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Dr Jill Thompson

PositionLecturer in Environmental Archaeology
LocationL26c, Richmond building
DepartmentSchool of Archaeological and Forensic Sciences
Telephone+44 (0) 1274 235430
EmailJ.B.Thompson@bradford.ac.uk

Teaching and Supervisory Responsibilities

Jill currently co-ordinates the first year module People and Landscapes.

She contributes to several other team-taught modules and has supervised PhD students funded by the British Academy, NERC, ESRC and the governments of Greece and Malaysia.

Biography

Jill Thompson is an archaeobotanist, and has been a Lecturer at Bradford since 1994.

She worked on excavations at Sigiriya in Sri Lanka (for UNESCO and the University of Kelaniya; 1981-83), and at Khok Phanom Di in Thailand (for the Royal Thai Fine Arts Department and the University of Otago, New Zealand; 1985) before embarking on a PhD.

Her doctoral research (completed 1992) developed palaeoethnobotanical approaches to early rice cultivation and studied plant use in and around mangrove swamps.

Studies on the taphonomy of rice progressed while Jill was a post doctoral fellow at the University of Otago (1992-94). Since then she has continued research in Asian prehistory with fieldwork in Korea, northeast Thailand, Laos and Malaysia. 

Jill was nominated for the Baroness Lockwood Distinguished Teaching Award in 2009.

Study History

  • BSc in Geography from Durham University
  • MSc in Bioarchaeology from UCL
  • PhD in prehistory from the Australian National University

Professional Activities

Jill is a long-standing member of the Association for Environmental Archaeology.

She has been external examiner for the BSc Environment and Heritage programme at the UHI Millennium Institute, for taught Masters degrees at the University of York and PhDs at the Universities of Cambridge and London.

Research Areas

Jill’s research includes vegetation change and plant resource use, including the role of gathered plant foods in the diet and the use of plant products such as resins, medicines, fuels and construction materials.

Recent projects include food and fuel supplies for the city of Pompeii, with the Anglo-American Project in Pompeii, and the environmental consequences of charcoal making for iron production around Rievaulx, North Yorkshire.

These are allied to studies woodland ecology, modelling coppicing and detecting woodland management through ring patterns in archaeological charcoal, funded by the Nuffield Foundation.

Other on-going lab work, supported by the British Academy and AHRC, involves the investigation of wood remains from Niah Cave in Sarawak, Malaysia, including a large assemblage of charcoal, which is being used to infer firewood selection and the vegetation growing locally around the site, and remarkably well-preserved coffin timbers from Neolithic burials in the cave.

Jill’s research on crop taphonomy now continues through experimental studies on fungal diseases in charred cereal remains. Her latest fieldwork has been in northern Laos, as part of the Middle Mekong Archaeological Project which is investigating land use changes in central Southeast Asia during the middle Holocene, and includes training Laos and Thai archaeologists in archaeobotany.

Publications

  • Pelling, R., G. Thompson & R. Francis 2008. Charred plant remains and charcoal. 98-101. In: Poole, K. & Webley, L. Prehistoric activity at Westwood, Broadstairs. Archaeologia Cantiana 128: 75-106
  • Petrou, M., H. G. M. Edwards, R. C. Janaway, P. Kavvouras, G. B. Thompson & A. S. Wilson 2008. The degradation of lignocellulosics under conditions applicable to wetlands in northern Greece. In H. Kars and R. M. Van Heeringen (ed.) Preserving archaeological remains in situ. Proceedings of the 3rd conference 7-9 December 2006: Geoarchaeological and Bioarchaeological studies 10. 47-54. Amsterdam
  • Veal, R. & G. Thompson 2008. Fuel supplies for Pompeii. Pre-Roman and Roman charcoals of the Casa delle Vestali. In G. Fiorentino and D. Magri (ed.) Charcoals from the past: cultural and palaeoecological implications. Proceedings of the Third International Meeting of Anthracology, Cavallino - Lecce (Italy) June 28th - July 1st 2004: BAR International Series 1807. 287-298. Oxford: Archaeopress
  • Barker, G., H. Barton, M. Bird, P. Daly, I. Datan, A. Dykes, L. Farr, D. Gilbertson, B. Harrisson, C. Hunt, T. Higham, L. Kealhofer, J. Krigbaum, H. Lewis, S. McLaren, V. Paz, A. Pike, P. Piper, B. Pyatt, R. Rabett, T. Reynolds, J. Rose, G. Rushworth, M. Stephens, C. Stringer, J. Thompson & C. Turney 2007. The 'human revolution' in lowland tropical Southeast Asia: the antiquity and behaviour of anatomically modern humans at Niah Cave Journal of Human Evolution 52(3): 243-261
  • Thompson, G. & R. Francis 2007. Charcoals. In A. Hardy, B. M. Charles and R. J. Williams (ed.) Death and taxes: the archaeology of a Middle Saxon estate centre at Higham Ferrerws, Northamptonshire: 178-181. Oxford: Oxford Archaeology
  • Thompson, G. & R. Francis 2007. Appendix 2: Charcoal assemblage: raw data for charcoal identification and composition in terms of fragment size. In A. Hardy, B. M. Charles and R. J. Williams (ed.) Death and taxes: the archaeology of a Middle Saxon estate centre at Higham Ferrerws, Northamptonshire: 222-227. Oxford: Oxford Archaeology
  • Lampert, C. D., I. C. Glover, R. E. M. Hedges, C. P. Heron, T. F. G. Higham, B. Stern, R. Shoocongdej & G. B. Thompson 2004. AMS radiocarbon dating of resins on ceramics: Results from Spirit Cave, Thailand. In T. Higham, C. Bronk Ramsey and C. Owen (ed.) Radiocarbon and Archaeology: Fourth International Symposium: 161-169. Oxford: Oxford University School of Archaeology Monograph
  • Lampert, C. D., I. C. Glover, R. E. M. Hedges, C. P. Heron, T. F. G. Higham, B. Stern, R. Shoocongdej & G. B. Thompson 2004. Response to comment on dates from a resin-coated sherd from Spirit Cave, Thailand (J.C. White). Antiquity 78: 186-187
  • Barker, G., H. Barton, M. Bird, F. Cole, P. Daly, D. Gilbertson, C. Hunt, J. Krigbaum, C. Lampert, H. Lewis, L. Lloyd-Smith, J. Manser, F. Menotti, V. Paz, P. Piper, B. Pyatt, R. Rabett, T. Reynolds, M. Stephens, G. Thompson, M. Trickett & P. Whittaker 2003. The Niah Cave Project: the third (2002) season of fieldwork. Sarawak Museum Journal 57: 87-177
  • Lampert, C. D., I. C. Glover, R. E. M. Hedges, C. P. Heron, T. F. G. Higham, B. Stern, R. Shoocongdej & G. B. Thompson 2003. Dating resin coating on pottery: the Spirit Cave early ceramic dates revised. Antiquity 77: 126-133
  • Lampert, C. D., I. C. Glover, C. P. Heron, B. Stern, R. Shoocongdej & G. B. Thompson 2003. Resinous residues on prehistoric pottery from Southeast Asia: characterisation and radiocarbon dating. In A. Kallen and A. Karlstrom (ed.) Fishbones and glittering emblems: Proceedings of 9th International Conference of the European Association of Southeast Asian Archaeologists, Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities: 203-206. Stockholm: Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities
  • Lampert, C. D., I. C. Glover, C. P. Heron, B. Stern, R. Shoocongdej & G. B. Thompson 2002. The characterization and radiocarbon dating of archaeological resins from Southeast Asia. In K. A. Jakes (ed.) Archaeological Chemistry - Materials, methods, and meaning: 84-109. Washington DC: American Chemical Society

 

 

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