Dr Chris Fowler
Head of Archaeology & Senior Lecturer in Later Prehistoric Archaeology
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5759
- Address: School of History, Classics & Archaeology
University of Newcastle Upon Tyne
Newcastle Upon Tyne
I studied at the University of Southampton from 1992 to 1999, on BA hons and PhD archaeology programmes. Through my PhD, and through a Leverhulme Special Research Fellowship which I held at the University of Manchester from 2000 to 2002 I investigated the application of anthropological approaches to the body and the person in prehistoric archaeology, especially Neolithic and early Bronze Age Britain. I joined the School of Historical Studies at Newcastle in 2004.
I am extremely interested in anything to do with British and European later Mesolithic, Neolithic and early Bronze Age archaeology, and prehistoric archaeology in general. I am also interested in social and cultural anthropology, particularly where it relates to conceptions of the body and person.
Roles and Responsibilities
Head of Archaeology
Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.
Member of: the Prehistoric Society; the World Archaeological Congress; the European Association of Archaeologists; the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle Upon Tyne; The Implement Petrology Group; The Royal Anthropological Institute.
Founder member and co-organiser of the Tyne-Forth Prehistory Forum
Neolithic and early Bronze Age Britain
Personhood, the body and identity in archaeology and anthropology
Mortuary practice in prehistoric Europe
Cosmology in prehistoric Europe
Current and Recent Research
Much of my recent work has focused on Early Bronze Age mortuary practices. I am currently investigating Neolithic and Bronze Age mortuary practices and associated monuments on the Isle of Man as part of the Round mounds of the Isle of Man project, which I co-direct with Rachel Crellin. I have also been researching Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age mortuary practices in Northeast England, and published a new synthesis of the evidence for these mortuary practices in The Emergent Past: A Relational Realist Archaeology of Early Bronze Age Mortuary Practices (Oxford University Press, 2013), a book which also explores a new theoretical approach to archaeological synthesis. I also led a project entitled Dead but not forgotten: human remains from archaeological excavations in North-East England, which assessed how much human bone survives in contemporary collections from excavated Neolithic to medieval period sites in the North East of England (Northumberland, Tyne and Wear and County Durham). This was followed by an osteoarchaeological reassessment of the Early Bronze Age human remains in Tyne and Wear Museums, and a programme of radiocarbon dating for some of those remains, in order to refine our understanding of changing mortuary practices in the period.
In 2013 I participated in excavations at Low Hauxley, Druridge Bay, Northumberland, exploring the remains of an Early Bronze Age burial cairn, in collaboration with Northumberland Wildlife Trust and Archaeological Research Services, Ltd. as part of the Rescued from the Sea project. I have contributed to the excavation report which will be published soon.
Along with Richard Tipping (University of Stirling), I organised the Tyne-Forth Prehistory Forum from 2009-2012. I co-founded the Forum, which brought together archaeologists involved with research into prehistoric archaeology in north-east England and south-east Scotland. Its membership consisted of archaeologists working in universities, museums and heritage agencies, of students, volunteers and members of amateur archaeology groups, and contract archaeologists. It was a fundamental aspect of the network to promote collaborative research between members of these communities. I was the principle investigator for an AHRC-funded Research Networking project entitled Investigating Prehistoric Social and Cultural Networks through the Tyne-Forth Prehistory Forum, which funded five meetings of the Forum from 2010 to 2012 in order to investigate the nature, origins, and drivers of prehistoric social and cultural networks in the region, and the role of present-day borders that may disrupt our understanding of them. The meetings led to an edited volume on the prehistoric archaeology of Southeast Scotland and Northeast England which I co-edited with Richard Tipping and Rachel Crellin: Prehistory without borders: the prehistoric archaeology of the Tyne-Forth region.
I am also researching alternative approaches to social relations and social organization among prehistoric communities, approaches to personhood and the body, and the development of a relational realist approach to archaeology.
I am a member of the Research Council for the project 'Meetings Make History: Hunters’ Rock Art and Lands of Identity in Mesolithic northern Europe' (Oslo University, Principal Investigator Dr Ingrid Fuglestvedt), and a member of the Specialist Group reviewing and updating English Heritage's North East Regional Research Framework for archaeology.
I was a specialist advisor on prehistoric artefacts for The Cutting Edge, a project that draws together different sources of information about tools and weapons with sharp edges from collections held in Tyne and Wear Museums and combines existing information with new images of the artefacts. The project made high-resolution images and other information available online for public access, enabling easy assessment of key parts of the collection for future research projects.
I was the co-ordinator of the Bodies and Identities Research Strand in the School of Historical Studies, 2009-13.
I was the Programme Director for Research Degrees in Archaeology from 2005-2016.
I am a member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute.
I collaborated with Dr Vicki Cummings (UCLan) in excavating two Bargrennan chambered cairns in Dumfries and Galloway. Our interim reports are posted on-line through the Archaeology Data Service, and the final report was published as a British Archaeological Report in 2007.
I currently supervise the following PhD students:
- Mareike Ahlers 'Early Neolithic mortuary features and other pre-barrow constructions in the British Isles and the Near Continent'
- David Astbury 'Long-Term Landscape Development in Northern England: understanding path creation from late prehistory to the late Middle-Ages' (lead supervisor Prof. Sam Turner)
- Lucy Cummings 'Rethinking the henge monuments of the British Isles'
- Stephanie Moat 'A comparative approach to mimesis in sculpture from the Roman provinces' (lead supervisor Dr Jane Webster)
- Ben Morton 'Understanding the dynamics of change in historic landscapes' (lead supervisor Professor Sam Turner)
- Amber Roy 'A contextual and comparative analysis of the uses and significance of British Neolithic and Early Bronze Age hafted stone implements'
- Peter Topping 'The social context of prehistoric extraction sites in the UK'
Recently supervised PhD students:
- David Cockcroft 'Round barrows in Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age Yorkshire: Architecture, burial, and landscape' (2014)
- Rachel Crellin 'Scales of time, scales of change: the emergence of a Bronze Age on the Isle of Man' (2014)
- Sophie Moore 'Life, death and cosmology in Mid-Byzantine Anatolia (9th – 12th century AD): an holistic approach to mortuary practice' (lead supervisor Mark Jackson, 2013)
- Ndukuyakhe Ndlovu 'A comparative analysis of rock art in southern Africa: animals and cosmological models.' (lead supervisor Dr Aron Mazel, completed 2012)
- Michelle Gamble 'Health and disease in Chalcolithic Cyprus: A problem-oriented palaeopathological study of human remains.' (lead supervisor Dr Kirsi Lorentz, completed 2011)
- Brian Albrecht 'Activities at causewayed enclosures in the British Isles.' (lead supervisor Dr Jan Harding, completed 2010)
- Ana Clelia Corriea 'Engraved world: A contextual analysis of figures and markings on the rocks of south-eastern Piaui, Brazil.' (co-supervised with Dr Jan Harding, completed 2009)
- Hannah Lynch 'The use and exchange of Neolithic flint in northern England' (lead supervisor Dr Jan Harding, completed 2007)
Recently supervised MLitt students:
- David Astbury 'Settlement patterns in North Tyneside from prehistory to the medieval period' (lead supervisor Professor Sam Turner, completed 2015)
- Ivana Zivaljevic 'Human and animal bodies during the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in the Danube Gorges' (lead supervisor, completed 2010)
- Ben Dyson 'Cosmology and land use in upland Bronze Age landscapes'
- Erin Watson Rock art and 'portable' art in northern Britain'
- Jessica Windsor 'Anthromorphs of Chalcolithic Cyprus: a contextual study'
- Kate Phillips 'Violence in the British Iron Age'
- Hannah Flint 'Cosmology and architecture in prehistoric Britain'
If you are considering studying for an MLitt, MPhil or PhD in a topic related to my research interests I would be delighted to hear from you.
I am currently module leader for:
- ARA1028 Prehistoric Britain
- ARA2001 Archaeological Theory and Interpretation
- ARA3022 Themes in European Prehistory (cosmology, bodies, personhood, and art)
I also contribute to other modules including:
- ARA1001 Stuff: Living in a Material World
- ARA1027 Introduction to Archaeology
- HIS2085 Pre-Columbian and Spanish America
I am the module leader for:
- ARA8184 Bodies in Prehistoric Europe, c.6500-700 BC
I contribute to:
- ARA8090 Research Themes, Theories and Skills in Archaeology
- ARA8182 Prehistoric Architecture: Houses, Monuments and Beyond
- ARA8186 Prehistoric Technologies
I am an external examiner for Archaeology BA (hons) and MA Social Archaeology at Southampton University. Between 2010 and 2014 I was external examiner for the following MA programmes at Sheffield University: MA Archaeology; MA European Prehistory, MA Aegean Prehistory and; MA in Medieval Archaeology.
- Fowler C. Relational typologies, assemblage theory and Early Bronze Age burials. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 2017, 27(1), 95-109.
- Fowler C, Wilkin N. Early Bronze Age mortuary practices in North-East England and South-East Scotland: Using relational typologies to trace social networks. In: Crellin, R; Fowler, C; Tipping, R, ed. Prehistory without borders: the prehistoric archaeology of the Tyne-Forth region. Oxford: Oxbow Books, 2016, pp.112-135.
- Crellin R, Fowler C, Tipping R. Prehistory without borders: an introduction. In: Crellin, R; Fowler, C; Tipping, R, ed. Prehistory without borders: the prehistoric archaeology of the Tyne-Forth region. Oxford: Oxbow Books, 2016, pp.1-15.
- Crellin R, Fowler C, Tipping R, ed. Prehistory without borders: the prehistoric archaeology of the Tyne-Forth region. Oxford: Oxbow Books, 2016.
- Fowler C. Relational Personhood Revisited. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 2016, 26(3), 397-412.
- Waddington C, Bonsall C, Cockburn P, Fowler C, Griffiths B, Davies J, Payton R, Barnetson L, Speak S. Excavation. In: Waddington, C; Bonsall, C, ed. Archaeology and environment on the North Sea Littoral: a case study from Low Hauxley. Hebburn; Newcastle upon Tyne: Archaeological Research Services; Northumberland Wildlife Trust, 2016, pp.15-81.
- Waddington C, Bickett A, Bonsall C, Fowler C, Innes J, Tipping R. Discussion. In: Waddington, C; Bonsall, C, ed. Archaeology and environment on the North Sea Littoral: a case study from Low Hauxley. Hebburn; Newcastle upon Tyne: Archaeological Research Services; Northumberland Wildlife Trust, 2016, pp.254-290.
- Fowler C, Harris O. Enduring relations: exploring a paradox of new materialism. Journal of Material Culture 2015, 20(2), 127-148.
- Fowler C. Change and continuity in Early Bronze Age mortuary rites: a case study from Northumberland. In: Brandt, R., Ingvaldsen, H., Prusac, M, ed. Death and Changing Rituals: Function and meaning in ancient funerary practices. Oxford: Oxbow Books, 2015, pp.45-91.
- Fowler C, Scarre C. Mortuary practices and bodily representations in north-west Europe. In: Fowler, C; Harding, J; Hofmann, D, ed. The Oxford Handbook of Neolithic Europe. Oxford University Press, 2015, pp.1023-1047.
- Fowler C, Harding J, Hofmann D, ed. Oxford Handbook of Neolithic Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015.
- Fowler C, Harding J, Hofmann D. The Oxford Handbook of Neolithic Europe: an introduction. In: Fowler, C; Harding, J; Hofmann, D, ed. The Oxford Handbook of Neolithic Europe. Oxford University Press, 2015, pp.3-23.
- Fowler C. Dynamic assemblages, or the past is what endures: change and the duration of relations. In: Alberti, B; Jones, AM; Pollard, J, ed. Archaeology after interpretation: returning materials to archaeological theory. Walnut Creek, California: Left Coast Press, Inc, 2014, pp.235-256.
- Fowler C. Memory, Myth and Long-Term Landscape Inhabitation, edited by A M Chadwick & C Gibson [Book review]. London: Prehistoric Society, 2014. Available at: http://www.prehistoricsociety.org/files/reviews/Memory_Myth_and_Landscape_final_review.pdf.
- Fowler C. The Emergent Past: A Relational Realist Archaeology of Early Bronze Age Mortuary Practices. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.
- Gamble M, Fowler C. A re-assessment of Early Bronze Age human remains in Tyne and Wear Museums: results and implications for interpreting Early Bronze Age burials from North-East England and beyond. Archaeologia Aeliana 2013, 42, 47-80.
- Fowler C. Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age burials in North-East England. 2013. York: Archaeology Data Service.
- Fowler C. Identities in Transformation: identities, funerary rites and the mortuary process. In: Tarlow, S. and Nilsson Stutz, L, ed. The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of Death and Burial. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013, pp.511-526.
- Gamble M, Fowler C. Osteological Analysis of Early Bronze Age human skeletal remains in Tyne and Wear Museums. 2013. York: Archaeology Data Service.
- Fowler C. Personhood and the Body. In: Insoll, T, ed. The Oxford Handbook of Ritual and Religion in Archaeology. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2011, pp.133-150.
- Fowler C. From Identity and Material Culture to Personhood and Materiality. In: Mary Beaudry and Dan Hicks, ed. The Oxford Handbook of Material Culture Studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010, pp.352-385.
- Fowler C. Pattern and diversity in the Early Neolithic mortuary practices of Britain and Ireland: contextualising the treatment of the dead. Documenta Praehistorica 2010, XXXVII, 1-22.
- Fowler C. Relational personhood as a subject of anthropology and archaeology: comparative and complementary analyses. In: Garrow, D., Yarrow, T, ed. Archaeology and Anthropology: understanding similarities, exploring difference. Oxford: Oxbow, 2010, pp.137-159.
- Fowler C. Comment on 'Funerals as Feasts: Why Are They So Important?' by Brian Hayden. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 2009, 19(1), 45-47.
- Fowler C. Comment on 'The regeneration of life: Neolithic structures of symbolic remembering and forgetting' (Ian Kuijt, this issue). Current Anthropology 2008, 49(2), 188-189.
- Fowler C. Fractal bodies in the past and present. In: Dusan Boric and John Robb, ed. Past Bodies: Body-Centred Research in Archaeology. Oxford: Oxbow Books, 2008, pp.47-57.
- Cummings V, Fowler C. From Cairn to Cemetery : An archaeological investigation of the chambered cairns and early Bronze Age mortuary deposits at Cairnderry and Bargrennan White Cairn, south-west Scotland. Oxford: Archaeopress, 2007.
- Fowler C. Inside the Neolithic mind: consciousness, cosmos and the realm of the gods' - By David Lewis-Williams and David Pearce. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Insitute 2007, 13(3), 765-766.
- Fowler C. Landscape and personhood. In: David, B; Thomas, J, ed. Handbook of Landscape Archaeology. California: Left Coast Press, 2007, pp.291-299.
- Fowler C. Identity politics: personhood, kinship, gender and power in Neolithic and early Bronze Age Britain. In: Conlin Casella, E., Fowler, C, ed. The Archaeology of Plural and Changing Identities: Beyond Identification. New York: Springer, 2005, pp.109-134.
- Casella, E, Fowler, C, ed. The Archaeology of Plural and Changing Identities : Beyond Identification. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers Group, 2004.
- Fowler C. In touch with the past? Bodies, monuments and the sacred in the Manx Neolithic. In: Cummings, V., Fowler, C, ed. The Neolithic of the Irish Sea: Materiality and Traditions of Practice. Oxford, UK: Oxbow Books, 2004, pp.91-102.
- Fowler C. The Archaeology of Personhood: An anthropological approach. London, UK: Routledge, 2004.
- Cummings V, Fowler C. The form and setting of Manx chambered cairns: cultural comparisons and social interpretations. In: Cummings, V., Fowler, C, ed. The Neolithic of the Irish Sea: Materiality and Traditions of Practice. Oxford, UK: Oxbow Books, 2004, pp.113-122.
- Cummings V, Fowler C, ed. The Neolithic of the Irish Sea: Materiality and traditions of practice. Oxford, UK: Oxbow Books, 2004.
- Fowler C, Cummings V. Places of transformation: building monuments from water and stone in the Neolithic of the Irish Sea. The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 2003, 9(1), 1-20.
- Fowler C. Rates of (ex)change: Decay and growth, memory and the transformation of the dead in early Neolithic southern Britain. In: Williams, H, ed. Archaeologies of Remembrance: Death and Memory in Past Societies. New York, USA: Springer, 2003, pp.45-63.
- Fowler C. Body parts: Personhood and materiality in the Manx Neolithic. In: Hamilakis, Y., Pluciennik, M., Tarlow, S, ed. Thinking Through the Body: Archaeologies of Corporeality. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, 2002, pp.47-69.
- Fowler C. Personhood and social relations in the British Neolithic, with a study from the Isle of Man. Journal of Material Culture 2001, 6(2), 137-163.
- Fowler C. The subject, the individual, and archaeological interpretation: reading Judith Butler and Luce Irigaray. In: Cornelius Holtorf and Hakan Karlsson, ed. Philosophy and Archaeological Practice: Perspectives for the 21st Century. Gothenburg: Bricoleur Press, 2000, pp.107-135.
- Turner S, Fowler C. The bones of the Northumbrian landscape: technologies of social change in the conversion period. In: Ó Carragáin, T; Turner, S, ed. Making Christian landscapes in Atlantic Europe. Conversion and consolidation in the early Middle Ages. Cork, Ireland: Cork University Press, 2016, pp.249-263.