Professor Mark Pollard

Research Profile

Research Activities

I have had almost continuous external funding (mostly UK Research Council) since March 1986. The focus of my research has shifted over the period from a relatively straightforward analysis of archaeological materials to more complex questions of process, integration of various sources of information, and the development of numerical methodologies. There is a continuing need to further develop the theoretical underpinning of materials study in archaeology, including methods for the better integration of scientific provenance studies with existing archaeological understanding.

I am a Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and a Member of the Oriental Ceramic Society.

Current Research Projects

FLAME (FLow of Ancient Metal across Eurasia): European Research Council Advance Grant 1300505. 2.47MEuro, 1/10/2015-30/9/2020.

Completed Research Projects

  • 'The Past People of Oxfordshire', funded by Higher Education Innovation Funding (HEIF) in partnership with Oxford Archaeology and Oxford City Council.
  • Mass migration and apartheid in Anglo-Saxon Britain?: an ancient DNA re-evaluation
  • Leverhulme Trust RPG-388 (Pollard/Hamerow/Bradley) 2 years from 1/1/12.
  • BookNET: a network for the technological study of the book and manuscript as artefact
  • AHRC AH/G015309/1 (Pollard, Ovendon, Howell and Neate) Science and Heritage Cluster, 9 months from Jan 2009.
  • Transition to Ironworking in Ancient Cholcis 
  • National Geographic Global Exploration Fund GEFNE30-11 (Pollard) for 2012.
  • Chemical structure and human behaviour: a new model for prehistoric metallurgy
  • Leverhulme Trust F/08 622/D (Pollard, Gosden, Northover and Bray) 2 years from 1/01/11.
  • Ancient Cholcis and the Origins of Iron: Field investigations of the earliest iron working in western Georgia 
  • British Academy SG100285 (Albert Reckitt Archaeology Fund) (Pollard, Gilmour and Johnson) £7,500 from August 2010.
  • Below the Salt: A study of the human remains and associated material from the salt mine at Chehrabad, Zanjan, Iran
  • AHRC AH/HO10998/1 (Pollard and Brothwell, University of York) 1/4/2010 for 2 years.
  • Evaluating Hunter-Gatherer Subsistence Strategies in Late-Glacial Central Italy 
  • Leverhulme Trust F/00 235/1 (Donahue (University of Bradford), Lee-Thorp, Blockley (RHUL), Pollard and Pellegrini) 3 years from June 2009.


FLAME (The FLow of Ancient Metals across Eurasia)

RESET — Response of Humans to Abrupt Environmental Transitions

Below the Salt


Postgraduate teaching

Lectururer for MSc in Archaeological Science