Dr Rachel Crellin

Associate Professor of Archaeology

School/Department: Archaeology and Ancient History, School of



My research interests’ centre on archaeological theory especially new materialist and posthumanist approaches rooted in feminism. I also specialise in the Neolithic and Bronze Age of Britain Ireland and the Isle of Man and I am a metalwork wear-analyst.

I studied Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Cambridge where I developed a keen interest in archaeological theory and material culture. I completed an MA in Material and Visual Culture Studies at UCL before starting a PhD at Newcastle University where my thesis focused on theoretical approaches to the study of change and drew on a study of the transition from the Late Neolithic to the Early Bronze Age on the Isle of Man.

In 2015 I came to Leicester as a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship exploring the impact of the earliest bronze axes in Britain and Ireland. In 2018 I was appointed to a lectureship.


Much of my primary research focuses on the intersection between cutting edge archaeological theory and material science. I am interested in the study and theorisation of change and have published a monograph on this topic with Routledge titled: Archaeology and Change.

Beyond the Three Age System

I am part of the Leverhulme funded Beyond the Three Age System team at Leicester. The project is tracing a new history of materials from 3000-600 BC through microwear analyses combined with cutting edge theoretical approaches.

Round Mounds of the Isle of Man

I co-director the Round Mounds of the Isle of Man project which explores changing burial practices from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age on the Isle of Man. The project is funded by Culture Vannin and Manx National Heritage and has involved a wide range of analyses of mortuary materials from the island and the ongoing excavation of a burial mound.

Bronze Age Combat Project

I am also a member of the Bronze Age Combat Project which has been researching how Late Bronze Age weapons were used, in what kind of combat situations, and with what strikes and bodily motions. The project combines experimental work with wear-analysis of weapons.


Crellin, R.J. Cipolla, C., Montgomery, L., Harris, O.J.T. and Moore, S.  2021. Archaeological Theory in Dialogue: situating relationality, ontology, posthumanism and indigenous paradigms. London: Routledge.

Crellin, R.J. 2020. Change and Archaeology. London: Routledge.

Hermann, R., Crellin, R.J., Ucklemann, M. and Dolfini, A. 2020. Bronze Age Combat: an experimental approach. BAR. Oxford.

Journal special sections
Cobb, H. and Crellin, R.J. (eds.). 2022. Posthumanist feminism and archaeology. Cambridge Archaeological Journal, Online First view.

Edited Volumes
Dolfini, A., Crellin, R.J., Horn, C., Uckleman, M. (eds.). 2018. Prehistoric Warfare and Violence: quantitative and qualitative approaches. Springer Press.

Crellin, R.J., Fowler, C. and Tipping R. (eds.). 2016. Prehistory without borders: the prehistoric archaeology of northeast England and southeast Scotland. Oxbow Books.

Journal articles

Cobb, H. and Crellin, R.J. 2022. Affirmation and action: a posthumanist feminist archaeology. Cambridge Archaeological Journal. Online first: DOI:

Cipolla, C.N., Crellin, R.J., and Harris, O.J.T. 2021. Posthuman Archaeologies, Archaeological Posthumanisms. Journal of posthumanism 1 (1): 5-21.

Crellin, R.J. and Harris, O.J.T. 2021. What difference does posthumanism make? Cambridge Archaeological Journal 31 (3):469-75.

Tsoraki, C., Barton, H., Crellin, R.J. and Harris, O.J.T. 2021. Making marks meaningful: new materialism, microwear and the world of material signs. World Archaeology 52 (3): 484-502.

Crellin, R.J. 2021. Making posthumanist kin in the past. Antiquity 95 (379): 238-40.

Fowler, C., Crellin, R.J. and Gamble, M. 2021. Diversity and change in mortuary practices in the Neolithic of the Isle of Man. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society 87: 83-107. 

Crellin, R.J. and Harris, O.J.T. 2020. Beyond Binaries: interrogating ancient DNA. Archaeological Dialogues 27 (1): 37-56.

Hermann, R., Crellin, R.J., Dolfini, A., Wang, Q., and Uckelmann, M. 2020. Bronze Age swordsmanship: new insights from experiments and wear analysis. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 27: 1040-1083.

Crellin, R.J., Fowler, C. and Gamble, M. 2020. Thinking outside the cist: interpreting an unique artefact assemblage from an Early Bronze Age burial on the Isle of Man. Antiquity 94 (378): 1444-1463.

Crellin, R.J. 2018. Examining the British and Irish Early Bronze Age Flat Axes of the Greenwell Collection at the British Museum. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 18: 858-888.

Crellin, R.J. 2018. New Materialism. In, López Varela, S.L. (ed.). The Encyclopaedia of Archaeological Sciences. Wiley-Blackwell. Available at: 

Crellin, R.J. 2017. Changing Assemblages: tracing vibrant matter in burial assemblages. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 27 (1): 111-125.

Crellin, R.J. 2017. Violent Times? Use-wear analysis of bronze weapons from the Isle of Man. Isle of Man Studies XV

Dolfini, A. and Crellin, R.J. 2016. Metalwork wear analysis: the loss of innocence. Journal of Archaeological Science 66: 78-87.

Jones, A., Diaz-Guardamino, M. and Crellin, R.J. 2016. From artefact biographies to ‘multiple objects’: a new analysis of the decorated plaques of the Irish Sea Region. Norwegian Archaeological Review 49 (2): 113-133.

Woodcock, J. and Crellin, R.J. 2016. Cup-marked rocks on the Meayll Peninsular. Isle of Man Studies XIV: 30-44.

Crellin, R.J. 2015. Tracing change at Killeaba. Isle of Man Studies XIII: 29–44.

Chapters in edited volumes
Crellin, R.J. 2019. The Emergence of a Bronze Age on the Isle of Man. In, Brandherm, D. (ed.). Aspects of the Bronze Age in the Atlantic Archipelago and Beyond. Proceedings from the Belfast Bronze Age Forum 9-10 November 2013. Archaeologia Atlantica – Monographiae III Hagen/Westf: 13-34. 

Hermann, R., Dolfini, A., Crellin, R.J. and Ucklemann, M. 2019. Researching Bronze Age swordsmanship: experiments and wear analysis. In Deutscher, L., Kaiser, M. & S. Wetzler (eds.), The Sword: Form and Thought. Martlesham, Suffolk: Boydell & Brewer: 187-207.

Harris, O.J.T. and Crellin, R.J. 2018. Assembling new ontologies from old materials: towards multiplicity. In, Astor-Aguilera, A. and Harvey, G. (eds). Rethinking Relations and Animism: personhood and materiality. London: Routledge: 55-74

Crellin, R.J., Dolfini, A., Ucklemann, M. and Hermann, R. 2018. An experimental approach to prehistoric violence and warfare. In, Dolfini, A. Crellin, R.J., Horn, C., Uckleman, M. (eds.). 2018. Prehistoric Warfare and Violence: quantitative and qualitative approaches. Springer Press: 279-305.

Dolfini, A., Crellin, R.J., Horn, C. and Ucklemann, M. 2018. Interdisciplinary approaches to prehistoric warfare and violence: past, present and future. In, Dolfini, A. Crellin, R.J., Horn, C., Uckleman, M. (eds.). 2018. Prehistoric Warfare and Violence: quantitative and qualitative approaches. Springer Press: 1-18.

Dolfini, A., Hermann, R., Crellin, R.J and M. Uckelmann. 2018. L’arte della guerra nell’età del Bronzo: la parola alle armi, in N. Negroni Catacchio (ed.) Preistoria e Protostoria in Etruria. Atti del XIII Incontro di Studi. Milan: Centro Studi di Preistoria e Archeologia: 183-200.

Crellin, R.J., Fowler, C. and Tipping, R. 2016. Introduction. In, Crellin, R.J., Fowler, C. and Tipping R. (eds.). Prehistory without borders: the prehistoric archaeology of northeast England and southeast Scotland. Oxbow Books: 1-15.

Crellin, R. J. 2014. Transformative material, transformative object: the impact of a bronze axe. In, Brown, S., Clarke, A., and Fredrick, U., (eds.). 2014. Object Stories. California: Left Coast Press: 213-7.


I am interested in supervising doctoral research across a range of themes:

  • Posthumanist and new materialist approaches to archaeological theory
  • Metalwork in prehistory
  • Neolithic or Bronze Age Britain and Ireland

If you have an idea and would like to discuss it further please do not hesitate to contact me.


I teach on the campus based BA and BSc in Archaeology, the BA in Ancient History and Archaeology, and the BA in History and Archaeology. I also teach on the distance learning BA in Archaeology and BA in Ancient History and Classical Archaeology.

I co-ordinate and teach a range of undergraduate courses including subjects like archaeological theory, archaeological practice, the Neolithic, Bronze and Iron Age in Britain and Ireland and artefact analysis.

Press and media

Neolithic and Bronze Age Britain and Ireland; Bronze Age combat; Archaeological theory; Bronze Age metalwork.


Rachel was the recipient of the Royal Anthropological Association's Curl lecture in 2021. In 2020 Rachel delivered the Prehistoric Society's Sara Champion lecture. She is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy and the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.
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