My research focuses on the influence of anthropological concepts on our interpretation of the archaeological record: exploring their ability to provide new approaches and fresh perspectives, but also investigating how certain models – uncritically applied – can restrict interpretative discussion and introduce ethnocentric biases. 

Examining themes of pollution, personhood and ancestorhood, my doctoral thesis (2020, Trinity College Dublin) investigated the use of anthropological models in the interpretation of the funerary archaeology of Prepalatial Crete (c.3200-1900 B.C.). Advocating for scholarly self-reflection on how our own socio-culturally specific conceptions of individuality, purity and bodily decomposition have contributed to the longevity of specific anthropological concepts, my research illustrated that their tenets conflict with an increasing body of archaeothanatological evidence. Urging a reconsideration of these established interpretative models, it suggested how alternative anthropological approaches might afford a more nuanced perspective on multi-stage funerary practices, in Prepalatial Crete and beyond.

My postdoctoral research to date focuses on archaeological manuports: natural objects moved, but otherwise physically unmodified, through conscious human action. Whether pebble, shell or stone, manuports are found at sites of ritual, social and political importance across the Bronze Age Aegean. My research seeks to encourage their recognition as significant artefacts, emphasising their importance as items which were socially and symbolically produced. Following support from the Leverhulme Trust, British School at Athens and the Michael Ventris Award for Mycenaean Studies, I am currently preparing for publication my analysis of multiple pebble datasets from across eastern and south-central Crete. 

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