School of History, Classics and Archaeology

Staff Profile

Dr Lisa-Marie Shillito

Senior Lecturer in Landscape Archaeology; Director of Archaeology Labs


Roles and Responsibilities

Director of the Wolfson Archaeology Laboratory and Earthslides laboratory
University Open Access Steering Group HASS Faculty representative
University Innovation and Engagement Group, HCA representative

Previous positions

Research Fellow, University of Edinburgh, 2013 - 2015.
Research Associate (Geoarchaeology), University of Reading, 2012 - 2013.
Research Associate (Archaeological Chemistry), University of York, 2010 - 2012.
Research Assistant (Geoarchaeology), University of Reading, 2008 - 2010.


PhD Chemistry and Archaeology, University of Reading, 2008.
NERC MSc Geoarchaeology, University of Reading, 2004.
BA (Hons) Geography, University of Oxford, 2003.

Honours and External Appointments

Member of the AHRC Peer Review College

Member of UKRI Future Leadership Fellows PRC

Editor of the Archaeological Journal

Assistant editor Landscape Research journal

Google scholar: Click here.
SCOPUS: Click here.


I am an environmental archaeologist with expertise in geoarchaeology and chemistry. My research focuses on understanding the relationships between people and their environments in the past, and how we can use the long term perspectives of archaeology to inform modern day responses to environmental change. The majority of my early work focused on Neolithic societies in the Near East, and I have worked for over a decade at the World Heritage Site of Çatalhöyük in Turkey. More recently I have expanded my focus to include the Neolithic of Britain, through my work as a Research Associate for the AHRC Feeding Stonehenge project, and I am currently working at the Ness of Brodgar in Orkney. I also have interests in the early prehistory of North America.

I am happy to discuss potential PhD or postdoctoral projects, either collaborative linked to my current projects (below), or your own research related to any aspect of my thematic and methodological interests. 

ORCID profile here.

Current Research Projects

Biofuels and Respiratory Health at Catalhoyuk World Heritage Site, Turkey (Wellcome Trust 2017 - 2018)

Ness of Brodgar, Orkney (Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, Orkney Archaeology Society 2013 - )

Paisley Caves, Oregon USA (NERC 2016 - 2019)

Olynthos Project

Past Research Projects

Ecology of Crusading

Central Zagros Archaeological Project

Feeding Stonehenge

Margat Castle

Postgraduate Supervision

Alicia Sawyer (Research Excellence Academy Studentship 2017 - 2020)

Mara Schumacher (AHRC Northern Bridge Studentship 2018 - 2021)


Module leader

ARA2004 - Animals, Plant and People: An Introduction to Environmental Archaeology

ARA3004 - Geoarchaeology

ARA3001, ARA3002, ARA3003 - Dissertations in Archaeology (including joint subjects)

Module contributor

ARA8234 - Landscape Archaeology Theory and Practice

ARA1026 - Introduction to Archaeological Science

ARA1027 - Introduction to Archaeology

ARA3119 - You are what you make: the archaeology of technology and production


  • Wade K, Shillito L-M, Marston JM, Bonsall C. Assessing the potential of phytolith analysis to investigate local environment and prehistoric plant resource use in temperate regions: a case study from Williamson’s Moss, Cumbria, Britain . Environmental Archaeology 2019. In Press.
  • Kluiving SJ, Durcan JA, Bebermeier W, Inglis R, Heyvaert VMA, Howard A, Shillito L-M. Geoarchaeology: Human adaptation to landscape changes, landscape resilience to human impact and integrating palaeoenvironmental and archaeological records. Quaternary International 2019, 501(Part B), 269-271.
  • Turner S, Shillito L-M, Carrer F. Landscape Archaeology. In: P. Howard, I. Thompson, E. Waterton and M. Atha, ed. The Routledge Companion to Landscape Studies. London, UK: Routledge, 2019, pp.155-165.
  • Shillito L-M, Blong J, Jenkins D, Stafford TW, Whelton H, McDonough K, Bull I. New Research at Paisley Caves: Applying New Integrated Analytical Approaches to Understanding Stratigraphy, Taphonomy and Site Formation Processes. PaleoAmerica 2018, 4(1), 82-86.
  • Shillito L-M. Phytolith Analysis. In: López-Varela S, ed. The SAS Encyclopedia of Archaeological Sciences. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2018. In Press.
  • Shillito L-M. Gas Chromatography – Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS). In: Nicosia C; Stoops GR, ed. Archaeological Soil and Sediment Micromorphology. Wiley-Blackwell, 2017.
  • Shillito L-M. Multivocality and multiproxy approaches to the use of space: lessons from 25 years of research at Çatalhöyük. World Archaeology 2017, 49(2), 237-259.
  • Radini R, Nikita E, Shillito L-M. Human Dental Calculus and a Medieval Urban Environment. In: Jervis, B; Broderick, L; Grau-Sologestoa, I, ed. Objects, Environment, and Everyday Life in Medieval Europe. Turnhout: Brepols, 2016, pp.297-313.
  • Shillito L-M. Tiziana Matarazzo. Micromorphological analysis of activity areas sealed by Vesuvius’ Avellino eruption: the Early Bronze Age village of Afragola in southern Italy. 2015. [Book review]. Antiquity 2016, 90(352), 1123-1124.
  • Craig OE, Shillito L-M, Albarella U, Viner-Daniels S, Chan B, Cleal R, Ixer R, Jay M, Marshall P, Simmons E, Wright E, Pearson MP. Feeding Stonehenge: cuisine and consumption at the Late Neolithic site of Durrington Walls. Antiquity 2015, 89(347), 1096-1109.
  • Shillito L-M. Middens and other trash deposits. In: Karen Bescherer Metheny, Mary C. Beaudry, ed. Archaeology of Food: An Encyclopedia. AltaMira Press, 2015.
  • Shillito L-M, Fairnell E, Williams H. Special Issue: Experimental Archaeology. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences 2015, 7(1), 1-2.
  • Shillito L-M, McKenzie J, Card N, Pike S, Chan B. Subsistence, technology and resource use in Neolithic Orkney at the Ness of Brodgar. Antiquity 2015, 348, proj gall.
  • Sawicki Z, Pluskowski AG, Brown A, Badura M, Makowiecki D, Shillito L-M, Zabilska-Kunek M, Seetah K. Survival at the Frontier of Holy War: Political Expansion, Crusading, Environmental Exploitation and the Medieval Colonizing Settlement at Biała Góra, North Poland. European Journal of Archaeology 2015, 18(2), 282-311.
  • Brown AD, Banerjea R, Wynne AD, Stivrins N, Jarzebowski M, Shillito L-M, Pluskowski AG. The Ecological Impact of Conquest and Colonization on a Medieval Frontier Landscape: Combined Palynological and Geochemical Analysis of Lake sediments from Radzyń Chełminski, Northern Poland. Geoarchaeology 2015, 30(6), 511-527.
  • Pluskowski AG, Sawicki Z, Shillito L-M, Badura M, Makowiecki D, Zabilska-Kunek M, Seetah K, Brown A. Biała Góra: The Forgotten Colony in the Medieval Pomeranian-Prussian Borderlands. Antiquity 2014, 88(341), 863-882.
  • Shillito L-M. Geoarchaeology at the microscale. European Geologist 2014, 38, 59-62.
  • Shillito L-M, Major B, Almond MJ, Anderson E, Pluskowski A. Micromorphological and geochemical investigation of formation processes in the refectory at the Crusader Castle of Margat (Qal’at al-Marqab). Journal of Archaeological Science 2014, 50, 451 – 459.
  • Matthews W, Shillito L-M, Elliot S, Bull ID, Williams J. Neolithic lifeways: microstratigraphic traces within houses, animal pens and settlements. In: Whittle, A; Bickle, P, ed. Early Farmers: The View from Archaeology and Science. British Academy and OUP, 2014, pp.251-279.
  • Shillito L-M, Matthews W, Bull ID, Williams J. Biomolecular investigations of faecal biomarkers at Sheik-e Abad and Jani. In: Matthews, R; Matthews, W; Mohammadifar, Y, ed. The Earliest Neolithic of Iran: 2008 Excavations at Sheikh-e Abad and Jani. Oxford: Oxbow and British Institute for Persian Studies, 2013, pp.105-115.
  • Robertson A, Lochrie R, Timpany S, Bailey L, Mynett L, Shillito L-M, Smith C. Built to last: Mesolithic and Neolithic settlement at two sites beside the Forth estuary. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 2013, 143, 1-64.
  • Shillito L-M, Matthews W, Almond MJ. Ecology, diet and discard practices: new interdisciplinary approaches to the study of middens – integrating micromorphological, phytolith and geochemical analyses. In: Hodder, I, ed. Humans and Landscapes of Çatalhöyük: reports from the 2000-2008 excavations. Cotsen Institute/BIAA, 2013, pp.63-75.
  • Shillito L-M, Matthews W. Geoarchaeological Investigations of Midden-Formation Processes in the Early to Late Ceramic Neolithic Levels at Çatalhöyük, Turkey ca. 8550–8370 cal BP. Geoarchaeology 2013, 28, 25 – 49.
  • Shillito L-M. Grains of truth or transparent blindfolds? Debates in archaeological phytolith analysis. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 2013, 22(1), 71-82.
  • Shillito L-M, Bull ID, Matthews W, Almond MJ, Evershed RJ. Integrated geochemical and microscopic analysis of human coprolites, animal dung and organic remains in burials. In: Hodder, I, ed. Humans and Landscapes of Çatalhöyük: reports from the 2000-2008 excavations. Cotsen Institute/BIAA, 2013, pp.75-79.
  • Shillito L-M, Elliot S. Phytolith indicators of plant resource use at Sheikh-e Abad and Jani. In: Matthews, R; Matthews, W; Mohammadifar, Y, ed. The Earliest Neolithic of Iran: 2008 Excavations at Sheikh-e Abad and Jani. Oxford: Oxbow and British Institute for Persian Studies, 2013, pp.185-200. In Preparation.
  • Shillito L-M, Ryan P. Surfaces and streets: phytoliths, micromorphology and changing use of space at Neolithic Çatalhöyük (Turkey). Antiquity 2013, 87(337), 684 – 700.
  • Carson S, Shillito L-M, Brown AD, Pluskowski AG. Environmental assessment of samples from the castle site at Grudziądz, Poland. In: Wiewióra, M, ed. Zamek w Grudziądzu w świetle badań archeologiczno-architektonicznych. Materiały i studia. Toruń: UMK, 2012.
  • Shillito L-M. Preliminary Microstratigraphic Observations of Ash Deposits and Architectural Materials at Kamiltepe, Azerbaijan. In: Lyonnet, B; Guliyev, F; Helwing, B; Aliyev, T; Hansen, S; Mirtskhulava, G, ed. Ancient Kura 2010–2011. The First Two Seasons of Joint Fieldwork in the Southern Caucasus. Berlin: Dietrich Reimer Verlag, 2012, pp.31-36.
  • Shillito L-M, Bull ID, Matthews W, Almond MJ, Williams J, Evershed RP. Biomolecular and micromorphological analysis of suspected faecal deposits at Neolithic Çatalhöyük, Turkey. Journal of Archaeological Science 2011, 38, 1869 – 1877.
  • Shillito L-M. Daily activities, diet and resource use at Neolithic Çatalhöyük. Archaeopress, 2011.
  • Shillito L-M. Simultaneous thin section and phytolith observations of finely stratified deposits from Neolithic Çatalhöyük, Turkey: implications for paleoeconomy and Early Holocene paleoenvironment. Journal of Quaternary Science 2011, 26(6), 576–588.
  • Shillito L-M. Taphonomic observations of archaeological wheat phytoliths from Neolithic Çatalhöyük , Turkey, and the use of conjoined phytolith size as an indicator of water availability. Archaeometry 2011, 53, 631 – 641.
  • Shillito L-M, Matthews W, Almond MJ, Bull ID. The microstratigraphy of middens: capturing daily routine in rubbish at Neolithic Çatalhöyük, Turkey. Antiquity 2011, 85(329), 1024 - 1038.
  • Shillito L-M, Almond MJ. Comment on “Fruit and seed biomineralization and its effect on preservation” . Journal of Anthropological and Archaeological Science 2010, 2, 225-229.
  • Shillito L-M, Almond MJ, Nicholson J, Pantos M, Matthews W. Rapid characterisation of archaeological midden components using FT-IR spectroscopy, SEM-EDX and micro XRD. Spectrochimica Acta Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy 2009, 73, 133-9.
  • Shillito L-M, Almond MJ, Wicks K, Marshall L, Matthews W. The use of FT-IR as a screening technique for organic residue analysis of archaeological samples. Spectrochimica Acta Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy 2009, 72, 120 – 125.