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I am Principal Lecturer in Archaeology and Head of the School of History and Archaeology. I have been a lecturer at the University of Winchester since 1994. Previous to that I took my undergraduate degree in Archaeology at the University of Reading and then carried out a PhD in the Anthropology Department at University College London, titled Neolithic and Bronze Age Wessex and Yorkshire: a Comparative Study. I did some teaching at UCL, then at the University of Århus in Denmark and the University of Liverpool.

At Winchester I was the Programme Leader for the undergraduate degrees in Archaeology and Archaeological Practice for many years.  I currently teach European and British prehistory, archaeological theory, theme studies on death, religion and landscape and excavation methods to both undergraduate and postgraduate students. I have also supervised a number of research students on topics including prehistoric horses in Britain, human remains in caves in Yorkshire, warfare and bronze hoards.

As well as academic works listed below I have collaborated on three popular books: Centuries of Darkness, Ancient Inventions and Ancient Mysteries.

Areas of expertise

  • Later prehistory
  • The archaeology of warfare
  • The archaeology of death and the life cycle


Books: authored

  • Thorpe, I.J.N. (1996) The origins of agriculture in Europe (London: Routledge).
  • Parker Pearson M. and Thorpe, I J.N. (eds) (2006) Warfare, violence and slavery in prehistory (Oxford: British Archaeological Reports).
  • Edited works: contributions (since 2000)
  • Thorpe, I.J.N. (2000) 'Bare but bountiful: the later Neolithic social and physical landscape of Thy, Jutland'. In: Ritchie A. (ed.) Neolithic Orkney in its European context (Cambridge) pp 71-78.
  • Thorpe, I.J.N. (2001) 'Danish causewayed enclosures - temporary monuments?' In Darvill T & Thomas J (eds) Neolithic Enclosures in Atlantic Northwest Europe (Oxford), pp 190-203
  • Thorpe, I.J.N. (2002) 'Of games and invention: the function of invention, the invention of function'. In: Götz M. et al. (eds) Heureka oder die Kunst des Entwerfens (Ulm), pp 86-92.
  • Thorpe, I.J.N. (2003) 'Death and violence - the later Mesolithic of Southern Scandinavia'. In: Bevan L. and Moore J. (eds.) Peopling the Mesolithic in a northern environment (Oxford), pp 171-80.
  • Thorpe, I.J.N. (2006) 'Fighting and feuding in Neolithic and Bronze Age Britain and Ireland'. In: Otto T., Thrane H. and Vandkilde H. (eds) Warfare and society. Archaeological and social anthropological perspectives (Århus University Press), pp 141-66.
  • Thorpe, I.J.N. (2009) 'Fighting and feuding in Neolithic and Bronze Age Britain and Ireland'. In: Glørstad, H. and Prescott, C. (eds) Neolithisation as if history mattered (Bricoleur Press), pp 23-63.

Journal papers: academic (since 2000)

  • Thorpe, I.J.N. (2003) Anthropology, Archaeology and the origin of Warfare. World Archaeology 35, 145-65.
  • Outram, A. et al. (2009) The Earliest Horse Harnessing and Milking. Science 323, 1332-35.
  • Thorpe, I.J.N. (2013) The Origins of Domestic Horses in North-west Europe: new Direct Dates on the Horses of Newgrange, Ireland. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society 73

Recent conference presentations

  • 'Did impairment equal disability in later European prehistory?' Skeletons, Stories and Social Bodies Conference, 24 - 26 March 2017, University of Southampton.
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