MISS LEIA TILLEY
MISS LEIA TILLEY

MISS LEIA TILLEY

Research PG

About

Biography

Leia obtained her BA in Ancient History and Archaeology (Joint Honours) from the University of Durham in 2020. During her undergraduate courses she developed an interest in archaeobotanics and in Scottish Prehistory through her research into heathland management practices in Iron Age Scotland, using experimental archaeological techniques and charcoal analysis of Calluna Vulgaris (Ling Heather) and Erica Cinerea (Bell Heather) specimens, specifically analysing ring-count data. 

During undergraduate studies Leia also developed an interest in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and undertook training with the EAMENA Project which then developed into a volunteering capacity. This has further developed into work as a Research Assistant for the CLaSS Project and the Ademnes database, inputting and analysing available archaeobotanical data for the Middle East and North Africa. 

To further develop her skills in research, Leia completed a Master’s by Research in Archaeology, focusing on the specialisms/skills of charcoal and isotopic analysis, archaeobotany and palynology at the University of Durham 2022. During her MRes, Leia focused her research on further understanding environmental management in Iron Age Scotland and building an environmental reconstruction through multi-proxy datasets, by analysing the 1999/2000 archaeobotanical dataset recovered from hillfort site Traprain Law, East Lothian.  

In October 2022, Leia began her QUADRAT DTP funded PhD at the University of Aberdeen and Queens University Belfast. Her project focuses on creating a multi-proxy analysis of Late Pleistocene environments of Ireland and Scotland, for further use in understanding the potential for human and faunal spatiality within environments at the end of the Last Ice Age.

Qualifications

  • BA Ancient History and Archaeology 
    2020 - University of Durham 
  • MRes Archaeology 
    2022 - University of Durham 

    Specialisms: Archaeobotany, Palynology

Prizes and Awards

2017 (N/A) – N/A 2019   Laidlaw Research And Leadership Scholarship

  • Constructed a research project and interacted with said project in a professional capacity, from bibliographic database construction, GIS database construction to a mid-term research report.

  • Attended a leadership training course, with a gear towards academic leadership. Taught techniques such as professional networking, research plan construction, team cohesiveness, etc. Recognised by the Institute of Leadership and Management. 

  • Project Title: Exploration of the Manyas Plain Agricultural System, Iron Age to Achaemenid, North-Western Turkey. With Particular Note of the Potentially Multi-Application of the Bitter Vetch (Vicia Ervilia) Crop. ARTICLE.

2019 – 2020   Affiliate To EAMENA Project    POSTER                                      

  • ‘Desert Kites’ Place and Relation in the Landscape.

  • A GIS Study of ‘Desert Kite’ Features in the Black Desert, Syria, Identifying and Classifying Previously Un-Categorised Sites and Recording Site Preservation and Threats to Sites. Proposal Also of a New ‘Classification’ System for these Features.

  • ‘Published’ – Presented at BANEA (British Association of Near Eastern Archaeology) Conference.

  • POSTER PRIZE – Achieved 3rd.

Research

Research Overview

My research interests are focused on a number of topic areas, firstly the specialisms of archaeobotanics, palynology and charcoal analysis, expanding into other proxy datasets in the coming years. My interests are not especially limited by geographical region as I have worked with datasets from Egypt, Turkey, Syria, Scotland and Ireland. Most of my work has been with Prehistory, although I have also completed some work associated with the 19th and 20th centuries. I am also interested in GIS projects desk-based, and field having worked with both the EAMENA and CLaSS Project. More broadly I am interested in human community-environment interactions and human-plant community interactions, and how these might inform systems of environmental management for example. I am particularly interested in projects which have built-in aspects of science communication and innovative methods of research presentation.

Research Areas

Current Research

PhD Project - QUADRAT DTP - An Integrated Multi-Proxy Approach to the Late Pleistocene Landscapes and Environments of Ireland and Scotland, and the Potentials for Human and Faunal Recolonizations at the End of the Last Ice Age.

Project Website: Home | Pre-History Project (leiaktilley.wixsite.com)

Past Research

2017 –    Laidlaw Scholarship (Sponsored)                                          

  • Exploration of the Manyas Plain Agricultural System, Iron Age to Achaemenid, North-Western Turkey. With Particular Note of the Potentially Multi-Application of the Bitter Vetch (Vicia Ervilia) Crop.

 

2019 –    Dissertation Research                                          

  • Ling, Heather (Calluna Vulgaris) Ring-Count Potential as an Indicator Of Extent/Nature of Peatland Environmental Management and Resource Utilisation, North Atlantic Scotland.

 

2020 –    Bronze Age Forum                                          

  • Exploration of ‘Rodent Gnawing’ in Archaeobotanical Assemblages, Rodent Species Identification/Habits Effect on Depositional Process, Potentially Indicating a System of Bronze Age Scottish ‘Pest’ Management.

 

2020 –    Laidlaw Scholarship (Follow-Up)                                          

  • Experimental Testing of Bitter Vetch (Vicia Ervilia) as a Chemical/Biological Agent of Pest Control Within Storage and Agricultural Contexts, Specifically in Regard to Rust Red Grain Beetle (Tribolium Castaneum) and Maize Weevil (Sitophilus Zeamais).

 

2020 –    Master’s by Research                                          

  • ‘Fort of the Spear Shafts’ or ‘Farm Hill’: The Traprain Law Community and Environs Interpreted Through Botanic Remnants.
  • Research Off-Shoot – Magic and the Sense of Place Conference (Presentation) - ‘‘Free From Ancient Fears’: Deciphering Ritual Associations of Plant Remains at Traprain Law Iron Age Hillfort’. Talks published in podcast format with Oxford TORCH, this is also a YouTube capacity. Further to this a conference report is planned, with contributors providing articles as chapters.

 

2019 – 2020   Affiliate To EAMENA Project    POSTER                                      

  • ‘Desert Kites’ Place and Relation in the Landscape.
  • A GIS Study of ‘Desert Kite’ Features in the Black Desert, Syria, Identifying and Classifying Previously Un-Categorised Sites and Recording Site Preservation and Threats to Sites. Proposal Also of a New ‘Classification’ System for these Features.
  • ‘Published’ – Presented at BANEA (British Association of Near Eastern Archaeology) Conference.
  • POSTER PRIZE – Achieved 3rd

Knowledge Exchange

2020/2021 – Organiser and Supervisor of the Landscapes of Complex Society, Reading Group

  • Provide reading material to attendees in a timely manner prior to the event, this material must be carefully considered so as to be of the most interest to attendees.
  • Publicise the group/events in order to increase the number of attendees many of whom are remote undergraduates and postgraduates, in the current situation (COVID-19) particular focus is given to ensuring no individual feels isolated from department resources such as the reading group.
  • Encouraging department wide and public engagement and discussion of recent Landscape orientated publications, introducing all levels of the department to accessible discussion and development of the discipline.

2020 (N/A) – Singular Event    Lecture/Presentation To Alzheimer’s Memory Group

  • This included individuals with varying interests (including a few archaeologists) and at various stages of the disease, plus their friends and family. General talk on archaeology.

Funding and Grants

2017 (N/A) – N/A 2019   Laidlaw Research And Leadership Scholarship

2022 -   QUADRAT DTP - PhD