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Cathy is an archaeological scientist with a focus developing methods for dating archaeological materials and integrating the outcomes within large scale collaborative archaeological projects to produce a better understanding of the human past.

She studied Natural Science (Physics and Archaeology) at the University of Durham, followed by a PhD in archaeomagnetic dating at the Universities of Sheffield and Durham, in collaboration with York Archaeological Trust. She has been at the University of Bradford since 1992 in a variety of roles, most recently as Senior Lecturer in Archaeological Sciences since 2001.


I am an archaeological scientist with a focus developing methods for dating archaeological materials and integrating the outcomes within large scale collaborative archaeological projects to produce a better understanding of the human past.

My laboratory in Bradford is the most productive archaeomagnetic laboratory in the UK. I measure the magnetic properties of archaeological materials and use this information to date them and to infer changes in the past geomagnetic field. This research integrates the fundamental physics of magnetic materials and their measurements, with a detailed understanding of archaeological formation processes and the anthropogenic activities which influence magnetic properties (Batt et al., 2017, 2008; Peters and Batt, 2002). I have also developed Bayesian statistical approaches to combine archaeomagnetic, radiocarbon and luminescence dates with artefactual and stratigraphic information to produce multi-method site chronologies (Card et al., 2018; Batt et al., 2017; Rhodes et al., 2003) which leads to significantly improved precision in dating.

There are a number of key research audiences.  I work with multinational teams of academics to produce detailed site chronologies for example in Iran and Georgia (Batt et al., in press; Batt and Greenwood, 2013), Sri Lanka (Coningham et al., 2013; Coningham and Batt, 2009), Pakistan (Coningham and Batt, 2007), Shetland (Outram and Batt, 2010; Batt and Dockrill, 2008) and Orkney (Card et al., 2018). My research also produces a better understanding the geomagnetic field and associated earth systems, essential in modelling past geomagnetic change and its implications for climate change (Clelland and Batt, 2012; Zananiri et al., 2008). Along with my research team, I also provide a commercial dating service which is used by archaeological companies associated with rail, road and construction developments and heritage groups. Typically I provide initial advice to about 10 projects a year of which 2-3 will result in further work.

My research has pioneered the use of archaeomagnetic dating in UK archaeology for the last 25 years, from my earliest publications on statistical approaches (Batt, 1998, 1997) to recent papers describing new approaches (Batt et al., 2017). I have been directly involved in advising both Historic England and Historic Environment Scotland in drawing up guidelines for scientific dating.


Teaching interests

My teaching is characterised by two main approaches:  

Research led teaching. Much of my teaching, particularly at higher levels, draws on case studies and examples from my own research. For example in Archaeometry (ARC7035-B), students use radiocarbon dates and archaeological information from a site I have worked on and produce a site chronology using Bayesian analytical software. This approach gives them a direct insight into the practical application of the theory I have taught them and develops skills requested by employers.

Student led approaches.  I ensure that students are engaged and active learners. I have found an effective way of achieving this is through peer supported learning. For example, in Professional Development (ARC7041-B), I facilitate workshops in which students critique each other’s research designs for postgraduate projects, using Research Council criteria. In laboratory classes within Laboratory Science (ARC5004-B), students work in small groups to interpret the data they have collected, before contributing to full class discussion.

Professional activities

  • 01-JAN-87: University of Durham - BSc Natural Sciences
  • 01-JAN-92: Universities of Sheffield and Durham, in collaboration with York Archaeological Trust - PhD
  • 01-JAN-93: University of Bradford - Lecturer
  • 07-JAN-01: University of Bradford - Senior Lecturer
  • 02-JUN-91: University of Bradford - Coordinator of Continuing Education
  • Institute of Physics, Member and Chartered Physicist
  • Society for Archaeological Sciences, Member
  • 01-JAN-12: Mid-career Fellowship
  • Multiple - Archaeomagnetic dating
  • Chair: Convenor and chair of ‘Magnetic dating on all timescales’ at the International Association of Geomagnetism and Aeronomy
  • Co-ordinator: Co-ordinator AARCH (Archaeomagnetic Applications for the Rescue of Cultural Heritage), EU Research Training Network; guest editor of Physics and Chemistry of the Earth


TitleVikings, peat formation and settlement abandonment: A multi-method chronological approach from Shetland (2019)
AuthorsSwindles G.;Outram Z.;Batt C.;Hamilton W.;Church M.;Bond J.;Watson E.;Cook G.;Sim T.;Newton A.;Dugmore A.
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
TitleTo Cut a Long Story Short: Formal Chronological Modelling for the Late Neolithic Site of Ness of Brodgar, Orkney (2018)
AuthorsCard, N.; Mainland, Ingrid L.; Timpany, S.; Towers, R.; Batt, Catherine M.; Bronk Ramsey, C.; Dunbar, E.; Reimer, P.; Bayliss, A.; Marshall, P.; Whittle, A.
TitleA Bayesian approach to linking archaeological, paleoenvironmental and documentary datasets relating to the settlement of Iceland (Landnám) (2018)
AuthorsSchmid M.;Zori D.;Erlendsson E.;Batt C.;Damiata B.;Byock J.
TitleExcavation of a neolithic house at Yarnbury, near Grassington, North Yorkshire (2017)
AuthorsGibson, Alex M.; Neubauer, W.; Flöry, S.; Filzwieser, R.; Nau, E.; Schneidhofer, P.; Strapazzon, G.; Batt, Catherine M.; Greenwood, David P.
TitleAdvances in archaeomagnetic dating in Britain: New data, new approaches and a new calibration curve (2017)
AuthorsBatt, Catherine M.; Brown, M.C.; Clelland, Sarah-Jane; Korte, M.; Linford, P.; Outram, Zoe
TitleRHX Dating: measurement of the Activation Energy of Rehydroxylation for Fired-Clay Ceramics (2015)
AuthorsClelland, Sarah-Jane; Wilson, M.A.; Carter, M.A.; Batt, Catherine M.
TitleConstructing chronologies in Viking Age Iceland: Increasing dating resolution using Bayesian approaches (2015)
AuthorsBatt, Catherine M.; Schmid, M.M.E.; Vésteinsson, O.
TitleRehydroxylation of fired-clay ceramics: factors affecting early-stage mass gain in dating experiments (2014)
AuthorsWilson, M.A.; Clelland, Sarah-Jane; Carter, M.A.; Ince, C.; Hall, C.; Hamilton, A.; Batt, Catherine M.
TitleA post-Roman sequence at Carlisle Cathedral (2014)
AuthorsMcCarthy, Michael R.; Archibald, M.; Batey, C.E.; Batt, Catherine M.; Brooks, C.; Buckberry, Jo; Cherry, J.; Evans, Adrian A.; Gaunt, G.; Keevill, G.; Lerwick, Ceilidh; Montgomery, Janet; Ottaway, P.; Paterson, C.; Pirie, E.; Walton Rogers, P.; Shotter, D.; Towers, Jacqueline R.; Tweddle, D.
TitleRe-deposited cryptotephra layers in Holocene peats linked to anthropogenic activity (2013)
AuthorsSwindles G.;Galloway J.;Outram Z.;Turner K.;Schofield J.;Newton A.;Dugmore A.;Church M.;Watson E.;Batt C.;Bond J.;Edwards K.;Turner V.;Bashford D.
TitleA Stamford ware pottery kiln in pontefract: A geographical enigma and a dating dilemma (2013)
AuthorsCumberpatch C.;Roberts I.;Alldritt D.;Batt C.;Gaunt G.;Greenwood D.;Hudson J.;Hughes M.;Ixer R.;Meadows J.;Weston P.;Young J.
JournalMedieval Archaeology
TitleGeomagnetic secular variation as recorded in British lake sediments and its application to archaeomagnetic studies (2012)
AuthorsClelland S.;Batt C.
JournalPhysics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors
TitleIdentifying archaeological wood stack charcoal production sites using geophysical prospection: Magnetic characteristics from a modern wood stack charcoal burn site (2012)
AuthorsPowell A.;Wheeler J.;Batt C.
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
TitleGeoarchaeology and the value of multidisciplinary palaeoenvironmental approaches: A case study from the Tehran Plain, Iran (2011)
AuthorsGillmore G.;Stevens T.;Buylaert J.;Coningham R.;Batt C.;Fazeli H.;Young R.;Maghsoudi M.
JournalGeological Society Special Publication
TitleThe integration of chronological and archaeological information to date building construction: an example from Shetland, Scotland, UK. (2010)
AuthorsOutram, Zoe; Batt, Catherine M.; Rhodes, E.J.; Dockrill, Stephen J.
TitleGristhorpe man: an early bronze age log-coffin burial scientifically defined (2010)
AuthorsMelton, Nigel D.; Montgomery, Janet; Knüsel, Christopher J.; Batt, Catherine M.; Needham, S.; Parker Pearson, M.; Sheridan, A.; Heron, Carl P.; Horsley, T.; Schmidt, Armin R.; Evans, Adrian A.; Carter, E.A.; Edwards, Howell G.M.; Hargreaves, Michael D.; Janaway, Robert C.; Lynnerup, N.; Northover, P.; O'Connor, Sonia A.; Ogden, Alan R.; Taylor, Timothy F.; Wastling, Vaughan; Wilson, Andrew S.
TitleThe Identity of the St Bees Lady, Cumbria: An Osteobiographical Approach (2010)
AuthorsKnüsel, Christopher J.; Batt, Catherine M.; Cook, G.; Montgomery, Janet; Müldner, G.; Ogden, Alan R.; Palmer, C.; Stern, Ben; Todd, J.; Wilson, Andrew S.
TitleIrrigation on the Tehran Plain, Iran: Tepe Pardis - The site of a possible Neolithic irrigation feature? (2009)
AuthorsGillmore G.;Coningham R.;Fazeli H.;Young R.;Magshoudi M.;Batt C.;Rushworth G.
TitleWaking the dead: Scientific analysis of an Egyptian tunic. (2009)
AuthorsHaldane, E.A.; Gillies, Sara; O'Connor, Sonia A.; Batt, Catherine M.; Stern, Ben
TitleBayesian methods applied to the interpretation of multiple OSL dates: high precision sediment ages from Old Scatness Broch excavations, Shetland Isles. (2009)
AuthorsRhodes, E.J.; Bronk Ramsey, C.; Outram, Zoe; Batt, Catherine M.; Willis, Laura H.; Dockrill, Stephen J.; Bond, Julie M.
TitleMagnetic investigations of Iron Age slags at Yderik, Denmark: Mineral magnetic comparison to UK slags (2008)
AuthorsPeters C.;Abrahamsen N.;Voss O.;Batt C.;McDonnell G.
JournalPhysics and Chemistry of the Earth - Elsevier
TitleNew developments in archaeomagnetic dating for Romania - A progress report on recent directional studies. (2008)
AuthorsSuteu, C.A.; Batt, Catherine M.; Zananiri, I.
TitleSampling methods in archaeomagnetic dating: A comparison using case studies from Wörterberg, Eisenerz and Gams Valley (Austria) (2008)
AuthorsTrapanese A.;Batt C.;Schnepp E.
JournalPhysics and Chemistry of the Earth
TitleArchaeomagnetic secular variation in the UK during the past 4000 years and its application to archaeomagnetic dating (2007)
AuthorsZananiri I.;Batt C.;Lanos P.;Tarling D.;Linford P.
JournalPhysics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors
TitleThe state of theocracy: Defining an early medieval hinterland in Sri Lanka (2007)
AuthorsConingham R.;Gunawardhana P.;Manuel M.;Adikari G.;Katugampola M.;Young R.;Schmidt A.;Krishnan K.;Simpson I.;McDonnell G.;Batt C.
TitleSourcing fire ash on archaeological sites in the Western and Northern Isles of Scotland, using mineral magnetism (2007)
AuthorsChurch M.;Peters C.;Batt C.
JournalGeoarchaeology - An International Journal
TitleTime and Place: A new chronology for the origin of the broch based on the scientific dating programme at the Old Scatness Broch, Shetland. (2006)
AuthorsDockrill, Stephen J.; Batt, Catherine M.; Outram, Zoe
TitleA mineral magnetic investigation into fuel derived deposits from Old Scatness Broch, Shetland (2002)
AuthorsDewar I.;Batt C.;Peters C.
JournalPhysics and Chemistry of the Earth - Elsevier
TitleDating and sourcing fuel ash residues from Cladh Hallan, South Uist, Scotland, using magnetic techniques (2002)
AuthorsPeters C.;Batt C.
JournalPhysics and Chemistry of the Earth - Elsevier
TitleAn assessment of the magnetic response of an iron-smelting site (2002)
AuthorsPowell A.;McDonnell J.;Batt C.;Vernon R.
TitleNew Exploration in the Chitral Valley, Pakistan: An Extension of the Gandharan Grave Culture (2002)
AuthorsBatt, Catherine M.; Ali, I.; Coningham, Robin A.E.; Young, R.L.
TitleThe potential for dating the old Scatness site, Shetland, by optically stimulated luminescence (2001)
AuthorsBurbidge C.;Batt C.;Barnett S.;Dockrill S.
TitleThe British Archaeomagnetic Calibration Curve: An Objective Treatment (1997)
AuthorsBatt C.
TitleThe role of magnetic susceptibility as a geophysical survey technique: A site assessment at high cayton, north yorkshire (1995)
AuthorsBatt C.;Fear S.;Heron C.
JournalArchaeological Prospection
TitleAnalytical chemistry in archaeology (2007)
AuthorsPollard A.;Batt C.;Stern B.;Young S.
JournalAnalytical Chemistry in Archaeology
TitleDating at Old Scatness (2019)
AuthorsOutram, Z. and Batt, C. M.
JournalExcavations at Old Scatness Volume 3: The Post-medieval Township
PublisherShetland Heritage Publications,
TitleDating at Old Scatness (2015)
AuthorsOutram, Z. and Batt, C. M.
JournalExcavations at Old Scatness Volume 2: The Broch and Iron Age Village.
PublisherShetland Heritage Publications,
TitleArchaeomagnetic dating (2014)
AuthorsOutram, Zoe; Harris, S.; Batt, Catherine M.
TitleArchaeomagnetic Dating (2013)
AuthorsBatt C.
JournalEncyclopedia of Scientific Dating Methods
PublisherSpringer Reference
TitleArchaeomagnetic studies of features along the Gorgān and Tammīsheh Walls. (2013)
AuthorsBatt, C. M. and Greenwood, D. P.
JournalPersia’s Imperial Power in Late Antiquity: The Great Wall of Gorgān and Frontier Landscapes of Sasanian Iran.
PublisherOxbow Books
TitleThe Scientific Dating Evidence. (2013)
AuthorsBatt C.
JournalGristhorpe Man: a life and death in the Bronze Age
PublisherOxbow Books
TitleDating at Old Scatness (2010)
AuthorsOutram, Zoe; Batt, Catherine M.
TitleIntegrated multi-spectral imaging, analysis and treatment of an Egyptian tunic. (2010)
AuthorsHaldane, E.A.; Gillies, Sara; O'Connor, Sonia A.; Batt, Catherine M.; Stern, Ben
TitleScientific Analysis of Steatite: Recent results. (2009)
AuthorsClelland, Sarah-Jane; Batt, Catherine M.; Stern, Ben; Jones, R.E.
TitleDating the sequence (2007)
AuthorsConingham, Robin A.E.; Batt, Catherine M.
TitlePower Over Time: An Overview of the Old Scatness Broch Excavations (2004)
AuthorsDockrill, Stephen J.; Batt, Catherine M.