Jennifer Harland BSc, MSc (York), PhD, FSA Scot recently completed her PhD in the zooarchaeology of Viking Age and Medieval sites in Orkney, Scotland. She is currently working as a Research Fellow in Zooarchaeology on the Medieval Origins of Commercial Fishing project.
Jen has been interested in the archaeology of the Northern Isles and Scotland throughout her career, and became interested in zooarchaeology during her undergraduate degree when she analysed a small assemblage from Newark Bay, Orkney. A masters in Archaeological Information Systems has allowed her to use a variety of computer applications in her research.
Her PhD involved the analysis of two large bone assemblages from Orkney, including the Viking Age and medieval site of Quoygrew, on Westray, an ongoing excavation project that Jen has been involved with from 2000 onwards. A number of other archival and published zooarchaeological sources of the Northern Isles were also used in her PhD, thus enabling her to draw conclusions regarding the production and trade of prepared fish, as well as the importance of dairying to the Viking Age and Medieval economy of the area.
Jen is currently one of the Research Fellows working on the Medieval Origins of Commercial Sea Fishing Project (directed by Dr. James Barrett). This is a three year multi-national, inter-disciplinary project funded by the Leverhulme Trust. Methods will include both zooarchaeological analysis of fish bone assemblages from the British Isles and Northern Europe, as well as new and innovative analytical techniques of biomolecular analysis.
Jen's work will focus primarily on the zooarchaeological analysis, using the resources provided by fishlab, although she will be working in close collaboration with the other contributors of the project, including Dr. Cluny Johnstone, the project's other Research Fellow. Through the examination of butchery marks and differential representation of various body parts, it will be possibly to trace the production and consumption of dried and prepared fish throughout Northern Europe, primarily large cod and related fish.
Jen is also continuing the analysis of bone from Quoygrew, Westray, funded by Historic Scotland, as well as preparing aspects of her doctorate for publication.