James Dodd – New PhD Student at The Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies

James commences 1 February 2017 as a PhD student at The School of Culture & Society, with the project: “Transforming Terminology: Dividing Southern Tradition Prehistoric Art”.

01.02.2017 | Camilla Dimke

It is with great pleasure and gratitude that I am commencing work at on my project “Transforming Terminology”, which is a 4+4 programme funded by a full scholarship from Aarhus University. The main supervisor of the project at CAS is Jens Andresen, with Johan Ling, Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, acting as co-supervisor.

 Whilst my research interests are many and varied, the prehistoric art and prehistory of both Scandinavia and Europe is my passion. My PhD seeks to assess the extent of regionality within Southern Tradition prehistoric art.

 Southern Tradition prehistoric art is used to refer to and describe imagery from a variety of periods and geographic areas across Scandinavia. The art is found on a range of mediums, including rock art, metal, ceramic and organic materials. Whilst the prevailing trend regards the pictorial world of Southern Tradition art as one single homogenous entity, recent studies hint at significant variations in chronology, style and, in the case of rock art, landscape location. The project redresses a gap within current research by undertaking the first detailed investigation of the extent of uniformity or diversity in Southern Tradition rock art across a wide range of regions located within Denmark, Sweden and Norway. Recent developments in digital technology within the field of rock art documentation play a key role in facilitating the work of the project, particularly the use of image based 3D modelling and hand-held laser scanning. The results of the analysis of rock art will be compared with other archaeological remains and any ambiguities in the evidence, if present, investigated.

 After graduating with a Class II (Division One) BA Archaeology degree from Durham University, in North East England, in 2010, I continued my studies at Durham at Masters level, and was awarded a MA with Distinction in 2011. Both degrees included extended monograph dissertations, based upon the results of independent detailed investigative fieldwork, on aspects of the chronology and landscape location of West Norwegian rock art.

 Since my time at Durham, I have spent extended periods in the field during professional employment and voluntary work as an archaeologist in Norway, Denmark, Sweden and the UK. During the course of work and study, I have acquired and developed specialist expertise in the documentation, research and management of rock carvings and paintings, as well as a broad, practically based, understanding of the excavation and interpretation of a wide range of archaeological remains from many periods. Away from the field, I have authored a number of publications based upon my own rock art research in peer-reviewed journals, undertaken editing and proof reading, and given public presentations on a variety of subjects.

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