Caroline Wickham-Jones is a lecturer in the Department of Archaeology at the University of Aberdeen. She lives in the islands of Orkney where she is engaged in a multi-disciplinary project combining techniques such as sonar and seismic survey, sediment coring, environmental analysis and diving to research rising sea-levels and the impact of past landscape change on the prehistoric population of the islands.
Caroline studied archaeology at the University of Edinburgh and went on to specialise in the study of the hunter-gatherers who lived in Scotland after the end of the last Ice Age. She has directed excavations on early sites in Orkney, Rum, Applecross, Fife and Skye. She is particularly interested in the relationship between people and the natural world, and in the origins of the first peoples to inhabit Scotland. The retreat of the great ice sheets left behind a very different world to that of today, a world where the lost landscape of Doggerland joined Britain to the Continent. As Doggerland slowly disappeared beneath the rising waters of the North Sea, the peoples who inhabited the hills and plains had to seek a new homeland. Traces of their settlement in Scotland are scarce, but they are there and slowly they are revealing more and more detail about the world of the past. They did not only have to contend with long term environmental change; around 8200 years ago a massive tsunami, originating off the Norwegian coast, obliterated coastal settlements from Shetland to the south.
Caroline’s research has taken her around the world, from the Arctic to Tierra del Fuego in order to piece together the picture of a lost society. At home she is an active contributor to local guidebooks, and is often to be found presenting local lectures and workshops. She has been involved with Cape Farewell since 2013.