Hi, my name is Andy Shaw and I’ve just joined the team as a Senior Geoarchaeologist. I am a specialist in Pleistocene sedimentology and Palaeolithic archaeology.
I have been involved in researching the archaeology of our earliest ancestors (in particular Neanderthals) for 16 years, both through academic and commercial investigations. This has involved an undergraduate degree at the University of Durham, an MA at the University of Southampton and a PhD back at Durham. I have carried out studies in Britain, northern Europe and the Near East.
Since completing my PhD (in 2008) I have been employed as a doctoral researcher on two projects; one investigating the Lower and Middle Palaeolithic of Syria and Lebanon, and the other the early Neanderthal archaeology of La Cotte de St Brelade, Jersey and (what is now) the English Channel. The latter is ongoing through the Ice Age Island Project and the La Manche Prehistoric research group. Since 2011, I have been employed as a specialist in Pleistocene geoarchaeology on commercial contracting projects and have taught university courses on reconstructing Pleistocene landscapes and environments, and human behavioural evolution.
My work focuses on the unique issues of investigating the Pleistocene geoarchaeological record, spanning as it does more than a million years. How we tackle such deep-time scales and use snap shots of information (archaeological, sedimentological, paleoenvironmental, chronological etc.) to reconstruct human engagement with the hugely varied landscapes and changing glacial-interglacial environments of the Pleistocene, is a challenge that continues to excite.
Beyond archaeology, I spend time with my daughter, Freya (6 years old) who, with two parents that study the Palaeolithic and six years of experience of Pleistocene fieldwork, has herself developed a wide knowledge base on the subject.