School of History, Classics and Archaeology

Staff Profile

Dr Jan Harding

Senior Lecturer in Later Prehistory



Originally from the Black Country, in the West Midlands, I studied my first degree at Sheffied University. My PhD, under the supervision of Prof. Richard Bradley at Reading University, was on the Neolithic monuments of lowland England. I moved to Newcastle University in 1996.

Roles and Responsibilities

Fieldwork Convenor, Co-ordinator of the Prehistoric Forum

Previous Positions

Examinations and Assessment Officer (1996-98); Undergraduate Vacation Studies Field Manager (1999-2002); Director of Graduate Studies for archaeology, classics and history (2002-06); Faculty Research Committee (1999-2002); Faculty Graduate Committee (2002-06); faculty representative on the University’s Postgraduate Regulations Working Group (2003-06).


Research Interests

Neolithic and Bronze Age Britain
Neolithic of north west Europe
Later prehistory of northern England
Monumentality, cosmology, cults and pilgrimage
Agency and bodily practice
Temporality and chronology

Current Work

I am currently co-editing 'The Oxford Handbook of Neolithic Europe' (to be published by Oxford University Press) with Chris Fowler and Dani Hofmann, and preparing journal papers titled 'Temporality and the henges of later Neolithic Britian' and 'Carving the way forward: understanding the orientations of Neolithic cup and ring radials and penannular motifs in mid Argyll and northern Northumberland' (with Mark Lawson). I also have a fieldwork project at Hastings Hill, Tyne and Wear, 

Postgraduate Supervision

I have successfully supervised to completion a total of 18 MLitt students, 1 MPhil student and 5 PhD students. I currently supervise the following research students:

David Cockcroft (PhD, The Neolithic-early Bronze Age burials and barrows of Yorkshire)

Rachel Crellin (PhD, The Neolithic and early Bronze Age of Isle of Man)

Peter Topping (PhD, The mines and quarries of Neolithic Britain) 

Esteem Indicators

Invitations to organise the 1997 and 2000 meeting of the Neolithic Studies Group and present the opening address at the conference Neolithic Orkney in its European Context in 1998.

Other invitations to lecture by Council for British Archaeology, Neolithic Studies Group and the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge.

Journal referee for World Archaeology, Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, Archaeological Journal, European Journal of Archaeology, Cambridge Archaeological Journal, Journal of Social Archaeology, Archaeoastronomy and the Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society.

Referee for grant applications to Arts and Humanities Research Board and Leverhulme Trust.

Nominated member of National Council of the Prehistoric Society (2000-2003), the Theoretical Archaeology Group (2001-), the Regional Framework Steering Committees for Yorkshire and North East England (2002-2008), and the Thornborough Consultation and Working Group (2003-2005).

Co-ordinator of the Ure-Swale Archaeology Forum and a member of the Steering Committee of The Prehistory Research Section, Yorkshire Archaeological Society.

External examiner for: MPhil degree, Birmingham University (2002); PhD degree, Sheffield University (2003); MA in Archaeological Practice at the UHI Millennium Institute (2003-2005); BSc in Archaeology and MA in Archaeology at Bradford University (2004-2007); MScs in Archaeology, European Archaeology and Mediterranean Archaeology at Edinburgh University (2006-2010); and the MAs in Archaeology, European Prehistory and Aegean Archaeology at Sheffield University (2006-2010).

Member of Arts and Social Studies Subject Review Panel for the UHI Millennium Institute (2008).

Founder and trustee of the Thornborough Heritage Trust. 


2012, Rock Art in Northern Northumberland. Awarded £342 from the Prehistoric Society.

2011, Ure-Swale Archaeology Forum. Awarded £600 from SHCA Research Events Scheme, Newcastle University.

2003-2004, The Thornborough Monument Complex Project. Awarded £149,880 from English Heritage.

1998-2002, The Raunds Area Prehistoric Project. Awarded £189,484 from English Heritage.

1999, Archaeoastronomy and Cosmology at the Thornborough Monument Complex. Awarded £2,000 from Small Grants Panel, Newcastle University.

1994-1998, Vale of Mowbray Neolithic Landscape Project. Awarded £84,087 from English Heritage, British Academy, Society of Antiquaries, Robert Kiln Charitable Trust, and the Prehistoric Society.


Undergraduate Teaching

  • ARA1028 Prehistoric Britain
  • ARA2011 Later European Prehistory
  • ARA2100 Fieldwork Methods and artefact analysis
  • ARA3025 A Social Prehistory of the British Neolithic and Bronze Age

Postgraduate Teaching

  • ARA8031 Research Methods in Archaeology
  • ARA8182 Prehistoric Architecture: Houses, Monuments and Beyond
  • ARA8184 Bodies in Prehistoric Europe
  • ARA8186 Ancient Technologies