Dr Cath Neal



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.



Zalasiewicz, J. et al 2017 'The Working Group on the Anthropocene: Summary of evidence and interim recommendations' The Anthropocene

Zalasiewicz , J. Williams, M. Waters, CN. Barnosky,A. Palmesino,J. Rönnskog, A-S. Edgeworth, M. Neal, C. et.al. 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