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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 relationship between humans and their environment during the transition to farming in North-West Europe. I also research the environmental consequences of the spread of agriculture in both the prehistoric and historic periods and the diversity of strategies humans developed to adapt to declining woodland availability.
My current research focuses on the scale, nature and significance of Mesolithic and Neolithic plant use in Scotland by combining the extensive existing archaeobotanical data set with new archaeobotanical and experimental evidence. 

I am also involved in several ongoing excavation and post-excavation projects in Scotland, the Faroe Islands, Iceland and Greenland, including the early Neolithic settlement at the Braes of Ha’Breck, Orkney ( and the first Mesolithic sites discovered in the Western Isles at Northton, Harris and Tràigh na Beirigh, Lewis, the multi-period (pre-Viking-20th century) farm mound at Á Sondum, Faroe Islands and the Norse sites at Brattahlið and Ø69, Greenland.

I recently completed my PhD in the Department of Archaeology, Durham University and I am now a post-doctoral research associate for Dr Mike Church’s Uig Landscape project (, which will bring to publication the results of the excavations at a multi-period (Bronze Age-Medieval) relict transhumance landscape at Guinnerso, Lewis.

Research Interests

  • Archaeobotany of Scotland, North-West Europe and the North Atlantic islands (Faroes, Iceland, Greenland)
  • Economic continuity and change during the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition
  • The role of cereal cultivation in the Neolithic-Medieval periods in North-West Europe and the North Atlantic islands
  • Changing human-woodland impacts and fuel procurement strategies during the spread of agriculture to new environments
  • Experimental archaeology
  • The role of environmental archaeology in current environmental and climate change research


  • Graduate School, Durham University Postgraduate Internship, 2011.
  • Association of Environmental Archaeology student poster prize, 2010.
  • University College, Durham University Travel Scholarship 2009.
  • AHRC PhD Studentship and Durham Doctoral Fellowship Stellar Student Award, 2009-2012.
  • AHRC Research Preparation Masters Studentship 2007-2008.
  • Durham University, Dept of Archaeology, Gibson prize for the best undergraduate dissertation, 2007.
  • Durham University, Dept of Archaeology, Clarkson prize for the best exam results, 2007.


Journal papers: academic

Journal papers: professional

  • Bishop, R (2011). Prehistoric Society Student Study Tour April 2011. PAST 68: 5-6.
  • Bishop, R. (2011). The Creation of ‘Homes’ in the Earliest Farming Period in Eurasia. PAST 67: 11-12.
  • Church, M. J. , Bishop, R. R. , Blake, E. R. R. , Nesbitt, C. , Perri, A. , Piper, S & Rowley-Conwy, P. A (2011). Tràigh na Beirigh. Discovery and Excavation in Scotland (NS 12: 194-195.
  • Bishop, R. R. , Church, M. J. & Rowley-Conwy, P. A (2010). Northton, Harris. Discovery and Excavation in Scotland (NS) 11: 178.

Research Groups

  • Bioarchaeology Research Group