Post-doc Researcher in Focus

Dr Harry Robson and his fascinating work on the project: The Innovation and Development of Pottery in East Asia  

 

In situ sherds from a Late Mesolithic pointed based vessel from the kitchen midden site of Havnø, Denmark

In situ sherds from a Late Mesolithic pointed based vessel from the kitchen midden site of Havnø, Denmark

 

Harry's interests revolve around the Mesolithic and the early Neolithic. He has undertaken fieldwork on a number of Mesolithic and Neolithic sites throughout the world including; Denmark (Havnø), Germany (Satrup LA 2), Latvia (Sise), The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (The Farasan Islands) and the UK (Flixton Island Site 2, Hoppen Hall and Star Carr). 

He is specifically interested in freshwater and marine resource exploitation during the Mesolithic and at the transition to agriculture, in particular, fishing, sealing and whaling, fowling and shellfish procurement. During his doctoral research Harry employed a range of different techniques in order to determine culinary practices, palaeodiet and seasonality, including, bone collagen stable isotope analyses (C, N and S), fish bone analysis, pottery residue analysis and the thin section manufacture of shellfish.  

Harry’s current research is based around cuisine, techniques of food preparation and consumption, in order to understand the decisions made by the agents that actively brought about economic change.

 

Close up of the white surface deposit on the interior of an EBK sherd (AYU) from the submerged Late Mesolithic site of Ronæs Skov, Denmark (scale 2.85 cm)

Close up of the white surface deposit on the interior of an EBK sherd (AYU) from the submerged Late Mesolithic site of Ronæs Skov, Denmark (scale 2.85 cm)

 

Working within the Early Pottery Research Group (EPRG), Harry is resaerching reasons behind the innovation of ceramic container technology in prehistory. Using a combination of organic residue and stable isotope analyses the group has been analysing some of the earliest ceramic containers in the world in order to better understand vessel use. Since 2007 the EPRG have analysed ceramics from Southern Scandinavia (Denmark, Northern Germany, Poland and Southern Sweden), Eastern North America, East Asia (China, Japan, Russian Far East, South Korea, Taiwan), Southwest Alaska, France, Spain and Portugal, and more recently the Eastern Baltic (Estonia, Lithuania and Russia).

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 Dr Harry Robson is a Post-doctoral Research Associate and Dr Oliver Craig is the principal investigator on the project: The innovation and development of pottery in East Asia Project

Photo of Mesolithic Studies alumnus Harry Robson on site

 

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