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Ms Louise Brown

PositionHonorary Research Fellow
DepartmentSchool of Archaeological and Forensic Sciences
Telephone+44 (0) 1274 233546

Research Interests (key words only)

Community archaeology, North Atlantic, Material culture, Prehistoric pottery (North Atlantic)


Louise is a field archaeologist, publication specialist, post-excavation manager and artefact researcher. In addition, she is keenly interested in training and community involvement in archaeological projects. She directed the excavations and post-excavation of Heritage Lottery funded community archaeology project: The Stanbury Hill Project (Bingley & District Local History Society/University of Bradford; published in 2013) and currently works for Nidderdale AONB on the Heritage Lottery funded Landscape Partnership Scheme: Upper Nidderdale Landscape Partnership ( where she manages the cultural heritage aspects of the scheme.

Louise worked on the Old Scatness Broch and Jarlshof Environs Project between 1998 and 2010 (employed by Shetland Amenity Trust as Post-excavation Research Assistant and Finds Supervisor: 1998-2005 and latterly as Experimental Officer in Archaeological Sciences 2005-2010). She maintains close links with Archaeological Sciences and is a member of the North Atlantic Research Unit.

Study History

Louise obtained her research degree (MPhil) entitled 'A Preliminary Study into the Molecular Evidence for Marine Subsistence at the Site of Old Scatness, Shetland' in 2001 (University of Bradford).

Professional Activities

  • MIfA (2009)
  • Fellow: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland
  • Member: The Global Human Ecodynamics Alliance (GHEA)
  • Conference Organiser:
    • NABO 2008: Archaeological Futures: A Research Agenda for the North Atlantic (University of Bradford, August-September 2008)
    • Celebrating Community Archaeology in the South Pennines (Pennine Prospects/University of Bradford, March 2013)

Research Areas

Louise's MPhil thesis explored the potential for recognising fish biomarkers associated in prehistoric pottery as an additional line of evidence for the use and procurement of fish. The results of this work demonstrated the potential for the survival of such material and highlighted the importance of the integration of this form of evidence in an integrated research-led excavation such as that of Old Scatness, Shetland. Louise has presented and subsequently published this research.

Her long time involvement in training, both on-site and during post-excavation, has led to the formal publication of a case study in archaeological excavation where she was a key contributor and co-editor.

Louise has produced a number of specialist artefact reports for excavations in Shetland and the Faroe Islands. Most recently, she edited and contributed to the Stanbury Hill volume.


Since 2000:

  • Dockrill, S.J., Bond, J.M., Turner, V.E., Brown, L.D., Bashford, D.J, Cussans, J.E.M. and Nicholson, R.A. 2015. Excavations at Old Scatness, Shetland Volume 2: The Broch and Middle Iron Age Village. Lerwick: Shetland Heritage Publications
  • Jackson, S., Lennox, R., Neal, C., Roskams, S., Hearle, J. and Brown, L. 2014. Engaging communities in the ‘Big Society’: what impact is the localism agenda having on community archaeology? The Historic Environment: Policies and Practice 5(1): 74–88.

  • Brown, L.D. 2014. The prehistoric pottery. In Coolen, J. and Mehler, N. Excavations and Surveys at the Law Ting Holm, Tingwall, Shetland. An Iron Age settlement and medieval assembly site. BAR British Series 592. Oxford: Archaeopress. 65–70
  • Brown, L.D. and Gray, R. 2013. Celebrating the Heritage of the South Pennines Watershed. Forum (CBA Yorkshire) 2: 81-94.
  • Brown, L.D., Boughey, K., Paley, D., Spencer, D., Croasdale, J., Hallam, D. and McIlwaine, J. 2013. Stanbury Hill Project: Archaeological Investigation of a Rock Art Site. Bingley: Bingley and District Local History Society
  • Brown, L.D., Stroud, R., Sharpe, K.E. and Barnett, T. 2013. Keeping the ‘Rock Art’ Record Straight: An update on the work of the CSI: Rombalds Moor Project. Prehistoric Yorkshire 50: 21–28
  • Dockrill, S.J., Bond, J.M., Turner, V.E., Brown, L.D., Bashford, D.J, Cussans, J.E. and Nicholson, R.A. 2010. Excavations at Old Scatness, Shetland Volume 1: The Pictish Village and Viking Settlement. Lerwick: Shetland Heritage Publications
  • Dockrill, S.J., Bond, J.M., Turner, V.E. and Brown, L.D. 2007. Old Scatness Excavation Manual. A case study in archaeological recording. Lerwick: Shetland Amenity Trust
  • Brown, L.D. and Heron, C.P. 2005. Presence or absence: A Preliminary study into the detection of fish oils in ceramics. In Mulville, J. and Outram, A. (eds.) The Zooarchaeology of Fats, oils, Milks and Dairying. Oxford: Oxbow Books. 67-76
  • Brown, L.D. and Heron, C.P. 2004. Exploring Links: Preliminary Investigations into Marine Resources and Ceramics from Old Scatness, Shetland. In Housley, R.A. and Coles, G. (eds.) Atlantic Connections and Adaptations: Economies, environments and subsistence in lands bordering the North Atlantic. Oxford: Oxbow Books. 146-154
  • Brown, L.D. and Heron, C.P. 2003. Boiling Oil: The potential role of ceramics in recognising direct evidence for the exploitation of fish. In Gibson. A. (ed.) Prehistoric Pottery, People, pattern and purpose. Prehistoric Ceramics Research Group: Occasional Publication No. 4/BAR International Series 1156. Oxford: Archaeopress. 35-41

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