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researcher

Ben Elliott

Post Doc Research Fellow Lvl I

School Of Archaeology

Tel:
Email: benjamin.elliott@ucd.ie

Biography

A Post Doctoral Researcher, who has been lucky enough work on some fantastic projects including SoundTracks at Creswell Crags, POSTGLACIAL at Star Carr and Flixton Island, and Ice Age Island on Jersey.

My IRC-funded post doctoral project is titled 5MATTER. 
5MATTERS considers the ways in which people understood  material objects during the emergence of agricultural practices in Northwest Europe, c.6-7000 years ago. Axes are considered to be particularly high-status artefacts within these early farming societies, and this project will focus on the ways people engaged with axes at this key moment in global prehistory. In considering alternative ways in which people can relate to material culture, 5MATTER will contribute to debates surrounding our own attitudes towards raw materials and recycling, a key objective under the Horizon 2020 framework. This will be achieved through the close examination of the ways in which axes were made, used and deposited in both hunter-gatherer and agricultural contexts. However, 5MATTER aims to go further than this, in a novel attempt to overcome a key problem for the study of material culture within archaeology. Our ability to experimentally replicate archaeological artefacts to test their physical properties has been well established by UCD's Centre for Experimental Archaeology and Material Culture. Yet we are unable to marry this understanding of mechanical potential to more nuanced anthropological accounts of the ways in which making connects people to material objects, and shapes their perception of the material world.

 
In order to address this, 5MATTER will deliver an extensive programme of experimental archaeology to replicate different axe forms, and document the developing relationship between artefact and maker through open interviews. These axes will then be mechanically tested, to explore the relationship between physical properties and social perception. This is the first time these approaches have been combined in the study of material culture, provides the potential to understand the different ways in which contemporary communities regarded key forms of their material culture, and a new methodology for the study of artefacts in other archaeological contexts.

I started out with an interest in the ways people understood and engaged with animals in the Mesolithic, then became interested in the way people use animal materials, and the way people engage with the materials and objects that they make. Then I became interested in sounds animals make within a landscape - and this is where it has taken me. 

Publications

 

Book Chapters

Taylor, B, Conneller, C, Milner, N, Elliott, Little, A, Knight, R and Bamford, M (2018) 'Human Lifeways' In: Milner, C Conneller and B Taylor (eds). Excavations at Star Carr 2006-2015. London: White Rose University Press. [Details]
Elliott, B (2018) 'Stealing in through the back door: Sensory Archaeology in the European Mesolithic' In: J Day, R Skeates (eds). The Routledge Handbook of Sensory Archaeology. Oxford: Routledge. [Details]
Elliott, B, Taylor, B, Knight, R, Milner, N, Robson, H, Pomstra, D, Little, A, Conneller, C (2018) 'Bone and antler from Star Carr' In: H Luebke, D Grosse, J Meadows (eds). Working at the Sharp End: From bone and antler to Early Mesolithic Life. Proceedings of the Hohen Viehen workshop, March 2016. Schleswig-Holstein: SSHL. [Details]
Elliott, B, Hughes, J, Edmonds, M (2018) 'The Sound Fabric: Towards a sonification of landscape archaeology' In: A Both, M Stockil, J Hughes (eds). Crossing Borders: Musical Change and Exchange through Time. Berlin: Ekho Verlag. [Details]
Elliott, B (2018) 'In the fringes, at the twilight: Encountering deer in the British Mesolithic' In: Piper, J Walker and D Cillick (eds). Where the Wild Things Are Volume 2: Proceedings of the 2nd Conference in Durham 2014. Oxford: Oxbow. [Details]
Elliott, B, Knight, R, Little, A (2018) 'Barbed points' In: N Milner, C Conneller and B Taylor (eds). Excavations at Star Carr 2006-2015. London: White Rose University Press. [Details]
Elliott, B, Knight, R, Little, A (2018) 'Antler frontlets' In: N Milner, C Conneller and B Taylor (eds). Excavations at Star Carr 2006-2015. London: White Rose University Press. [Details]
Elliott, B, Knight, R, Little, A (2018) 'Osseous techology' In: N Milner, C Conneller and B Taylor (eds). Excavations at Star Carr 2006-2015. London: White Rose University Press. [Details]
Elliott, B, Taylor, B, Knight, R, Milner, N, Robson, H, Pomstra, D, Little, A, Conneller, C (2018) 'Bone and antler from Star Carr' In: H Luebke, D Gross (eds). Working at the Sharp End: From bone and antler to Early Mesolithic Life. Proceedings of the Hohen Viehen workshop, March 2016. Schleswig-Holstein: Schleswig-Gottorf. [Details]
 

Peer Reviewed Journals

Little, A, van Gijn, AL, Collins, T, Cooney, G, Elliott, B, Gilhooly, B, Charlton, S, Warren, G (2017) 'Stone Dead? Uncovering Early Mesolithic Mortuary Rites, Hermitage, Ireland'. Cambridge Archaeological Journal, 27 (2):223-243. [DOI] [Details]
Little, A, van Gijn, AL, Collins, T, Cooney, G, Elliott, B, Gilhooly, B, Charlton, S, Warren, G (2017) 'Stone Dead? Uncovering Early Mesolithic Mortuary Rites, Hermitage, Ireland'. Cambridge Archaeological Journal, 27 (2). [DOI] [Details]
Elliott, B and Milner, N (2010) 'Making a Point: A Critical review of the Barbed Point Manufacturing Process Practised at Star Carr'. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, 76 :75-94. [Details]
Milner, N, Conneller, C, Elliott, B, Koon, H, Panter, I, Penkman, K, Taylor, B, Taylor, M (2010) 'rom Riches to Rags: Organic Deterioration at Star Carr'. Journal of Archaeological Science, 38 (10):2818-2832. [Details]
Elliott, B and Hughes, J (2014) 'Sonic Horizons of the Mesolithic: using sound to engage wider audiences with Mesolithic research'. World Archaeology, 46 (3):305-318. [Details]
Elliott, B (2015) 'Facing the Chop: redefining British antler mattocks to consider larger-scale maritime networks in the early fifth millennium cal. BC'. European Journal of Archaeology, 18 (2):222-244. [Details]
Little A, Elliott B, Conneller C, Pomstra D, Evans A, Fitton, L, Holland, A, Davis, R, Kershaw, R, O¿Conor, S, O¿Connor, T, Sparrow, T, Wilson, A, Jordan, P, Collins, M, Colonesse, A, Craig, O, Knight, R, Lucqquin, A, Taylor, B, Milner, N ( (2016) 'Analysis of the World¿s Earliest Shamanic Costume: A Multi-Scalar, Experimental Study of a Red Deer Headdress from the Early Holocene Site of Star Carr, North Yorkshire, UK'. PLoS ONE, 11 (4). [Details]
Milner, N, Bamforth, B, Beale, G, Carty, J, Chatzipanagis, K, Croft, S, Conneller, C, Elliott, B, Fitton, L, Knight, B, Kröger, R, Little, A, Needham, A, Robson, H, Rowley, C, Taylor, B (2016) 'Unique Engraved Shale Pendant from the Site of Star Carr: the oldest Mesolithic art in Britain, Internet Archaeology'. Internet Archaeology, 40 . [Details]
Taylor, B, Elliott, B, Conneller, C, Milner, N, Baylis, A, Knight, B, Bamforth, M (2018) 'Resolving artefact deposition at Star Carr'. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, . [Details]
Elliott, B, Griffiths, S (2018) 'Living Mesolithic Time: time, organic material culture and narratives'. Journal of World Prehistory, . [Details]
                                                                                                                                           

Research

Research Interests

  • Hunter gatherer archaeology
  • Mesolithic Europe 
  • Hunter-gatherer and agriculturalist interaction
  • Human/animal relations
  • Osseous technology
  • Craft Theory
  • Prehistoric soundscapes
  • The role of Sound Art in Archaeology