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Rob Hosfield

Rob

Areas of interest

  • British and Western European Lower and Middle Palaeolithic archaeology
  • Pleistocene fluvial landscapes
  • Experimental archaeology and site formation processes
  • GIS applications in Palaeolithic and prehistoric archaeology.

Postgraduate supervision

Rob currently supervises/co-supervises the following research student projects:

  • Fire and Shelter in the Lower Palaeolithic: Absence of evidence or evidence of absence? (with Professor Martin Bell and Professor Linda Hurcombe, University of Exeter)
  • Mesolithic artefacts and use wear in wetlands (with Professor Martin Bell and Professor Linda Hurcombe, University of Exeter)
  • Differences in Flaking Technologies and Volume Management in Large Cutting Tools and Core & Flake Assemblages in Britain and North-West Europe in MIS 11 and 9 (with Professor Steve Mithen).

Rob is happy to discuss proposals for future postgraduate research in any areas of Palaeolithic archaeology, in particular: Lower and/or Middle Palaeolithic hominin behaviour and lithic technology, GIS applications, and experimental archaeology (esp. focusing on tool use or lithic assemblage taphonomy).

For further information, please contact r.hosfield@reading.ac.uk.

Teaching

Rob teaches the Palaeolithic archaeology of Europe, global human origins, lithics, geographic information systems (GIS), and statistics for archaeologists. He was awarded a University Teaching Fellowship in 2018.

Research projects

Rob is currently co-leading (with Dr Rob Batchelor, Dr Hannah Fluck and Dr Chris Green) a Historic England-funded project, Curating the Palaeolithic, the goal of which is to produce clear and accessible new guidance documents that will advise curators, Local Planning Authorities, consultants and contractors in the management of the Lower and Middle Palaeolithic resource.

Rob recently completed, with Dr James Cole (Brighton University), an AHRC Network project: Coping with climate: the legacy of H. heidelbergensis. This AHRC-funded research network addressed two fundamental evolutionary questions: firstly, what were the ‘globalising’ adaptations of Homo heidelbergensis and other early European hominin species (Homo antecessor and perhaps also Homo erectus), which existed prior to the Neanderthals and our own species, Homo sapiens? Secondly, how have those ‘globalising’ adaptations contributed to the evolution of later species’ abilities (i.e. Homo sapiens and the Neanderthals) to manage climatic and environmental challenges (both past and present)? The project's workshop has led to a virtual special issue in Quaternary Science Review. The project also produced some Palaeolithic (early prehistory) resources for schools: http://blogs.brighton.ac.uk/copingwithclimate/resources-for-schools/

In recent years Rob has completed new papers on handaxe variability ('Less of a bird's song than a hard rock ensemble') with James Cole and John McNabb, and the chronology of the Lower Palaeolithic occupation of Europe, with James Cole. His new book exploring the European early Palaeolithic from the perspective of a 'year in the life' is currently in press. Rob’s other significant recent publications are a paper on the challenges of Palaeolithic survival in mid-latitudes (Hosfield 2016), a site monograph on the British Lower Palaeolithic site of Broom (Hosfield & Green 2013), and an edited volume in honour of Prof. Clive Gamble (Coward et al. 2015).

Rob’s other projects have included:

He has also published papers on the early Middle Pleistocene archaeology of Britain, the Lower and Middle Palaeolithic archaeology of the Solent (with Dr Nick Ashton of the British Museum), British Palaeolithic settlement histories (with Dr Ashton and Dr Simon Lewis, Queen Mary’s, University of London), the handaxe assemblage from the British Lower Palaeolithic site of Broom (with Dr Jenni Chambers), antiquarians and the Palaeolithic record, social learning and craft skills, and the interpretation of Palaeolithic assemblages from fluvial contexts.

Rob was involved with the South West Archaeological Research Framework (SWARF), acting as the period convenor for the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic, and has also contributed to the Solent-Thames Archaeological Research Framework (the Lower and Middle Palaeolithic archaeology of Berkshire; Wenban-Smith et al. 2014) and the Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Terrestrial Minerals Resource Assessment.

Academic qualifications

  • BA, MSc (Archaeological Science: Archaeological Computing), PhD – University of Southampton

Professional bodies/affiliations

Earlier Publications

Journal Articles

  • Hosfield, R.T. & Chambers, J.C. (2003) Recent Research at the Broom Lower Palaeolithic Site. Antiquity 77 (297): http://antiquity.ac.uk/ProjGall/hosfield/hosfield.html.
  • Hosfield, R.T. & Chambers, J.C. (2002) The Lower Palaeolithic site of Broom: geoarchaeological implications of optical dating. Lithics: The Newsletter of the Lithic Studies Society 23: 33-42.

Book Sections

  • Hosfield, R.T. (2002) Quantifying the British Palaeolithic: Regional Data and Hominid Adaptations. In D.W. Wheatley, G.P. Earl & S. Poppy (ed's) Contemporary themes in Archaeological Computing: 37-46. Department of Archaeology, University of Southampton Monograph No. 3. Oxbow Books, Oxford.
  • Hosfield, R.T. (2001) The Lower Palaeolithic of the Solent: site formation and interpretive frameworks. In F.F. Wenban-Smith & R.T. Hosfield (ed's) Palaeolithic Archaeology of the Solent River: 85-97. Lithic Studies Society Occasional Paper 7. Lithic Studies Society, London.
  • Hosfield, R.T. (2001) Approaching a Wider Spatio-Temporal View: Modelling the Terrace Gravel Assemblages. In K.J. Fewster & M. Zvelebil (eds.) Ethnoarchaeology and Hunter-Gatherers: Pictures at an Exhibition: 127-141. British Archaeological Reports (International Series) 955. Archaeopress: Oxford.

Books

Wenban-Smith, F.F. & Hosfield, R.T. (ed's). (2001) Palaeolithic Archaeology of the Solent River. Lithic Studies Society Occasional Paper 7. Lithic Studies Society, London.

Publications

  • Wenban-Smith, F. , Hardaker, T. , Hosfield, R. , Loader, R. , Silva, B. , Wilkinson, K. (2014) The Lower/Middle Palaeolithic: research agenda. In: Hey, G. and Hind, J. , (eds.) Solent-Thames: Research Framework for the Historic Environment: Resource Assessments and Research Agendas. Oxford Wessex monograph Oxford Archaeology (6). , Oxford. pp. 53-59. ISBN: 9780957467217
  • Wenban-Smith, F. , Hardaker, T. , Hosfield, R. , Loader, R. , Silva, B. , Wilkinson, K. , Bridgland, D. , Cramp, K. (2014) The Lower/Middle Palaeolithic resource assessment. In: Hey, G. and Hind, J. , (eds.) Solent-Thames: Research Framework for the Historic Environment: Resource Assessments and Research Agendas. Oxford Wessex monograph Oxford Archaeology (6). , Oxford. pp. 21-51. ISBN: 9780957467217