I originally joined Hull University in 1994 as a Research Fellow
on the English Heritage funded Humber Wetlands Project. I obtained
a Lecturer in Archaeology post in September 2000 and my Readership
in August of 2007. I was made a Fellow of the Higher Education
Academy in September 2012. My research interests have two main
themes; palaeopathology at the transition to agriculture and in
situ preservation in wetlands.
I am currently the course director for the BSc/BA Geography
& Archaeology program. I teach on a range of modules
- 16160 : World Archaeology
- 16161 : British Archaeology (leader)
- 16162 :
Archaeology - History, Theory and Method (leader)
- 16266 : Death and Burial (leader)
- 16304 : Advanced Field Skills (Orkney)
- 16366 : Wetland Archaeology (leader)
- 16367 : Hunter-gatherer to Farmer (leader)
I regularly supervise undergraduate dissertations in archaeology
and geography related topics.
My research interests are in the following areas:
- Mesolithic-Neolithic transitions
- The interpretation of diet from dental pathology and stable
- Wetland Archaeology
- Holocene landscape development and human-landscape
in Eastern Europe includes the detailed analysis of skeletal
remains from the Epipalaeolithic to Copper Age populations from the
Dnieper Rapids region of Ukraine. This research has resulted in the
development of a new absolute chronology for the
Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in this region alongside a study of
palaeopathology across the transition. I am currently undertaking a
new dating program and detailed study of stable isotope evidence
for diet across the Mesolithic to Eneolithic periods in Ukraine. In
addition, along with colleagues in Ireland, Germany, Bulgaria and
Anatolia, I am working on the dating and isotope analysis of
materials from sites such as the Areni cave, Yabolkovo and
Aktopatrilk (Neolithic-Chalcolithic periods).
My background in environmental archaeology, as
developed at Sheffield University, focuses on Holocene landscape
reconstruction and environmental change in wetlands. Prior to
entering higher education I worked in commercial archaeology on the
Severn Estuary (Welsh side) on a range of wetland archaeological
sites including Goldcliffe and the Caldicot Castle Lake
excavations. This work maintained a focus on the prehistoric
periods, which continued into my employment with the English
Heritage Humber Wetlands Survey (1994-2000). Since setting up
WAERC in 2000
we have undertaken a range of projects including: excavations at
Sutton Common (along with colleagues from Exeter University), the
South West Scottish Crannogs Project (with AOC
archaeology) and the English Heritage/MIRO (Aggregates Levy funded)
Selected current and recent
- Dating and diet in the earlier Neolithic: with
colleagues in Kiev, Cambridge, Cork and Oxford a series of dating
projects are being undertaken to further assess initial indications
of a freshwater reservoir effect on earlier Neolithic human
populations who consumed diets with inputs of freshwater resources.
To date, the evidence indicates that populations of the middle and
lower Dnieper Region in Ukraine have significant reservoir offsets
in the radiocarbon dating undertaken on these individuals, when
compared to the terrestrial fauna from the region (Lillie et
al. 2009). We are assessing these influences at other
locations in Europe and obtaining stable isotope ratios to further
assess/reinforce the observations obtained to date.
- Subsistence in transitional hunter-gatherer to farmer
contexts: A number of small projects aimed at assessing
the nature of subsistence strategies across the shift from the
exploitation of wild to domesticated resources from the Baltic to
the Black Sea regions are being undertaken with colleagues from
western, central and eastern Europe.
& Cultural Identity of First Farmers: Multiple
Bio-Archaeological Analysis of a Central European Cemetery
(Vedrovice, Znojmo District, Moravia): working with colleagues in
Sheffield, analysing human skeletal remains at an early Neolithic
cemetery in the Czech Republic and considering issues relating to
the emergence of the LBK culture and the emergence of the
'Neolithic' in Europe. (Link: FARMING
- Understanding Waterlogged Burial Environments:
The Impacts of Aggregates Extraction and De-Watering on the Buried
Archaeological resource [Phase 2] (English Heritage Funded). This
phase of the project continues the multi-disciplinary studies of
watertable dynamics and the analysis of the chemistry of the burial
environment at Newington, and develops the research agenda further
by integrating high resolution studies of the microbiology of the
floodplain sediments in order to understand the potential for in
situ preservation at this site.
- Understanding water table dynamics and their influence
on the buried archaeological resource in relation to aggregates
extraction (English Heritage and MIRO funded Aggregates Levy
Project): integrating multi-disciplinary studies of
watertable dynamics, the chemistry of the burial environment and
palaeoecological studies in order to assess the impacts of
extraction on in situ burial environments. Data modelling in GIS
and hydrogeological package (MODFLOW).
- Characterising waterlogged burial environments for
in situ preservation of organic archaeological
remains: this research comprised multi-disciplinary
studies of waterlogged burial environments in order to characterise
their biological and physico-chemical preservation status.
Stratigraphic (soil profile) molecular biological studies have been
employed in this study, which has enhanced our understanding of the
importance of microbial communities in degradation processes (PhD
research undertaken by Isabel Douterelo Soler)
I am happy to supervise students on the Masters and PhD by
Research in Archaeology programs on topics relating to both
Prehistoric Archaeology and Wetland Archaeology. I am currently
co-supervising a PhD with Peter Halkon in the Department of
History. The PhD research topic is “In search of the spear
people: the archaeology of Iron Age weapons and warfare in East
Yorkshire in their European Context” and it is being
undertaken by Ms Yvonne Inall.
Click for access to a
full list of Dr Lillie's publications.
- Budd, C., Lillie, M.C., Alpaslan Roodenberg,
S., Karul, N. and R. Pinhasi. 2013. Stable Isotope Analysis of
Neolithic and Chalcolithic populations from Aktopraklık, northern
Anatolia. Journal of Archaeological Science
- Lillie, M., Budd, C., Alpaslan-Roodenberg,
S., Karul, N. and R Pinhasi. 2012. Musings on Early Farming
communities in Northwest Anatolia; and other flights of fancy.
Interdisciplinaria Archaeologica (IANSA) 3(1):11-22.
- Lillie, M.C., Potekhina, I.D., Budd, C.E. and
A. Nikitin. 2012. Prehistoric populations of Ukraine: Migration at
the later Mesolithic to Neolithic transition, in Kaiser, E.,
Burger, J. and W. Schier (eds.) Population Dynamics in
Prehistory and Early History. New Approaches Using Stable Isotopes
and Genetics. Berlin: de Gruyter. pp. 77-92.
- Zvelebil, M., Lillie, M.C., Montgomery, J.,
Lukes, A., Pettitt, P. and M.P. Richards. 2012. The emergence of
the LBK: Migration, Memory and Meaning at the transition to
agriculture. in Kaiser, E., Burger, J. and W. Schier (eds.)
Population Dynamics in Prehistory and Early History. New
Approaches Using Stable Isotopes and Genetics. Berlin: de
Gruyter. pp. 133-148.
- Lillie, M.C. Budd, C.E., & I.D.
Potekhina, 2011. Stable isotope analysis of
prehistoric populations from the cemeteries of the Middle and Lower
Dnieper Basin, Ukraine. Journal of
Archaeological Science 38(1):57-68
- Lillie, M.C. and C. Budd. 2011. The
Mesolithic-Neolithic Transition in Eastern Europe: Integrating
Stable Isotope Studies of Diet with Palaeopathology to Identify
Subsistence Strategies and Economy, in Pinhasi, R. and J.T. Stock
(eds.) Human Bioarchaeology of the Transition to
Agriculture. Chichester: John Wiley & sons Ltd. pp.
- Lillie, M.C., Budd, C.E., Potekhina, I.D. and
R.E.M. Hedges. 2009.
The Radiocarbon Reservoir Effect: New Evidence from the Cemeteries
of the Middle and Lower Dnieper Basin, Ukraine. Journal of
Archaeological Science 36:256-64.
- Lillie, M.C., Soler, I. and R, Smith. 2012.
Lowland Floodplain Responses to Extreme Flood Events: Long-Term
Studies and Short-Term Microbial Community Response to Water
Environment Impacts. Conservation and Management of
Archaeological Sites 14(1-2):125-48.
- Douterelo Soler, I., Goulder, R. and M.C.
Lillie. 2010. Soil microbial community response to land-management
and depth, related to the degradation of organic matter in English
wetlands: Implications for the in situ preservation of
archaeological remains. Applied Soil Ecology
- Douterelo Soler, I., Goulder, R. and M.C.
Lillie. 2009. Response of the microbial community
to water table variation and nutrient addition and its implication
for in situ preservation of organic archaeological remains
in wetlands soils. International Biodeterioration and
- Lillie, M.C., Smith, R., Reed, J. & R.
Inglis. 2008. 'South-West Scottish Crannogs: using in situ
studies to assess preservation in wetland contexts'.
Journal of Archaeological science 35:
- Smith, R. & M.C. Lillie. 2007.
Using a lysimeter study to assess the parameters
responsible for oak wood decay from waterlogged burial environments
and their implication for the in situ preservation of
International Biodeterioration and Biodegradation 60:
- Lillie, M.C. and R. Smith. 2007. The in situ
preservation of archaeological remains: using lysimeters to assess
the impacts of saturation and seasonality
Journal of Archaeological Science 34: 1494-1504.
- Benes, J. and M.C. Lillie. 2012. (editorial)
– Marek Zvelebil and the Identity of Archaeology.
Interdisciplinaria Archaeologica (IANSA) 3(1):3-7.
- Lillie, M.C. 2008. The Tripilian Culture in
Context. in Ciuk, K. (ed.) Mysteries of Ancient Ukraine: the
remarkable Tripilian Culture 5400-2700 BC. Canada: Royal
In addition to the above I have a number of
papers published on the work of the Humber Wetlands Survey;
including sedimentology, palaeoenvironmental reconstruction and
excavation, in the Wetland Heritage series and papers in press and
under review in books, journals and conference volumes with both
bio-anthropological and wetlands themes.
I am currently the Project Manager and Co-I on the AHRC funded
project RememberMe: The
changing face of memorialisation.
This project seeks to understand the ways in which contemporary
approaches to death and memorialisation are changing by exploring
the nature of memorial practices and processes.
The research is made up of nine strands, including historical
and contemproary studies, ethnography, qualitative interviewsd,
free-writing texts and photographic essays aimed at exploring the
changing face of memorialsisation over time.