Accessibility statement

Dr Cath Neal
Associate Lecturer



I am an Associate Lecturer in the Department after a period working here as a Research Fellow (Heslington East) and as a Lecturer in Archaeology in the History Department, University of Hull. As a landscape archaeologist I am interested in the natural and cultural landscape as a locale for social action. I have an interest in deep time (geological/early Holocene interface), palaeoenvironmental reconstruction and the Iron Age-Roman period transition. I am currently publishing papers related to these themes and writing a monograph about prehistoric and Roman archaeology in the Vale of York.  I am developing a new research project examining the Late Iron Age context of an estate on the Yorkshire Wolds. Other interests that find synergy with my core research include the relationship of theory to practice, participatory frameworks and the role of disciplinary ethics.  My interest in fieldwork relates to the use of fieldwork as a vehicle for experiential learning and as a medium to examine the relationship between theory and practice. The link between historic environment practice and social capital is something I am currently exploring by examining impacts on health and wellbeing.

I joined the Department in March 2008 as the Heslington East Fieldwork Officer and managed the Departmental Field School and community excavations from 2008 to 2011. In 2012, on completion of the fieldwork and training element, I began work as a Research Fellow on the analysis, research and publication of the site investigations which cover the Bronze Age to sub-Roman period.

Prior to my current post I worked as a Heritage Consultant for Atkins and completed my PhD examining the relationship between people and the environment on the Yorkshire Wolds. Before archaeology, I worked for many years in community health settings and in hospital cardiology as a Registered Nurse and Registered Health Visitor.

Departmental roles

Disability Officer

Departmental Safety Officer

Careers Liaison Officer

Alumni link





Zalasiewicz , J. Williams, M. Waters, CN. Barnosky,A. Palmesino,J. Rönnskog, A-S. Edgeworth, M. Neal, C. 2016 ‘Scale and diversity of the physical technosphere: a geological perspective’ Anthropocene Review

Neal, C. 2015 ‘Know your place? Evaluating the therapeutic benefits of engagement with landscapes’ Cultural Trends DOI: 10.1080/09548963.2015.1031479

Edgeworth, M. deB. Richter,D., Waters,CN., Haff,P., Neal,C. and Price, S. 2015 ‘Diachronous beginnings of the Anthropocene: the stratigraphic bounding surface between anthropogenic and non-anthropogenic deposits’ Anthropocene Review DOI: 10.1177/2053019614565394 

Neal, C. 2015 ‘Heritage and Participation’ in E. Waterton and S. Watson (eds) A Companion to Contemporary Heritage Research, Palgrave Macmillan 346-365

Neal, C. 2014 ‘The potential of integrated urban deposit modelling as a cultural heritage planning tool’  Planning Practice and Research Special Edition 29 (3) 256-267

Jackson, S. Lennox, R. Neal, C. Roskams, S. Hearle, J. and Brown, L. 2014 (in press)’Engaging Communities in the Big Society: What Impact is the Localism Agenda having on Community Archaeology’ The Historic Environment: Policy and Practice Vol 5 No 1, 74-88

Neal, C. and Roskams, S. 2013 ‘Authority and Community: Reflections on archaeological practice  at Heslington East, York’  The Historic Environment: Policy and Practice Vol 4 No 2, 139-155 DOI:10.1179/1756750513Z.00000000032

Roskams, S. Neal, C. Richardson, J. and Leary, R. 2013 ‘A Late Roman well at Heslington East, York: ritual or routine practices?’ Internet Archaeology 34

Neal, C. 2012 ‘Community archaeology in the UK: setting the agenda’ in N. Schücker (ed) Integrating Archaeology: International Conference on the Social Role, Possibilities and Perspectives of Classical Studies  29-33

Neal, C. and Roskams, S. 2012 'Prehistory at Heslington East; an interim assessment'   in Prehistoric Yorkshire  49, 61-64

Price, S. Ford, J. Cooper, A. and Neal, C. 2011 ‘Humans as major geological and geomorphological agents in the Anthropocene: the significance of artificial ground in Great Britain’ Royal Society Philosophical Transactions A 13 1056-1084 

Unclassified (popular publications and reports)

Neal,C. 2013 ‘Geoarchaeological Report’ in JD.Richards and S.Roskams  Burdale: an Anglian settlement in the Yorkshire Wolds [data-set] Archaeology Data Service doi:10.5284/1021540

Neal,C. and Roskams,S. 2013 ‘The past beneath our feet’ University of York/HLF , York

Neal,C. 2013 ‘A summary of the archaeological investigations at Heslington East, York’, Yorkshire Philosophical Society Report

Neal,C. and Roskams,S. 2012 Assessment report Heslington East, Vol 1 and 2 ( ADS archive)

Neal,C. 2012 ‘Heslington East Archaeology Project: a Summary’ (in press) Proceedings of the Archaeology of York conference 2011

Phillips, T. Clarke, A. Neal, C. Roskams, S. Booth, P. 2010 ‘Assessing, Teaching and Learning Archaeological Skills (ATLAS)’ Higher Education Academy report


Current Research Activities:

  • Iron Age-Roman transitions
  • Landscape archaeology
  • Urban deposit modelling
  • Theory-practice and fieldwork teaching
  • Regulation and ethics

Previous activities

  • Internal examiner, Certificate in Archaeology, Centre for Lifelong Learning
  • Advisory Board member, Centre for Lifelong Learning



2012 Departmental Research Fund £1575
2011 Vice-Chancellors Teaching Award (nominated by Departmental Management Team)
2010 Higher Education Academy Teaching Development Grant £5000 (with Reading and Oxford)
2010 Heritage Lottery Fund ‘Your Heritage’ Grant £27,600
2009 Project cited as an example of good practice in community engagement by English Heritage (SHER)
2009 Making the Difference Award, University of York £250
2006 Researchers in Residence, RCUK
2004 – 2007 AHRC Doctoral Award £47,601
2003 AHRC Masters Award £14,000

Cath Neal

Contact details

Dr Cath Neal
Department of Archaeology
University of York
The King's Manor

Tel: (44)1904 323916



Module Leader:

Accessing Archaeology (ARC00002C)

History and Theory (ARC00005)

Research Skills

Conservation and Planning Practicals and Team Project (ARC00031I-AS1/01)

Contributing to:



Ma in Cultural Heritage Management


Previous teaching:

2010 - 2011    Field Archaeology (jointly delivered)

2011 - 2014    Practical Skills: Heritage
2011 - 2014    Team Project: Heritage
2009 - 2010    Politics and Ethics of studying Human Remains (Death and Burial)
2006-  2007    Geoarchaeology (Settlement and Economy)
2010 - 2014    Research Skills: Ethics lecture
2011 - 2012    Excavation: lectures and practicals including excavation processes and health and safety, written/drawn records, artefactual assemblages and archives and conventional publication

2010 - 2012    Roman landscapes:  Identity lecture

2008 - 2011    Field Archaeology:  lectures and practicals including project design, reconnaissance and remote sensing, fieldwalking
2007         Introduction to Archaeological Science: Geoarchaeology lecture
2004-2007      Accessing Archaeology: Seminars on landscape, environment and rural settlement
2004-2007     History and Theory: Seminar course and marking


Field Archaeology modules

Field Archaeology practicals

Research skills

External activities


Hull Geological society 2011

Advisory Board, Centre for Lifelong Learning 2013

Anthropocene Working Group 2013

Invited talks and conferences

Engaging Conservation: communities and capacity building colloquium, York 2014 ‘Authority and community: reflections on archaeological practice’
·    International Association for Landscape Ecology: Changing European Landscapes, Manchester 2013 ‘Shifting ground: multidisciplinary landscapes’
·    Invited - Roman Research Seminar, University of Newcastle 2013 ‘Roman landscapes and settlement in the Vale of York’
·    Whose history is it anyway? ‘Public’ History in Perspective Conference UCLAN, 2013 ‘Mind the gap: institutional space and lived experience’
·    Institute for Archaeology conference 2013 ‘The Big Society, localism and community engagement’
·    ACE Integrating Archaeology: International Conference,  Frankfurt 2012 ‘Community Archaeology in  the UK, setting the agenda’
·    Invited - Hull Geological Society lecture 2012 ‘A geoarchaeological approach to the Yorkshire Wolds landscape’
·    Invited  - York Antiquaries  2012 ‘Landscape development and human settlement at Heslington East: later prehistory to the early medieval period’
·    Invited - City of York Council Archaeology of York 2012 ‘Archaeological Investigations at Heslington East: a summary and key implications’
·    Public lecture University of York 2012 ‘Exploring Heslington: from later prehistory to the early medieval period’
·    Invited - November 2011 Archaeology and the Material Past in the Public Realm IPUP Conference, University of York ‘Community engagement; setting the agenda’
·    Invited    - September 2011 Mortimer 2011 – Archaeology in Eastern Yorkshire, Driffield  ‘A Geoarchaeological Approach to the Yorkshire Wolds Landscape’
·    Invited September 2011 World Class Heritage; a conference on the archaeology of York, York St John University  ‘Human  landscapes in the Vale of York’
·    Invited 2011 Sustainable Urban Drainage Network International Conference (engineers/hydrologists), Abertay University, Dundee  'Urban development, drainage and archaeological deposits'
·    2010 Public Lecture Series University of York ‘Human settlement and landscape development in Heslington: Prehistory to the present’ 170 attendees
·    2010  15th International Congress on Cultural Heritage and New Technologies,  Vienna  City Hall ‘Integrated deposit modelling; heritage under our feet in the City of York’
·    2010 Icronos and Kineon International Film Festival, Athénée Municipal de Bordeaux  ‘Defining heritage: inherent value versus community significance’
·    2010 Theoretical Roman Archaeology Conference 'Landscape dynamics in the hinterland of Eboracum'
·    2010 Teaching and Learning Conference Showcase Discussion, University of York  ‘Teaching outside of the Classroom – the Last Crusade’
·    2009 Engaging Communities Conference Newcastle University ‘Social capital, research and commercial archaeology? A case study from the Vale of York’