School of Histories, Languages and Cultures

Zechariah Jinks-Fredrick

Zechariah Jinks-FrederickPhD Research

Constructing Iron Age Communities: A Study on the Depositional Praxis of Iron Objects in Britain, Scotland, and Wales from 800BC-50AD

Ethno-archaeological examples from Africa indicate iron was and in some cases, still is, viewed as highly liminal and magical material linked to the birth, death, and regeneration cycle. Such cycles are integral and important part of being, in the cosmological mythos of many nomadic and hunter gatherer societies. There is no reason currently to discount or discredit a similar socio-cultural attitude during the British Iron Age towards iron. Iron was a significant socio-economic resource during the British Iron Age and the production sequence was long, difficult, costly, and often shrouded in superstition. The life, disposal, death, and rebirth of iron objects contribute to the socio-economic significance of iron objects both to communities and individuals. Through plotting distributions of objects by depositional context and grouping the frequency by which different types of iron objects occur together in various settings, further knowledge of the social and community practices--such as ritual, magic, and religion--of Iron Age peoples can be further explained. This PhD research will shed a great deal of light, in an otherwise grey area, on the attitudes of Britain's prehistoric peoples to craft production, community practice, and the extent (including the lack of) of superstition towards a leading resource, iron. The focus of my PhD seeks to further define practiced engagements or praxis, between places, spaces, people, time, and iron objects. Thus further illuminating how Iron Age people existed, their rituals, and customs surrounding a socially and economically valuable medium, iron.

Research Interests:

Ferrous Iron Age objects iron production, social archaeology, Iron Age Britain, Iron Age Ireland, early weapons and warfare, experimental archaeology, imperialism, Digital Elevation Modelling (DEM) in archaeology, strontium and osmium particle analysis for ferrous objects, and electrolysis for ferrous object stabilisation and preservation.



Zechariah Jinks-Fredrick received a BA in Archaeology from the Department of Anthropology in 2009 and a BA in British Imperialism from the Department of History in 2010 from Utah State University in America. From 2009 to October 2013, I worked as commercial archaeologist in North America. I was mainly contracted for culture heritage assessments and cultural resource monitoring (watching briefs) for large scale oil and natural gas pipeline projects. In October 2013 began my MA in Archaeology with emphasis in prehistoric studies at the University of Leicester in the UK. Having completed my MA, which I used as a pilot study for my PhD, I was offered a PhD candidacy at the University of Hull to continue my Iron Age research. From October 2014 to December 2015, in addition to my PhD, I worked as a commercial archaeologist excavating an Iron Age barrow cemetery in East Yorkshire, excavating a large Roman complex, and post-excavation finds processing of predominantly Roman material. Finally, supplementing my knowledge of iron objects and aiding my research, is my experience as a blacksmith. 

Academic Qualifications

  • B.A. and B.A., Utah State Universtiy, Logan, Utah, USA

  • M.A., University of Leicester, Leicester, UK

  • Ph.D. Candidate, University of Hull, Hull, UK


  • 2009. Rocky Mountain Anthropological Conference: Distributions and Densities of Lithic Assemblages along Quartzite Bedrock Exclusions at High Elevations in the Rocky Mountains.
  • 2015. 18th Iron Age Research Student Symposium: Forging the Smith and Ferrous Rituals.
  • 2015. PhD Symposium: Lightning Talk: Ferrous Rituals in Iron Age Britain: A Study in Depositional Praxis.

Contact Details

Email:   z.a.jinks-fredrick@2014.hull.ac.uk
Website:    Zechariah Jinks-Fredrick
Phone:    07462899443
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