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Rob Sands

Lecturer In Archaeology

School of Archaeology
Room K007
Newman Building
Belfield
Dublin 4

Tel: 00353 1 716 8341
Email: robert.sands@ucd.ie

Biography

I studied for my B.Sc. in Archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London, graduating in 1989. This was followed by time working for the Sussex Field Archaeology Unit as a supervisor before heading north, in 1991, to Edinburgh to undertake Ph.D. research into Bronze and Iron Age woodworking. This was successfully completed in 1994 and the next three years saw me undertaking a variety of archaeological contract work, part-time teaching and developing on-line learning resources. My research and development of on-line learning resources led to a full time job with Edinburgh University in 1997. First with the TLA (Teaching and Learning Association) and subsequently as a member of staff of MALTS (Media and Learning technology Service). In the latter part of my time with MALTS I was responsible for the Edinburgh end of a SHEFC multi-institutional funded project to develop the Student Centric Web-based Informational Management System (SCWEIMS).

Current Roles within UCD School of Archaeology

School Head of Teaching and Learning
School Single Honours Officer
School Executive Committee Member
School Doctoral Advisory Panel Member
School Staff Student Liaison Committee Chair 
School ICT Officer
School Web Editor 


 

Professional

 

Associations

Association: General Management Board ArchaeoLandscapes Europe, Function/Role: Member
Association: Discovery Programme Council, Function/Role: Member
Association: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, Function/Role: Member
Association: Scottish Wetland Archaeology Programme, Function/Role: Founder Member
     

Conference Contributions

Sands, R. (2016) Seeing the wood for the trees: the challenges and pitfalls of recording and representing wooden objects. [Invited Oral Presentation], Seeing Through Time, Dublin , 15-OCT-16 - 16-OCT-16.
Warren, G., McDermott, C., Carlin, N., Davis, S., Elliott, I., Kelly, N., Lewis, H. , NÍ Lionáin, C., Sands, R. & Seaver, M. (2015) Recent archaeological research in Glendalough. [Invited Lecture], Glendalough Heritage Forum, Education Centre, Glendalough , 08-MAY-15 - 08-MAY-15.
Sands R., O'Sullivan A. & Dillon, M. (2015) Don't mind the weather: Canute was right, it's the tides that you have to worry about, and you can't stop them. [Invited Oral Presentation], Weather Beaten Archaeology, Institute of Technology Sligo , 07-MAR-15 - 08-MAR-15.
Anthony Corns, Steve Davis, Ruth Johnson, Rob Sands, Rob Shaw (2013) This two day conference brings together a series of speakers to showcase remote sensing techniques and the uses to which they can be put. [Conference Organising Committee Member], From Known Knowns to Unknown Unknowns: Remotely Detecting the Past, Dublin City Council Wood Quay Venue , 09-MAY-13 - 10-APR-13.
Rob Sands & Aoife Daly (2012) A symposium on tree-rings and fishweirs. [Conference Organising Committee Chairperson], Chronology, Culture and Archaeology - A symposium on tree-rings and fishweirs, UCD Humanities Institute , 28-SEP-12 - 28-SEP-12.
Rob Sands (2011) Fish Tales and lasers: mud, wood, tides and challenge. [Invited Oral Presentation], Technological Advances in Landscape and Heritage Management Recording: an Archaeolandscapes Europe one day symposium, University College Dublin , 12-AUG-11 - 12-AUG-11.
Sands, R.;Davis, S. (2011) The use of technology in the recording of archaeological sites, monuments and landscapes. [Conference Organising Committee Chairperson], Technological Advances in Landscape and Heritage Management Recording: an Archaeolandscapes Europe one day symposium, University College Dublin , 12-AUG-11 - 12-AUG-11.
O'Sullivan, A., Dillon, M., McDermott, C. & Sands, R.; (2009) The Fergus estuary and its islands: a maritime historic landscape in Co. Clare. [Invited Lecture], Culture, Environment and Change: Archaeological Research Seminar 2009, University College Dublin , 10-DEC-09 - 10-DEC-09.
O'Sullivan, A., Dillon, M., McDermott, C. & Sands, R.; (2010) Medieval fishweirs at Boarland Rock, Fergus estuary, Co. Clare. [Invited Lecture], Wetland Archaeology in Ireland and Beyond, University College Dublin , 06-FEB-10 - 07-FEB-10.
Corns, Anthony, Shaw, Robert, McAuley, John, Sands, Rob and Goucher, Kieron; (2009) SHARE I.T. (Spatial Heritage & Archaeological Research Environment I.T.). [Oral Presentation], Computer Applications in Archaeology (CAA2009), Williamsburg, Virginia, USA , 22-MAR-09 - 26-MAR-09.
Sands, Rob; (2009) Vindolanda- a digital perspective. [Invited Oral Presentation], WODAN workshop, Dublin , 06-OCT-09 - 06-OCT-09.
Sands, Rob; (2009) Cutting Edge Research: An Old Solution in Search of a New Methodology. [Oral Presentation], Computer Applications In Archaeology (CAA2009), Williamsburg, Virginia, USA , 22-MAR-09 - 26-MAR-09.
Sands, Rob; (2009) The potential of toolmark signatures for interpreting site chronology and work practices on medieval fishweirs. [Oral Presentation], SAO (Western Archaeology Seminar): archaeological and historical approaches of fishweirs, Rennes, France , 24-JUN-09 - 24-NOV-09.
O'Sullivan, A., McCormick, F., Kerr, T., Harney, L., Sands, R., McDermott, C., Seaver, M. & O'Hara, R.; (2008) Early Medieval Archaeology Project (EMAP): dealing with data and enabling knowledge. [Invited Lecture], IAI Autumn Conference 2008. New Horizons: advances in technical methods in Irish archaeology, Sligo , 17-OCT-08 - 19-OCT-08.
O'Sullivan, A., McCormick, F., Kerr, T., Harney, L., Sands, R. and McDermott, C.; (2008) The Early Medieval Archaeology Project (EMAP): Dealing with data, enabling knowledge. [Invited Lecture], Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland Annual Conference, Sligo , 17-OCT-08 - 17-OCT-08.
Sands, R; (2005) Investigating a crannog at Coolure Demesne, Lough Derravarragh, Co. Westmeath. [Conference Organising Committee Member], 11th International Conference on Wetland Archaeology, EDINBURGH , 20-SEP-05 - 24-SEP-05.
Sands, R.; (2003) Settling Down or Moving About? Iron Age 'Crannogs' in the Firth of Clyde, Scotland. [Oral Presentation], 10th International Conference on Wetland Archaeology,, Olympia, Washington , 01-APR-03 - 07-APR-03.

Committees

Committee : UCD School of Archaeology Executive
Committee : UCD School of Archaeology Teaching and Learning Committee
             

Publications

Books

O'Sullivan, A., Sands, R. and Kelly, E.P.; (2007) Coolure Demesne crannog, Lough Derravarragh, Co. Westmeath: a crannog and its landscapes. Dublin: Wordwell. [Details]
Hale, A. and Sands, R.; (2005) Controversy on the Clyde, Archaeologists, Fakes and Forgers: The Excavation of Dumbuck Crannog. Edinburgh: Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Mon. [Details]
Sands, R.; (1997) Prehistoric Woodworking: The analysis and interpretation of Bronze and Iron Age toolmarks. : Archetype Publications. [Details]

Book Chapters

Henderson, J. and Sands, R. (2013) 'Irish and Scottish crannogs' In: Menotti, F. and O'Sullivan, A (eds). The Oxford Handbook of Wetland Archaeology. Oxford: Oxford University Press. [DOI] [Details]
Sands, R. (2013) 'Portable wooden objects from wetlands' In: Menotti, F. and O'Sullivan, A (eds). The Oxford Handbook of Wetland Archaeology. Oxford: Oxford University Press. [DOI] [Details]
Sands, R; (2010) 'Characterisation of the transom toolmarks' In: Strachan, D (eds). Carpow in Context: A Late Bronze Age Logboat from the Tay. Edinburgh: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. , pp.75-80 [Details]
Crone A., Sands R. and Skinner T.; (2007) 'The waterlogged wood assemblage from the Pict's Knowe' In: Thomas, J (eds). Place and Memory : Excavations at the Pict's Knowe, Holywood and Holm Farm, Dumfries and Galloway, 1994-8. Oxford: Oxbow. , pp.101-116 [Details]
Sands, R.; (2007) 'The 'ard' spike' In: Thomas, J (eds). Place and Memory : Excavations at the Pict's Knowe, Holywood and Holm Farm, Dumfries and Galloway, 1994-8. Oxford: Oxbow. , pp.118-120 [Details]
O'Sullivan, A. and Sands, R.; (2007) 'Impressive, well appointed, rich and enigmatic: Coolure Demesne crannog, Lough Derravaragh, County Westmeath' In: Barber J. et. al (eds). Archaeology from the Wetlands: recent perspectives. Edinburgh: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. , pp.303-311 [Details]
Tipping R., Ashmore P., Davies A., Haggart A., Moir A., Newton A., Sands R., Skinner T. and Tisdall E.; (2007) 'Peat, pine stumps and people: interactions behind climate, vegitation change and human activity in wetland archaeology at Loch Farlary, northern Scotland' In: Barber J. et. al (eds). Archaeology from the Wetlands: recent perspectives. Edinburgh: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. , pp.157-164 [Details]
Crone B.A., Henderson J.C., Sands, R.; (2001) 'Scottish Crannogs: construction, collapse and conflation. Problems of interpretation' In: Raftery B.Hickey J (eds). Recent Developments in Wetland Research. Dublin: Department of Archaeology, UCD. , pp.55-68 [Details]

Edited Books

Barber J., Clark C., Cressey M., Crone A., Hale A., Henderson J., Housley R., Sands R. and Sheridan A (Ed.). (2007) Archaeology from the Wetlands: Recent Perspectives. Edinburgh: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

Sands, R.;Horne, J.A. (2017) 'Bring me three large beers: wooden tankards at Roman Vindolanda'. Oxford Journal of Archaeology, 36 (1):71-83. Available Online [Details]
Sands, R., O'Sullivan, A., Daly, A. and Dillon, M. (2016) 'Old maps, channel change, serendipity and loss: medieval fishweirs on the Fergus Estuary, Co. Clare, Ireland'. Journal of Wetland Archaeology, 16 . Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Daly, A., O'Sullivan, A. & Sands, R. (2014) 'Chronology, Culture and Archaeology: Precision Chronology of Wetland Structures Using Tree-Ring Studies'. Journal of Wetland Archaeology, 14 :1-5. [DOI] [Details]
Warren, G; Davis, S; McClatchie, M; Sands, R (2014) 'The potential role of humans in structuring the wooded landscapes of Mesolithic Ireland: a review of data and discussion of approaches'. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, 23 (5):629-646. [DOI] [Details]
Warren, G., McDermott, C., O'Donnell, L. & Sands, R. (2012) ''Recent Excavations of Charcoal Production Platforms in the Glendalough Valley, Co. Wicklow''. The Journal of Irish Archaeology, 21 :85-112. Link to full text [Details]
Tipping, R., Ashmore, P., Davies, A. L., Haggart, B. A., Moir, A., Newton, A., Sands, R., Skinner, T., Tisdall, E., ; (2008) 'Prehistoric Pinus woodland dynamics in an upland landscape in northern Scotland: the roles of climate change and human impact'. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, 17 (3):251-267. [Details]
Sands R. and Hale A.; (2002) 'Evidence of later prehistoric use of the Clyde from Marine Crannogs'. JOURNAL OF WETLAND ARCHAEOLOGY, 1 (1):41-54. [Details]

Other Journals

O'Sullivan, A., McCormick, F., Kinsella, J., Harney, L., Kerr, T., Seaver, M., O'Hara, R. Sands, R. and McDermott, C. (2010) 'Ireland's Early Medieval Archaeology Project (EMAP)' Society for Medieval Archaeology Newsletter 43 :7-9. [Details]
O'Sullivan, A., Dillon, M., Sands, R. & McDermott, C.; (2010) 'The Fergus Estuary and its islands: discovering a maritime historic landscape in Co. Clare' HeritageOutlook Summer 2010 :11-14. Available Online [Details]
 

Published Reports

O'Sullivan, A., McCormick, McDermott, C., Sands, R., Kerr, T., Harney, L., Kinsella, S., Seaver, M. and O'Hara, R. (2010) The Early Medieval Archaeology Project (EMAP): Project Report 200-2010. The Early Medieval Archaeology Project (EMAP), University College Dublin/Queens University Belfast. Available Online [Details]
O'Sullivan, A., Kelly, E.P. and Sands, R.; (2005) Archaeological Investigations of a Crannog at Coolure Demesne, Co. Westmeath: Report to National Monuments Service. UCD School of Archaeology, UCD. [Details]
O'Sullivan, A., Dilllon, M., Sands, R., McDermott, C., Shaw, R. and Devlin, G.; (2010) The Fergus Estuary and Islands: Discovering a maritime historic landscape in Co. Clare. UCD School of Archaeology/Heritage Council, Dublin. Link to full text [Details]
Sands, R.; (2010) Artefact Studies, Artefact Data, and Information Technology: A point in time review. UCD School of Archaeology/Heritage Council Grant Report, Dublin. Available Online [Details]
           

Reports

Sands, R.; (2006) Envisioning a Landscape: Investigating Lough Derravarragh, Co. Westmeath. Reports [Details]
               

Book Reviews

Sands, R; (2003) Review of Crannogs: A study of people's interactions with lakes, with particular reference to Lough Gara in the north-west of Ireland by Fredengren, C. Oxford: Book Reviews [Details]
Sands, R. (2016) Review of The End of the Lake-Dwellings in the Circum-Alpine Region. Book Reviews Available Online [DOI] [Details]
                                                                               

Research

Research Interests

My main focus is the application of ICT to archaeological research and teaching. From a materials perspective my research has concentrated on wooden and organic artefactual remains from archaeological excavations. Chronologically the main focus has been on material dating within the fist millennium BC and first millennium AD. 

 

Research Projects

Sponsor : University College Dublin (UCD)
Title : The potential and application of Light Field Photographic Technology to Heritage, Archaeology and the visual arts
Start Date / End Date : 28-JAN-15 / 28-JAN-16
Sponsor : University College Dublin (UCD)
Title : Chronology, Culture and Archaeology: expert seminar and meetings
Start Date / End Date : 01-MAY-12 / 31-OCT-13
Sponsor : The Heritage Council
Title : Fergus estuary and islands: final survey phase
Start Date / End Date : 20-APR-12 / 20-DEC-12
Sponsor : Irish Research Council (IRC)
Title : People and woodlands: an investigation of charcoal remains as indicators of cultural selection and local environment in Bronze Age Ireland
Start Date / End Date : 01-OCT-13 / 21-JUL-15
Sponsor : EC Framework (FP7)
Title : Chronology, Culture and Archaeology: Tree-ring Analysis and Fine Resolution Sequencing (CCA)
Start Date / End Date : 06-JUN-11 / 05-JUN-13
Sponsor : EC - DG Education and Culture (DG EAC)
Title : Archaeolandscapes Europe (ARCLAND)
Start Date / End Date : 15-SEP-10 / 14-SEP-15
Sponsor : University College Dublin (UCD)
Title : Technological Advances in Landscape and Heritage Management and Recording (a one day symposium)
Start Date / End Date : 10-JUN-11 / 30-SEP-11
Sponsor : The Heritage Council
Title : Digital Archaeology in Ireland: A Point in Time Review with Selected Reference to Initiatives World Wide
Start Date / End Date : 01-MAR-09 / 27-NOV-09
Sponsor : University College Dublin (UCD)
Title : Survey Grade Global Positioning System for Archaeology
Start Date / End Date : 01-JUN-07 / 01-DEC-08
Sponsor : The Heritage Council
Title : Envisioning a landscape, investigating Lough Derravarragh, Co. Westmeath
Start Date / End Date : 01-FEB-06 / 24-NOV-06
Sponsor : The Heritage Council
Title : Publication of work conducted at Coolure Demesne Crannog, Co. Westmeath
Start Date / End Date : 01-FEB-06 / 24-NOV-06

Recent Postgraduates

Lorna O'Donnel, whose research topic is: People and woodlands: an investigation of wood and charcoal remains as indicators of cultural selection and local environment in Prehistoric Ireland. Completed and passed 2011.

Current Postgraduate Students

Martin Duffy, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)   -   Thesis Co-Supervisor

Teaching

Teaching Philosophy

Since my appointment in 2002 my teaching has focused in two areas, the application of technology to Archaeology and the recording and understanding material culture, with an emphasis on organic materials. Teaching these effectively requires a combination of approaches but relies in large part on practical engagement.
         

Collaborators

Internal Collaborators

I have regular teaching and research collaboration with colleagues within the School and across the University. I have strong research links with Professor Aidan O'Sullivan, both from an experimental archaeology perspective and working on inter-tidal sites.

External Collaborators

Feargal Fitzpatrick, Head of Media, School of Fine Art, National College of Art & Design. We have been collaborating during 2014-2015 exploring innovative methods of photographically capturing images. Specifically the use of LightField Cameras. However, the collaboration is evolving to include a broad consideration of the use of imagery both now and in the past.

ARCHAEOLANDSCAPES Europe is a project that ran between 2010 and 2015 and involved 25 core partners across Europe. Latterly I have been on the General Management Board for that project.