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Durham University

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Staff Profile

Dr Kurt Gron

Research Associate in the Department of Archaeology

(email at

I am an archaeologist specializing in wild and domestic fauna from the Stone Age in northern Europe. Zooarchaeology and stable isotope geochemistry are my primary specializations. I am keenly interested in shell middens and shell midden taphonomy, and have analysed and am preparing for publication the bone material from several of the world-famous Danish shell middens. My current research takes a comparative approach to agricultural origins in Northern Europe and aims to better understand land use, landscape modification, homogeneity, and other aspects of agricultural practice through the application of multiple methods to the basic question, "What was the earliest agriculture actually like?" 

I completed a B.S. in Biology and Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2004, and a M.S. in Anthropology (Archaeology) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (2008). I obtained my Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2013 (Thesis: The Ertebølle Faunal Economy and the Transition to Agriculture in Southern Scandinavia, Supervisor: T. Douglas Price) and shortly thereafter moved to Durham. I have fieldwork experience in the United States, Denmark, Norway, and the United Kingdom and my research has been funded by the National Science Foundation (USA), the Danish-American Fulbright Commission, the British Academy, and the Leverhulme Trust. 

Research Groups

Department of Archaeology

  • Bioarchaeology Research Group

Research Interests

  • Agricultural origins
  • Coastal adaptations
  • Mesolithic
  • Neolithic
  • Stable isotopes
  • Zooarchaeology


Chapter in book

  • Rogers, B., Gron, K., Montgomery, J., Gröcke, D.R. & Rowley-Conwy, P. (2018). Aurochs Hunters: The Large Animal Bones from Blick Mead. In Blick Mead: Exploring the 'first place' in the Stonehenge landscape. Archaeological excavations at Blick Mead, Amesbury, Wiltshire 2005–2016. Jacques, D., Phillips, T. & Lyons, T. Oxford: Peter Lang. 1: 127-152.
  • Gron, Kurt J. & Rowley-Conwy, Peter (2018). Environmental Archaeology in Southern Scandinavia. In Environmental Archaeology: Current Theoretical and Methodological Approaches. Piskin, E., Marciniak, A. & Bartkowiak, M. Springer International Publishing AG, Cham. 35-74.
  • Gron, K.J., Andersen, S.H. & Robson, H. (2015). Bone fragmentation as a tool for quantification and identification of taphonomic processes and their effects: the case study from Havnø, a stratified Danish “Køkkenmødding.”. In Muge 150th The 150th Anniversary of the discovery of Mesolithic Shellmiddens. Bicho, N., Detry, C., Price, T.D. & Cuhna, E. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. 2: 189-206.

Journal Article

  • Gron, Kurt J., Rowley-Conwy, Peter, Fernandez-Dominguez, Eva, Gröcke, Darren R., Montgomery, Janet, Nowell, Geoff M. & Patterson, William P. (2018). A Meeting In The Forest: Hunters And Farmers At The Coneybury ‘Anomaly’, Wiltshire. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society 84: 111-144.
  • Price, T Douglas, Ritchie, Kenneth, Gron, Kurt J., Gebauer, Anne Birgitte & Nielsen, Jens (2018). Asnæs Havnemark: a late Mesolithic Ertebølle coastal site in western Sjælland, Denmark. Danish Journal of Archaeology 1.
  • Gron, K. J. & Sorensen, L. (2018). Cultural and economic negotiation: a new perspective on the Neolithic Transition of Southern Scandinavia. Antiquity 92(364): 958-974.
  • Gron, K. & Rowley-Conwy, P. (2017). Herbivore Diets and the Anthropogenic Environment of Early Farming in Southern Scandinavia. The Holocene 27(1): 98-109.
  • Gron, K. J., Gröcke, D. R., Larsson, M., Sørensen, L., Larsson, L., Rowley-Conwy, P. A. & Church, M. J. (2017). Nitrogen isotope evidence for manuring of Early Neolithic Funnel Beaker Culture cereals from Stensborg, Sweden. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 14: 575-579.
  • Andre Stewart, Nicolas, Fernanda Gerlach, Raquel, Gowland, Rebecca L., Gron, Kurt & Montgomery, Janet (2017). Sex determination of human remains from peptides in tooth enamel. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 114(52): 13649-13654.
  • Gron, Kurt, Montgomery, Janet, Otto Nielsen, Poul, Nowell, Geoff, Peterkin, Joanne L., Sørensen, Lasse & Rowley-Conwy, Peter (2016). Strontium isotope evidence of early Funnel Beaker Culture movement of cattle. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 6: 248-251.
  • Gron, Kurt J. & Robson, Harry K. (2016). The Ertebølle zooarchaeological dataset from southern Scandinavia. Open Quaternary 2(1): 1-15.
  • Gron, Kurt J (2015). Body part representation, fragmentation and patterns of Ertebølle deer exploitation in northwest Zealand, Denmark. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 25(5): 722-732.
  • Gron, K.J., Montgomery, J. & Rowley-Conwy, P. (2015). Cattle Management for Dairying in Scandinavia’s earliest Neolithic. PLOS ONE 10(7): e0131267.
  • Ritchie, Kenneth C, Gron, Kurt J & Price, T Douglas (2013). Flexibility and diversity in subsistence during the late Mesolithic: faunal evidence from Asnæs Havnemark. Danish Journal of Archaeology 2(1): 45-64.