We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Department of Archaeology


Professor Mark White, BA, PhD

Professor in the Department of Archaeology

Contact Professor Mark White (email at


About Mark White

Mark White specialises in the Palaeolithic of Britain and its near European neighbours. His published works includes numerous books alongside articles on handaxes, palaeogeography & settlement history, Levallois technology, the Clactonian controversy and the lamentable British Middle Palaeolithic. 

Mark's second key focus is the history of archaeology, and he is keenly interested in Victorian Antiquarians, especially the more eccentric ones. He has published articles evaluating the work and contribution of several Victorian pioneers, such as Sir John Evans, Sir John Lubbock and Worthington Smith, as well as a monograph on Nina Layard’s remarkable site at Foxhall Road, Ipswich, excavated between 1903-1905. Mark has just published a new book on Sir William Boyd Dawkins - Professor of Geology at Manchester University - and the controversy that surrounded his excavations at Creswell Crags in the late 1870s. Mark is currently very interested in the market price of handaxes ca 1875. 

Current Projects
Mark is currently excavating at the Lower Palaeolithic site of Santon Downham, Suffolk in the hope of finding some nice twisted ovates.

Recent Works
Mark is the author of numerous books including The British Palaeolithic (2012, Routledge), The Quaternary of the Trent (2015, English Heritage) Lost Landscapes of the Palaeolithic (2016, English Heritage) and William Boyd Dawkins and the Victorian Science of Cave Hunting (2016, Pen and Sword)

Research Students
Mark currently has a number of PhD students working on Palaeolithic or Mesolithic topics. Durham has an excellent graduate community in this area, with people working on MIS 9 Britain, Cave Art, The cognition of Homo heidelbergensis and Neanderthal Religion. Others have recently finished PhDs on the History of the British Palaeolithic, the Middle Pleistocene colonisation of Europe, The Palaeolithic of Syria, the isotopic evidence for Pleistocene migrations, Middle Pleistocene small mammal communities, and The Early Middle Palaeolithic of Britain. Mark would be interested in supervising students on any Palaeolithic topic, so if you are interested in working with Mark please contact him.

Research Interests

  • History of Palaeolithic Archaeology
  • Lower and Middle Palaeolithic Britain & Europe
  • Palaeolithic Stone Tools
  • Quaternary studies


Authored book

Chapter in book

  • White, M.J. (2015). ‘Dancing to the Rhythms of the Biotidal Zone’ Settlement history and culture history in Middle Pleistocene Britain. In Society, Settlement and Cognition. Coward, F., Hosfield, R., Pope, M. & Wenban-Smith, F. Cambridge University Press. 154-173.
  • White, M.J. (2012). The lithic assemblage from Lynford Quarry and its bearing on Neanderthal behaviour in Late Pleistocene Britain. In Neanderthals among Mammoths: Excavations at Lynford Quarry, Norfolk. Boismier, W., Gamble, C. & Coward, F. English Heritage. 219-261.
  • Scott, R., Ashton, N., Lewis, S., Parfitt, S. & White, M. (2011). Technology and landscape use in the Early Middle Palaeolithic of the Thames Valley. In The Ancient Human Occupation of Britain Developments in Quaternary Science 14. Ashton, N., Lewis, S. & Stringer, C. London: Elsevier. 14: 67-89.
  • White, M. Ashton, N. & Scott, R. (2011). The emergence, diversity and significance of Mode 3 (prepared core) technologies. In The Ancient Human Occupation of Britain. Ashton, N., Lewis, S. & Stringer, C. London: Elsevier Science. 53-65.
  • Nowell, A. & White, M.J. (2010). Growing Up in the Middle Pleistocene: life history strategies and their relationship to Acheulian Industries. In Stone tools and the Evolution of Human Cognition. Nowell, A. & Davidson, I. Boulder: University of Colorado Press. 67-81.
  • White, M.J. (2006). Axeing Cleavers: reflections on broad-tipped large cutting tools in the British Lower and Middle Palaeolithic. In Axe Age: Acheulean Toolmaking, from Quarry to Discard. Goren-Inbar, N. & Sharon, G. London: Equinox.
  • Hopkinson, T & White, M.J. (2005). The Acheulean and the handaxe: structure and agency in the Palaeolithic. In The hominid individual in context: archaeological investigations of Lower and Middle Palaeolithic landscapes, locales and artefacts. Gamble, C.S & Porr, M. London: Routledge. 13-28.
  • Ashton, N.M & White, M.J. (2003). Bifaces and Raw materials: flexible flaking in the British Lower Palaeolithic. In Multiple Approaches to the study of Bifacial Technologies. Dibble, H. & Sorresi, M. Pennsylivania: University of Pennsylvania Museum Press. 109-124.
  • Ashton, N.M. & White, M.J. (2001). Bifaces et matières premières au paléolithique inferière et au debut du paléolithique moyen en Grande-Bretagne. In Les industries à outils bifaciaux du Paléolithique moyen d'Europe Occidentale. Cliquet, D. Liege: Etudes et Recherches Archéologiques de l'Université de Liege 98. 13-21.
  • White, M.J. (2001). Out of Abbeville: Sir John Evans, Palaeolithic patriarch and handaxe pioneer. In A very Remote Period Indeed: papers on the Palaeolithic presented to Derek Roe. Milliken, S. & Cook, J. Oxford: Oxbow. 242-248.

Edited book

  • White, Mark (2016). Lost Landscapes of the Palaeolithic. English Heritage.
  • White, T., White. M., Bridgland, D. & Howard, A. (2008). The Quaternary of the Trent, Field Guide. London: QRA.

Journal Article

Selected Grants

  • 2007: English Heritage: The Lower and Middle Palaeolithic Occupation of the Fenland Rivers of Cambridgeshire
  • 2006: Leverhulme Trust: The Ancient Human Occupation of Britain in its European Context
  • 2006: Templeton Foundation: Knowledgeable Knappers
  • 2005: English Heritage/Oxford Archaeology: The Thames Through Time
  • 2005: English Heritage: The Lower and Middle Palaeolithic Occupation of the Trent I
  • 2003: British Academy: The Dover Hinterland Project
  • 2002: CBRL: The Pleistocene of the River Orontes, Syria
  • 2001: Leverhulme Trust: The Ancient Human Occupation of Britain