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Mike Parker Pearson
  • m.parker-pearson@ucl.ac.uk
  • Direct: +44 (0)20 7679 4767
  • Internal: 24767
  • Room 310
  • UCL Institute of Archaeology, 31-34 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PY UK

Mike Parker Pearson

Research Interests

  • Stonehenge: its purpose and people
  • The Beaker people: diet and mobility in Britain 2500-1700BC
  • The Outer Hebrides: settlement and society from prehistory to the post-medieval period on the island of South Uist
  • Death and burial: funerary archaeology
  • Madagascar: society and change in the Indian Ocean
  • Prehistoric Britain and Europe in the 1st millennia BC and AD
  • Identifying mummification from skeletonised remains: soft tissue preservation in prehistoric Europe
  • Public archaeology and heritage
  • Ethnoarchaeology and material culture

Research Directory Records

Prizes and Awards

  • 2012 Visiting Professorship, Aarhus University, Denmark
  • 2012 AIA's Samuel H. Kress Lecturer in Ancient Art
  • 2010 UK Archaeologist of the Year
  • 2010 UK Archaeological Research Project of the Year (Stonehenge Riverside Project)
  • 2009 Royal Society of Northern Antiquaries Award (Stonehenge Riverside Project)
  • 2008 Andante Travels Archaeology Award (Stonehenge Riverside Project)

Professional History

  • 1990-2012 Department of Archaeology, University of Sheffield
  • 1984-1990 Inspector of Monuments, English Heritage
  • 1989 onwards - Membership of the Institute of Archaeologists 
  • 1991 onwards - Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London
  • 1996 onwards - Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland
  • 2006-2009 Vice-President of the Prehistoric Society
  • 1999-2005 Council Member (and Conservation Co-ordinator) of the Prehistoric Society

Educational Background

  • PhD, King's College, University of Cambridge, 1985Thesis title: Death, society and social change in the Iron Age of southern Jutland
  • BA Single Honours (1st Class) in European Archaeology, University of Southampton, 1979

I welcome proposals for PhD research in:

Funerary archaeology - all periods and places

In particular: 

  • Proposals with an ethnoarchaeological aspect,
  • The prehistory of Britain, western Europe and Scandinavia
  • The role in the present of the ancient dead

Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age Britain and Europe

In particular: 

  • Houses and the use of space,
  • Ceramics and portable material culture of the Late Neolithic in Britain,
  • Status and power in burial practices,
  • Comparative regional analysis of monument traditions,
  • Late Neolithic and Beaker settlement patterns

The archaeology of Madagascar and the Indian Ocean

In particular: 

  • Settlement patterns of cattle pastoralism
  • Tombs in the landscape
  • The archaeology of piracy

Current Students

  • Anna Bloxam Funerary Diversity across the British Chalcolithic (second supervisor Ulrike Sommer)
  • Hannah Bullmore The development of domestic architecture in Britain and Ireland, 4000-1000BC (second supervisor Stephen Shennan)
  • Mark Dalton Early Bronze Age British Funerary Vessels: similarities and differences in manufacturing techniques and the socio-cultural implications (joint principal supervisor with Neil Wilking (British Museum), secondary supervisor Ian Freestone)
  • Barney Harris Macroengineering Prehistoric Britain and Ireland: How did Neolithic and Bronze Age monument building in Britain and Ireland vary, through time and by region, in terms of practices of construction? (second supervisor Mark Lake)
  • Sarah Hoile Death, time and commerce: innovation and conservatism in styles of funerary material culture in 18th-19th century London (second supervisor Stephen Shennan)
  • Damon Ortega Stone circles as societal metaphors: a multi-scaled approach to modelling hierarchal and social change in the later Neolithic and early Bronze ages using the stone circules of Britain (principal supervisor Mark Lake)
  • Ethan White How can non-funerary deposits inform our understanding of political, social and ideological change in Southern Britain during the Early Middle Ages, 5th to 11th centuries (principal supervisor Andrew Reynolds)

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