My research focuses on prehistoric diet and subsistance patterns. In particular, by using organic residue analysis to detect biomarkers in ceramic vessels and then analyse them using highly sensitive spectrometric methods. My PhD will utilise this technique to interpret Early Neolithic Hebridean dietary patterns in relation to ceramic variation. The project will focus on the site of Eilean Dòmhnuill, a crannog site, which has shown a remarkable degree of ceramic conservatism over 800 years. This project uncover if dietary patterns also stayed the same over this time. Eilean Dòmhnuill has been theorised to have acted as a communal feasting site and a locus for the formation of Early Neolithic identities. Therefore, this project will also uncover key information regarding dietary choices at feasting episodes in the Early Neolithic. The data from this site will also be compared with other settlement and feasting sites across thr Hebrides and Orkney Islands. Additionally, I will also be using recently-developed direct-dating of pottery lipids to obtain absolute dates from pots from tomb sites across the Islands in order to uncover the chronology of the complex histories of these sites.
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