York YO51 9EP
Charly French is a Professor of Geoarchaeology and Director of the McBurney Geoarchaeology Laboratory in the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge.
Charles/Charly was born and brought up in the small town of Dundas at the western end of Lake Ontario in Canada. He started digging at Wharram Percy in East Yorkshire in 1971. After a BA in Archaeology at Cardiff, 1972-75, his first digging job was with Francis Pryor at Fengate, interspersed with fieldwork at Karnak. After two years of fieldwork, and a few months at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto recording their British flint collections, he did a Masters in Environmental Archaeology at the Institute in London (1977-78).
He dug throughout his PhD, using the prehistoric fen-edge sites he was excavating to form the basis of a palaeo-environmental history of the fen-edge of northern Cambridgeshire. He completed his PhD in June 1983 and has been in East Anglia ever since. In that same year, Francis Pryor, Maisie Taylor and he formed Fenland Archaeological Trust, where he was assistant director and palaeo-environmentalist and ran a digging team as a day-job and developed his specialisms in molluscan and micromorphological analyses on the side. He continued these dual roles until 1992, when he took up a Lectureship in Archaeological Science in Cambridge.
Prof French is currently involved with a number of research projects: investigations of Neolithic/Bronze Age environmental change in the Kennet River around Avebury; geomorphological and micromorphological investigations in the Sava River basin of northern Bosnia, the Posada river valley of eastern Sardinia, the Neolithic of Malta and Gozo, the River Ica valley of southern Peru, as well as investigations of the Indus valley floodplain in Haryana province of northern India, and the Bronze Age pile dwellings of Must Farm in Cambridgeshire and Viverone in northern Italy. He is involved in a number of research projects in East Africa that are investigating the success and failure of irrigated field systems.
Charly has recently been investigating soil from the northern end of the Roman town of Aldborough and identifying changes in the course of the river. His work is providing valuable information for both Rose and Martin and their Aldborough Roman Town Project.
We look forward to welcoming Charly and to finding out more about his fascinating work.