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Uig Landscape Project

Project Team

Dr Mike Church, BSc (Hons) FSA Scot PhD

Senior Lecturer in the Department of Archaeology
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 41153

Contact Dr Mike Church (email at m.j.church@durham.ac.uk)

Biography

RESEARCH THEMES
My key research theme is the investigation of the interaction between humans and the environment in the North Atlantic islands (including Atlantic Scottish islands, Faroes, Iceland and Greenland) through reconstructing and analyzing
1) trajectories of environmental change
2) the impact of human settlement on palaeoenvironments
3) palaeoeconomies in different island settings
4) cultural adjustments to marginality

RESEARCH STUDENTS
I would be pleased to supervise research post-graduate students on the interaction between humans and the environment in the North Atlantic islands (including Atlantic Scottish islands, Faroes, Iceland and Greenland) with specific reference to environmental archaeology. Please email me about potential topics.

SELECTED CURRENT PROJECTS:
‘Landscapes circa landnám’. International, multi-disciplinary project investigating the human / environment interaction in the North Atlantic during the Norse period. I held a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at Geography, University of Edinburgh as part of this project (2002-2005) and was an Associated Researcher (2005-2007), concentrating on environmental archaeology, geochronology, geomorphology and palaeolimnology. Leverhulme Trust (UK) funded.

‘Heart of the Atlantic: cultural landscapes of Sandoy, Faroe Islands’. Co-director of this multi-disciplinary project investigating the changing cultural and natural landscapes on the island of Sandoy, from first settlement to modern time. Archaeological investigations are focusing on the extensive excavations at Undir Junkarinsflötti and Á Sondum in the village of Sandur. Principal funding bodies: Anadarko (Faroes), Faroese Research Council (Faroes), Leverhulme Trust (UK) and National Science Foundation (US).

Charcoal production in Norse and Medieval Iceland. This project is investigating charcoal production in two areas of Iceland (Mývatnsveit in north-east Iceland and the Markafljot valley in southern Iceland), to evaluate the role of charcoal production in landnám deforestation, the impact on the environment and potential management of woodland during the settlement of Iceland. The project involves archaeological survey and excavation of charcoal production pits, within a geomorphological and chronological context provided by tephrochronology and radiocarbon. Principal funding bodies: Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland (UK) and Leverhulme Trust (UK).

Excavations at Brattahlið, Qassiarsuk, southern Greenland. Co-director of excavations at this internationally important site during the summers of 2005 and 2006. Principal funding bodies: Leverhulme Trust (UK) and National Science Foundation (US).

‘Uig Landscape Project’, Lewis, Western Isles (UK). Co-directed four seasons of landscape survey and excavation of four archaeological sites across the Uig Peninsula, Lewis from 1995 to 1998. Post-excavation nearing completion. Principal funding bodies: Historic Scotland (UK), University of Edinburgh (UK), Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland (UK), Uig Estate and the Gearing family (UK).

Research Interests

  • Environmental archaeology of the North Atlantic islands including the Western Isles of Scotland, Faroes, Iceland and Greenland
  • Geochronological applications, specifically radiocarbon dating and tephrochronology, in the North Atlantic islands
  • Geomorphology and palaeolimnology in relation to the human / environment interaction in the North Atlantic islands
  • Mineral magnetic applications on archaeological and palaeoenvironmental sites
  • Archaeobotany of Scotland and the North Atlantic islands

Publications

Books: sections

  • Bond, J.M., Dockrill, S.J., Outram, Z., Batey, C.E., Summers, J., Friel, R., Brown, L.D., Campbell, E., Cussans, J., Cook, G., Legg, R., Marshall, W., McDonnell, J.G., Mustchin, A., Church, M.J., Hamlet, L.E. & Simpson, I.A. (2013). Excavations at Hamar and Underhoull. In Viking Unst: Viking Settlement in the Extreme North of Britain. Turner, V.E., Bond, J.M. & Larsen, A.-C. Shetland Heritage Publications. 123-179.
  • McGovern, T H, Arge, S, Arneborg, J, Ascough, P, Casely, A, Church, M J, Cook, G, Dugmore, A, Edvardsson, R, Einarsson, A, Fridriksson, A, Hambrecht, G, Harrison, R, Ingason, U, Johannesdottir, S, Keller, C, Lawson, I, Lucas, G, Koch Madsen, C, Newton, A, Ogilvie, A, Perdikaris, S, Roberts, H Simpson, I, Smiarowski, K, Thomson, A & Vesteinsson, 0 (2012). Vikings in the International Polar Year 2007-09: Still bloodthirsty but also ecodynamic and educational. In Viking settlements and Viking society: Papers from the Proceedings of the 16th Viking Congress. Sigmundsson, S, Holt, A, Sigurdsson, G, Olafsson, G & Vesteinsson, O. University of Iceland Press. 290-309.
  • Church, M J, Duarte, L, Edwards, K J, Lawson, I T & Newton, A J (2010). The palaeoenvironment of Mývatnssveit: Vegetation. In Hofstaðir: Excavations of a Viking Age feasting hall in north-eastern Iceland. Lucas, G Reykjavik: Institute of Archaeology. 32-38.
  • Dugmore, A J, Church, M J, Mairs, K-A, McGovern, T H, Newton, A J & Sveinbjarnardóttir, G (2006). An over-optimistic pioneer fringe? Environmental perspectives on medieval settlement abandonment in Þórsmörk, south Iceland. In Dynamics of northern societies proceedings of the SILA/NABO Conference on Arctic and North Atlantic Archaeology, Copenhagen, May 10th-14th, 2004. Arneborg, J & Grønnow, B Copenhagen: Aarhus University Press. 335-345.
  • Church, M J & Cressey, M (2006). Carbonized plant macrofossils and charcoal. In Anatomy of an Iron Age Roundhouse: The Cnip wheelhouse excavations, Lewis. Armit, IA Edinburgh: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. 182-194.
  • Mairs, K-A, Church, M J, Dugmore, A J & Sveinbjarnardóttir, G (2006). Degrees of success: evaluating the environmental impacts of long term settlement in south Iceland. In Dynamics of northern societies proceedings of the SILA/NABO Conference on Arctic and North Atlantic Archaeology, Copenhagen, May 10th-14th, 2004. Arneborg, J & Grønnow, B Copenhagen: Aarhus University Press. 365-373.
  • Church, M J (2006). Environmental analyses from Northton. In Excavations at Northton, Isle of Harris. Simpson, D D A, Murphy, E M & Gregory, R A Oxford: Archaeopress. BAR British Series 408: 26-40.
  • Lawson, I T, Gathorne-Hardy, F J, Church, M J, Einarsson, A, Edwards, K J, Perdikaris, S, McGovern, T H, Amundsen, C & Sveinbjarnardóttir, G (2006). Human impact on freshwater environments in Norse and early medieval Iceland. In Dynamics of northern societies proceedings of the SILA/NABO Conference on Arctic and North Atlantic Archaeology, Copenhagen, May 10th-14th, 2004. Arneborg, J & Grønnow, B Copenhagen: Aarhus University Press. 375-382.
  • Sveinbjarnardóttir, G, Mairs, K-A, Church, M J & Dugmore, A J (2006). Settlement history, land holdings and landscape change, Eyjafjallahreppur, Iceland. In Dynamics of northern societies proceedings of the SILA/NABO Conference on Arctic and North Atlantic Archaeology, Copenhagen, May 10th-14th, 2004. Arneborg, J & Grønnow, B Copenhagen: Aarhus University Press. 323-333.
  • Ceron-Carrasco, R, Church, M J & Thoms, J (2005). Towards an economic landscape of the Bhaltos Peninsula, Lewis during the Mid to Late Iron Age. In Tall stories? 2 millennia of brochs. Turner, V, Nicholson, R A, Dockrill, S J & Bond, J M Lerwick: Shetland Amenity Trust. 221-234.
  • Peters, C, Church, M J & Batt, C (2004). Application of mineral magnetism in Atlantic Scotland archaeology 1: techniques, magnetic enhancement and the identification of fuel sources. In Atlantic connections and adaptations: economies, environments and subsistence in lands bordering the North Atlantic. Housley R A & Coles G M Oxford: Oxbow Books. 86-95.
  • Church, M J & Peters, C (2004). Application of mineral magnetism in Atlantic Scotland archaeology 2: magnetic susceptibility and archaeobotanical taphonomy in West Lewis, Scotland. In Atlantic connections and adaptations: economies, environments and subsistence in lands bordering the North Atlantic. Housley, R A & Coles, G M Oxford: Oxbow Books. 99-115.
  • Church, M J & Burgess, C P G (2003). Assessment survey: Lewis. In Coastal erosion and archaeology in Scotland. Dawson, T Edinburgh: Historic Scotland. 55-64.
  • Church, M J (2002). The archaeological and archaeobotanical implications of a destruction layer in Dun Bharabhat, Lewis. In In the shadow of the brochs the Iron Age in Scotland. Ballin-Smith, B & Banks, I Stroud: Tempus. 67-75.
  • Church, M J (2000). Carbonised plant macrofossils and charcoal. In Dun Bharabhat, Cnip an Iron Age settlement in west Lewis. Harding, D W & Dixon, T N Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh. 1 Structures and material culture: 120-130.
  • Church, M J & Peters, C (2000). Sedimentary analysis of soil samples. In Dun Bharabhat, Cnip: An Iron Age settlement in West Lewis. Harding, D W & Dixon, T N Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh. 114-119.

Journal papers: academic

Journal papers: professional

  • Church, M J, Bishop, R R, Blake, E, Nesbitt, C, Perri, A, Piper, S & Rowley-conwy, P A (2012). Temple Bay, Harris. Discovery and Excavation in Scotland, New Series 13: 186.
  • Church, M J, Bishop, R R, Blake, E, Nesbitt, C, Perri, A, Piper, S, Rowley-conwy, P A, Snape-Kennedy, L & Walker, J (2012). Tràigh na Beirigh, Uig. Discovery and Excavation in Scotland, New Series 13: 190.
  • Caldwell, D, Gilmour, S & Church, M J (2011). Mealasta, Tigh nan Cailleachan Dubha. Discovery and Excavation in Scotland, New Series 12: 194.
  • Bishop, R R, Church, M J & Rowley-Conwy, P A (2011). Northton, Harris. Discovery and Excavation in Scotland, New Series 11: 186-186.
  • Church, M J, Bishop, R R, Blake, E, Nesbitt, C, Perri, A, Piper, S & Rowley-Conwy, P A (2011). Temple Bay, Harris. Discovery and Excavation in Scotland, New Series 12: 187.
  • Church, M J, Bishop, R R, Blake, E,, Nesbitt, C, Perri, A, Piper, S & Rowley-Conwy, P A (2011). Traigh na Beirigh, Uig. Discovery and Excavation in Scotland, New Series 12: 194-195.
  • Bishop, RR, Church, MJ & Rowley-Conwy, PA (2010). Northton, Harris. Discovery and Excavation in Scotland, New Series 11: 178.

Dr Simon Gilmour, MA(Hons) PhD FSA FSA Scot MIfA

Director of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland

Telephone: +44 (0) 131 247 4115

Contact (email at director@socantscot.org)

Biography

RESEARCH
My research area focuses on the archaeology of the first millennia BC and AD across the Atlantic Seaways.  I have co-directed excavations and landscape surveys in the Western Isles and Argyll, with colleagues in various universities and worked abroad in Syria, Romania and France on excavations.  I am currently an Honorary Fellow of the University of Edinburgh where I have taught various courses in Archaeology.

BACKGROUND
After completing my PhD I worked at the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) as the Aerial Survey Liaison Officer in the National Monuments Record for Scotland (NMRS) from 2001 to 2005.  During this period I was also Secretary of the Scottish Aerial Archaeology Group, and a member of the Aerial Archaeology Research Group (AARG).

From 2001 to 2004 I was elected to the Board of Archaeology Scotland (then the Council for Scottish Archaeology) as Honorary Secretary, and served as elected Vice President from 2004 to 2010.  I am currently the elected Vice Chair of the Built Environment Forum Scotland (BEFS) and convener of their Historic Environment Working Group (HEWG) and Historic Environment Bill taskforce.

I am currently Director of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, the oldest antiquarian Society in Scotland, and second oldest in the UK, founded in 1780.  Further information on the Society is available through the website www.socantscot.org.  As Director I manage the Society with a small staff team, servicing over 3000 Fellows across the world.

SELECTED CURRENT PROJECTS:
'Uig Landscape Survey Project', Lewis, Western Isles (UK). Co-directed four seasons of landscape survey and excavation of four archaeological sites across the Uig Peninsula, Lewis from 1995 to 1998. Post-excavation nearing completion. Principal funding bodies: Historic Scotland (UK), University of Edinburgh (UK), Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland (UK), Uig Estate and the Gearing family (UK).

'Glashan Dun', Argyll (UK). Co-directed a season of excavation and survey at this Iron Age roundhouse adjacent to the Glashan crannog.  Post-excavation nearing completion.  Principle funding bodies: Historic Scotland (UK), University of Nottingham (UK).

Research Interests

  • Archaeology of Iron Age Atlantic Europe
  • Aerial Survey
  • Management, Protection and Presentation of the Historic Environment

Publications

Gilmour, S (2005) 'Complex Atlantic Roundhouses - chronology and complexity', in Turner, VE, Nicholson, RA, Dockrill, SJ, Bond, JM (eds.) Tall Stories? - 2 millennia of brochs Shetland Amenity Trust, Lerwick, 78-96

Cowley, DC and Gilmour, S (2005) 'Some observations on the nature of aerial survey' in Brophy, K and Cowley, DC (eds.) From the air: understanding aerial archaeology, Stroud: Tempus, 50-63

Gilmour, S (2005) Review of 'The Iron Age in Northern Britain: Celts and Romans, Natives and Invaders' by D W Harding, Routledge, in Scottish Archaeological Newsletter 47, Council for Scottish Archaeology, 14

Gilmour, S (2005) Review of 'Facing the Ocean: the Atlantic and its peoples 8000BC-AD1500' by Barry Cunliffe, Oxford University Press, 2001 in Scottish Archaeological Journal 25.2, Edinburgh University Press, 188-9

Cowley, D C and Gilmour, S (2005) 'Discovery from the air: a pit-defined cursus monument in Fife' Scottish Archaeological Journal 25.2 (2003), Edinburgh University Press, 171-8

Fraser, S, Gilmour, S and Dawson, T (2003) 'Shorewatch: Monitoring Scotland's Coastal Archaeology' in Dawson, T (ed.) Conference Proceedings on Coastal Archaeology and Erosion in Scotland Historic ScotlandTechnical Conservation, Research and Education Division, 197-202

Gilmour, S (2002) 'Mid-first millennium BC settlement in the Western Isles?', in Ballin-Smith, B and Banks, I (eds.) In the Shadow of the Brochs a Festschrift to Dr. Euan MacKie, Tempus, 55-66

Gilmour, S and Henderson, J (2003) 'Archaeology at Loch Glashan in Argyll' Scottish Archaeological Newsletter 43,Council for Scottish Archaeology, 10-11

Redhouse, D I, Anderson, M, Cockerell, T, Gilmour, S, Housley, R, Malone, Cand Stoddart, S (2002) 'Power in Context: the Lismore landscape project' Antiquity 76, 945-6

Gilmour, S and Church, M (2002) 'On the edge of the World?: excavations at Uig, west Lewis' Scottish Archaeological Newsletter No38,Council for Scottish Archaeology

Gilmour, S (2002) 'Hot Bananas!' Review of the Rhind lectures by Barry Cunliffe, Scottish Archaeological Newsletter No39, Council for Scottish Archaeology, 3

Gilmour, S (2000) 'First Millennia Settlement Development in the Atlantic West', in Henderson, J (ed.) The Prehistory and Early History of Western Europe British Archaeological Reports, International Series 861, Oxford, 155-170

Gilmour, S (1998) 'Recent Excavations in Lewis' Historic Argyll No.3, LAHS, 14

Gilmour, S and Cook, M (1998) 'Excavations at Dun Vulan: a reinterpretation of the reappraised Iron Age' Antiquity 72, 327-37

Gilmour, S and Henderson, J (1998) 'Excavation of a Cairn at Cleigh, Kilmore in 1996' Historic Argyll No.3, LAHS, 13

Gilmour, S and Henderson, J (1997) 'Cleigh, Kilmore Parish, by Oban' Historic Argyll No.2, LAHS

Burgess, C, Gilmour, S and Henderson, J (1997) 'Recording Archaeological Excavations using GIS' Archaeological Computing Newsletter 46 Autumn 1996, Oxford, 2-9

Monograph

Harding, D W and Gilmour, S (2000) The Iron Age settlement at Beirgh, Riof, Isle of Lewis: Excavations, 1985-95 - Volume 1: The structures and stratigraphy Calanais Research Series No.1, Edinburgh University Department of Archaeology

Reports

Gilmour, S and Henderson, J (200) 'Survey and excavation at Loch Glashan Dun', Final Interim Report for Historic Scotland

Gilmour, S and Henderson, J (2005) 'Survey and excavation at Loch Glashan Dun Preservation Report', Final Preservation Report for Forest Enterprise and Forestry Commission Scotland

Burgess, C, Church, M, and Gilmour, S (1998) Uig Landscape Survey unpublished Interim Report in the Department of Archaeology, University of Edinburgh

Bonsall, C and Gilmour, S (1994) Archaeological Evaluation and Watching Brief at the former Auction Mart site, Lochavullin, Oban: Report to William Low plc. unpublished report lodged in the NMRS

Gilmour, S (2001) Shorewatch: Recording Scotland's Coastal Archaeology, Pilot Phase 3, Final Report unpublished report for the Council for Scottish Archaeology and Historic Scotland

 

Over 20 reports in Discovery and Excavation in Scotland published by the CSA (Archaeology Scotland)


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