Dr Richard Madgwick
Lecturer in Archaeological Science
I am a bioarchaeologist specialising in the study of animal remains. My research focuses broadly on reconstructing human-animal relations and I am particularly interested in the zooarchaeological analysis of feasting and mobility and the pre- and post-depositional treatment of human and faunal remains. My research generally involves integrating new and novel analytical techniques at the macroscopic, microscopic and molecular level, to achieve more nuanced interpretations from osseous remains. I am particularly interested in the later prehistory of Britain and north west Europe and am currently involved with programmes of isotope (δ15N, δ13C, δ34S, δ18O, 206Pb/204Pb, 87Sr/86Sr), taphonomic and histological analysis, as well as Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) and cementum banding research. I also undertake human osteological analysis and have recently been involved in projects with National Museum Wales, Archaeology Wales Cardiff Archaeology Society and Brython Archaeology.
I completed a British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellowship on the project Reconstructing the Feasts of Late Neolithic Britain in 2016. I am currently working on a project funded by the Society of Antiquaries, the Royal Archaeological Institute and the Society for Medieval Archaeology on the Dietary Impact of the Norman Conquest (with Ben Jervis, Cardiff and Lizzy Craig-Atkins, Sheffield and Lucy Cramp, Bristol). I am also continuing research on Early Iron Age feasting in Southern Britain (with Angela Lamb, NIGL and Sandra Nedebragt, Cardiff). Pilot research projects include provisioning the Roman army in South Wales (with Peter Guest, Cardiff and Jamie Lewis, Bristol), husbandry and mobility in the Middle Neolithic of the Stonehenge landscape (with Fay Worley and Ruth Pelling, Historic England), feasting at Navan Fort, the legendary capital of Ancient Ulster (with Finbar McCormick, Queen's Belfast and Vaughan Grimes, Memorial Newfoundland) and Iron Age mortuary practice (with Tom Booth, Natural History Museum). I am also still involved in the Dama International project on which I used to be a post-doc, which focuses on the biogeography and environmental/social significance of the European fallow deer. I am engaged in bioarchaeological research on international projects at Çatalhöyük (Turkey), Butrint (Albania) and Praisos (Crete) as well as several British projects.
Impact and engagement
Engagement activities are central to my research and I’m an active member of the Guerilla Archaeology collective, having been involved in outreach at more than ten arts/music festivals and events. I have also been inducted as a STEM ambassador. I am also involved with the Operation Nightingale project at East Chisenbury, a collaborative project involving the rehabilitation of military veterans. I run sessions for the Cardiff Young Archaeologist Club. My 2015 Antiquity paper (with Jacqui Mulville, Cardiff) was reported on in The Times (20th June 2015), The Metro (13th August 2015), The New Scientist (15th August 2015), the BBC News website, the ITV News website and various other global media outlets. I was interviewed on BBC Radio Wales concerning the Norman Diet project on the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings.
Education and qualifications
PhD: January 2008-April 2011. Cardiff University, Colum Drive, Cardiff.
AHRC funded. Thesis title: Investigating the Potential of Holistic Taphonomic Analysis in Zooarchaeological Research. Viva completed July 2011
MA: October 2005-September 2006. University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton.
Osteoarchaeology (AHRC funded) – grade Distinction
BA: September 2001–June 2004. University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton.
BA (Hons) Archaeology – grade 1:1
After finishing an AHRC-funded MA in Osteoarchaeology at the University of Southampton, I worked as a field archaeologist for Wessex Archaeology prior to taking up an HLF-funded IfA internship in Bioarchaeology at Cardiff University. After this one year post, I commenced an AHRC-funded PhD at Cardiff University, supervised by Dr Jacqui Mulville. I submitted the thesis, entitled Investigating the Potential of Holistic Taphonomic Analysis in Zooarchaeological Research in April 2011 and took up a temporary position as Lecturer in Archaeology at Bournemouth University. My teaching focussed on Zooarchaeology, Prehistory, Post-Excavation studies and Archaeological Skills.
I was next employed as a Post-Doctoral Research Associate on the Dama International Project at the University of Nottingham. This 3 year AHRC-funded project involved a multi-disciplinary investigation into the biogeography and management of the European fallow deer (Dama dama dama). I was responsible for zooarchaeological, biometric and isotope (δ15N, δ13C, δ34S, δ18O,87Sr/86Sr) analysis. After almost a year at Nottingham, I returned to Cardiff in January 2013 to embark on my own research project as a British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellow on a 3 year project 'Reconstructing the Feasts of Late Neolithic Britain'. I took up a position as Lecturer in Archaeological Science in January 2016.
Honours and awards
* British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellowship (£234,512). 4.2% success rate in cohort.
* NERC Isotope Geosciences steering committee grant (£16,200 equivalent) to investigate the validity of porcine strontium isotope analysis (with J. Mulville/J. Evans)
* British Academy grant to host an inter-disciplinary event on population movement and cultural change (£7,180)
* Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit Grant for £4,275 (15 dates) for ‘Creating refined chronologies for the LBA/EIA transition in southern Britain’ project (with N. Sharples/K. Waddington)
* Joint Research Grant of £2,550 from the Royal Archaeological Institute, the Society of Antiquaries and the Society for Medieval Archaeology (with B. Jervis/L. Craig-Atkins).
* AHRC Student Led Initiative Grant of £2,000 for the inaugural Postgraduate Zooarchaeology Forum
* NERC Isotope Geosciences steering committee grant (£12,240 equivalent) to investigate mobility at late Neolithic feasting sites (with J. Evans)
* Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit Grant for £3,420 (12 dates) for ‘Refining fallow deer biogeography in Roman and Medieval Europe’ project (with N. Sykes).
* Cardiff Undergraduate Research Opportunities Placement (CUROP) grants (totalling £5,700) to employ undergraduate students as research assistants on various projects
* Prehistoric Society Bob Smith Prize awarded for isotope research on Navan Fort, the legendary ancient capital of Ulster.
* Joint Research Grant from the Prehistoric Society and the Cambrian Archaeological Association for Isotope analysis of faunal material from middens.
* Arts and Humanities Research Council Doctoral award (c. £50,000)
* Arts and Humanities Research Council MA award (c. £13,000)
I have been appointed as a member of the AHRC Peer Review College. I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. I was on the committee of the Association for Environmental Archaeology as publicity officer for six years (elected 2009 and 2011) . I am also a member of the British Mass Spectrometry Society, the European Archaeological Association, the Society for American Archaeology, the International Council for Archaeozoology, the Prehistoric Society and the World Archaeological Congress. I am also Archaeological Science editor for the De Gruyter journal Open Archaeology.
2016- present: Lecturer in Archaeological Science, Cardiff University
2013-2016: British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellow, Cardiff University
2012: Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Dama International Project, University of Nottingham,
2011-2012 Lecturer in Zooarchaeology (temporary), Bournemouth University
Committees and reviewing
Committees and Administrative Responsibilities
2016-present: Library representative
2016-present: Admissions team
2016-present: Health and Safety committee
2014-present: Equality and Diversity committee
2013-2016: Research committee
2013-2016: Board of the Cardiff University Research Staff Association
2013-2015: Seminar series organiser
I am convenor for the following modules:
* Bioarchaeology - 20 credits (Year 2/3, HS2432)
* Forensic and Osteoarchaeology - 20 credits (Years 2/3, HS2423)
* Analysing Archaeology - 20 credits (Year 1, HS2125)
* Independent Study - 20 credits (Year 2, HS2433)
* Independent Science Project - 20 credits (Year 2, HS2434)
* Archaeology Dissertation - 40 credits (Year 3, HS2435)
* Archaeological Science Dissertation - 40 credits (Year 3, HS2436)
I contribute to the following modules:
* Death and Commemoration (MA, HST927)
* Postgraduate Skills in Archaeology and Conservation (MA/MSc, HST500)
* Heritage Communication (Year 2/3, HS2428)
* History of Archaeological Thought (Year 2, HS2350)
I have previously taught on various other UG and PG modules including Archaeological Science, Environment and Economy, Practical Skills and Human Origins.
I currently supervise three PhD students: Iulia Rusu (with Jacqui Mulville), Leah Reynolds (with Peter Guest) and Tiffany Treadway (with Niall Sharples).
I would be interested to hear from potential postgraduate students looking to develop research projects in the following areas:
* Human-Animal relations in Later Prehistoric Britain
* The archaeology of the Bronze Age - Iron Age transition in Britain
* The archaeology of feasting
* Bone taphonomy
* Isotope analyses relating to mobility, diet and animal husbandry.
Reconstructing the Feasts of Late Neolithic Britain
British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellowship to undertake research on feasting and mobility in Late Neolithic Britain. The three year project (2013-6) reconstructed the networks that the great monument complexes such as Stonehenge of supported. The research focused on faunal remains from a range of complexes and has generated the largest multi-isotope dataset using five systems (δ15N, δ13C, δ34S, δ18O,87Sr/86Sr) yet produced in archaeological research. The data demonstrated a great volume and scale of movement of animals and people, many of whom had travelled more than 100 miles to take part in the feasts. The project builds on research undertaken as part of the Feeding Stonehenge project (PI Mike Parker Pearson).
The Dietary Impact of The Norman Conquest
I am currently working with Ben Jervis (Cardiff), Lizzy Craig-Atkins (Sheffield) and Lucy Cramp (Bristol) on a project exploring the impact of diet using a variety of scientific techniques. It is funded by the Society of Antiquaries, The Royal Archaeological Institute, The Society for Medieval Archaeology and Cardiff University. The study focuses on Oxford and integrates human osteology, bulk collagen isotope analysis of humans and animals, incremental isotope analysis of human dentine, lipid residue analysis and secondary zooarchaeological and ceramic analysis.
Creating refined chronologies for the Bronze Age/Early Iron Age transition in southern Britain
This project employs a Bayesian approach to improve Bronze Age/Iron Age transitional chronology. Radiocarbon precision suffers from the 'Halstatt Plateau', one of the largest plateaus in the radiocarbon calibration curve in the entirety of the Holocene. Funded by ORADS, this is a joint project with Kate Waddington (Bangor), Niall Sharples (Cardiff) and Alex Bayliss (Historic England).
Navan Fort: Feasting and Connectivity
This project is funded by the Prehistoric Society's Bob Smith Award. It explores the origins of animals recovered from the supposed feasting deposits at Early Iron Age Navan Fort, the legendary ancient capital of Ulster using strontium and sulphur isotope analysis. It also explores how these animals were raised for the feasts through carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis. The project is a collaboration between Finbar McCormick (Queen's Belfast) and Vaughan Grimes (Memorial Newfoundland).
The Early Romans of Colchester
This project was commissioned and funded by Colchester Archaeology Trust and is a collaboration with Adam Wightman (CAT). It employs strontium isotope analysis to explore the origins of three enigmatic individuals from Early Roman Colchester. One individuals is represented by a mandible that has suffered peri-mortem sharp force trauma and is one of very few human remains to have been recovered from the Boudiccan destruction layer in Colchester. Craniometric analysis of the other two individuals suggests Asian ancestry.
Feeding the Roman Army at Caerleon
This project investigates how the Roman army was provisioned at the legionary fortress of Caerleon. It employs strontium isotope analysis on animals from the site of Caerleon Priory Fields, to examine their origins and to explore the relationship between the fortress and the rural hinterland. This is a collaborative project with Peter Guest (Cardiff), Jamie Lewis (Bristol) and Vaughan Grimes (Memorial Newfoundland).
Iron Age Mortuary Treatment
This is a combined macroscopic and microscopic taphonomic investigation of human and animal deposits from the southern British Iron Age. Employing histological analysis and analysis of bone surface condition it aims to address the longstanding question of how humans and animals were treated in death and deposition in the Iron Age mortuary record. The project is a collaboration with Tom Booth (Natural History Museum).
Multi-disciplinary research project investigating the biogeography and management of the European Fallow Deer over the last 6,000 year. I was responsible for isotope, zooarchaeological and biometric components of the project and am now on the steering committee. Funded by the AHRC (PI Naomi Sykes).
The Fallow Deer Project
West Amesbury Farm
This site was recently excavated by Historic England and represents one of the most important sites for the Middle Neolithic of the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site. I am undertaking isotope analysis of the fauna as part of the bioarchaeological team (with Fay Worley, Ruth Pelling and Pete Marshall, Historic England).
Llangefni Link Road
This major Early Medieval cemetery in Anglesey was recently excavated by Brython Archaeology. PhD student Iulia Rusu is undertaking the human osteological analysis and a programme of isotope analysis exploring diet and mobility will follow.
I am project bioarchaeologist for the Bronze Age and Iron Age midden site at Llanmaes, Vale of Glamorgan. The site was excavated by the National Museum of Wales, under the directorship of Adam Gwilt and Mark Lodwick and has produced the largest faunal assemblage from an project in Wales (>73,501 bone fragments). I have undertaken full zooarchaeological analysis of the assemblage and programmes of carbon, nitrogen and strontium isotope analysis, Transmission Electron Microscopy and Cementum banding analysis.
I am a zooarchaeologist on the major international research project at the multi-period site of Butrint, Albania.
The Butrint Foundation
I am part of the faunal team for the major international excavations at Çatalhöyük, Turkey.
I am the project zooarchaeologist for the Archaic/Hellenistic settlement at Praisos, Crete
I am project zooarchaeologist for the sites of Whitchurch, Caerau, Leiston Abbey and Hartridge Farm.