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Mr Michael Copper

PositionResearch Student
LocationPhoenix SW 01.05
DepartmentArchaeological Sciences
Telephone+44 (0) 1274 23 3547

Teaching and Supervisory Responsibilities

Module Coordinator: Humans Past and Present

Administrative Responsibilities

Occasional lecturer for Theoretical and Advanced Theoretical Archaeology

Professional Activities

Supervisory roles

Occasional lecturer for Theoretical Archaeology and Advanced Theoretical Archaeology

Association memberships

Prehistoric Society, Neolithic Studies Group, Prehistoric Ceramics Research Group


Currently involved in fieldwork at the Ness of Brodgar, Orkney

Research Areas

Thesis title

Understanding ceramic variation in Neolithic Atlantic Scotland





The Neolithic communities of Atlantic Scotland are central to debates over the nature and development of early farming communities in NW Europe. Indeed, some of the best-preserved evidence of Neolithic funerary architecture survives in the region. Less attention has been paid, however, to the non-funerary archaeology of the region, largely due to a paucity of well-dated or deeply-stratified sites. Excavations by Professor Ian Armit at the waterlogged islet of Eilean Dòmhnuill in North Uist, however, have produced a wealth of evidence relating to the non-funerary sphere. This includes one of the largest assemblages of decorated Neolithic pottery yet found in the UK. This material has not yet been fully analysed, and its potential to unlock understandings of the social role of Neolithic ceramics remains unrealised. The present project will use the analysis of the Eilean Dòmhnuill material, as well as material from the recently excavated site of An Doirlinn in South Uist, as a platform for a re-evaluation of Neolithic funerary and non-funerary ceramics from the Hebrides and the Atlantic façade of Scotland.


Conference Papers

Satanic pots on the road to nowhere? What we know and don’t know about Neolithic pottery in the Outer Hebrides. Presentation at the Yorkshire Archaeology Postgraduate Conference, University of Bradford, 6th June 2013.

Understanding Neolithic ceramic variation on the Scottish Atlantic façade. Poster at the Prehistoric Society Europa Conference, University of Cardiff, 30th-31st May 2014.

If it ain’t broke… Hebridean pottery: explaining 800 years of the same old thing. Presentation at The Neolithic and Early Bronze Age Research Student Symposium, University of Bradford, 15th November 2014.

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