Dr Melanie Giles

Senior Lecturer in Archaeology

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Research interests

My research interests include the following areas:

  • Iron Age histories of disease, violence, death and burial
  • Funerary archaeology, particularly in later prehistory, and specific studies on 'grave goods'
  • The environmental, ritual and social importance of 'bog bodies'
  • Art, technology and power (particulary through the lens of Celtic art and martial culture)
  • Antiquarian studies and the history of the discipline
  • Working class communities - labour, leisure and life-histories (explored both through rural farming communities and the urban public park)

My research draws together strands of the archaeology of identity and personhood, with studies of landscape and place, alongside material culture and art. It is interdisciplinary, using a mix of ethonographic and archaeological theories and methodologies, to investigate both past and present communities. My approach has pioneered the entwined study of human and object biographies, through the lens of mortuary archaeology. This has led to an increased interest in Iron Age life-course, particularly incidents of disease, injury and violence, and how these life-events as well as the circumstances of death, were dealt with through the funerary rite.

Other research

Current research projects include:

The Grave Goods Project (AHRC funded) - an interdisciplinary research project between the Universities of Manchester, Reading and the British Museum (www.gravegoodsproject.org)

Iron Age Weapons Burials, including The Acklam Wold Project (funded by the Albert Reckitt Memorial Fund, SRG British Academy)

Bog Bodies of north-western Europe: Worsley Man (part of the 'Bog Body Network')

Previous Projects include:

The Whitworth Park Community History and Archaeology Project (see Whitworth Park Blog)


Research and projects

No current projects are available for public display