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Kevin Walsh
Professor of Archaeology



Having completed a PhD in Landscape Archaeology at the University of Leicester in 1993 on the evolution of the sand-dune system and landscape characteristics of Lindisfarne, he went to work as a research fellow in Aix-en-Provence with joint CNRS/Université de Provence laboratory, the Centre Camille Jullian. This part of the European Union-funded Populus project considered methodologies in Mediterranean Landscape Archaeology. He was responsible for the landscape reconstruction working party, and co-edited the volume on Environmental Reconstruction in Mediterranean Landscape Archaeology. 

After the Mediterranean, the Caribbean beckoned, and after two years in Jamaica; teaching anything and everything from Human Evolution to the archaeology of Slavery, Kevin returned to Aix where he developed landscape projects with French colleagues on the Ste Victoire Mountain and in the French Alps. The most recent project that develops this earlier research is the AHRC-funded project investigating the development of Alpine pastoralism where Walsh is the PI.

Since arriving at York, Kevin has developed his interests in prehistoric landscape archaeology, and human-environment interaction in the Alps and the Mediterranean - projects within these themes have resulted in a number of publications, including a major single-authored book published by CUP

His second area of interest relates to the politics (in its broadest sense) of heritage conservation and display, his book on this subject, The Representation of the Past, was published in 1992 by Routledge.



My core chronological interests cover the early to middle Holocene (from the Mesolithic through to the Bronze Age). More specifically, as a landscape archaeologist, with a background in Geoarchaeology, my research considers the variation in human interaction with, and impacts on the environment, and responses to environmental change. The geographical context for this research is firmly situated within the northern Mediterranean and the Alps. My fieldwork experience includes the excavation and publication of multi-period sites, covering the Mesolithic through to protohistoric periods. 

I have established an international reputation for work on high altitude landscapes, with two major projects investigating the long-term history of human activity in the Alps. One of the first to take a fully diachronic approach to Alpine landscapes, with my collaborators, we have used an innovative combination of survey, excavation and palaeoecological methods to establish full Holocene sequences of activity, and we have used these to understand the changing use and perception of these dramatic landscapes over the long term.

In 2016/17 I was a European Senior Research fellow at IMERA in Marseille where I worked on a project entitled "Human-environment interactions in Mediterranean Mountains: A case study in characterising the Anthropocene."

I am PI in the AHRC-funded project investigating the development of transhumance in the Western Alps. 

I am Co-I (with Nathan Wales) on the UKRI/NERC project Hidden Frontiers, which investigates how human- and climate-driven changes impacted ancient Alpine agriculture systems. 

I am also Co-I on the ERC project, TerrACE, which is investigating the origins, development and value of agricultural terraces across Europe. 

One of the cornerstones of my research has been a commitment to integrating geoarchaeological methods within a theoretically informed analysis of human-environment interactions during the Holocene. Focused in particular on the contribution of soils and sediments, my arguments for a ‘Cultural Geoarchaeology’ have achieved a high profile through a series of papers in international journals.  I am now co-editor of the Wiley journal Geoarchaeology.




Mediterranean Landscape Archaeology

Alpine Landscape Archaeology

Contributions to

  • Introduction to Archaeological Science
  • Themes in Prehistory (Neolithic & Bronze Age)


I direct the MA in Landscape Archaeology - This course offers a unique perspective on landscape archaeology, focusing on human ecology and the interactions of people with their environments. It takes you beyond isolated archaeological sites, buildings or artefacts to explore their context in the wider landscape. The first term engages with the development of Landscape Archaeology as a discipline, while the second term presents and discusses a series of case studies from around the world, focussing on prehistoric (Mesolithic - Bronze Age) and protohistoric case studies. 

External activities


  • Research Fellow in the Centre Camille Jullian, CNRS, Aix-en-Provence, Co-organiser of Conference session at EAA, Lyon, 2004

Editorial duties

Invited talks and conferences

  • Invited talks at EAA, 2009, 2010
  • Invited lecture, Department of Archaeology, Tufts, Boston 2008


  • Contibuted to display panels in Ecrins National Park visitor centre, Vallouise, France.

  • Member of scientific committte for, and participated in the museum display "Premier Bergers des Alpes", Musee Dauphinois, Grenoble, France.


Kevin Walsh

Contact details

Professor Kevin Walsh
Department of Archaeology
University of York
The King's Manor

Tel: (44) 1904 323904