As a Research Fellow within the department of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology my main role is to compile, analyse and deposit the archival material from Birmingham Archaeology; the results from twenty five years of commercial and research excavations at the University of Birmingham. This work has enabled my research interests in British Pre-history, landscape archaeology, how people interact with their environments with a special focus on excavation and GIS analysis.
My main research interests however lie in how Heritage and archaeology are positioned within the current discourses of sustainability and value. My PhD research focusses on the value, use, impact and sustainability of archaeological archives from commercial practices within the museum sector and this has opened new avenues of research across sectors including photography, library, family and community archives.
- BSc. Archaeology
- PhD candidate University of Birmingham
I gained my BSc specialising in British Pre-history and Landscape Archaeology from the University of Wales, Cardiff in 2001. My early career was in professional archaeology working across the country in fieldwork, post-excavation and publication posts based in London, Hereford, Cambridge and Birmingham. I joined the University of Birmingham as a member of the commercial arm of the department in 2006 as a project officer and progressed to project managing a variety of commercial and research projects.
Following a departmental restructure I moved into academia initially as a Research Associate and moving to Research Fellow in 2013. As a research Fellow a major part of my role is to compile, analyse and deposit the archival material from Birmingham Archaeology, the results from twenty five years of commercial and research excavations. I have recently completed the publication of 2 books which stem from research into some of these commercially funded research excavations.
To formalise my academic career I am currently completing a part time PhD within the department of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology at the University of Birmingham supervised by Dr Henry Chapman and Dr Roger White. My research focusses on the value, use, impact and sustainability of archaeological archives from commercial practices within the museum sector. I am a member of the Chartered institute for Archaeologists and sit on the Archaeological Archives Group committee. My continued involvement in professional archaeology attempts to bridge the gap between the academic and commercial worlds so as to ground my research in reality and impact upon professional practices.
Postgraduate and undergraduate teaching includes archaeological field practice, theory and application, post excavation processes and teaching on summer training excavations.
This area of interest stemmed from my PhD looking at the analysis of archaeological archives as a heritage asset, focussing on the value, use, impact and sustainability of archaeological archives from commercial practices within the museum sector. The interconnectivity of all forms of archives however has opened new avenues of research across sectors including creation, selection and retention, disposal, loss, use or lack of, legitimacy and archives as a vehicle of remembering and/or forgetting.
Life on the edge of a flood plain
This has mainly focused on the analysis of a large scale multi-phase excavation where palaeoenvironmental results have greatly influenced the interpretation of settlement and ritual activities within a wetland landscape. The results of this research are due to be published by Oxbow in 2015.
Settlement and Landscape
My other interests lie within British prehistory, mainly the Iron Age, specifically looking at landscapes and how people lived, perceived and interacted with their environment. Recently completed projects include the publication of 10 years of excavations at Longstanton, discussing how the inhabitants of this land interacted with their environment over a 6000 year period and how their relationship with the land they inhabited changed over time.
- Associate Member of the CIfA since 2008
- Committee Member of the Archaeological Archives Group
- Paul, S. and Hunt, J. (2015). Evolution of a Community: The Colonisation of a Clay Inland Landscape. Archaeopress
- Paul, S. Colls, K. and Chapman, H (2015). Living With the Flood. The Archaeology Of the Floodplain Edge, Sawston, Cambridgeshire. Oxbow