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Rebecca Scott – University of Reading

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Rebecca Scott

Fire in the Lower Palaeolithic: Absence of evidence or evidence of absence?

This project aims to address the degree of visibility of fire features in the Lower Palaeolithic archaeological record, and to assess the question of whether hominin fire use, or just the evidence for it, was likely to be absent during this period in NW Europe. The key objectives of the project are to 1) investigate differences in the characteristics and the degree of visibility of humanly-controlled fires built on different sediment types and observe how these change over time using geoarchaeological techniques; and 2) To clarify the site formation processes and depositional environments associated with heated flint and charcoal at the Lower Palaeolithic site of Barnham East Farm, UK. This project is funded by the AHRC SWW DTP.


About Me:

I am a geoarchaeologist based at the University of Reading. I hold a BSc (First Class Hons) in Environmental Science from Birkbeck, University of London and an MSc (with Distinction) in Environmental Archaeology from the University of Reading where my dissertation (supervised by Dr Stuart Black and Prof. Martin Bell) investigated a new, targeted approach to the analysis of tufa (a type of terrestrial limestone) for Uranium-series dating and trace element analysis at archaeological sites. Since my undergraduate degree I have excavated at sites such as the Bradford Kaims, Northumberland as part of the Bamburgh Research Project, and at Barnham, Suffolk as part of the Pathways to Ancient Britain Project, for which I received a full scholarship in both 2018 and 2019. I was an organiser for the SAGES PGR Conference in 2019 and have been a PGR representative for Archaeology on the Wellbeing, Equality and Diversity (WED) since 2018.

Research Interests:

  • Site formation processes and experimental archaeology
  • Soil micromorphology and geoarchaeology
  • Quaternary environmental change
  • Palaeolithic archaeology

Research Groups:

Landscape, Climate and Lived Environment







  Becky Scott


111 Allen Lab


Dr Rob Hosfield (University of Reading)

 Professor Martin Bell (University of Reading)

Professor Linda Hurcombe (University of Exeter)

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