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Geoffrey Bailey


Former affiliations
  • YO1 7EP

    United Kingdom

Personal profile

Research interests

I have world-wide interests in the evolution of terrestrial landscapes and the ways in which geological instabilities resulting from sea-level change and active tectonics at plate margins and in rifts have shaped human lives, livelihoods and long-term evolutionary trajectories. 

I have particular interests in coastal prehistory, in mounded shell middens as the most durable archaeological expression of past coastal settlement, in the biomolecular analysis of marine mollusc shells and other midden contents for information on palaeodiet and palaeoclimate, in the relationship between coastal archaeology and changes in coastal geomorphology, and in the contribution of coastal environments and marine resources to developments in world prehistory.

In the past decade I have combined this set of overlapping interests in the exploration of submerged landscapes, which made available as much as 20 million kmof new territory during the periods of low sea-level that have persisted for most of human history on this planet, and which is now emerging as a new and pioneer field of archaeological investigation.

I have run field projects on these themes in many parts of the world and have currently active fieldwork interests and engagement in the Arabian Peninsula, Australia, East Africa, and various parts of Europe.


Employment History

2017. Visiting Professor, Flinders University, Australia

2016-present. Anniversary Chair of Archaeology (Emeritus), University of York

2004-2016. Anniversary Chair of Archaeology, University of York

1996-2004. Chair of Archaeology and Head of Department, University of Newcastle upon Tyne

1990-1996. Senior Tutor, Clare Hall, Cambridge

1981-1996. Lecturer, Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge

1976-1981. Assistant Lecturer, Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge

1974-1976. British Academy Research Fellow (Early History of Agriculture Project), University of Cambridge

Educational History

1976 PhD, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge

1971 Research student, Department of Anthropology, University of Sydney

1971 Royal Society Leverhulme Trust Studentship in Overseas Research, University of Sydney

1970-1976 Research student, Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge

1970 Major State Studentship for Postgraduate Research, University of Cambridge

1970 BA (First Class) Archaeology, Corpus Christi College, Cambrdige

1967-1970 Undergraduate student, Corpus Christ College, Cambridge

1967 Open Scholarship in Classics, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge 

1959 Local Education Authority Scholarship, Bristol Grammar School

My archaeological interests began early and were shaped by cycling trips during my school years to visit geological and archaeological sites in the West Country around Bristol, a sixth-form specialisation in Ancient History and Classical languages, and a youthful interest in human evolution and the writings of Charles Darwin.

These interests were reinforced, shortly before I went up to Cambridge, by a field trip to northern Greece in the summer of 1967 to work on a Palaeolithic project in Epirus with Eric Higgs, which involved excavation at the Kastritsa Cave and drawing of Palaeolithic stone artefacts on the banks of the Louros River. After this, I hitchhiked across Greece to Athens, Crete and back home to England across Europe.

In Cambridge, I stayed for 29 years, as Undergraduate, Research Student, Research Fellow, University Lecturer, College Fellow, and College Senior Tutor, except for spells of overseas travel, including fieldwork in Spain and Denmark and a year in Australia during my PhD research, and a long-running field project in Nw Greece from 1979-1992, until I decided it was time to take up a new challenge, moving to the Chair of Archaeology at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in 1996.

In 2004 I moved to take up my present position at the University of York but Newcastle continues to be my home base

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or