The Research Team

Project Directors:

Ian Parker Heath BA (Soton) MSc PhD (Manc)

Ian graduated from the University of Southampton in 1999 with a degree in Archaeology. During this time he gained valuable experience of working on a number of excavations of Neolithic sites in the Southwest of Scotland directed by Julian Thomas, including the cursus monuments at Holm and Holywood.

Subsequent to his undergraduate degree, Ian undertook a PhD at the University of Manchester under the supervision of Dr Tim Insoll and funded by the AHRB. Following a long standing interest, the subject of this research was ‘The Representation of Islam in British Museums’. During this period, Ian also took part in buildings surveys in the West Bank as a team member of the Medieval & Ottoman Survey, a project supported by the British Academy. An edited version of his PhD was published by BAR Archaeopress in 2007.

Ian has also continued to work on Neolithic sites: he worked on the Dunragit Project (1999-2002), the excavation of a substantial palisaded and pit defined cursus monument near Stranraer; and between 2004 and 2009 he was a supervisor on the Stonehenge Riverside Project, working with Prof Julian Thomas on Durrington Walls, the Stonehenge Cursus and the long barrow, Amesbury G42. For the past 2 years he has been working with Prof Thomas on sites in Herefordshire.

Ian also has in interest in teaching, having taught a number of Archaeology courses at the University of Derby College Buxton. He has a wide-ranging knowledge of the archaeology of the Peak District having run guided tours in the area.

Hannah Cobb MA (Edin) PhD (Manc) FSA Scot PIFA

Hannah graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 2002 with an MA in Archaeology. Following a year working with commercial units in Scotland, she undertook an MPhil at theUniversity of Manchester, under the supervision of Prof. Julian Thomas. Funded by the AHRB, she completed this in 2004. Hannah then went on to undertake doctoral study, also at and funded by the University of Manchester, supervised jointly by Prof. Julian Thomas and Dr. Chantal Conneller. Awarded a PhD in 2008, her research addressed the Mesolithic and Mesolithic/Neolithic transition in the Irish Sea basin.  The fieldwork component of this was funded by the Emslie Horniman scholarship, awarded by the Royal Anthropological Institute.

Hannah is currently a Teaching Fellow and Archaeology Technician at the University of Manchester. This position involves providing all departmental practical, vocational and field-skills teaching, as well as providing technical support, and lab and equipment management.

As well as co-directing ALEP, Hannah also co-directs a multi-period excavation project on the west coast of Scotland (the Ardnamurchan Transitions Project) with colleagues from the Universities of Newcastle, Archaeology Scotland and CFA Archaeology Ltd. Additionally, she has undertaken a wide range of excavation work with commercial units (CFA Archaeology Ltd, Edinburgh and Headland Archaeology, Edinburgh), and as part of other people’s academic research projects. She has also undertaken her own primary field research for her MPhil and PhD. This experience has been incredibly varied, and has allowed Hannah to develop a full complement of both subject specific and transferable skills. Consequently she has not only been trained in excavation, surveying, recording and post excavation skills to a professional standard, but also has experience in teaching these to others, as well as project supervision and project management.

Hannah’s diverse fieldwork background, from work on Mesolithic coastal sites in Ireland, to Roman sites in Italy, to post-medieval farmsteads in Scotland, has provided her with a wide range of experience and knowledge of the archaeology of different periods and geographical and topographical locations. It has also given her extensive training in working with a wide range of people and supporting the needs of teams with individuals from diverse backgrounds, and with wide ranges of abilities. Her work with the Higher Education Academy, membership of the IfA at PIFA level, and continued interest in pedagogical issues (especially that of the role of practical training in the Archaeology degree) drives her not only to work to high professional standards in the field, but also to pass these on through effective teaching methods, that are embedded in a wider archaeological theoretical context.

Project Staff:

Catherine Parker Heath MA (St And) PhD (Bham) PGCE QTS (Cumbria)

Catherine graduated from the University of St Andrews with an MA (Hons) in Ancient History and Archaeology. After working as a volunteer at Manchester Museum, Catherine’s sights turned further east and she undertook a Masters in Greek Archaeology at the University of Birmingham, funded by the AHRB. Following this she continued her interest in the area and completed a PhD, also funded by the AHRB. This examined the region of Arkadia in the Peloponnese at the end of the Bronze Age and beginning of the Iron Age.

During her time at St Andrews, Catherine gained valuable experience excavating in various locations in Scotland including a Neolithic/Bronze Age chambered tomb in Montrose, Angus and a Sheiling Site at Loch Tay, Perthshire. Her time at Birmingham saw her involved in projects in the West Bank,Palestine, on the island of Chios, Greece and her own area of study, Arkadia.

Catherine has also been employed in the education sector and has run a number of Adult Education course in both Birmingham and Buxton, concentrating on the archaeology of Britain. She has also championed the archaeology of the Peak District through a number of sessions given in primary schools in Buxton and beyond. After having four children Catherine has now turned her sights fully to education and is now a qualified primary teacher. She has developed her own business Enrichment Through Archaeology running archaeology workshops for schools, groups and individuals.  She will be leading local school children in ALEP based activities as well as providing supervision and guidance to the University of Manchester students for the non-excavation aspects of the project.

Lawrence Shaw MSc BSc. (Hons)

Lawrence is a landscape archaeologist who specialises in geo-informatics and survey. Having completed his undergraduate studies in Archaeology at Bournemouth University, he worked for a number of commercial unites before undertaking the position of Survey Supervisor on the Stonehenge Riverside Project. Lawrence was also heavily involved in the development and production of the ground breaking interactive Google research project, Google Under the Earth; Seeing-beneath-Stonehenge. After completing his Masters in Landscape Archaeology, GIS and Virtual Environments, Lawrence undertook the position as Historic Environment Officer for the Qatar National Historic Environment Records Project. More recently Lawrence has undertaken a surveyor position for the Landscapes of Construction; Rapa Nui Project on Easter Island.



15 Responses to The Research Team

  1. Jon and Diane White says:

    This is great!
    We saw the article in the Advertiser and would like to be involved as volunteers.
    We live in Buxton. Please send an email to advise.
    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    J & D

    • Ian Banton says:

      I attended the lecture that Ian Parker Heath gave at the weekend and would like to offer my services as a volunteer during any further field works. Could you let me know when any further work is planned and how one can get involved?

      • admin says:

        Hi, I have your email address and have put you on the mailing list for updates and next year’s digging. Thanks for joining us!

  2. Elisabeth Amnegard says:

    I too would like to offer my services as a volunteer for the next season.
    Kind regards

  3. Mazda Jenkin says:

    I am studying for a post grad qualification in Landscape Archaeology as a mature student at Birmingham and was thinking of doing something on Arbor Low for my thesis. ~Would be very interested in any further news and would be willing to volunteer if more work is being done.

  4. Chris Shimwell says:

    I have had some experience on digs – Fin Cop for one – and would like to volunteer for next year’s programme if that would be possible



  5. Martin Roe says:

    Hi , i did a short practical archaeology course, a few years ago now , with Dr Ian , which i really enjoyed, im now a active member of the ticknall archaeology research group, on the course with Ian we recorded the grave stones at youlgreave church , i wanted to know were all the information was sent to , as we may record the church yard at ticknall , hope you can help , say hello to Ian for me many thanks Martin Roe.

  6. Martin Roe says:

    can you tell me how i can contact Ian please

  7. Jamie Stone says:


    Is it too late to be added / considered for the fieldwork this year?



  8. Robin Weaver says:

    Hi there,
    My name is Robin Weaver and I have recently completed a PhD on the Neolithic in the Peak District. One of my chapters focuses on Arbor Low and considers the site’s position within the wider cultural environment (likely habitation locales, other Neolithic monuments, and the cosmological and other observations possible from within the henge). I would be very interested in joining you in and/or discussing your project at Arbor Low.
    Thanks very much,
    Robin Weaver (Cambridge Archaeological Unit).

  9. Sarah Barber says:

    Hi Any news of the dates yet? I need to book holidays from work & as yet I havent recived a conformation email. Could do with knowing as soon as.


  10. Jordan Gillick says:

    I’m a history graduate thinking of doing some post grad stuff in archaeology, I currently live in Macclesfield so I’m quite close by and would be interested in joining your project as a volunteer and help in any way I could be useful. Is this a possibility?

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