Dr Frances Healy
Honorary Research Fellow
The earlier Holocene archaeology of Britain and north-west Europe, with an emphasis on lithic industries and the contexts of their development.
Dating causewayed enclosures.
Education and qualifications
1962–1965 London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London. B.Sc.(Econ.), special subject International Relations, 2nd class honours, upper division
1965–1967 Institute of Archaeology, University of London. Academic Postgraduate Diploma in Prehistoric Archaeology
1970–1980 (intermittently) Institute of Archaeology, University of London. Ph.D. (thesis entitled 'The Neolithic in Norfolk')
1976–1989 Freelance prehistorian, working mainly for the Norfolk Archaeological Unit, mainly writing artefact and excavation reports.
1985–1987 (part-time) Field Monument Warden for English Heritage, covering Norfolk and Suffolk.
1989–1990 Assistant Finds Officer, Wessex Archaeology
1990–1992 Researcher/Project Officer, Wessex Archaeology
1992–1995 Senior Research Officer in Post-Excavation Department of Oxford Archaeological Unit (now Oxford Archaeology)
1995–2000 Freelance, principally engaged in collaborating with Roger Mercer on the analysis, writing-up and publication of Hambledon Hill, Dorset.
2000–2002 Research Associate, School of Historical Studies, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, working on publication of pre-Iron Age aspects of the Raunds Area Project
2003–2007 Research Associate, School of History and Archaeology, Cardiff University, working with Professor Alasdair Whittle on the Dating Causewayed Enclosures project.
2007– Honorary Research Fellow, School of History and Archaeology, Cardiff University
1981–2002 Committee Member, Lithic Studies Society
1985–1989 Editor, Lithic Studies Society, producing its Newsletter, Lithics
1985–2007 Member, Institute of Field Archaeologists
1986–1988 Council Member, Prehistoric Society
1988–1993 Secretary, Prehistoric Society
1990– Fellow, Society of Antiquaries of London
1994–1999 Chair, Lithic Studies Society
1996– Fellow, Society of Antiquaries of Scotland
1997– Member, Prehistoric Society Editorial Advisory Committee
2000–3 Trustee, Council for British Archaeology
2001–2006 Vice-President, Prehistoric Society
2003–4 Visiting Fellow, School of Historical Studies, University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Dating causewayed enclosures
2003–2007. The project has been undertaken jointly by Professor Alasdair Whittle (Cardiff University), Dr Alex Bayliss (Scientific dating Co-ordinator for English Heritage) and Frances Healy.
The fourth millennium cal BC in Britain is coming into sharper chronological focus. Change and development are increasingly visible within what was even recently seen as an almost undifferentiated early Neolithic hundreds of years long. This is the result both of the general accumulation of radiocarbon dates and of research projects which have targeted chronological questions.
Gains in precision have, however, been uneven. It is possible to date a few events in the fourth millennium to periods of 50 years or less. This makes it difficult to relate them to the bulk of the record which still floats between far wider limits. This level of resolution has been achieved for some long barrows and cairns, for some components of the Hambledon Hill causewayed enclosure complex in Dorset and for some components of Stonehenge.
Its achievement for causewayed enclosures, the first large-scale, communal monuments to be built by farming populations in Britain, would make it possible to answer questions such as those below.
- Did causewayed enclosures begin to be built at the same time throughout Britain?
- Or is there any geographical pattern?
- Were enclosures in clusters used successively, concurrently, alternately?
- How did their construction and use relate to that of other kinds of monument?
- Did they all go out of use at the same time?
- Or does the development of monuments in each area have its own dynamic?
- What are the implications for contemporary society?
The project is funded by English Heritage and AHRC and the project value is approximately £300,000
British and European Neolithic archaeology