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Durham University

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

Related Links


Authored book

Chapter in book

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