Dr Trevor Kirk

Visiting Research Fellow

As a child I visited many castles and monasteries in my native North Yorkshire. This early interest in archaeology gathered pace after my first dig at the iconic English deserted medieval village of Wharram Percy. Thereafter I became a prehistorian. This development does not reflect badly on the excellent and inspiring medievalists that I met at Wharram Percy. I was also tempted by Egyptian, Near-Eastern and Mediterranean archaeologies during my undergraduate years at the University of Liverpool. But ultimately British and French prehistory won out. 


BA (University of Liverpool), PhD (University of Sheffield), Postgraduate Diploma in Museum Studies (University of Leicester)


My PhD research examined the forms of human subjectivity and power relation that may have existed in the Late Mesolithic and Early Neolithic of north-western France (Brittany, Normandy and the Loire Valley). Completed in 1991, this doctoral research included many seasons’ fieldwork in France, especially excavating Neolithic passage graves in Normandy. I supervised an Anglo-French team excavating a Neolithic long mound at Colombiers-sur-Seulles, Normandy (1989-1996). This collaborative project between the British Museum and the archaeological service in Lower Normandy complemented excavations at other Neolithic monuments including Condé-sur-Ifs, Ernes and Cairon.

In 1993 I was appointed Lecturer in Archaeology at Trinity College Carmarthen. An Associate College of the University of Wales, Trinity College has since joined forces with University of Wales, Lampeter to form Trinity St David’s University. I remained at the University of Wales until 2006. I mainly taught courses in European and British prehistory and archaeological theory, but also made sorties into museum studies and social anthropology. During my years with the University of Wales I directed and supervised many excavations and surveys including work at an early medieval enclosure, Cistercian monastery, deserted medieval village, lime-kilns and churchyard memorials.  I was Head of Archaeology and History between 1999 and 2003, during which time Howard Williams joined the department in his first academic post. I was a Member of the Board of Celtic Studies at the University of Wales (2004-2006) and was seconded also to the University of Wales, Lampeter (2003-2006).

In September 2006 I moved to the Isles of Scilly. Between 2007 and 2008 I was Conservation Officer with the Local Planning Authority in Scilly, doubling up also as English Heritage’s Historic Environment Field Adviser for the islands. In 2008 I became the Isles of Scilly Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership Manager. Since 2007 I have also tutored an Open University on-line course in World Archaeology. I also advise the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA) on its Archaeology A-level examination papers.

Published work

Kirk, T. (in prep) Writing about death, mourning and emotion: archaeology and creative writing, in H. Williams and Giles, M. (eds) Dealing with the Dead: Mortuary Archaeology and Contemporary Society.

Kirk, T. (in prep) Defying expectations: the Neolithic of the Isles of Scilly, in Nash, G. (ed.) Neolithic Island Archaeologies.

Kirk, T. (ed.) (in prep) Pembrokeshire County History. Volume I: Prehistory to the Early Medieval Period, Aberystwyth, Cambrian Publishers.

Kirk, T. 2006. Materiality, personhood and monuments in Early Neolithic Britain. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 16(3), 333-47.

Kirk, T. 2006. Buildings of substance: dwelling and building in early Neolithic Wales. Journal of Iberian Archaeology 8, 73-90.

Kirk, T. 2004. Memory, materiality and identity: the Isles of Scilly in context, in V. Cummings and C. Fowler (eds), The Neolithic of the Irish Sea: Materiality and Traditions of Practice, pp.233-244, Oxford, Oxbow.

Kirk, T. and Williams, G. 2000. Glandy Cross: a later prehistoric monumental complex in Carmarthenshire, Wales. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society 66, 257-295.

Kirk, T. 2000. Ritual process and social practice: monuments and the dead in Neolithic Normandy, in A. Ritchie, (ed.), Neolithic Orkney in its European Context, pp. 223-231, Cambridge, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research.

Kirk, T. 1998. Constructs of death in the early Neolithic of the ParisBasin, in M. Edmonds and C. Richards, (eds.), Understanding the Neolithic of North-Western Europe, pp.102-126, Glasgow, Cruithne Press.

Kirk, T. 1997. Towards a phenomenology of building: the Neolithic long mound at La Commune-Sèche, Colombiers-sur-Seulles, Normandy, in G. Nash, (ed.), Semiotics of Landscape: Archaeology of Mind, pp.59-70, Oxford, British Archaeological Reports, International Series 661.

Kirk, T. 1993. Space, subjectivity, power and hegemony: megaliths and long mounds in earlier Neolithic Brittany, in C. Tilley, (ed.), Interpretative Archaeology, pp.181-223,Oxford andProvidence, Berg.

Chancerel, A., Kinnes, I., Lagnel, E., and Kirk, T., 1992. Le tumulus néolithique de la Commune-Sèche à Colombiers-sur-Seulles (Calvados), in Communications du Colloque Interrégional sur le Néolithique, Vannes 1990, pp.17-29, Révue Archéologique de l'Ouest, Supplément No. 5.

Kirk, T. 1991. Structure, agency and power relations chez les derniers chasseurs-cueilleurs of northwestern France, in R.W. Preucel, (ed.), Processual and Post-Processual Archaeologies: Multiple Ways of Knowing the Past, pp. 108-125, Carbondale, Illinois, Center for Archaeological Investigations, Occasional Paper No. 10.

Kirk, T. 1990. Post-structuralism: we don't know what it is, but we like it, in F. Baker and J. Thomas, (eds.), Writing the Past in the Present, pp.87-89, Lampeter, Saint David's University College.

Kirk, T. 1989. Introduction and commentary, in I. Brooks and P. Phillips, (eds.), Breaking the Stony Silence: Papers from the Sheffield Lithics Conference 1988, pp.1-4,Oxford, British Archaeological Reports, British Series 213.