Mike Parker Pearson
Mike Parker Pearson
Michael Parker Pearson
26 June 1957
|Known for||Stonehenge Riverside Project|
|Alma mater||University of Southampton|
King's College, Cambridge
|Thesis||Death, society and social change: the Iron Age of southern Jutland 200 B.C.-600 A.D. (1985)|
|School or tradition||Post-processual archaeology|
|Doctoral students||Melanie Giles|
Michael Parker Pearson,  is an English archaeologist specialising in the study of the Neolithic British Isles, Madagascar and the archaeology of death and burial. A professor at the UCL Institute of Archaeology, he previously worked for 25 years as a professor at the University of Sheffield in England, and was the director of the Stonehenge Riverside Project. A prolific author, he has also written a variety of books on the subject.(born 26 June 1957)
A media personality, Parker Pearson has appeared several times in the Channel 4 show Time Team in particular in one looking at the excavation of Durrington Walls in Wiltshire. He also appeared in the National Geographic Channel documentary Stonehenge Decoded, along with the PBS programme Nova: Secrets of Stonehenge.
Early life and education
Parker Pearson was born in 1957. He would later inform interviewers that he first took an interest in the past when searching for fossils in his father's driveway gravel aged 4, extending that interest into the human past aged 6 when he read a library book entitled Fun with Archaeology. Deciding to study the subject at the undergraduate level, he attended the University of Southampton, attaining a first class BA with honours in Archaeology in 1979.
He obtained his PhD from King's College, Cambridge in 1985, for a thesis titled "Death, society and social change: the Iron Age of southern Jutland 200 BC – 600 AD" in which he discussed what was known about the bog bodies of Iron Age Denmark; it would remain unpublished. Supervised by Ian Hodder as a post-graduate at Cambridge, Parker Pearson was a contemporary of Sheena Crawford, Daniel Miller, Henrietta Moore, Christopher Tilley and Alice Welbourn; these students were influenced by Hodder's ideas, then a pioneering part of the post-processualist current within archaeological theory.
Parker Pearson became interested in Marxism. In the 1984 anthology Ideology, Power and Prehistory, edited by Daniel Miller and Christopher Tilley, Parker Pearson published a paper in which he examined the pre-state societies of Jutland from a Marxist perspective. At the start of this paper, he noted that it had repercussions for Marxism in that its findings discerned "a certain blurring between capitalism and non-capitalism".
From 1984 through to 1990, Parker Pearson worked as an Inspector of Monuments for English Heritage, and in 1989 he received membership to the Institute for Archaeologists. In 1990, he secured an academic teaching position at the Department of Archaeology at the University of Sheffield, where he would work for the next 21 years. In 1991 he was admitted as a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, and in 1996 then became a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.
Stonehenge Riverside Project and UCL
From 2003 through to 2009, Parker Pearson directed the Stonehenge Riverside Project. The project garnered three major archaeological awards: the Andante Travel Archaeology Award (2008), the Royal Society of Northern Antiquaries Award (2009), and the UK Archaeological Research Project of the Year (2010). His work in leading the project also led to Parker Pearson being personally awarded the UK Archaeologist of the Year award in 2010.
Parker Pearson and his team of researchers played a key role in the discovery of a new henge site along the River Avon that links to Stonehenge. This new site was uncovered through excavation during the Stonehenge Riverside Project and was given the name "BlueStoneHenge" or "BlueHenge" because traces of bluestones were found during the excavation.
During 2017 and 2018, excavations by his UCL team led to a proposal that the site at Waun Mawn, in the Preseli Hills of Pembrokeshire, had originally housed a 110 m (360 ft) diameter stone circle of the same size as the ditch at Stonehenge The archaeologists also postulated that the circle also contained a hole from one stone which had a distinctive pentagonal shape, very closely matching the one pentagonal stone at Stonehenge (stone hole 91 at Waun Mawn and stone 62 at Stonehenge). Both circles appear, according to some researchers, to be oriented towards the midsummer solstice. and reported in New Scientist on 20 February 2021.
From 2006 through to 2009, he served as the Vice-President of the Prehistoric Society. Interacting with various parts of the media, Parker Pearson has published articles in a variety of different sources, such as on the BBC website, has given interviews to groups such as Pagans for Archaeology and most recently discussed his career in an interview with Papers from the Institute of Archaeology.
|Bronze Age Britain||1993||n/a||English Heritage and B.T. Batsford||978-0713468564|
|Architecture and Order: Approaches to Social Space||1994||Colin Richards
|The Archaeology of Death and Burial||1999||n/a||Sutton Publishing||978-0890969267|
|Between Land and Sea: Excavations at Dun Vulan, South Uist||1999||Niall Sharples, Jacqui Mulville, Helen Smith,
|Sheffield Academic Press||978-1850758808|
|In Search of the Red Slave: Shipwreck and Captivity in Madagascar||2002||Karen Godden||Sutton Publishing||978-0750929387|
|Food, Culture and Identity in the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age||2003||British Archaeological Reports||978-1841714950|
|Fiskerton: An Iron Age Timber Causeway with Iron Age and Roman Votive Offerings||2003||Naomi Field||Oxbow||978-1842170649|
|South Uist: Archaeology and History of a Hebridean Island||2004||Niall Sharples and Jim Symonds||The History Press||978-0752429052|
|Warfare, Violence and Slavery in Prehistory: Proceedings of a Prehistoric Society Conference at Sheffield University||2005||I.J.N. Thorpe
|British Archaeological Reports||978-1841718163|
|From Stonehenge to the Baltic: Living with Cultural Diversity in the Third Millennium BC||2007||Mats Larsson||British Archaeological Reports||978-1407301303|
|Pastoralists, Warriors and Colonists: The Archaeology of Southern Madagascar||2010||Karen Godden
|British Archaeological Reports||978-1407306803|
|If Stones Could Speak: Unlocking the Secrets of Stonehenge||2010||Marc Aronson||National Geographic Society||978-1426305993|
|Stonehenge: Exploring the Greatest Stone Age Enigma||2012||n/a||Simon & Schuster||978-0857207302|
|From Machair to Mountains: Archaeological Survey and Excavation in South Uist||2012||(edited volume)||Oxbow||978-1842174517|
- "PARKER PEARSON, Prof. Michael George". Who's Who 2014 (online ed.). A & C Black, Oxford University Press. 2014. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.U258069.
- "Professor Michael Parker Pearson". Department of Archaeology. University of Sheffield. Retrieved 22 December 2011.
- "'Secrets of Stonehenge' from PBS's Nova Television Series (2010)". Retrieved 2 July 2012.
- "Parker Pearson, Michael 1957–". WorldCat Identities. OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc. Retrieved 22 December 2011.
- Yewtree and Parker Pearson 2010.
- UCL 2012.
- Parker Pearson 1999. p. 234.
- Parker Pearson 2011,
- Parker Pearson 1984. p. 69.
- Pearson, Mike Parker; Pollard, Josh; Richards, Colin; Welham, Kate; Kinnaird, Timothy; Shaw, Dave; Simmons, Ellen; Stanford, Adam; Bevins, Richard; Ixer, Rob; Ruggles, Clive; Rylatt, Jim; Edinborough, Kevan (February 2021). "The original Stonehenge? A dismantled stone circle in the Preseli Hills of west Wales". Antiquity. 95 (379): 85–103. doi:10.15184/aqy.2020.239. Retrieved 19 February 2021.
- England’s Stonehenge was erected in Wales first
- "Stonehenge: The Lost Circle Revealed". BBC Two. 12 February 2021. Archived from the original on 12 February 2021. Retrieved 19 February 2021.
- Pearson, Mike Parker; Bevins, Richard; Ixer, Rob; Pollard, Joshua; Richards, Colin; Welham, Kate; Chan, Ben; Edinborough, Kevan; Hamilton, Derek; Macphail, Richard; Schlee, Duncan; Schwenninger, Jean-Luc; Simmons, Ellen; Smith, Martin (December 2015). "Craig Rhos-y-felin: a Welsh bluestone megalith quarry for Stonehenge". Antiquity. 89 (348): 1331–1352. doi:10.15184/aqy.2015.177. Retrieved 19 February 2021.
- George, Alison (20 February 2021). "Stonehenge may be a recycled Welsh structure". New Scientist. p. 16.
- Williams and Koriech 2012
- "British Academy Fellowship reaches 1,000 as 42 new UK Fellows are welcomed". British Academy. 16 July 2015. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
- Parker Pearson, Michael (1984). "Economic and ideological change: cyclical growth in the pre-state societies of Jutland". Ideology, Power and Prehistory. Cambridge University Press. pp. 69–92. ISBN 978-0521090896.
- Parker Pearson, Mike (28 February 2011). "The Practice of Human Sacrifice". BBC. Archived from the original on 5 November 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2012.
- Yewtree; Parker Pearson, Mike (30 July 2010). "Interview with Mike Parker-Pearson". Pagans for Archaeology. Archived from the original on 5 November 2013. Retrieved 26 November 2012.
- "Mike Parker Pearson". University College London. 2012. Archived from the original on 21 December 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2012.
- Williams, Thomas; Koriech, Hana (2012). "Interview with Mike Parker Pearson". Papers from the Institute of Archaeology. 22: 39–47. doi:10.5334/pia.401. ISSN 2041-9015.
- Parker Pearson, Michael; Pollard, Josh (2006). "Materializing Stonehenge – The Stonehenge Riverside Project and New Discoveries". Journal of Material Culture. 11 (1–2): 227–261. doi:10.1177/1359183506063024. S2CID 145407215.
- Đermek, Anđelko (2013). "Stonehenge Triangle". Studia Mythologica Slavica. XVI: 47–53. doi:10.3986/sms.v16i0.1528.
- Parker Pearson, Michael (2012). Stonehenge – EXPLORING THE GREATEST STONE AGE MYSTERY. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-85720-730-2.
- Pitts, M. (2000). Hengeworld. Arrow Books.