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Professor Mark White


Professor in the Department of Archaeology


About Mark White

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

Mark's second major focus is the history of archaeology. 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 monographs on Nina Layard’s remarkable site at Foxhall Road, Ipswich, excavated between 1903-1905, and Sir William Boyd Dawkins, focussing on the controversy that surrounded his excavations at Creswell Crags in the late 1870s. 

Mark's latest book, A Global History of the Earlier Palaeolithic Period: Assemblng the Acheulean World, 1673-2020s, provides a highly readable and comprehensive narrative of discovery, theory and interpretation in the Palaeolithic. 

He is currently very interested in the market price of handaxes ca 1881. 

Current Projects
Mark is the PI on a major AHRC funded project Digital Technologies, Acheulean Handaxes and the social landscapes of the Lower Palaeolithic, in collaboration with collagues from the British Museum and UCL. The project runs from 2023-2026. 

Recent Works
Mark is the author of numerous books including A Global History of the Earlier Palaeolithic Period (2022), The British Palaeolithic (2012, ), The Quaternary of the Trent (2015) Lost Landscapes of the Palaeolithic (2016) and William Boyd Dawkins and the Victorian Science of Cave Hunting (2016)

Research Students
Mark is interested in supervising PhD students on a wide range 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


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Supervision students