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Dr Cathy Batt

PositionSenior Lecturer in Archaeological Sciences
LocationK33, Richmond building
DepartmentSchool of Archaeological and Forensic Sciences
Telephone+44 (0) 1274 233533

Research Interests (key words only)

magnetic properties of archaeological materials; scientific dating

Teaching and Supervisory Responsibilities



  • Scientific Frameworks for Archaeology
  • Archaeometry

Contributes towards: 

  • Laboratory Science

Also conducts placement visits and assessment towards diploma 


Course Tutor: MSc Archaeological Sciences


  • Research Skills
  • Magnetic and Electromagnetic Methods of Prospection
  • Topics in Archaeometry

Study History

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.

Professional History

Cathy has worked at the University of Bradford since 1991 in various guises, most recently as Senior Lecturer in Archaeological Sciences.

Previous roles have included Associate Dean (Teaching and Learning) and Postgraduate Co-ordinator.

Professional Activities

  • Convenor and chair of ‘Magnetic dating on all timescales’ at the International Association of Geomagnetism and Aeronomy (2007)
  • Ext. PhD Examiner: University Liverpool (2005), University of Rennes (2006)
  • Public understanding of science presentations e.g. ‘Gristhorpe Man: A 21st Century investigation of a 19th century discovery.’ BA Festival of Science (2006) and specialist workshops including ‘Magnetic Interactions’ (2006)
  • Reviewer of grants for NERC, AHRC, Marsden Fund (New Zealand), English Heritage, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (Canada) and for articles in archaeological and geophysical journals

Research Areas

Cathy Batt’s research focuses in two related areas: magnetic properties of archaeological materials and scientific dating.

Magnetic properties of archaeological materials 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. This is exemplified in by studies into the sourcing of materials such as steatite (Clelland, Batt & Stern, 2005), obsidian and fuel sources (Peters & Batt, 2004) and the identification of human activities such as manuring, industrial production and burning (Powell, McDonnell, Batt and Vernon, 2002; Batt and Dockrill, 1998).

Scientific dating takes an integrated approach to site chronologies, using archaeomagnetic, radiocarbon, OSL and stratigraphic information to build statistically supported models of site development over time. This has been applied on a variety of projects in the UK and internationally, including:

  • Scatness (Dockrill & Batt, 2004; Rhodes et al., 2003)
  • Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka (Coningham & Batt, 2000); Chesmeh Ali in Iran (Fazeli, Coningham, & Batt, 2004) and Charsadda in Pakistan (Coningham & Batt, 2006)


  • Batt, C. M. and Greenwood, D. P. (2013). Archaeomagnetic studies of features along the Gorg¿n and Tamm¿sheh Walls. In Sauer, E. W., H. Omrani Rekavandi, T. Wilkinson and Nokandeh, J. Persia’s Imperial Power in Late Antiquity: The Great Wall of Gorg¿n and Frontier Landscapes of Sasanian Iran. British Institute of Persian Studies Archaeological Monographs Series II. 433-443. Oxbow, Oxford
  • Clelland, S. J. and Batt, C. M. (2012). Geomagnetic secular variation as recorded in British lake sediments and its application to archaeomagnetic studies. Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors, 194-195, 85-97
  • Powell, A. J., Wheeler, J. and Batt, C. M. (2012). Identifying archaeological wood stack charcoal production sites using geophysical prospection: magnetic characteristics from a modern wood stack charcoal burn site. J. Arch. Sci, 39, 1197-1204
  • Melton, N., Montgomery, J., Knüsel, C.J., Batt, C. M., Needham, S., Parker Pearson, M. and Sheridan, A. et al. (2010) Gristhorpe Man: an Early Bronze Age log-coffin burial scientifically defined. Antiquity, 84, 796-815
  • Outram, Z., Batt, C.M., Rhodes, E.J. and Dockrill, S.J. (2010). The integration of chronological and archaeological information to date building construction: an example from Shetland, Scotland, UK. J. Arch. Sci., 37, 2821-2830
  • Knüsel, C. J., Batt, C.M. Cook, G., Montgomery, J., Müldner, G., Ogden, A. R., Palmer, C., Stern, B., Todd, J., Wilson, A.S. (2010). The Identity of the St Bees Lady, Cumbria. An Osteobiographical Approach. Medieval Archaeology, 54, 271-311
  • Outram, Z. and C.M. Batt (2010). Dating at Old Scatness. In S.J. Dockrill, J.M. Bond, L.D. Brown, V.E. Turner, D. Bashford, J.E. Cussans and R.A. Nicholson (Eds.) Excavations at Old Scatness, Shetland Volume 1: The Pictish Village and Viking Settlement. 99-130. Lerwick: Shetland Heritage Publications
  • Haldane, E. A., Gillies, S., O’Connor, S., Batt, C. M. and Stern, B. (2010). Integrated multi-spectral imaging, analysis and treatment of an Egyptian tunic. In F. Lennard and P. Ewer (eds.) Textile Conservation: advances in practice. Butterworth-Heinemann, Elsevier, Oxford, pp. 237-245
  • Clelland, S.J., C. M. Batt, B. Stern & R. Jones. 2009.  Scientific analysis of steatite: Recent results. In A. Forster and V.E. Turner (eds) Kleber: Shetland’s Oldest Industry. Shetland Soapstone since prehistory. 106-117 Shetland Heritage Publications, Lerwick
  • Haldane, E. A., S. Gillies, S. O’Connor, C. Batt & B. Stern 2009. Waking the dead: scientific analysis of an Egyptian Tunic?.V&A Conservation Journal 57: 22-23
  • Batt, C. M. & I. Zananiri 2008. Archaeomagnetic Applications for the Rescue of Cultural Heritage. Special Issue of Physics and Chemistry of the Earth 33:
  • Batt, C. M., I. Zananiri & D. H. Tarling 2008. Archaeomagnetic applications for the rescue of cultural heritage. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth 33: 403-406.
  • Peters, C., N. Abrahamsen, O. Voss, C. M. Batt & G. McDonnell 2008. Magnetic investigations of Iron Age slags at Yderik, Denmark: Mineral magnetic comparison to U.K. slags. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth 33: 465-473.
  • Suteu, C., C. M. Batt & I. Zananiri 2008. New developments in archaeomagnetic dating for Romania. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth 33: 557-565.
  • Trapanese, A., C. M. Batt & E. Schnepp 2008. Sampling methods in archaeomagnetic dating: a comparison using case studies from Wörterberg, Eisenerz and Gams Valley (Austria). Physics and Chemistry of the Earth 33: 414-426.
  • Church, M. J., C. Peters & C. M. Batt 2007. Sourcing fire ash on archaeological sites in the Western and Northern Isles of Scotland using mineral magnetism. Geoarchaeology 22: 747-774.
  • Coningham, R., P. Gunawardhana, M. Manuel, G. Adikari, M. Katugampola, R. Young, A. Schmidt, K. Krishnan, I. Simpson, G. McDonnell & C. M. Batt 2007. The state of theocracy: defining an early medieval hinterland in Sri Lanka. Antiquity 81: 699-719.
  • Coningham, R. A. E. & C. M. Batt 2007. Dating the sequence. In R. A. E. Coningham and I. Ali (ed.) Charsadda: the British-Pakistani excavations at the Bala Hisar: BAR International Series 1709. Society for South Asian Studies (British Academy) Monograph 5. 93-98. Oxford: Archaeopress
  • Gillmore, G. K., R. A. E. Coningham, R. Young, H. Fazeli, G. Rushworth, R. Donahue & C. M. Batt 2007. Holocene alluvial sediments of the Tehran Plain: Sedimentation and archaeological site visibility. In L. Wilson, P. Dickinson and J. Jeandron (ed.) Reconstructing Human-Landscape Interactions: 37-67. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars
  • Pollard, M., C. M. Batt, B. Stern & S. Young 2007. Analytical Chemistry in Archaeology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Zananiri, I., C. M. Batt, D. Tarling, P. H. Lanos & P. Linford 2007. Archaeomagnetic secular variation in the UK during the past 4000 years and its application to archaeomagnetic dating. Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors 160: 97-107.
  • Coningham, R. A. E., H. Fazeli, R. L. Young, G. K. Gillmore, H. Karimian, M. Maghsoudi, R. E. Donahue & C. M. Batt 2006. Socio-economic transformations: Settlement survey in the Tehran Plain and excavations at Tepe Pardis. Iran 44: 33-62.
  • Dockrill, S. J., C. M. Batt & Z. Outram 2006. Time and place: a new chronology for the origin of the broch based on the scientific dating programme at the Old Scatness Broch, Shetland. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 136: 89-110.
  • Dockrill, S. J., J. M. Bond & C. M. Batt 2005. Old Scatness: The First Millennium AD. In V. E. Turner (ed.) Tall Stories? Broch Studies, Past Present and Future: 52-65. Oxford: Oxbow
  • Dockrill, S. J. & C. M. Batt 2004. Power over time: an overview of the Old Scatness Broch Excavations. In R. Housley and G. Coles (ed.) Atlantic Connections and Adaptations: Economies, Environments and Subsistence in the North Atlantic: 128-137. Oxford: Oxbow
  • Fazeli, H., R. A. E. Coningham & C. M. Batt 2004. Cheshmeh-Ali revisited: towards an absolute dating of the Late Neolithic and Chalcolithic of Iran's Tehran Plain. Iran 42: 13-23.
  • Peters, C., M. J. Church & C. M. Batt 2004. Application of mineral magnetism in Atlantic Scotland archaeology: techniques, magnetic enhancement and the identification of fuel sources. In R. Housley and G. Coles (ed.) Atlantic Connection and Adaptations: Economies, Environments and Subsistence in the North Atlantic: 86-98. Oxford: Oxbow
  • Rhodes, E. J., C. Bronk Ramsey, Z. Outram, C. Batt, L. Willis, S. Dockrill & J. Bond 2003. Bayesian methods applied to the interpretation of multiple OSL dates: high precision sediment ages from Old Scatness Broch excavations. Shetland Isles Quaternary Science Reviews 22: 1231-1244.
  • Ali, I., C. M. Batt, R. Coningham & R. Young 2002. New exploration in the Chitral Valley, Pakistan: an extension of the Gandharan Grave Culture. Antiquity 76: 647-53.
  • Dewar, I., C. M. Batt & C. Peters 2002. A mineral magnetic investigation into fuel derived deposits from Old Scatness Broch, Shetland. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth 27: 1343-1348.
  • Peters, C. P. & C. M. Batt 2002. Dating and sourcing fuel ash residues from Cladh Hallan, South Uist, Scotland, using magnetic techniques. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth 27: 1349-1353.
  • Powell, A. J., J. G. McDonnell, C. M. Batt & R. W. Vernon 2002. An assessment of the magnetic response of an iron smelting site. Archaeometry 44: 651-665.
  • Burbridge, C. I., C. M. Batt, I. Bailiff, S. M. Barnett & S. J. Dockrill 2001. The potential for dating the Old Scatness Site, Shetland by Optically Stimulated Luminescence. Archaeometry 43: 589-596.
  • Starley, D. E. & C. M. Batt 2001. Nineteenth century bronze cannon at Essaouira, Morocco. Journal of the Ordnance Society 13: 97-103.
  • Batt, C. M. 2000. Careers in archaeology and archaeological science: making the past your future. Catalyst GCSE Science Review 10: 16-17.
  • Coningham, R. A. E. & C. M. Batt 2000. Dating the sequence. In R. A. E. Coningham (ed.) Anuradhapura: The Site: London: The British Academy, Society for South Asian Studies
  • Young, R., R. Coningham, C. Batt & I. Ali 2000. A comparison of Kalasha and Kho Subsistence patterns in Chitral, NWFP, Pakistan. South Asian Studies 16: 133-142.

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