Rick Peterson

Senior Lecturer in Archaeology

School of Forensic and Applied Sciences

Maudland Building, MB107c

+44 (0) 1772 89 3495


Subject Areas: Archaeology, Fashion

Rick is course leader for the BSc (Hons) Archaeology degree. He specialises in the Neolithic and Bronze Age archaeology of Britain, with particular interests in the archaeology of caves and in pottery. He is also teaches later prehistory and on many of the fieldwork modules.

Rick is research within the area of Archaeology and is a member of the Archaeology Research Group.

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BSc (Hons) Archaeology 1988
PhD (Traditions of construction and use of the Neolithic pottery of Wales) 1999

Rick joined UCLan in 2004 from the University of Newport and so has been here almost from the beginning of the archaeology degree. He did his PhD at the University of Southampton, graduating in 2000, and prior to this had a chequered career in commercial and museum archaeology. He studied for his first degree at Cardiff, graduating in 1989, which is where his interest in the Neolithic and Bronze Age was first encouraged.

His primary research interests are in trying to understand the non-monumental parts of later Prehistory; hence his interest in material culture and particularly pottery and in the archaeology of caves and other natural places. At the moment he is particularly interested in the agency of natural places and the environment. This is reflected in his recent and current fieldwork projects at Goldsland and in the Forest of Bowland.

He has a number of hobbies and interests: making pottery – wheel thrown generally so it doesn’t get too much like work – and seems to spend a lot of time watching sport. He plays cricket very badly and sails when he gets the chance. He also writes a blog (https://shelteringmemory.wordpress.com/) about the fieldwork and research he does in the Forest of Bowland.


Goldsland Cave Research Project: a joint project with colleagues from the University of Wales, Cardiff to examine the archaeological potential of newly discovered caves on the Vale of Glamorgan – fieldwork completed, post-excavation analysis is underway. The caves appear to have been used in the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age for burial; probably part of a multi-stage rite which may have included nearby chambered cairns such as Tinkinswood and St Lythans.

Sheltering Memory: a new project looking at the limestone landscapes around the edges of the Forest of Bowland AONB in Lancashire. We are looking at archaeological and environmental evidence for how prehistoric people used natural places like caves as well as archaeological sites like enclosure monuments and barrows. Fieldwork began in 2011 with excavations around New Laund Farm, Whitewell, which are still going on.

Pontnewydd and the Elwy Valley Caves: a joint project with colleagues from University of Wales, Cardiff and the National Museum of Wales investigating middle and upper Pleistocene Hominid activity in north east Wales – fieldwork completed and final monograph was published in 2012.

Other research interests of mine include: Neolithic and Bronze Age Britain; cave archaeology; prehistoric ceramics; small scale and mobile societies.


Peterson, Richard (2013) Social Memory and Ritual Performance. Journal of Social Archaeology, 13 (2). pp. 266-283. ISSN 1469-6053

Peterson, Richard and Robinson, David Wayne (2012) Excavations and the afterlife of a professional football stadium, Peel Park, Accrington, Lancashire: towards an archaeology of football. World Archaeology, 44 (2). pp. 263-279. ISSN 0043-8243

Aldhouse-Green, Stephen, Peterson, Rick and Walker, Elizabeth (2012) Neanderthals in Wales: Pontnewydd and the Elwy Valley Caves. Oxbow Books, Oxford. ISBN 9781842174609

More publications


Course Leader: BSc (hons) Archaeology: BSc (hons) Archaeology and Anthropology

Module tutor for FZC004 Key Themes in Archaeology
Module tutor for FZC002 Archaeological Project
Module tutor for FZ1206 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
Module tutor for FZ2203 and FZ3207 Later Bronze Age and Iron Age Britain
Module tutor for FZ2201 Archaeological Fieldwork I
Module tutor for FZ3201 Archaeological Fieldwork II
Module Tutor for FZ4207 Archaeological Fieldwork III

Contribute to FZ1201 Archaeology of Britain; FZ1204 Study Skills and IT; FZ2202 Archaeological Research and Study and FZ2206 Thinking About the Past: Archaeological Theory and FZ4206 Approaches to Archaeology.