Dr Edward Pollard

Landscape and Maritime Archaeologist

Dr Edward Pollard Landscape and Maritime Archaeologist

Edward is a research archaeologist on the CHERISH project. He is investigating how climate change is affecting the coastal heritage of Ireland and Wales but also relating the archaeological sites to their maritime links around the north Atlantic. He works on surveys and excavations using archival research, manned and unmanned aerial vehicles, geophysics, rope access, diving, GIS, and report writing. He is directing the investigations of the eroding promontory forts along the Copper Coast in Co. Waterford, and the seasonal and storm changes to inter-tidal shipwrecks on North Bull Island in Co. Dublin.

He studied archaeology and geology at the University of Bristol looking at the Middle Stone Age in Zambia, and Carboniferous sediments around Ballycastle in Northern Ireland. He gathered experience in Western Australia working as a field assistant on iron ore exploration in the Pilbara, and recording archaeological sites prior to developments in Perth, as well as in the goldfields of Lake Johnston and Warriedar. This was followed by maritime archaeology and marine geophysics Masters along the north coast of Ireland at the University of Ulster recreating maritime cultural landscape from Mesolithic to the 19th century. He developed his marine archaeological skills further in Ireland developing the shipwreck inventory for the Underwater Archaeology Unit, and with underwater commercial projects with the Archaeological Diving Company including excavating a Bronze Age logboat in the Irish Sea, crossing points of the River Nore in Kilkenny, and a shipwreck graveyard in Waterford Harbour after monitoring dredging.

He developed an interest in the Indian Ocean and the Middle East working on the 12th century Ayyubid Wall in Cairo; medieval port of Qalhat in Oman; medieval urbanisation on Pemba Island, Tanzania; development of the Buganda kingdom around Lake Victoria, Uganda; irrigation and terracing at Engaruka in the Rift Valley of Tanzania; hunter-gatherer to pastoralists use of Ol Ngoroi Rockshelter, Laikipia, Kenya. This was followed by a PhD on the maritime cultural landscape of the Swahili coast concentrating the World Heritage Site of Kilwa Kisiwani and Bagamoyo in Tanzania. He worked at the University of Stirling on geoarchaeological projects on the formation of a soil analysis system app for archaeologists. In East Africa he has worked with the Universities of Dar es Salaam, Oxford, York, Eduardo Mondlane, and St Andrews, and National Museum of Kenya. As Assistant Director of the British Institute in Eastern Africa in Nairobi he supported research around Subsaharan Africa. Here he extended his PhD research with maritime archaeological fieldwork to Malindi, Kenya and Angoche, Mozambique, along with underwater geophysical and diving investigations in Kilwa Kisiwani Harbour, Tanzania, for a more extensive picture of medieval Swahili trade. As marine archaeologist at the University of the Highlands and Islands in Orkney, he worked on environmental impact assessments for marine renewable energy projects; developed research into landing places and ports; along with developing modules in maritime and underwater archaeology and Nautical Archaeology Society courses. He works with the Universities of Dar es Salaam, Aberdeen, and Saint Andrews on how climate change is affecting medieval shipwrecks, past exploitation of mangrove and coral, and how rising sea levels are affecting groundwater at historic settlements where ancient wells are becoming salty.

See Academia and ResearchGate for a full list of Edward’s publications.

And you can read more about his biography on LinkedIn.