The interweaving and interdisciplinary strands of Passage Tomb People make it an ambitious and ground-breaking endeavour. The project ultimately seeks to strengthen interdisciplinary communication, rather than combine a series of ‘black-boxed’ scientific analyses, and brings together a team of like-minded researchers.
Dr Jessica Smyth, Principal Investigator and Lecturer in the UCD School of Archaeology, has a long-standing interest in daily life in prehistory. Initially looking at settlement and domestic architecture in the Neolithic, she now uses both laboratory and library to explore early farming communities.
Prof Jane Downes has research interests in prehistoric and landscape archaeology and in burial archaeology, and is a leading expert on the passage tomb archaeology of the Orkney Islands
The project’s strong emphasis on animal management strategies is supported by Dr Ingrid Mainland (Orkney College UHI) with her extensive research into prehistoric pastoralism, combining stable isotopes and traditional zooarchaeology.
New research into bone protein taphonomy will be undertaken in collaboration with Dr Michael Buckley (University of Manchester), who developed the ZooMS technique and has been investigating bone fragments from Knowth passage tomb with the project PI.
Prof Richard Evershed (University of Bristol) is the leading expert in archaeological lipids, developing the techniques used in organic residue analysis of ancient pottery lipids. He has been collaborating with archaeologists for more than 30 years.
A post-doctoral researcher will also be joining the team in Spring 2019.