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Details for Dr Jessica Smyth

Personal details
Name Dr Jessica Smyth
Job title Research Fellow
Department School of Chemistry University of Bristol
Contact details This expert can be contacted via the University of Bristol Public Relations Office.

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work+44 (0)117 331 8092
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Qualifications BA(Dub), MA(Sheff), PhD(Dub)
Professional details
Membership of professional bodies Prehistoric Society
Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland
European Association of Archaeologists
Keywords Neolithic
Early farmers
Irish prehistory
archaeology
Lipid analysis
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material culture studies
Areas of expertise I focus on the nature of daily life in the Irish Neolithic. Previous doctoral and postdoctoral work focused on settlement archaeology, especially the domestic architecture of the period, and in trying to balance out narratives that for a long time have been dominated by megalithic monuments. This approach has been made possible by the results of developer-led excavation of the past decade, which has radically transformed the prehistoric settlement record.

The SCHERD project represents a move into material culture studies and archaeological science, aided by the work of Professor Richard Evershed and the Organic Geochemistry Unit. SCHERD aims to identify the original contents of selected Irish Neolithic pottery vessels through systematic lipid analysis of visible organic encrusted remains and of absorbed organic residues. SCHERD also seeks to provide more secure date markers for the period by directly dating, where feasible, surface and absorbed residues from selected vessels in key assemblages.