Fragmented Heritage Project

The Team

The Fragmented Heritage project has benefitted from a a large group of talented researchers. We have been fortunate to have had input from a wide range of formal and informal members in a range of areas.

Project Lead Staff

Dr Andrew Wilson (Principal Investigator)
Andrew is a Senior Lecturer in Forensic and Archaeological Science at the University of Bradford. His background is in archaeology, forensic science, and conservation.
More recently his research has shifted to the use of digitisation technology to document a range of faunal materials including an assemblage of leprous human remains (digitised diseases project) and a selection of hard animal materials (e.g. ivory and shell) in order to illustrate identification techniques (visualisation of animal hard tissues project). Some of the experience from those digital archive projects has fed into the design of the fragmented heritage project.

Dr Adrian Evans (Co-Investigator and Project Manager)
Adrian is a Research Fellow at the University of Bradford. His background is broad based with a strong theme of applying and developing novel techniques to archaeological problems. This has primarily being in stone tool analysis where he has introduced the use of trace-element microanalysis and surface metrology to bring quantification to the field of lithic functional studies.
It is this latter use of surface metrology, explored through an AHRC digital transformations fellowship, that developed into the idea of using surface texture data in the process of refitting, the basis for the fragmented heritage project.


Extended Investigator Team

Dr Nick Ashton (Co-Investigator)
Nick has been a curator at the British Museum for over 25 years, specializing in Lower and Middle Palaeolithic archaeology and helps curate the extensive stone tool collections from these periods. He has directed and published major excavation projects at the Lower Palaeolithic sites of High Lodge, Barnham, Elveden and Hoxne (all Suffolk).
He is currently Deputy Director of the Ancient Human Occupation of Britain Project (AHOB) funded by the Leverhulme Trust. This is examining the presence and habitat preferences of early humans in north-west Europe over the last 800,000 years. His particular interests in the project are: the earliest occupation of northern Europe, currently being investigated through fieldwork at Happisburgh (Norfolk); the early human adaptation to northern environments and the investigation of when Britain first became an island.

Dr Louise Leakey (International Co-Investigator)
Louise Leakey is the third generation of her family to dig for humanity's past in East Africa. In 2001, Leakey and her mother, Meave, found a previously unknown hominid, the 3.5-million-year-old Kenyanthropus platyops, at Lake Turkana -- the same region where her father, Richard, discovered the "Turkana Boy" fossil, and near Tanzania's Olduvai Gorge, where her grandparents, Louise and Mary Leakey, discovered the bones of Homo habilis.
Louise currently work on using digitisation technologies to document finds and bring them to the public through the web and working closely with school children.

Dr Lisa Maher (International Co-Investigator)
My research focuses on hunter-gatherer societies in the Near East, North Africa and Arabia with the aim of reconstructing human-environment interactions during the Late Pleistocene. The transition in this region is well-studied, but tends to focus on the later Neolithic as heralding the beginnings of a series of significant changes in human social organization, economy, technological innovation, and ideology. However, I am interested in the periods leading up to farming – the 10,000 years or so prior – when these changes first manifest in the archaeological record in the form of intensified plant use, increased sedentism and population aggregations, architecture, complex site organization, far-reaching social interaction networks, and elaborate mortuary practices. Notably, it is during these periods, the Epipalaeolithic and the early Neolithic, when we see significant changes in human behavior with the intersection ofregional-scale climate change and humans as agents of landscape change.

Dr Andreu Olle (International Co-Investigator)
Andreu Ollé is a researcher at IPHES (Institut Català de Paleoecologia Humana i Evolució Social) and an associate lecturer at Universitat Rovira i Virgili (Tarragona, Spain). He has been a member of the Atapuerca Research Team since 1990, specializing in Palaeolithic Lithic Technology and Microwear analysis. He is currently sharing the coordination of the Gran Dolina site fieldwork in Atapuerca (Burgos, Spain). Other main projects with shared direction tasks are the excavations at the Lower Palaeolithic site of La Cansaladeta (Tarragona, Spain) and at the Late Pleistocene-Holocene site of Vallone Inferno (Palermo, Italy).
His particular interests are: the Early Palaeolithic stone tools (raw materials, knapping processes, Oldowan and Acheulian assemblages); the function of stone tools (usewear and residues analyses, experimental archaeology); the general application of microscopic studies to archaeological materials; and how all that can help to improve our knowledge on the early human settlement of Europe.

Prof Hassan Ugail (Co-Investigator)
Hassan's primary research interests are in the areas of geometric design, computer based physical analysis and design optimisation that fall into the broad area of research known as Simulation Based Design. One of the focal points of his research has been on a novel method for geometric design known as the PDE method. The PDE method is based on a suitably chosen Partial Differential Equation that enables to model complex shapes in an easy and predictable fashion. There are many practical applications, including analysis and optimisation for accurate computer modelling of shapes of biological membranes, human heart and artificial limbs.

Dr Danielle Macdonald (International Co-Investigator)
Danielle's current research focuses on evidence of hunter-gatherer aggregation and community organization through material culture evidence. Danielle’s research interests include microwear analysis, the Epipalaeolithic, lithic technology, material culture studies, Levantine prehistory, surface metrology, and the chaîne opératoire. Danielle is currently the co-director of the Kharaneh IV excavation project in the Azraq Basin, Jordan (co-directed with Lisa Maher). As well, her research looks at developing new methods for the quantification of microwear traces through the use of microscopes developed for the field of surface metrology.


Research Assistants

Mr Thomas Sparrow (Research Assistant)
Tom comes from a background in archaeology and geophysics where he has worked for many years as a contractor and designer of bispoke instrumentation. He was a research assistant on the JISC digitised diseases project and on the visualisation of hard animal tissues project where he was given responsibility for digital outputs and the editing of 3d datasests.
On the Fragmented Heritage Project Tom has responsibility for software development related to matching datasets and will assist with the design and deployment of hardware for image capture.

Dr Andrew Holland (Post-Doctoral Research Assistant)
Andy has a background in archaeology, human osteology and forensic archaeology. He has worked as a forensic anthropologist though more recently he has worked as a research assistant on the digitised diseases and visualising animal hard tissues projects where he was responsible for data capture.
His Phd project for the Fragmented Heritage Project centred on the problem of the taphanomic alteration of bone and the issues this may have on the ability to refit. This vital research will feed into the project by providing compensation models and guidance on refitting activities related to bone material.

Dr Eddy Faber (Post-Doctoral Research Assistant)
Eddy has researched and worked in archaeological science since 1995. He has been part of research groups at the University of Sheffield, the Laboratory of Archaeometry at the National Centre for Scientific Research ‘Demokritos’ in Athens, the University of Nottingham and at the University of Bradford.
On the Fragmented Heritage Project Eddy has responsibility for social media and public engagement.

Mr Rob Harman (Research Technician)
Rob has a background in construction and archaeology. He studied for a BSc (honours) Archaeology at The University of Bradford, obtaining a 2:1 in 2014. During his degree Rob volunteered with and undertook a placement year in the lithic microwear research laboratory at the university, where he was taught to use various microscopic systems. He has expanded on his experience since in Bradford Visualisation and the Fragmented Heritage project, including undertaking 3D modelling using CAD software and 3D printing.
On the Fragmented Heritage Project Rob has responsibility for microscopy, the development of 3D printing and assemblage curation. He will also assist in the production of visualisations for refitting samples and outputs.


PhD Students

Natalie Atkinson (PhD student)
Nat achieved BSc undergraduate and MA Archaeology degrees at the University of Bradford, focusing on Neanderthal and Modern Human interaction during her undergraduate study and radiocarbon dating and Bayesian analysis of henge monuments during her MA. Nat’s main interest now is Palaeolithic tools and microwear, with a view to quantifying the edge damage present on stone tools via 3D - focused techniques and equipment.
This aspect of Fragmented Heritage centres on the use of 3D imaging techniques, with a particular focus on metrology, to understand lithic blade uses and modification that creates edge damage specifically. The aim is to bring objectivity and quantification to lithic analysis, while also refining the difference between edge fracturing accrued through use and randomly distributed damage that may result from post-depositional processes.

Olivia Moreton (PhD student)
Olivia studied Anthropology and Archaeology BA at the University of Kent, her undergraduate dissertation focused on the movement of Neolithic handaxes as well as their practical and social uses. She went on to do a MA at the University of York in Landscape Archaeology, where she studied peoples' patterns of movement and use of landscapes in the Mesolithic and Neolithic. She has volunteered to excavate on a number of sites throughout the UK ranging from the Ness of Brodgar in Orkney to Barnham in Suffolk.
Her PhD project is an exploration into the range of methods used to identify the degree of post-depositional movement of archaeological material at site locations, specifically examining how fluvial processes affect archaeological sites. In particular, she is exploring how water effects post-depositional movement of materials using a mixture of methods to investigate this, including fieldwork, excavation and laboratory experiments. The aim of Olivia’s research is to create a model through the use of these various methods to show how materials are displaced in fluvial environments and how fluvial post-depositional movement affects the physical attributes of the material as well as the interpretation of a site.


Placement Students

Hayden Strawbridge (2017)
Hayden has been working on the automated digital reconstruction of Fragmented artefacts .


Past Staff

We are fortunate to have had a variety of Research Assistants working on the Fragmented Heritage project, several of whom have moved on to other posts

Dr Rob Davis (Post-Doctoral Research Assistant)
Rob worked as part of the project team to conduct research related to refitting analysis of lithics from project sites in the UK, Spain, Jordan, & Kenya. This work was partly based at the British Museum working with Nick Ashton. Rob carried out tasks relating to the analysis and refitting of lithics and checking refitting accuracy of automated systems generated through the project. He also focused on background research related to refitting and understanding in full the current status of refitting analysis and impact on archaeological investigation.

Dr Danielle Macdonald (Post-Doctoral Research Assistant)
Her research looked at developing new methods for the quantification of microwear traces through the use of microscopes developed for the field of surface metrology and application to the study of past activity at Kharaneh IV.


Completed PhD Students

Andrew Holland (PhD student)



Project Manager:
Dr Adrian Evans, University of Bradford