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Christopher Booth

M3C Funded PhD Student, Faculty of Arts

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Biography

My archaeological background includes my BA and MA at the University of Sheffield, where I focused on the material culture of distillation and monastic chemistry, and a stint working in commercial archaeology with Albion Archaeology in Bedford. Consequently I have extensive experience of excavation and artefact handling both in the field and in museum contexts. I am interested in the archaeology of medieval and post-medieval science, technology, and medicine; colonial archaeology in the Atlantic region; and the presentation of archaeology to the public by researchers, commercial units, community groups, and museums.

The questions that led me to my research topic were prompted when I was working on my BA dissertation at the University of Sheffield relating to distillation in the Medieval and Early Modern periods. There was mention of an apothecary site in Norwich but very little detail was given other than the material culture. I realised that this was the only archaeological mention of an apothecary that I had ever come across. Since that point I have found a small number of further examples, most notably in London, but I was still surprised at the vague way this institution of the Early Modern world was treated. My project is novel in both its approach to apothecaries and specifically their material culture. The investigation of apothecary material is rare, and the methodology I plan to employ is innovative. It promises to present a new approach to dealing with the archaeology of medicine and pharmacy in the early modern period, and will produce a significant contribution to the growing scholarship on medical humanities.

Research Summary

My project presents a new approach to the archaeology of medicine and pharmacy in the early modern period, and will produce a significant contribution to medical humanities scholarship. The focus of… read more

Recent Publications

Current Research

My project presents a new approach to the archaeology of medicine and pharmacy in the early modern period, and will produce a significant contribution to medical humanities scholarship. The focus of this PhD is early modern apothecaries in the British Colonial Atlantic region from c.1500 until 1815 when the Apothecaries Act became law. Although so far under-studied the project aims to find and track the standard material culture set that most apothecaries would have made use of. Analysing this material culture alongside documentary evidence, the thesis will explore changes in medical practice, attitudes to illness and the body, and the distribution of exotic materials both medical and non-medical from across the colonial world. Defining and interrogating this set and using it as a tool to identify further apothecaries will shed new light on social and medical practice in the early modern period.

Department of Archaeology

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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