Andy Needham

Profile

I am an Associate Lecturer specialising in aspects of Palaeolithic, Mesolithic, and Experimental Archaeology. I am currently working on a British Academy Early Career Research Fellowship (2019-22), focussing on Mesolithic portable art, in particular beads made from shale and amber in northwest Europe. I am Co-Director of the York Experimental Archaeology Research (YEAR) Centre (click here for more information).

I completed an undergraduate degree in Archaeology (2005-08), a master’s degree in early Prehistory (2008-10), and a PhD (2013-17) all at the University of York. I held the role of Associate Lecturer in Palaeolithic Archaeology (2017-19, part-time) at the University of York and acted as the Departmental Safety Advisor (DSA) during this time, as well as Co-Director of the YEAR Centre (2017-present). Concurrently, I completed a Post-Doc, focussing on Palaeolithic healthcare practices (2017-18, part-time).

Research

Overview

My research focuses on the Middle and Upper Palaeolithic and Mesolithic periods and has covered geochemistry of peat landscapes, healthcare, childhood, evolution of emotional capacities, experimental archaeology, and in particular artistic expression. 

 

2019-22: British Academy Early Career Research Fellowship, Mesolithic Personal Ornaments

I am currently working on a British Academy Early Career Research Fellowship (click here for more information). I am investigating shale and amber beads from the Mesolithic period in northwest Europe, using experimental archaeology and microwear analysis, along with a raft of digital recording techniques to reconstruct their biography.

 

2017-18: Post-Doc, Palaeolithic Healthcare

I completed a Post-Doc, working to understand Middle and Upper Palaeolithic Neanderthal and human healthcare during the Palaeolithic period, linked to Dr Penny Spikins Templeton funded grant, which focused on the Evolution of emotion.

 

2013-17: PhD, Palaeolithic Art (Magdalenian Plaquettes)

For my PhD I completed research focussing on Upper Palaeolithic engraved limestone plaquettes from the French Magdalenian rockshelter site of Montastruc, using microscopy and 3D modelling in tandem with an object biography approach to reconstruct the biography of this type of portable art at the site. 

 

Recent Publications

Needham, A., Langley, A., Benton, H., Biggs, S., Cousen, J., Derry, A., Hardman, M., Macy, K., Millar, D., Murray, E., Pock, F., Rowsell, J., Sandin Catacora, M., Van Oordt, G., Veitch-Scoggins, D., Little, A. (2019) Spinning in Circles: The Production and Function of Upper Palaeolithic Rondelles. EXARC Journal15(3).

Spikins, P.,Needham, A., Wright, B., Dytham, C., Gatta, M. and Hitchens, G. (2018) Living to fight another day: The ecological and evolutionary significance of Neanderthal healthcare. Quaternary Science Reviews. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2018.08.011.

Needham, A., Little, A., Conneller, C., Pomstra, D., Croft, S. and Milner, N. (2018) Beads and Pendant. In Milner, N., Conneller C. and Taylor, B. (Eds.) Star Carr: Volume 2: studies in technology, subsistence and environment,463-476, York: White Rose Press.

High, K., Penkman, K., Panter, I., Boreham, S., Boreham, J., Knight, B., Needham, A., Elliott, B., Bamforth, M., Felter, M. and Rowley, C. (2018) Site Degradation. In Milner, N., Conneller, C. and Taylor, B. (Eds.) Star CarrVolume 2: studies in technology, subsistence and environment,175-192, York: White Rose Press.

Spikins, P., Needham, A., Tilley, L., Hitchens, G. (2018) Calculated or caring? Neanderthal Healthcare in social context. World Archaeology50 (3), https://doi.org/10.1080/00438243.2018.1433060.

Needham, A., Croft, S., Kröger, R., Robson, H., Rowley, C., Taylor, B., Gray Jones, A. and Conneller, C. (2018) The application of micro-Raman for the analysis of ochre artefacts from Mesolithic palaeo-lake Flixton.Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports17, 650-656.

Spikins, P., Hitchens, G. and Needham, A.(2017) Strangers in a Strange Land? Intimate sociality and emergent creativity in Middle Palaeolithic Europe. In Warren, G. and Finlayson, C. (Eds.)The Diversity of Hunter-Gatherer Pasts, 132-147. Oxford: Oxbow Books.

 

Recent Media Coverage of Research

(2018) Neanderthal healthcare in evolutionary context paper

Spikins, P.,Needham, A., Wright, B., Dytham, C., Gatta, M. and Hitchens, G. (2018) Living to fight another day: The ecological and evolutionary significance of Neanderthal healthcare. Quaternary Science Reviews. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2018.08.011.

University of York

The Atlantic

Newsweek

Scientific American

The Times

The Daily Mail

 

(2018) Neanderthal healthcare paper

Spikins, P., Needham, A., Tilley, L., Hitchens, G. (2018) Calculated or caring? Neanderthal Healthcare in social context. World Archaeology50 (3), https://doi.org/10.1080/00438243.2018.1433060.

University of York

York Press

Phys.org

Science Daily

The Yorkshire Post

Daily Mail Online

 

(2018) Ochre at Paleo-lake Flixton paper

Needham, A., Croft, S., Kröger, R., Robson, H., Rowley, C., Taylor, B., Gray Jones, A. and Conneller, C. (2018) The application of micro-Raman for the analysis of ochre artefacts from Mesolithic palaeo-lake Flixton.Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports17, 650-656.

BBConline

National Geographic

Fox News

Daily Mail

The Herald Scotland

IFL Science

Heritage Daily

ARTSY magazine

University of York

Teaching

Current Undergraduate Teaching

I am module leader for the Year 1 undergraduate Accessing Archaeology module (click here for more information).

I help to deliver experimental archaeology teaching in the department. I co-teach the Experimental Archaeology skills module (click here for more information) at masters level, and support the teaching of Year 2 Experimental Archaeology Team Project module (click here for more information).

I supervise students for their years 3 undergraduate dissertation. I am always delighted to accept undergraduate supervisees. Email me if you would like to discuss a topic or sign up for one of my pre-set topics. 

 

Current Postgraduate Teaching

I am always delighted to accept masters dissertation supervisees and masters students by research. Email me if you would like to discuss a topic or are thinking about coming to study at York. 

External Activity

Recent Invited Lectures and Workshops

Needham, A. (09/01/19) Making Mesolithic beads workshop, University of Chester.

Needham, A. (09/01/19) Making Art in the Magdalenian: The Object Biography of Engraved Plaquettes from Montastruc, France, University of Chester.

Needham, A. (12/12/18) Making Art in the Magdalenian: The Object Biography of Engraved Plaquettes from Montastruc, France, Palaeolithic Research Group, University of Durham.

Needham, A. (13/04/17) An Object Biography of Engraved Limestone Plaquettes from the Magdalenian Site of Montastruc, southern France. Royal Archaeological Institute Early Career Research Series, London, Royal Archaeological Institute.

 

 

Recent Conference Sessions Chaired

Needham, A. (15/02/19) Session 1: Fire and Light. Unravelling Human Origins Conference, University of York.

Charlton, S. and Needham, A. (18-19/12/18) Integrating Theory and Science in Archaeology. Theoretical Archaeology Group (TAG) Conference 40, University of Chester.

Lawton-Matthews, E. and Needham, A. (25/07/18)P32: The material correlates of kinship processes in hunter-gatherer societies. Twelfth International Conference on Hunting and Gathering Societies (CHAGS XII), Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia.

Needham, A.and McNabb, J. (19/12/16) Session 8: Exploring the History of Prehistory. Theoretical Archaeology Group (TAG) Conference 38, University of Southampton.

 

Recent Conference Papers/Posters

Little, A., Needham, A. and Langley, A. (21/06/19) Reflections on an Archaeological Learning Community: Undergraduate Year 2 Experimental Archaeology Practical Skills and Team Project. Annual Learning and Teaching Conference 11, University of York.

Needham, A., Langley, A. and Little, A. (21/06/19) Inspiring Young Minds: The Role of Experimental Archaeology in Delivering the Key Stage 2 Stone Age Curriculum (2/2). Annual Learning and Teaching Conference 11, University of York. 

Needham, A., Little, A. and Langley, A. (21/06/19) Inspiring Young Minds: The Role of Experimental Archaeology in Delivering the Key Stage 2 Stone Age Curriculum (1/2). Annual Learning and Teaching Conference 11, University of York. 

Needham, A., Little, A., Milner, N., Bamforth, M., Beale, G., Carty, J., Chatzipanagis, K., Croft, S., Conneller, C., Elliott, B., Fitton, L., Knight, B., Kröger, R., Pomstra, D., Robson, H., Rowley, C., Taylor, B. (02-05/05/19) Making and using beads and pendants at Mesolithic Star Carr. Experimental Archaeology Conference 11, University of Trento.

Wisher, I. and Needham, A. (16/02/19) Painting a different picture: reconceiving Neanderthal art through a relational framework. Unravelling Human Origins, University of York.

Langley, A., Needham, A., Benton, H., Biggs, S., Cousen, J., Darlington, A., Derry, A., Hardman, M., Macy, K., Millar, D., Murray, E., Pock, F., Rowsell, J., Sandin Catacora, M., Van Oordt, G., Veitch-Scoggins, D. and Little, A. (16/02/18) Going around in circles? Exploring production and use of Magdalenian rondelles using experimental archaeology. Unravelling Human Origins Conference, University of York.

Amy, M., Needham, A., Langley, A. and Wisher, I. (16/02/18) Playing with fire: Exploring the role of Magdalenian limestone plaquettes in hearth structures using experimental archaeology, Unravelling Human Origins Conference, University of York.

Needham, A., Croft, S., Kröger, R., Robson, H., Rowley, C., Taylor, B., Gray Jones, A., Conneller, C. (25-26/10/18) The Earliest Mesolithic Ochre Artefacts in Britain? Results of Micro-Raman Spectroscopy and Microscopic Analysis of Ochre Artefacts from Palaeo-Lake Flixton, North Yorkshire, UK. Palaeolithic/Mesolithic Conference, British Museum. 

Spikins, P., Needham, A., Wright, B., Dytham, C. and Hitchens, G. (14/09/18) Healthcare provisioning in evolutionary context.European Society for the Study of Human Evolution (ESHE) 7, Universidade do Algarve, Faro, Portugal.

Needham, A. (19/12/18) Approaching hominin healthcare: Large- and small-scale approaches to Neanderthal healthcare. Theoretical Archaeology Group (TAG) 40, University of Chester.

Needham, A. (17/12/18) Relationality and early hominin hunter-gatherer worlds: A relational exploration of Neanderthal art. Theoretical Archaeology Group (TAG) 40, University of Chester.

Needham, A., Bamforth, M., Beale, G., Carty, J., Chatzipanagis, K., Croft, S., Conneller, C., Elliott, B., Fitton, L., Knight, B., Kröger, R., Little, A., Milner, N., Pomstra, D., Robson, H., Rowley, C., Taylor, B. (27/10/18) The life history of shale beads and pendants at the Mesolithic site of Star Carr. 1stAnnual Experimental Archaeology Student Symposium, Newcastle University.

Needham, A. (25/07/18) The Lines That Bind? Exploring Kinship in Relation to the Production and Use of Engraved Limestone Plaquettes from the Upper Palaeolithic Site of Montastruc, France. Twelfth International Conference on Hunting and Gathering Societies (CHAGS XII), Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia.

Needham, A. (11/02/17) Neanderthal Art: A Second Wave Progress Paradox?Unravelling the Palaeolithic, University of Liverpool.

Rowley, C., Zander, A., Knight, B., Nash, B., Conneller, C., French, C., Little, A., Needham, A., Taylor, B., Milner, N. (10-12/03/17) The Final Palaeolithic and Early Mesolithic site of Flixton Island II and its surrounding landscape in the Vale of Pickering, United Kingdom. 26thAnnual Meeting of the German Mesolithic Workgroup, Wuppertal, Germany.

Needham, A., Little, A., Pomstra, D. and Rowley, C. (10-12/03/17) Bead Working at Star Carr: Exploring Production through the Application of Actualistic Experimentation. 26thMeeting of the German Mesolithic Workgroup, Wuppertal, Germany.

Needham, A., Taylor, B. and Gray Jones, A. (10-12/03/17) Analysis of an Engraved Ochre Pebble from Flixton School House, Vale of Pickering, UK: A Contribution to the Understanding of Ochre Working in the British Mesolithic. 26thMeeting of the German Mesolithic Workgroup, Wuppertal, Germany.

Needham, A.(11-12/02/17) New Research on the British Museum Holdings of the Peccadeau de l’Isle Collection from the Magdalenian Site of Montastruc. Unravelling the Palaeolithic, University of Liverpool.

 

 

 

Contact details

Dr Andy Needham
British Academy Early Career Research Fellow
Department of Archaeology
PalaeoHub
Wentworth Way
York
YO10 5DD