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Ann Oldroyd

Ann Oldroyd

Ann’s interest in Upper Palaeolithic archaeology grew out of a fascination with the geography of glacial and periglacial environments and human adaptations to living in these cold climates. In the summer of 2005, she took part in the excavations at the Eastern Gravettian site of Zaraysk, Russia, where she uncovered, amongst other features, a hearth and a flintknapping waste disposal pit. The experience was an extremely valuable one and began her engagement with the Palaeolithic and Pleistocene archaeology. In 2006, Ann completed a masters in experimental archaeology which culminated in a dissertation studying chronological changes in the configuration of Magdalenian bone and antler harpoons.

During the course of her masters degree, Ann participated in the experimental Solutrean flintknapping workshop at Bossay-sur-Claise, Indre-et-Loire, France organised by SERAP Vallée de la Claise (Société d’Études et Recherches Archéologiques sur le Paléolithique de la Vallée de la Claise). This provided her with an introduction to Solutrean knapping and reinforced her interest in the stone tool technologies of the Upper Palaeolithic.

After some time spent researching into learning in Solutrean laurel leaf manufacture, Ann’s doctoral research has shifted focus. She is now developing a methodology to distinguish between different skill levels within bifacial manufacturing without using refitting, allowing both a greater number of sites to be studied for indicators of skill level and for broader trends to be established by comparing assemblages. The methodology is being applied to a Clovis assemblage from the Gault site, Texas. For more information, see Ann’s project proposal, Expertise in a Non-Refitted Assemblage (PDF format).

Her research interests include:

  • stone tool technology
  • craft-learning and skill transmission
  • the archaeology of the Upper Palaeolithic in Europe and the Paleoindian archaeology of the Americas
  • hunter-gatherer society
  • interaction between human populations and the environment
  • human evolution
  • microwear analysis

Conference Papers:

  • X-TAG 2006, the Theoretical Archaeology Group Conference, University of Exeter, 15-18 October 2006 - ‘Archaeology in British Primary School education and the potential for Portable Antiquities Scheme involvement’ in the session ‘Archaeology for the Community’
  • Society of American Archaeology 75th Anniversary Meeting, St. Louis, MO, 14-18 April 2010 - ‘Learning at the Gault Site, Texas: Studying Skill-Level in a Non-Refitted Bifacial Assemblage’ in the session ‘Recognizing Skill-Level Archaeologically and What It Reveals Culturally’
  • [Upcoming] The 5th Experimental Archaeology Conference, University of Reading, 8-9 January 2011 - ‘Recording of a flaked stone experiment illustrating the range of methods for analysis, including results from previous experiments’ - a demonstration with Professor Bruce Bradley


  • Oldroyd, A.E. (in prep) 'Biface Edge Variability as a Measure of Skill-level', Journal of Anthropological Archaeology.

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