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Malcolm Christopher Lillie

Professor of Archaeology

Research qualifications: Docent
Educational qualifications: Recognised university teacher



Works at

Affiliated as other position at Department of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies Section: Archaeology
A, Humanisthuset Umeå universitet, 901 87 Umeå

My research focusses on earlier Holocene prehistory from ca. 10,000-3000calBC. Primarily I study human remains and wetlands, but all aspects of human-landscape interactions, wetlands and archaeology, from the earlier Mesolithic through to the Iron Age periods, the transition from food extraction to food producing societies, in situ preservation studies in wetlands, and many other areas can be supervised. I specialise in the study of fisher-hunter-forager and farmer (and prehistoric) lifeways using osteology and palaeopathology, isotope studies of diet, and dating. In my wetlands research I have undertaken a range of in situ preservation studies, sedimentoloigcal and palaeoenvironmental invetigations and research excavations. I entered commercial archaeology in 1985 and have continued to undertake commercial activities since this date. At Hull University I set up the Wetland Archaeology & Environments Research Centre (WAERC), and when I moved to Umeå University WAERC also moved to Sweden. I currently teach on a number of undergraduate and PG modules, and am actively involved in fieldwork and study trips with students. 

I have a very broad range of research interests that include, but are not limited to: European (and world) Prehistory, mortuary studies, interpersonal violence and pathology in prehistory, isotopes and diet, radiocarbon dating and reservoir effects, wetlands, hydrology, in situ preservation, environmental archaeology, human-landscape interactions, sedimentology, excavation techniques, commercial archaeology. On-going research includes dna analysis of prehistoric Ukrainian populations, dietary isotope studies of these and other Mesolithic groups in Europe (such as any available Fenno-Scandinavian materials, Oleni ostrov in Karelia etc.), and integrated studies (diet, mobility, dna and dating) of Iron Age populations (Arras culture) in the UK

I have recently completed an edited volume on Prehistoric Ukraine for Oxbow Books, and have written Hunters, Fishers and Foragers in Wales (2015 Oxbow) and edited Wetland Archaeology & Environments (2007 Oxbow).


On-going projects include:

Writing a Social Narrative of Iron Age society using Science: Approaches to individual and community life histories from bones, isotopes and genetics.

A socio-cultural history of Ukraine from 10,000-3500BC: Using genetics, isotopes, dating and osteological studies to disentangle cultural developments up to, and including, the Eneolithic Yamanya expansion and the development of Indo-European language.

Mesolithic diet: Using palaeopathology and diet isotope studies to generate meaningful narratives of the social life of fisher-hunter-foragers.

Umeå: Umeå University 2023
Jerand, Philip; Lillie, Malcolm C.; Fergusson, Andrew
Palaeopathology and evolutionary medicine: an integrated approach, Oxford: Oxford University Press 2022 : 120-137
Lillie, Malcolm C.; Elton, Sarah
Nature, Nature Publishing Group 2022 : 588-594
Patterson, Nick; Isakov, Michael; Booth, Thomas; et al.
Miljöarkeologiska Laboratoriets Rapporter, 2021-001
Eriksson, Samuel; Lillie, Malcolm
Antiquity, Cambridge University Press 2020, Vol. 94, (376) : 932-947
Budd, Chelsea; Bogucki, Peter; Lillie, Malcolm; et al.
Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, Elsevier 2020, Vol. 31
Budd, Chelsea; Galik, Alfred; Alpaslan-Roodenberg, Songül; et al.
Prehistoric Ukraine: from the first hunters to the first farmers, Oxford: Oxbow Books 2020 : 283-307
Budd, Chelsea; Lillie, Malcolm C.
Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, Springer 2020, Vol. 12, (2)
Budd, Chelsea; Potekhina, Inna; Lillie, Malcolm
American Journal of Physical Anthropology, John Wiley & Sons 2020, Vol. 171, (S69) : 40-40
Budd, Chelsea; Potekhina, Inna; Snoeck, Christophe; et al.
Mortality, London: Routledge 2020, Vol. 25, (1) : 7-24
Inall, Yvonne; Lillie, Malcolm
Archaeology and Early History of Ukraine, Ukraine: Union of Archaeologists of Ukraine 2020, Vol. 37, (4) : 251-267
Lillie, Malcolm; Budd, Chelsea
Prehistoric Ukraine: from the first hunters to the first farmers, Oxford: Oxbow Books 2020 : 235-282
Lillie, Malcolm C.
Prehistoric Ukraine: from the first hunters to the first farmers, Oxford: Oxbow Books 2020 : 187-233
Lillie, Malcolm C.; Budd, Chelsea; Potekhina, Inna D.
Prehistoric Ukraine: from the first hunters to the first farmers, Oxford: Oxbow Books 2020 : 1-6
Lillie, Malcolm C.; Potekhina, Inna D.
Oxford: Oxbow Books 2020
Lillie, Malcolm C.; Potekhina, Inna D.
Nature, Nature Publishing Group 2018, Vol. 555, (695) : 197-203
Mathieson, Iain; Lillie, Malcolm; Reich, David
Documenta Praehistorica, Ljubljana University Press 2017, Vol. 44 : 306-324
Lillie, Malcolm; Budd, Chelsea E.; Potekhina, Inna; et al.
PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science (PLOS) 2017, Vol. 12, (2)
Nikitin, Alexey G.; Potekhina, Inna; Rohland, Nadin; et al.

I teach undergraduate and postgraduate modules in archaeology and environmental archaeology on topics as diverse as the collapse of civilisation to climate change and sustainability with timescales ranging from 700,000 years ago to the present.