Department of Classics and Archaeology

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Jon Henderson

Associate Professor, Faculty of Arts


Expertise Summary

I am a prehistoric archaeologist with specific research interests in submerged settlements. I have extensive experience of underwater archaeological operations involving monitoring, survey and excavation and have a particular expertise in the study of freshwater lake dwellings.I have supervised and directed underwater projects in the UK, Poland, Greece and Malaysia. My research on the investigation and excavation of lake dwellings in Scotland, funded by Historic Scotland, led to the formation of the Underwater Archaeology Research Centre at the University in 2004. I am currently the British Director of the Pavlopetri Underwater Archaeology Project which is investigating the oldest submerged city in the world through detailed digital underwater archaeological survey (2009-2010) and targeted underwater excavations (2011-2013).

The coastal settlement archaeology of Atlantic Europe during the Iron Age forms a further research interest and I have directed terrestrial excavations in Argyll and Caithness in Scotland.

I am also interested in the application of computers, acoustics and laser scanning in survey on land and underwater and I recently supervised a major Knowledge Transfer Project working closely with a commercial archaeological unit to develop operating standards for digital archaeological survey.

I am a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and a Member of the Institute of Field Archaeologists.

Find out more via my blog at or follow me on twitter:

Teaching Summary

My Teaching Philosophy

Archaeology is a dynamic discipline which at its very core relies on the discovery of new information. Teaching in archaeology should reflect this and instill in students the importance of finding out things for themselves. I adopt a critical approach to source information (excavation data, key texts etc) in my teaching and encourage my students to do the same in their learning. I aim to cover the core material they need and make sure they understand it but at the same time not to accept everything they read uncritically. My teaching is student-centred in that I am not reliant on passive teaching approaches - lecturing is an important part of what I do but I also bring the students into my lectures through discussion, at group and individual levels, throughout learning sessions. In this way students are given the opportunity to take the initiative and realise they are expected to be able to contribute to debates not simply observe. My teaching is research driven in that it is continually informed by new research. I prefer to use examples from my own research, and that of departmental colleagues, to make the practice of archaeology appear more immediate and real to students.


I conduct lectures, tutorials, supervisions and fieldwork demonstrations to all levels of undergraduate and postgraduate students. The range of my teaching covers core topics in Later Prehistoric Britain and Europe as well as reflecting my specialty in Underwater Archaeology.

I currently teach the following Undergraduate modules:

V61111 Prehistory from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age (10 credits)

V62207 Prehistoric Britain (10 credits)

V63347 The Celts: Iron Age Communities (10 credits)

V62346 Underwater Archaeology (10 credits)

In terms of Masters Postgraduate taught provision I offer:

V64043 Perspectives in Underwater Archaeology (15 credits)

V64041 Freshwater Archaeology (30 credits)

V64042 Maritime Archaeology (30 credits)

V64039 Special Topic in Archaeology (underwater topics tailored to students on the MRes course)

Supervision of PhD and MRes students

I supervise PhD and MRes students on a range of Later Prehistoric and underwater archaeology topics including submerged prehistoric settlements, prehistoric maritime landscapes in the Mediterranean, the development of underwater digital survey and excavation technologies (including optical and sonar survey applications), lake dwellings, wetland settlement, the western European Iron Age, Iron Age Scotland, coastal settlement and society of the Atlantic Iron Age and Scottish crannogs.

PhD students who have been awarded their Doctorates since 2007: Simon Davidson (Towards a Methodology for Shipwreck Preservation Strategies) and Robert Lenfert (Long-term Continuity and Change within Hebridean and Mainland Island Dwellings).

Current PhD students: Panagiota Markoulaki (Prehistoric logboats and the cultural landscapes of inland waters in Britain and Ireland).

Current MRes students: Jonathan Baker (Roman naval warfare and harbours).

Recent Publications

  • JOHNSON-ROBERSON, M., BRYSON, M., FRIEDMAN, A., PIZARRO, O., TRONI, G., OZOG, P. and HENDERSON, J., 2016. High-Resolution Underwater Robotic Vision-Based Mapping and Three-Dimensional Reconstruction for Archaeology Journal of Field Robotics. 33(4), 1-19
  • HENDERSON, J., 2015. The recording, management and presentation of Underwater Cultural Heritage. In: The First Ningbo Forum of Underwater Archaeology Chinese Science Publishing and Media Ltd. (CSPM). 50-59
  • HENDERSON, J.C. and SANDS, R., 2013. Irish and Scottish crannogs. In: MENOTTI, F. AND O SULLIVAN, A., ed., The Oxford Handbook of Wetland Archaeology Oxford University Press. 269-282
  • HENDERSON, J., PIZARRO, O., JOHNSON-ROBERSON, M. and MAHON, I., 2013. Mapping submerged archaeological sites using stereo-vision photogrammetry International Journal of Nautical Archaeology. 42(2), 243-256
  • HENDERSON, J., ed., 2012. IKUWA 3: Beyond boundaries: proceedings of the 3rd International Congress on Underwater Archaeology, 9th to the 12th July 2008, London Dr. Rudolf Habelt.
  • HENDERSON, J.C and CAVERS, M. G., 2012. An Iron Age crannog in south-west Scotland: underwater survey and excavation at Loch Arthur Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. 141, 103-124
  • HENDERSON, J.C and GILMOUR, S., 2012. A 1st millennium BC Atlantic roundhouse in Argyll: survey and excavation at Loch Glashan Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. 141, 75-102
  • HENDERSON, J.C., 2012. Meeting Expectations? The underwater investigation of Scottish lake dwellings.. In: HENDERSON, J.C., ed., Beyond Boundaries: The 3rd International Congress on Underwater Archaeology, IKUWA 3 London 2008 Römisch-Germanische Kommission. 377-390
  • GALLOU, C. and HENDERSON, J.C., 2012. Pavlopetri, an Early Bronze Age Early harbour town in south-east Laconia Pharos 18(1): Journal of the Netherlands Institute in Athens. 79-104
  • HENDERSON, J.C., GALLOU, C., FLEMMING, N.C. and SPONDYLIS, E., 2011. The Pavlopetri underwater archaeology project: investigating an ancient submerged town. In: BENJAMIN, J., BONSALL, C., PICKARD, C. and FISCHER, A., eds., Submerged prehistory Oxbow Books. 207-218
  • MAHON, I., PIZARRO, O., JOHNSON-ROBERSON, M., FRIEDMAN, A., WILLIAMS, S. AND J. C. HENDERSON, J.C., 2011. Reconstructing Pavlopetri – Mapping the World’s Oldest Submerged Town Using Stereo Vision In: Robotics and Automation, (ICRA) IEEE International Conference, Shanghai 2011. 2315-2321
  • CAVERS, G., HENDERSON, J. C., BARBER, J. AND HEALD, A., 2011. Towards a Total Archaeological Record: Terrestrial Laser Scanning and Archaeological Recording at Keiss, Caithness, Scotland. In: JEREM, E., REDO, F. AND SZEVERENYI, V., ed., On the Road to Reconstructing the Past: Computer Applications and Quantitive Methods in Archaeology. Proceedings of the 36th International Conference, Budapest, April 2-6, 2008. Archaeolingua. 25-34
  • PYDYN, A and HENDERSON, J. C., 2010. Application of a Total Station in the interpretation of underwater archaeological sites based on the example of the settlement at Polanowo, Gniezno Lake District, Poland.. In: PYDYN, A., ed., Archeologia Jeziora Powidzkiego Nicolaus Copernicus University Scientific Publishing House. 259-270
  • HENDERSON, J.C., 2009. Taking the Waters: Scottish crannogs and the Atlantic Iron Age.. In: COONEY, G., BECKER, K., COLES, J., RYAN, M. and SIEVERS, S., eds., Relics of old decency: archaeological studies in later prehistory: festschrift for Barry Raftery Wordwell. 39-48
  • HENDERSON, J.C, 2008. Finding the V-81: a Scapa Flow wreck in Caithness Archaeology Scotland. 8-9
  • HENDERSON, J.C., 2007. The Atlantic West in the Early Iron Age. In: HASELGROVE, C. and POPE, R., eds., The Earlier Iron Age in Britain and the Near Continent Oxford: Oxbow Books. 306-327
  • HENDERSON, J.C., 2007. Recognising complexity and realizing the potential of Scottish Crannogs In: Archaeology From The Wetlands. 231-241
  • HENDERSON, J.C., 2007. Resisting decay, wind and waves: new research on the lake dwellings of South West Scotland In: Archaeology From The Wetlands. 289-302
  • HENDERSON, J.C. AND SANDS, R., 2007. Lacustrine Settlement In: Archaeology From The Wetlands. 221
  • HENDERSON, J.C, CAVERS, M. G and AND CRONE, B. A., 2006. The South West Crannog Survey: Recent work on the lake dwellings of Dumfries and Galloway Transactions of the Dumfriesshire and Galloway Natural History and Antiquarian Society. 80, 29-52
  • CAVERS, M. G. and HENDERSON, J. C., 2005. Underwater excavation at Ederline Crannog, Loch Awe, Argyll, Scotland International Journal of Nautical Archaeology. 34(2), 282-298
  • HENDERSON, J.C., 2005. An underwater survey of Loch Glashan, Argyll.. In: A crannog of the 1st millennium AD; excavations by Jack Scott at Loch Glashan, Argyll, 1960. 20-25
  • HENDERSON, J.C., 2004. The Scottish Wetland Archaeology Programme: Assessing and Monitoring the Resource. Journal of Wetland Archaeology. 4, 169-182
  • PYDYN, A and AND HENDERSON, J.C., 2004. Wykorzystanie tachimetru elektronicznego w archeologicznych badaniach podwodnych na przykladzie stanowiska 1 w Polanowie (województwo wielkopolskie) Wielkopolski Biuletyn Konserwatorski. 71-78
  • HENDERSON, J.C., 2003. Review of C. Fredengren, Crannogs: a study of peoples interaction with lakes Antiquity. 77, 861-862
  • HENDERSON, J.C, CRONE, B.A and AND CAVERS, M.G., 2003. A condition survey of selected crannogs in south west Scotland Transactions of the Dumfriesshire and Galloway Natural History and Antiquarian Society. 77, 79-102
  • HENDERSON, J.C., CRONE, A. and SANDS, R., 2002. Scottish crannogs: construction, collapse and conflation - problems of interpretation. In: Recent Developments in Wetland Research 2. 55-68
  • HENDERSON, J.C. and CAVERS, M.G., 2002. South West Scotland Crannog Survey Discovery and Excavation in Scotland. 3, 25-27
  • HENDERSON, J.C., 2001. The continuity of coastal lives Times Higher Education Supplement. 24 Aug, 26
  • HENDERSON, J.C., ed., 2000. The Prehistory and Early History of Atlantic Europe, Proceedings of the 4th European Association of Archaeologists Annual Meeting, Gothenburg, Sweden, 23rd-27th September 1998 Oxford: Archaeopress.
  • HENDERSON, J.C., 2000. Shared Traditions? The Drystone Settlement Records of Atlantic Scotland and Ireland 700 BC-AD200 In: The Prehistory and Early History of Atlantic Europe, Proceedings of the 4th European Association of Archaeologists Annual Meeting,. 117-154
  • HENDERSON, J.C., 1999. A survey of crannogs in the Lake of Menteith, Stirlingshire, Scotland Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. Proceedings. 128, 273-292
  • HENDERSON, J.C. and SANDS, R., 1999. Scottish crannogs: construction, collapse and conflation Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. Proceedings. 128, 1132-1133
  • HENDERSON, J. C., 1998. Islets through time: the definition, dating and distribution of Scottish crannogs Oxford Journal of Archaeology. VOL 17(NUMBER 2), 227-242
  • HENDERSON, J.C. and GILMOUR, S., 1997. Excavations at Cleigh, Argyll Discovery and Excavation in Scotland. 1996, 22-23
  • BURGESS, C. and HENDERSON, J.C., 1996. Close contour survey of submerged sites using data-logging software with particular reference to Scottish crannogs International Journal of Nautical Archaeology. 25, 250-256
  • HENDERSON, J.C., HARDING, D. and GILMOUR, S., 1996. Loch na Berie, Lewis Discovery and Excavation in Scotland. 1995, 111
  • GILMOUR, S., BURGESS, C. and HENDERSON, J. C., 1996. Recording Archaeological Sites using GIS Archaeological Computing Newsletter. ISSUE 46, 2-8
  • HENDERSON, J.C., HARDING, D. and GILMOUR, S., 1995. Loch na Berie, Lewis Discovery and Excavation in Scotland. 1994, 98-99
  • HENDERSON, J.C., 1995. The Lake of Menteith Survey Discovery and Excavation in Scotland. 1994, 9-10

Department of Classics and Archaeology

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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