent investigations at Northton, the first Mesolithic site discovered in the Western Isles. I am currently involved in archaeobotanical research for the Icelandic Institute of Archaeology in Reykjavík, and have analysed Viking/Norse samples from Aðalstræti, Reykjavík and Gásir, Northern Iceland.


Another of my research interests is experimental archaeology and I am currently engaged in a number of archaeobotanical taphonomy experiments at the Botanic Gardens.


Research Interests

  • Archaeobotany and environmental archaeology of Scotland, North-West Europe and the North Atlantic islands (Atlantic Scotland, Faroes, Iceland, Greenland) from prehistory-post Medieval period
  • Mesolithic and Neolithic archaeology
  • Agricultural innovation and change in North-West Europe
  • Human-woodland impacts and fuel procurement strategies in hunter-gatherer and early farming groups, and Viking/Norse communities in the North Atlantic islands
  • Experimental archaeology

Selected Publications

Journal Article


Show all publications

Research Groups

  • Bioarchaeology Research Group