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Dr Neil Carlin


Neil Carlin

Lecturer/Assistant Professor
School of Archaeology
01 716 8384
University College Dublin, School of Archaeology, Newman Building Belfield Dublin 4


As an archaeologist, I am fascinated by how people use(d) material culture to negotiate, reproduce and communicate their social values and identities as well as their relationships with other people, places and things. Originally I studied Philosophy and graduated with a B.A from University College Dublin in 2001, but subsequently obtained a M.A in Archaeology at Queens University Belfast in 2005. I have over 10 years’ experience in the archaeological services sector working on the excavation, post-excavation and publication of numerous sites in Ireland. I completed my PhD on the Beaker phenomenon in Ireland at UCD in 2011 under the supervision of Dr. Joanna Brück. My doctoral thesis synthesised the large body of data from new and old discoveries of Beaker artefacts in Ireland to produce a regional study of the character and context of Beaker-associated social practices. The depositional treatment of Beaker-associated artefacts within settlements, funerary monuments, ceremonial settings and natural places was examined and placed within its European context. This revealed that their deposition formed part of a highly structured interlinked system of social practices conducted in accordance with long standing traditions. In 2014, I completed a two year IRC funded postdoctoral research project on the Irish Late Neolithic studying the depositional treatment of Grooved Ware and associated objects in Ireland to characterise Late Neolithic ceremonial, settlement and funeral practices in Ireland. By applying the same ground-breaking methodology as my doctorate, I identified over 100 new Grooved Ware sites including 25 Late Neolithic timber circles, many of which were not previously recognised as such. Strong similarities between the architectural principles and depositional practices of passage tombs and Grooved Ware-associated monuments (particularly timber circles) were observed. My research demonstrates that the adoption of Grooved Ware in Ireland actually occurred as part of the Middle Neolithic passage tomb tradition and that there is much more continuity in practices between that period and the Late Neolithic than previously recognised. From 2015 to 2017, I was a Teaching Fellow in the UCD School of Archaeology where I coordinated the Level 1 teaching programme and tutoring with a view to improving the quality of the first year experience and developing an environment in which all students prosper. In May 2018, I took up my current post as a lecturer in the UCD School of Archaeology


  • BA
    University College Dublin
  • PhD
    University College Dublin
  • MA in Archaeology
    Queen's University of Belfast UK
  • Prof Cert University Teaching & Learning
    University College Dublin


  • MA
    Queens University Belfast, Archaeology, United Kingdom