Dr Martin Bates

Project Lead - Palaeoenvironmental Data Management

Dr Martin Bates manages the palaeoenvironmental data for the Lost Frontiers Project.. Dr Bates’ career history to date him develop a profile that places him at the crossroads of a number of disciplines including archaeology, quaternary geology, engineering geology and environmental science. It is this multi-disciplinary profile that allows him to provide a unique approach to archaeology that manifests itself through teaching, research and contract work.

His archaeological training began at the Institute of Archaeology (now part of University College London) in 1981 when he undertook a BSc in Archaeology. This was followed by study for a PhD at Royal Holloway. Practical training involved 2 years working in the late 1980’s at the Museum of London digging in Greater London and within the city.

Broader aspects of geoarchaeological study were first encouraged in contract work undertaken at UCL in the early 1990’s when he was involved with a number of Roman and Mediaeval waterfront projects in London and Dover. It was at this time that his teaching career began first at the University of North London (general prehistoric archaeology, environmental archaeology and the archaeology of Ireland) and subsequently teaching in the field and classroom while at the Institute of Archaeology. Dr Bates came to Lampeter in 1998 initially on a part time basis.

Since the mid 1990’s there have been 3 threads to his career; teaching, research and contract archaeology. All three are currently run through the school at Lampeter and this combination of approaches is most visibly manifested through the research focused teaching undertaken across a number of the core and optional courses in the department.

Dr Bates’ strengths lie in the nature of my research where he has been responsible for developing new strategies in field geoarchaeology and approaches to Cultural Resource Management in the UK during the last 2 decades. This positioned him to be active in a number of major discoveries within the UK archaeological world including the Dover Bronze Age Boat, the Clactonian Elephant butchery site in Ebbsfleet, the Harnham terminal Lower Palaeolithic site near Salisbury.

This has informed his teaching profile through active merging of practical field-based, work with traditional academic pursuits. It also allows his teaching to be both vocational and focused on the real needs of archaeologists working in the broader discipline.

Presently Dr Bates is actively engaged in the investigation of submerged landscapes in Orkney around the Bay of Firth and the Loch of Stenness. Additionally he is project geoarchaeologist for the La Manche Prehistory project involving the excavation and analysis of sites in Jersey (among them is the iconic Neanderthal site of La Cotte de Saint Brelade). He has also recently been involved in fieldwork at Isimila in Tanzania and on the Gorgan Wall in Iran.

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