Professor Alan Outram
Head of Archaeology, Professor of Archaeological Science
Telephone: 01392 724398
Alan Outram is an environmental archaeologist and palaeoeconomist who specialises in zooarchaeology (the analysis of archaeological animal bones and understanding past human/animal relations). Some of his most significant work has been on tracing the domestication of the horse in Central Asia, and studying the development of steppe pastoral societies in Kazakhstan. He is also well known as a specialist in bone taphonomy, particularly fracture and fragmentation analysis.
He is currently engaged on two major ERC projects:
'NeoMilk' is examining the introduction and spread of cattle-based agriculture and dairying by early Neolithic Linearbandkeramik (LBK) farmers and its implications for modelling the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in Northern and Central Europe during the 6th millennium BC.
'Pegasus' builds on the latest advances in the analysis of ancient DNA molecules to gather new genomic, epigenomic and metagenomic information from ancient horses. This will be integrated with archaeozoological, isotopic and historical data to enhance our understanding of an animal that perhaps most impacted human history.
As well as teaching zooarchaeology at undergraduate and masters' level he also covers many other aspects of archaeological science. He also teaches modules on hunter-gatherers and early farmers where he combines anthropological and archaeological approaches. He has, for 12 years, led many of our students on a fieldschool in South Dakota, excavating on an early agricultural village site.
Alan is the editor-in-chief of Routledge journal Science and Technology of Archaeological Research (STAR).