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Holly Miller

Research Fellow. Dama International Project, Faculty of Arts

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Biography

October 2014 - January 2017: Research Fellow, AHRC Cultural and Scientific Perceptions of Human-Chicken Interactions, University of Nottingham

November 2012 - September 2014: Research Fellow, AHRC Dama International, University of Nottingham

January 2012 - October 2012: Post-doctoral Research Assistant, Leverhulme Centre for Human Evolution, University of Cambridge

Expertise Summary

I am a Prehistorian with over ten years of research, fieldwork and teaching expertise in the Epi-Palaeolithic - Iron Age of the Near East. I have been involved in research and fieldwork projects in Prehistoric Europe and Africa, and have extensive experience of teaching comparative world prehistory. Methodologically, I specialise in isotope and lithic analysis and hold a Visiting Research Fellowship with the Centre for Environmental Geochemistry (CEG).

Research Summary

My research has two primary strands (1) object biographies, and the expression of human culture and identity; and (2) human-animal-landscape relationships. These two strands are linked by shared… read more

Current Research

My research has two primary strands (1) object biographies, and the expression of human culture and identity; and (2) human-animal-landscape relationships. These two strands are linked by shared concerns of health and wellbeing: the One Health framework has established that human, animal and environmental experiences are inextricably connected. My research has wide geographic and temporal applicability, but my core interest is the Epi-Palaeolithic-Iron Age in the Near East.

I have contributed to key archaeological debates, notably identifying the incipient development of nomadic pastoralism in the Southern Levant. My work on fallow deer, for the Dama International project (http://www.fallow-deer-project.net/), domestic caprines, and chickens, for the 'Chicken Project' (http://scicultchickens.org/) has resulted in considerations of animals in magic, medicine and belief. My research on personal adornments challenges current methodologies and the lack of theoretical engagement in analyses of prehistoric bead/amulet manufacture and use. It calls to attention the need to look beyond ideas of aesthetics and consider other potential 'values' of these items which can be assessed through object biographies, including healing and protection.

I examine these themes taking a transdisciplinary approach, combining lithics, personal adornment evidence, and isotope analyses of animal and human remains (my primary evidential specialisms) with other archaeological data, genetic and ecological studies.

Past Research

My PhD research, undertaken at the University of Liverpool, focused on an assessments of prehistoric human-animal-landscape relationships (dietary and environmental change, developing human-animal relationships, early animal management practices, movement patterns and associated societal change) to investigate the origins of nomadic pastoralism in the steppe and desert of the Southern Levant.

Future Research

My future research plans include developing interdisciplinary research in magic, medicine and belief, specifically: (1) through object biographies (Near Eastern Prehistoric personal adornment) and; (2) establishing a new field of archaeological scholarship - medicine as culture in prehistory.

Department of Archaeology

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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