Dave Durkin

DPhil in Archaeology


Models of Enclosure and Landscape

Research abstract

My research concerns the landscape setting of Early Neolithic Causewayed Enclosures in southern Britain.  Through the construction of visibility and cost models in an ESRI Geographical Information System the research seeks to understand more about their location in space.  The research investigates their relationship with other components of the physical landscape, and their association with other contemporary monuments and artefacts of the early neolithic, and how this related to Early Neolithic society. 

The research seeks to establish patterns and comparisons surrounding the location of the causewayed enclosure in terms of developing theory around early neolithic society.  Through this, to advance thought around concepts such as mobility, contact and exchange, and what role constituents of the landscape played in the situation of these early monuments.


Prof. Joshua Pollard,  Reader in Archaeology, University of Southampton.

Dr Gill Hey, Oxford Archaeology and Visiting Fellow, Kellog College.

Dr Olaf Bayer, Historic England and Continuing Education, University of Oxford.


My practical archaeological experience includes volunteering with the 'South Cadbury Environs Project' in Somerset, then with the 'Stonehenge Riverside Project', and more recently the 'Stones of Stonehenge Project', excavating quarry and other sites in the Preseli hills.  I particularly enjoy community archaeology and have directed a number of investigations and excavations with local volunteers and community groups.

Also an engineering graduate, I still maintain an interest in electrical engineering and remain a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology and a Chartered Engineer.  I work for Wessex Water as Director of Operational Services.


Durkin, 2010.  The Survey and Excavation of an Early Medieval Settlement at Sparkford Woods, Somerset.  Early Medieval Enquiries - Proc. of the Clifton Antiquarian Club, vol.9.

Durkin, 2014.  Aspects of a Blackmore Vale Landscape.  Proc. of the Clifton Antiquarian Club, vol.10.


Research interests

Early Medieval and Medieval landscape development.

The influence of monasticism on landscape organisation.

Neolithic and in particular Early Neolithic society in Britain.