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Dr Lesley McFadyen

  • Overview

    Overview

    Biography

    I have worked at Birkbeck since 2011, and before that was a researcher in the University of Porto working on the project Material Culture as Architecture: from Neolithic Britain to Chalcolithic Portugal (funded by Fundação para Ciência e a Tecnologia).

    My research works across chronology and geography, and engages with evidence for the Mesolithic, Neolithic and Bronze Age, particularly in Britain, France and Portugal.

    I have worked in developer-funded archaeology in Britain with the Cambridge Archaeological Unit, excavating prehistoric landscapes in East Anglia. Other projects include: Neolithic houses on Orkney and in Normandy; Neolithic long barrows in Dorset, Normandy and Brittany; and Chalcolithic walled enclosures in the Alto Douro of Portugal.

  • Research

    Research

    Research overview

    My main interests are architecture in prehistory, and the history of ideas between archaeology and architecture.
    My research on Chalcolithic walled enclosures examines what happens when material culture studies are directly connected to histories of architecture. Rather than thinking in traditional terms about a building and its subsequent use, I use my work on pottery to turn things around and think about occupation as a precedent for the design of architecture, and so building projects are a series of creative activities that emerge out of the rhythm and tempo of occupation.
    In other work, I have argued that Neolithic long barrows need to be understood through the detail of practices of making. I have written about architecture as practice, experience and participation in acts of building, and quick and slow architecture.

    Within Mesolithic studies on worked flint, I have looked at how material culture and landscape became entangled through people’s actions, and how through these energetic connections space was mobilised in the past.

    I am currently interested in redefining design practice and creativity in prehistory, and I participate in design studio teaching in Departments of Architecture. Themes that I explore are thinking-through-drawing, drawing lines and time, and drawing the materiality of time in materials.

  • Supervision and teaching

    Supervision and teaching

    Supervision

    I welcome students that are interested in prehistory, especially the archaeology of Britain, France and Portugal. A key area is research generated through artefact-based study or archive work, and archaeologists that take time over the detail in the evidence in order to rethink relationships between material culture, architecture and landscape in prehistory.

    I will happily supervise work that focuses on the relationship between archaeology and architectural history, or archaeology and design.

    Current doctoral researchers

    • BILL POWELL
    • EDWARD SHEPHERD
    • EDYTA CEHAK

    Teaching

    Teaching modules

    • Themes and Concepts in Archaeology (SSHC358S7)
  • Publications

    Publications

    Article

    Book

    Book Section

    • McFadyen, Lesley (2021) Situated knowledge and Early Bronze Age occupation at Must Farm, Cambridgeshire. In: Soares Lopes, S. and Gomes, S. (eds.) Between the 3rd and 2nd Millennia BC: Exploring Cultural Diversity and Change in Late Prehistoric Communities. Oxford, UK: Archaeopress. ISBN 9781789699227. (In Press)
    • Baird, Jennifer (2019) Exposing archaeology: time in archaeological photographs. In: McFadyen, Lesley and Hicks, D. (eds.) Archaeology and Photography: Time, Objectivity and Archive. London, UK: Bloomsbury. ISBN 9781350029682. (In Press)
    • Knight, Mark and McFadyen, Lesley (2019) At any given moment. In: McFadyen, Lesley and Hicks, D. (eds.) Archaeology and Photography: Time, Objectivity and Archive. London, UK: Bloomsbury. ISBN 9781350029682. (In Press)
    • Mcfadyen, Lesley and Hicks, D. (2019) Introduction: From Archaeology to Photology. In: Hicks, D. and Mcfadyen, Lesley (eds.) Archaeology and Photography: Time, Objectivity and Archive. London, UK: Bloomsbury. ISBN 9781350029682. (In Press)
    • McFadyen, Lesley (2018) Outer worlds inside. In: Brysbaert, A. and Klinkenberg, M. and Gutiérrez Garcia-M., A. and Vikatou, I. (eds.) Constructing Monuments, Perceiving Monumentality and the Economics of Building: Theoretical and Methodological Approaches to the Built Environment. Sidestone Press. pp. 87-102. ISBN 9789088906961.
    • McFadyen, Lesley (2016) Immanent architecture. In: Bille, M. and Flohr-Sorensen, T. (eds.) Elements of Architecture: Assembling Architecture, Atmosphere and the Performance of Building Space. Archaeological Orientations. New York, U.S.: Routledge. pp. 53-62. ISBN 9781138775411.
    • McFadyen, Lesley and Vale, A. (2014) Buildings that wrap objects and objects that wrap buildings. In: Rebay-Smith, K. and Foxhall, L. and Brysbaert, A. (eds.) Knowledge Networks and Craft Traditions in the Ancient World. Routledge Studies in Archaeology. New York, U.S.: Routledge. pp. 23-36. ISBN 9780415843645.
    • McFadyen, Lesley (2013) Designing with living: a contextual archaeology of dependent architecture. In: Alberti, A. and Jones, A.M. and Pollard, J. (eds.) Archaeology after Interpretation: Returning Materials to Archaeological Theory. Walnut Creek: Left Coast Press. ISBN 9781611327250.
    • McFadyen, Lesley (2013) House, household, home. In: Hofmann, D. and Smyth, J. (eds.) Tracking the Neolithic House in Europe - Sedentism, Architecture and Practice. Sedentism, Architecture and Practice Series: One World Archaeology. New York, USA: Springer. ISBN 9781461452881.
    • McFadyen, Lesley (2013) House, household, home. In: Hofmann, D. and Smyth, J. (eds.) Tracking the Neolithic House in Europe - Sedentism, Architecture and Practice. One World Archaeology. New York, U.S.: Springer. pp. 363-372. ISBN 9781461452881.
    • McFadyen, Lesley (2012) The time it takes to make: design and use in architecture and archaeology. In: Gunn, W. and Donovan, J. (eds.) Design and Anthropology. Anthropological Studies of Creativity and Perception. Farnham, UK: Ashgate. pp. 101-120. ISBN 9781409421580.
    • McFadyen, Lesley (2011) Practice drawing writing object. In: Ingold, T, (ed.) Redrawing Anthropology. Anthropological Studies of Creativity and Perception. Farnham, UK: Ashgate. ISBN 9781409417743.
    • McFadyen, Lesley (2011) Making space in the late Mesolithic of Britain. In: Cannon, A. (ed.) Structured Worlds: The Archaeology of Hunter-Gatherer Thought and Action.. Approaches to Anthropological Archaeology. Sheffield, UK: Equinox. ISBN 9781845530808.
    • Bailey, D and McFadyen, Lesley (2010) Built objects. In: Beaudry, M and Hicks, D (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Material Culture Studies. Oxford Handbooks in Archaeology. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 562-587. ISBN 9780199218714.
    • McFadyen, Lesley (2010) Spaces that were not densely occupied – questioning "ephemeral" evidence. In: Garrow, D. and Yarrow, T. (eds.) Archaeology and Anthropology: Understanding Similarity, Exploring Differences. Oxford, UK: Oxbow Books. pp. 40-52. ISBN 9781842173879.
    • McFadyen, Lesley (2008) Building and architecture as landscape practice. In: David, B. and Thomas, J. (eds.) The Handbook of Landscape Archaeology. Walnut Creek, U.S.: Left Coast Press. pp. 307-314. ISBN 9781598742947.
    • McFadyen, Lesley (2008) Temporary spaces in the Mesolithic and Neolithic. In: Pollard, J. (ed.) Prehistoric Britain. Hoboken, U.S.: Wiley Blackwell. pp. 121-134. ISBN 9781405125451.
    • McFadyen, Lesley (2007) Neolithic architecture and participation: practices of making at long barrow sites in southern Britain. In: Last, J. (ed.) Beyond the Grave: New Perspectives on Barrows. Oxford, UK: Oxbow Books. pp. 22-29. ISBN 9781842172582.
    • McFadyen, Lesley (2006) Landscape. In: Conneller, C. and Warren, G. (eds.) Mesolithic Britain and Ireland: New Approaches. Stroud, UK: The History Press. pp. 121-138. ISBN 9780752437347.