Neil Wilkin

Curator, Bronze Age Collection

Department: Britain, Europe and Prehistory 


+44 (0)20 7323 8579

Neil is responsible for the British and European Bronze Age collection at the British Museum.

His particular interests are in integrating strands of material evidence in order to understand the European Bronze Age at a range of scales. Particular research interests include Bronze Age ceramics; socio-economic links between Bronze Age ceramics and metalwork; ritual and deposition in its regional and landscape setting; funerary practices and the material culture of death; and new approaches to the study and creation of classifications and typo-chronologies. Between 2015 and 2017 Neil was co-ordinator of the Asahi Shimbun Room 3 Displays.

Prior to joining the British Museum, Neil was involved in the Beakers and Bodies Project (Leverhulme Trust/University of Aberdeen) and completed an AHRC funded PhD on the Food Vessel pottery and burials of Northern England.

Current projects

The Reffley Wood project

The MicroPasts project

The Grave Goods Project (with the University of Reading and University of Manchester)

External fellowships/ honorary positions/ membership of professional bodies

Honorary Secretary of the Prehistoric Society (2014–Present)

Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland

Member of the Prehistoric Ceramic Research Group

Recent publications

O’Connor, B., Roberts, B. & Wilkin, N. 2017, ‘The Ornament Horizon revisited: New and old finds of Middle Bronze Age ornaments in southern England’, in: T. Lachenal, C. Mordant., T. Nicolas, & C. Vérber (eds), Le Bronze moyen et l’origine du Bronze final en Europe occidentale, de la Méditerranée aux pays Nordiques (XVIIe – XIIIe siècle avant notre ére), Colloque APRAB “Bronze 2014”, Strasbourg 17 au Juin 2014, Mémoires d’Archéologie du Grand-Est 1: 267-80

Bevan, A., Bonacchi, C., Keinan, A., Pett, D., Wexler, J., & Wilkin, N. 2017, ‘Crowd-sourcing the British Bronze Age: Initial Experiences and Results from the MicroPasts Project’ Society of Museum Archaeologists, Proceedings of the Colchester Meeting, 2014, 87-98

Wilkin, N. 2017, 'Combination, composition and context: readdressing British Middle Bronze Age ornament hoards (c.1400-1100 cal. BC)', in Martin, T.F. & R. Weetch (eds) Dress and Society: Contributions from Archaeology, Oxford, 14-47

Wilkin, N. and Frieman, C. 2016, ‘‘The changing of the guards’? British prehistoric collections and archaeology in the museums of the future’ Museum Worlds Journal, Volume 4 (2016), 33-50

Wilkin, N. 2016, ‘Une nouvelle épée cérémonielle du type de Plougrescant-Ommerschans trouvée à Rudham (Norfolk, Angleterre)’ Bulletin de l’APRAB n° 14 – 2016, 39-43

Wang, Q., Strekopytovb, S., Roberts, B.W., Wilkin, N. 2016, ‘Tin ingots from a probable Bronze Age shipwreck off the coast of Salcombe, Devon: Composition and microstructure’ Journal of Archaeological Science, 67 (2016), 80-92

Wilkin, N.  2016, ‘Pursuing the penumbral: the deposition of Beaker pottery at Neolithic monuments in Chalcolithic and early Bronze Age Scotland’ In Brophy, K., G. MacGregor, G., and I.B.M. Ralston (eds), The Neolithic of Mainland Scotland, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 261-318

Fowler, C. & Wilkin, N. 2016, ‘Early Bronze Age mortuary practices in north-east England and south-east Scotland: using relational typologies to trace social networks’, Prehistory without Borders: Prehistoric Archaeology of the Tyne-Forth Region, Oxford: Oxbow Books, 112-35

*Parker Pearson, M., A. Chamberlain, M. Jay, M. Richards, M., A. Sheridan, N. Curtis, J. Evans, A. Gibson, M. Hutchison, P. Mahoney, P. Marshall, J. Montgomery, S. Needham, S. O’Mahoney, M. Pellegrini & N. Wilkin, 2016, 'Beaker people in Britain: migration, mobility and diet’, Antiquity 90, no. 351, 620-37
[*Awarded Antiquity’s Ben Cullen prize]

Wilkin, N. & Vander Linden, M. 2015, ‘What was and what would never be: Changing patterns of interaction and archaeological visibility across North West Europe from 2500 to 1500 cal. BC’, In Anderson-Whymark, H., D. Garrow & F. Sturt (eds), Continental connections: exploring cross-channel relationships from the Mesolithic to the Iron Age, Oxford: Oxbow Books, 99-121

Wexler, J., A. Bevan, C. Bonacchi, A. Keinan-Schooonbaert, D. Pett, N. Wilkin, 2015, ‘Collective Re-Excavation and Lost Media from the Last Century of British Prehistoric Studies’, Journal of Contemporary Archaeology, Forum for Media Archaeology

C. Bonacchi, A. Bevan, D. Pett, A. Keinan-Schoonbaert, R. Sparks, J. Wexler & N. Wilkin, 2014 Crowd-sourced Archaeological Research: The MicroPasts Project, Archaeology International, No. 17, 61-68

N. Wilkin, ‘Grave-goods, contexts and interpretation: towards regional narratives of Early Bronze Age Scotland’, Scottish Archaeological Journal, 33.1–2, 2011 [2014], 21–37

N. Curtis and N. Wilkin, 'The Regionality of Beakers and Bodies in the Chalcolithic of North-East Scotland', in M.J. Allen, J. Gardiner & A. Sheridan (eds.), Is there a British Chalcolithic? : People, place and polity in the later 3rd millennium (The Prehistoric Society & Oxbow Books, Oxford, 2012), 237-256

N. Wilkin, ‘Animal Remains from Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age Funerary Contexts in Wiltshire, Dorset and Oxfordshire’, The Archaeological Journal, 168 (2011), 64-95