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Dr Melanie Giles - research

Research interests


Research interests

My research interests include the following areas:


  • Iron Age histories of disease, violence, death and burial
  • The environmental, ritual and social importance of 'bog bodies'
  • Art, technology and power (particulary through the lens of Celtic art and martial culture)
  • Working class communities - labour, leisure and life-histories (explored both through rural farming communities and the urban public park
  • Community archaeology

My research draws together strands of the archaeology of identity and personhood, with studies of landscape and place, alongside material culture and art. It is interdisciplinary, using a mix of ethonographic and archaeological theories and methodologies, to investigate both past and present communities. My approach has pioneered the entwined study of human and object biographies, through the lens of mortuary archaeology. This has led to an increased interest in Iron Age life-course, particularly incidents of disease, injury and violence, and how these life-events as well as the circumstances of death, were dealt with through the funerary rite.

More recently, I have broadened my interests to include the urban and rural communities of late nineteenth-early twentieth century Britain, investigating how they constructed, reflected on and negotiated aspects of working role, gender, age and skill, alongside ethnicity and belief. 


Current research projects include:

1. The Yorkshire Wolds Project (including the British Academy Albert Reckitt Memorial Fund 'Acklam Wold' Project)

2. Worsley Man (and the NW Europe 'Bog Body Network')

3. Whitworth Park (HLF Your Heritage Project)