Benjamin Elliott

Benjamin Elliott

  • Orkney College UHI
    East Road,
    KW15 1LX

    United Kingdom

Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus
Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research Expertise

Ben started teaching at UHI in September 2021. He is an  Early Prehistorian who works on the hunter-gatherer communities of Upper Palaeolithic and Mesolithic Northern Europe.

After completing a BA in Archaeology at the University of York in 2007, he remained in York to study for an MA in Mesolithic Studies in 2008. He then secured AHRC funding to undertake doctoral research on a project entitled Antlerworking practices in Mesolithic Britain, under the supervision of Dr Nicky Milner. This involved the application of traceological analysis to the full corpus of antler artefacts and debitage recovered from Mesolithic sites across Britain. During this time, Ben also took part in the excavation of a series of wetland Mesolithic sites in the Vale of Pickering, including Star Carr.

Following the completion of his PhD in 2012, Ben worked as an archivist for the ERC-funded POSTGLACIAL project, designing archiving and deposition strategies for excavations at Star Carr and Flixton Island that dovetailed with those of the Yorkshire Museum and ADS respectively. During this time he also co-founded the Sonic Horizons of the Mesolithic project; a collaboration with the sound artist Dr Jon Hughes to explore the potential of sound art and acoustic ecology in developing understandings of sonic experiences during the Mesolithic. This led to the development of SoundTracks, a two-year Leverhulme-funded Research Project led by Prof Mark Edmonds in partnership with the British Library and Creswell Crags Heritage Trust. Whilst working part time as a PDRA on SoundTracks from 2015 to 2017, Ben became involved in the Ice Age Island project on Jersey, excavating at the Magdelanian site of Les Varines under the direction of Dr Ed Blinkhorn and Prof Chantal Conneller.

Following this, Ben was awarded a two-year Government of Ireland IRC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship to study the axe-making traditions of North West Europe during the 5th millennium cal. BC in 2017. Hosted by University College Dublin and mentored by Prof Graeme Warren, this project involved the analysis of osseous and coarse stone axe production assemblages from sites in Ireland, Norway, Sweden and Northern Germany.

In 2019, Ben moved to Newcastle University to begin a two-year PDRA position on the Leverhulme-funded Masks Unmasked project. Led by Prof Chantal Conneller, this project aimed to examine the evidence for masks and masking within the Upper Palaeolithic and Mesolithic record of Northern Europe, as a continuation of their previous discussion of masks in relation to the modified red deer crania from Star Carr.


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Collaborations from the last five years

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