My research focusses upon the introduction of sheep at the Mesolithic - Neolithic transition in the British Isles, investigating the impact, effects and logistics of such an introduction on human, animal and economic bases and relationships. Research into the presence and/or absence of marine resources at Mesolithic and Neolithic sites in the British Isles has seen large amounts of study and led to much debate about the ‘timescale’ of the transition to an agricultural economy at both local and regional levels. However, the particular circumstances of the introduction of new foodstuffs and the effect that these introductions would have had on the communities, landscape and environment involved, at regional and local levels, has seen less. Whilst the introduction of domesticated plants and animals have been discussed they have tended to focus upon the introduction of a couple of major, and most visible, items; namely wheat and cattle. The particulars of the introduction of sheep have not been widely investigated however, especially concerning the wider implications and logistics of such an introduction. With no native predecessor in the British Isles the introduction of such an animal would have been an important event and process and would have changed and altered the experiences and relationships between people, animals, landscape and environment.
I completed my BA (Hons) in Archaeology at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in 2002, before undertaking my MLitt, also at Newcastle, in the Mesolithic - Neolithic transition. My MLitt paid particular attention to issues of diet, consumption practices and funerary monuments within the British Isles under the joint supervision of Nicky Milner and Jan Harding.