Professor Gordon Noble

Professor Gordon Noble
MA (Aberdeen), MA (UCL), PhD (Reading), FSAScot

Personal Chair

Overview
Professor Gordon Noble
Professor Gordon Noble

Contact Details

Telephone
work +44 (0)1224 272333
Email
Address
The University of Aberdeen Department of Archaeology University of Aberdeen St. Mary's, Elphinstone Road Aberdeen AB24 3UF Scotland Room No. 203
Web Links

https://aberdeen.academia.edu/GordonNoble


Biography

Dr Gordon Noble, has undertaken landscape research and directed field projects across Scotland. He has worked on a wide range of landscapes and archaeology projects from the Mesolithic to Medieval periods. He was director and co-founder of Strathearn & Royal Forteviot (SERF), a successful archaeological project researching a site that became one of Scotland’s early royal centres. He now works on two major projects. The first, Northern Picts, is funded by the University of Aberdeen Development Trust and Historic Environment Scotland and is focused on the post-Roman societies of northern Britain. The second, Comparative Kingship, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, is examining the early royal landscapes of Ireland and Scotland.

Gordon has also worked on funded projects on topics from the Mesolithic of upper Deeside to 19th century rural settlements at Bennachie. Public engagement is a big part of his research and to date five major exhibitions of the work of Northern Picts has been on display at the Tarbat Discovery Centre and King's Museum, Aberdeen. Northern Picts research has also featured on BBC 4 'Digging for Britain', Radio 4 'In Our Time' and many other media venues. 

Since completing his PhD in 2004, Gordon has held a temporary lectureship in Durham (2004-5) and from 2005-8 undertook British Academy funded postdoctoral research on the perception of the forested environment in prehistory at the University of Glasgow. Gordon was appointed as lecturer to the department at Aberdeen in July 2008. In 2012 he became Senior Lecturer, Head of Department in 2015, Reader in 2017 and Professor in 2019. He is also a Honorary Curatorial Fellow to the University Museums.

Latest book:

Tree book

Research

Research Interests

Prehistoric and early medieval Europe with particular interests in: Scotland, Ireland, Sweden & Denmark

Current Research

Comparative Kingship 2017-

The nature of the societies and social, ideological and political frameworks that filled the chasm left by the demise of the Roman Empire in the 5th  century AD – both within and beyond the Empire’s boundaries – is one of the most contentious debates about  late- and post- Roman Europe. This project adopts an innovative interdisciplinary focus that tackles  the formation of the socio-political landscapes  of Northern Britain and Ireland,  utilizing archaeological, historical, toponymic and  palaeoenvironmental methodologies along with Bayesian-modelled chronologies,  to create a new  synthesis of the  dramatic changes that  ultimately led to the formation of the state societies that existed beyond the edges of the Roman Empire.

Funding: Leverhulme Trust Leadership Award

 

Northern Picts 2012-

Northern Picts is a project that aims to uncover the archaeological traces of Pictish society in northern Scotland. The project to date has had some spectacular successes. We have begun to uncover a major and undocumented Pictish royal centre at Rhynie and discovered a significant portion of a major Pictish silver hoard at Gaulcross. We have scaled sea cliffs to discover forgotten Pictish forts and centres of power. Find out more here.

Funding: University of Aberdeen Development Trust (private donation) and Historic Envrionment Scotland (PI)

Project partners: Tarbat Discovery Centre, National Museums of Scotland, University of Chester, University of Glasgow, Inverness Museum & Art Gallery, Rhynie Woman, CMS Archaeology, Forestry Commission Scotland, Aberdeenshire Council, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, University of Mainz

Bennachie Landscapes Project 2012-

North-east Scotland contains landscapes of world-leading importance for history, archaeology and community heritage. This project focuses on building heritage-based partnerships and involves an interdisciplinary community-centred research project concentrating on the past, present and future significance of one of north-east Scotland's most celebrated cultural and physical landmarks: the hill of Bennachie and its environs.

Funding: AHRC Development Grant (PI)

Project partners: Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS), Bailies of Bennachie, Aberdeenshire Council, Forestry Commission

Woodland in the Neolithic of Northern Europe: The Forest as Ancestor.

A book length study of the social role of trees and woodlands in prehistory with case studies from Britain and Ireland and South Scandinavia. Incorporating environmental, anthropological and archaeological approaches, this study aims to formulate new approaches to the study of past landscapes. The final book is published by Cambridge University Press.

Funding: British Academy (PI)

Research Grants

  • 2017-2022    Principal-Investigator, 'Comparative Kingship: the early medieval kingdoms of Northern Britain and Ireland'; Leverhulme Trust (£971,149)
  • 2012-2022    Principal-Investigator, ‘Northern Picts: ’, University of Aberdeen Development Trust; Historic Environment Scotland (£300k to date)
  • 2012-2013    Principal-Investigator, ‘Ritual and Remembrance at the Third Millennium BC Prehistoric Monument Complex at Forteviot, Central Scotland’, Arts and Humanities Research Council (69K)
  • 2011-2012   Principal-Investigator, 'Communities and Landscape: Researching the Past and Exploring the Future in North-East Scotland', Arts and Humanities Research Council (20K)
  • Carnegie Trust for Universities of Scotland PhD Studentship. Claire Christie 'Landscapes of Shetland' (63K)
  • Arts and Humanities Research Council Scottish Doctoral Training Centre PhD Studentship. Juliette Mitchell 'Monumental Cemeteries of Pictland' (60K)
  • Arts and Humanities Research Council Scottish Doctoral Training Centre PhD Studentship. Jennifer Allison 'Households of First Millennium AD Scotland' (60K)
  • 2015-2017    Principal-Investigator, ‘3D Picts: 3D replication and community engagement ’, SCORE Engineering (£20k)
  • 2014-5    Principal-Investigator, ‘Nethermills Backlog Project’, Historic Scotland (£33k)
  • 2011-2017    Principal-Investigator, ‘Rhynie Environs Archaeological Project’, British Academy, Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, Carnegie, Historic Scotland, etc (£30k)
  • 2005-8    Principal-Investigator, ‘The Forest as Ancestor’, British Academy (£90k)
Teaching

Teaching Responsibilities

Course co-ordinator of undergraduate modules:

  • AY2005 Interpreting the Past
  • AY3009 Scottish Archaeology
  • AY3010 Professional Archaeology I
  • AY3011 Archaeological Fieldwork Portfolio

Additional teaching on a range of other modules including Archaeology of the North, Advanced Archaeological Practice, Archaeologies of Social Life and Landscape Archaeology

Further Info

External Responsibilities

  • 2013-16 External Examiner, Department of Archaeology, University of Reading

    2017-21 External Examiner, Department of Archaeology, University of Newcastle

    2018-22 External Examiner, Department of Archaeology, University of Edinburgh

  • 2015 External panel member for undergraduate teaching programme review, University of Edinburgh

  • Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland (elected fellow 2006; Council member 2009-12)
  • Reviewer (Journals): 

    Antiquity, World Archaeology, European Journal of Archaeology, Cambridge Archaeological Journal, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, Journal of Maritime Archaeology, The Scottish Archaeological Journal, Papers from the Institute of Archaeology University College London, Journal of Irish Archaeology, Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, Journal of Anthropological Archaeology

  • Reviewer (Grants):

    Arts and Humanities Research Council; Leverhulme Trust; Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland; National Geographic

Admin Responsibilities

  • Head of Department
  • Research Theme Leader
  • Honorary Curatorial Fellow to University Museums
Publications

Publications 

Currently viewing:

Page 1 of 2 Results 1 to 50 of 67

  • Wickham-Jones, CR, Noble, G, Fraser, SM, Warren, G, Tipping, R, Paterson, D, Mitchell, W, Hamilton, D & Clark, A 2020, 'Bridging the gap: new evidence for upland occupation in the Mesolithic of Scotland ', Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society.
  • Noble, G, Evans, N, Hamilton, D, MacIver, C, Masson-MacLean, E, O'Driscoll, J, Cruickshanks, G, Hunter, F, Ingemark, D, Mainland, I, Taylor, S & Wallace, C 2020, 'Dunnicaer, Aberdeenshire, Scotland: a Roman Iron Age promontory fort beyond the frontier', Archaeological Journal.
  • Jones, SE, Allison, EP, Campbell, E, Evans, N, Mighall, T & Noble, G 2020, 'Identifying Social Transformations and Crisis during the Pre-Monastic to Post-Viking era on Iona: New Insights from a Palynological and Palaeoentomological Perspective', Environmental Archaeology. [Online] DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/14614103.2020.1713581
  • O'Driscoll, J, Gleeson, P & Noble, G 2020, 'Re-imagining Navan Fort: new light on the evolution of a major ceremonial centre in Northern Europe', Oxford Journal of Archaeology.
  • Noble, G & Brophy, K 2020, Strathearn Environs & Royal Forteviot: the Prehistoric Monument Complex. Council for British Archaeology.
  • Fraser, SM, Noble, G, Warren, G, Tipping, R, Paterson, D, Mitchell, W, Clarke, A & Wickham-Jones, C 2020, The Upper Dee Tributaries Project: Finding the Mesolithic in the mountains of Scotland. in D Borić, D Antonović, B Mihailović & S Stefanović (eds), Holocene Foragers in Europe and Beyond: Papers Presented to the Ninth International Conference on the Mesolithic in Europe MESO 2015, Belgrade, Serbia. Serbian Archaeological Society, Belgrade, pp. 64-69, Ninth International Conference on the Mesolithic in Europe , Belgrade, Serbia, 14/09/15.
  • Hall, M, Evans, N, Hamilton, D, Mitchell, J, O'Driscoll, J & Noble, G 2020, 'Warrior ideologies in first millennium AD Europe: New light on monumental warrior stelae from Scotland', Antiquity, vol. 94, no. 373, pp. 127-144. [Online] DOI: https://doi.org/10.15184/aqy.2019.214
  • Noble, G, Gondek, M, Campbell, E, Evans, N, Hamilton, D & Taylor, S 2019, 'A Powerful Place Of Pictland: Interdisciplinary Perspectives On A Power Centre of the 4th to 6th Centuries AD ', Medieval Archaeology, vol. 63, no. 1, pp. 59-64. [Online] DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00766097.2019.1588529
  • Noble, G, Lamont, P & Masson-MacLean, E 2019, 'Assessing the ploughzone: The impact of cultivation on artefact survival and the cost/benefits of topsoil stripping prior to excavation', Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, vol. 23, pp. 549-558. [Online] DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2018.11.015
  • Noble, G & O'Driscoll, J 2019, Fortified settlement in early medieval Northern Britain and Ireland. in G Lock & I Ralston (eds), Hillforts: Britain, Ireland and the Nearer Continent: Papers from the Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland Conference, June 2017. Archaeopress, pp. 97-116, Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland Conference, Edinburgh, United Kingdom, 23/06/17.
  • Noble, G, Cruickshanks, G, Dunbar, L, Evans, N, Hall, D, Hamilton, D, MacIver, C, Masson-MacLean, E, O'Driscoll, J, Paskulin, L & Sveinbjarnarson, O 2019, 'Kinneddar: A Major Ecclesiastical Centre of the Picts', Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, vol. 148, pp. 113-145. [Online] DOI: https://doi.org/10.9750/PSAS.148.1271
  • Sanchez-Quinto, F, Malmström, H, Fraser, M, Girdland Flink, E, Svensson, EM, Simoes, L, George, R, Hollfelder, N, Burenhult, G, Noble, G, Britton, K, Talamo, S, Curtis, N, Brzobohata, H, Sumberova, R, Götherström, A, Storå, J & Jakobsson, M 2019, 'Megalithic tombs in western and northern Neolithic Europe were linked to a kindred society', PNAS, vol. 116, no. 19, pp. 9469-9474. [Online] DOI: https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1818037116
  • Noble, G 2019, 'New dates for enclosed sites in north-east Scotland: results of excavations by the Northern Picts project', Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.
  • Noble, G & Evans, N 2019, The King In the North: The Pictish Realms of Fortriu and Ce. Birlinn, Edinburgh.
  • Noble, G 2019, Tracing pre-Christian cosmologies in Pictland. in C Ljung, A Andreasson Sjögren, I Berg, E Engström, A-M Hållans Stenholm, K Jonsson, A Klevnäs, L Qviström & T Zachrisson (eds), Tidens landskap: En vänbok till Anders Andrén. Nordic Academic Press, Lund, pp. 85-87.
  • Stratigos, M & Noble, G 2018, 'A new chronology for crannogs in north-east Scotland', Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, vol. 147, pp. 147-173. [Online] DOI: https://doi.org/10.9750/PSAS.147.1254
  • Noble, G, Turner, J, Hamilton, D, Hastie, L, Knecht, R, Stirling, L, Sveinbjarnarson, O, Upex, B & Milek, K 2018, 'Early Medieval Shellfish Exploitation in Northwest Europe: Investigations at the Sands of Forvie Shell Middens, Eastern Scotland, and the Role of Coastal Resources in the First Millennium AD', Journal of Island & Coastal Archaeology, vol. 13, no. 4, pp. 582-605. [Online] DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/15564894.2017.1329242
  • Warren, G, Fraser, S, Clarke, A, Driscoll, K, Mitchell, W, Noble, G, Paterson, D, Schulting, R, Tipping, R, Verbaas, A, Wilson, C & Wickham-Jones, C 2018, 'Little House in the Mountains? A small Mesolithic structure from the Cairngorm Mountains, Scotland', Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, vol. 18, pp. 936-945. [Online] DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2017.11.021
  • Noble, G 2018, Rhynie: new perspectives on settlement in Pictland in the 5th and 6th centuries AD and the context of Pictish symbol stones. in S Semple, C Orsini, S Mui & B Landesmuseum (eds), Life on the Edge: Social, Political and Religious Frontiers in Early Medieval Europe. Krebs.
  • Noble, G 2018, The Picts in Moray: Latest Results of the Northern Picts Project. in J Trythall & C Herbert (eds), Forgotten, Hidden & Lost: Unearthing Moray's Archaeology: Proceedings of the Elgin Museum Archaeology Conference 2017. The Moray Society, Elgin, pp. 38-48, Elgin Museum Archaeology Conference 2017, Elgin, United Kingdom, 4/11/17.
  • Noble, G, Goldberg, M & Hamilton, D 2018, 'The development of the Pictish symbol system: inscribing identity beyond the edges of Empire', Antiquity, vol. 92, no. 365, pp. 1329-1348. [Online] DOI: https://doi.org/10.15184/aqy.2018.68
  • Brophy, K, MacGregor, G & Noble, G 2018, Warm air and glowing pyres: Cremating bodies in the Late Neolithic of mainland Scotland. in P Bickle & E Sibbesson (eds), Neolithic Bodies. Neolithic Studies Group Seminar Papers, vol. 15, Oxbow Books, pp. 74-91.
  • Noble, G, Brophy, K, Hamilton, D, Leach, S & Sheridan, A 2017, 'Cremation Practices and the Creation of Monument Complexes: The Neolithic Cremation Cemetery at Forteviot, Strathearn, Perth & Kinross, Scotland, and its comparanda', Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, vol. 83, pp. 213-245. [Online] DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/ppr.2017.11
  • Noble, G, Turner, JR, Hamilton, D, Hastie, L, Knecht, R, Sveinbjarnarson, O, Upex, BR, Milek, KB & Stirling, L 2017, 'Early Medieval Shellfish Gathering at the Sands of Forvie, Aberdeenshire: Feast or Famine? ', Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, vol. 146, pp. 121-152. [Online] DOI: https://doi.org/10.9750/PSAS.146.1214
  • Mitchell, J & Noble, G 2017, 'The Monumental Cemeteries of Northern Pictland', Medieval Archaeology, vol. 61, no. 1, pp. 1-40. [Online] DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00766097.2017.1296031
  • Noble, G 2017, Woodland in the Neolithic of Northern Europe: The Forest as Ancestor. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. [Online] DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316672006
  • Noble, G, Goldberg, M, McPherson, A & Sveinbjarnarson, O 2016, '(Re)discovering the Gaulcross Hoard', Antiquity, vol. 90, no. 351, pp. 726-741. [Online] DOI: https://doi.org/10.15184/aqy.2016.71
  • Wickham-Jones, CR, Kenworthy, JB, Gould, A, MacGregor, G & Noble, G 2016, 'Archaeological Excavations at Nethermills Farm, Deeside, 1978-81', Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, vol. 146. [Online] DOI: https://doi.org/10.9750/PSAS.146.198535
  • Noble, G 2016, Fortified Settlement and the Emergence of Kingdoms in Northern Scotland in the First Millennium AD. in N Christie & H Herold (eds), Fortified Settlements in Early Medieval Europe: Defended Communities of the 8th‐10th Centuries. Oxbow Books.
  • Noble, G, Christie, C & Philip, E 2016, Life is the Pits! Ritual, Refuse and Mesolithic-Neolithic settlement traditions in North-East Scotland. in K Brophy, G MacGregor & IBM Ralston (eds), The Neolithic of Mainland Scotland. Edinburgh University Press, pp. 171-199.
  • Oliver, J, Armstrong, J, Milek, K, Schofield, JE, Vergunst, J, Brochard, T, Gould, A & Noble, G 2016, 'The Bennachie Colony: A Nineteenth-Century Informal Community in Northeast Scotland', International Journal of Historical Archaeology, vol. 20, no. 2, pp. 341-377. [Online] DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10761-016-0336-7
  • Gondek, M, Noble, G, Ramsay, S & Sheridan, A 2016, 'The land before symbol stones: a geophysical survey of Rhynie, Aberdeenshire and the excavation of a Middle Bronze Age structure near the Craw Stane, Barflat', Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, vol. 145, pp. 125-151.
  • Noble, G 2016, Transforming Place and Architecture through Cremation: Cremation Traditions at the Third Millennium BC Monument Complex at Forteviot, Central Scotland. in L Larsson (ed.), What’s New in the Neolithic?. University of Lund.
  • Noble, G & Brophy, K 2015, Construction, process, environment: altering the landscape in Neolithic lowland Scotland. in D Mischka, M Furholt, M Hinz, G Noble & D Olausson (eds), Landscapes, Histories and Societies in the northern European Neolithic. Kiel University, pp. 65-80.
  • Noble, G, Mischka, D, Furholt, M, Hinz, M & D, O (eds) 2015, Landscapes, Histories and Societies in the northern European Neolithic. vol. 4, Kiel University, Kiel. <> [Online] DOI: http://www.monument.ufg.uni-kiel.de/schwerpunktprogramm/publikationen/fmsd-4-landscapes-histories-and-societies-in-the-northern-european-neolithic/
  • Noble, G 2015, Prehistoric, Roman and Early Medieval Aberdeenshire. in DW Walker & M Woodworth (eds), The Buildings of Scotland. Aberdeenshire: North and Moray. Pevsner Architectural Guides, Yale University Press, pp. 9-21.
  • Noble, G 2015, Prehistoric, Roman and Early Medieval Aberdeenshire. in J Sharples, D Walker & M Woodworth (eds), The Buildings of Scotland. Aberdeenshire: South and Aberdeen. Pevsner Architectural Guides: Buildings of Scotland, Yale University Press, New Haven and London.
  • Noble, G 2015, 'Rediscovering the Gaulcross Hoard', British Archaeology, vol. Jul/Aug, pp. 38-43.
  • Noble, G 2015, The Neolithic: Essays on the Local History and Archaeology of West Central Scotland. Glasgow Museums.
  • Noble, G 2014, ''A very royal place’: Rhynie and the Picts', Current Archaeology, vol. 289, pp. 22-28. <> [Online] DOI: http://www.archaeology.co.uk/issues/ca-289.htm
  • Stratigos, M & Noble, G 2014, 'Crannogs, Castles and Lordly Residences: New Research and Dating of Crannogs in Northeast Scotland', Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, vol. 144, pp. 205-222.
  • Noble, G, Gondek, M, Campbell, E & Cook, M 2013, 'Between prehistory and history: the archaeological detection of social change among the Picts', Antiquity, vol. 87, no. 338, pp. 1136-1150. <> [Online] DOI: http://antiquity.ac.uk/ant/087/ant0871136.htm
  • Oliver, JM, Noble, G, Shepherd, C, Knecht, R, Milek, KB & Sveinbjarnarson, OG 2013, Historical Archaeology and the 'Colony': Reflections on fieldwork at a 19th-century settlement in rural Scotland. in C Shepherd (ed.), Bennachie and the Garioch: Society and the Ecology in the History of North-East Scotland. Bennachie Landscapes, no. 2, The Bailies of Bennachie, Chapel of Garioch, pp. 103-124. <> [Online] DOI: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/geosciences/departments/archaeology/the-bennachie-landscape-project-251.php
  • Noble, G 2012, 'Europe Between the Oceans (Book Review)', Cosmos, vol. 26, pp. 127-8.
  • Noble, G, Greig, M, Millican, K, Anderson, S, Clarke, A, Johnson, M, McLaren, D & Sheridan, A 2012, 'Excavations at a multi-period site at Greenbogs, Aberdeenshire, Scotland and the four-post timber architecture tradition of Late Neolithic Britain and Ireland', Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, vol. 78, pp. 135–171. [Online] DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0079497X00027146
  • Noble, G 2012, 'Great crowns of stone: the recumbent stone circles of Scotland (Book Review)', Antiquity, vol. 86, no. 332, pp. 584-586. <> [Online] DOI: http://antiquity.ac.uk/ant/086/ant0860584.htm
  • Brophy, K & Noble, G 2012, Henging, mounding and blocking: the Forteviot henge group. in Enclosing the Neolithic: Recent Studies in Britain and Europe . Archaeopress, pp. 21-36.
  • Noble, G & Bell, M 2012, Prehistoric woodland ecology. in AM Jones, J Pollard, MJ Allen & J Gardiner (eds), Image, Memory and Monumentality: Archaeological Engagements with the Material World. vol. Prehistoric Society Research Paper 5, The Prehistoric Society & Oxbow Books, pp. 80-92.
  • Noble, G & Gondek, M 2011, 'A Dark Age Power Centre at Rhynie' British Archaeology, vol. Sept/Oct, pp. 36-41. <> [Online] DOI: http://www.archaeologyuk.org/ba/ba120/feat2.shtml
  • Noble, G & Brophy, K 2011, 'Big enclosures: the later Neolithic palisaded enclosures of Scotland in their northwestern European context', European Journal of Archaeology, vol. 14, no. 1-2, pp. 60-87. [Online] DOI: https://doi.org/10.1179/146195711798369346
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