Guest Bloggers

About Dan Simpson: I’m a spoken word poet and compère, poetry projects and events organiser, workshop facilitator and writer. I was Canterbury Laureate 2013-14, and am currently Poet-in-Residence at Canterbury’s Roman Museum for the University of Kent, and at Knole House for the National Trust / Spread the Word. I was Poet-in-Residence at Waterloo Station for Transport for London, and have performed at major festivals, events, and venues around the UK. I deliver poetry and spoken word workshops for both young people and adults. My first collection of poetry is Applied Mathematics, published by Burning Eye Books, and my poems have featured on the BBC and London Underground.

My food memory is based in poetry too – getting a takeaway pizza delivered to Southbank Centre during a marathon 12 hour-solid overnight writing event for one of their festivals. Cold pizza has never tasted as good as it did at 5am, as the sun rose over the Thames and lightened up the sleeping city. My favourite food is Turkish and Greek – it’s a cuisine that seems to offer plenty of choice, variety, and flavour for a vegetarian. I can eat hummus everyday, and often do!

About Martyn Allen: ( Employed as a Research Fellow by the University of Reading, I work full time on a Leverhulme-funded study called the Rural Settlement of Roman Britain project. I specialise in zooarchaeology (the posh word for the study of animal bones) and my research focusses on the role of agricultural communities, their patterns of farming and wider land-use, including hunting and other forms of wild resource exploitation, within the Romano-British countryside. For further information about our project or specifically about my research, please check out the links below.

Favourite food is curry – it makes me happy!

Earliest food memory is sprinkling the salt sachet into a packet of Smith’s Salt’n’Shake whilst standing under a tree in a pub garden (crisps, trees and pubs all continue to make me happy!)

About Tom Derrick: Currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Leicester. I am interested in the widespread Roman exploitation of the natural world (particularly aromatic plants) and the impact that this had on society. This interest led me to research the Roman perfume industry of Italy at undergraduate and MPhil level. The traditional sources in this area were (and are still) literary, pictorial and epigraphic, but I am interested in the tangible evidence for perfume consumption, in particular, the containers themselves. This led me to my current doctoral research, a consumption focused study of perfume and medicament consumption in Roman Britain.

Favourite cuisine: Modern Italian

Earliest food memory: Growing up in Australia (as a Brit) and insisting all of my food be slathered in mint sauce (and a contemporaneous strong penchant for Brussels sprouts).

About Will Heisey: I am primarily a Romano-British archaeologist, who did my undergraduate degree in archaeology at the University of Durham and my Master of Philosophy in archaeology at the University of Oxford. My research interests centre around Mithraism, and specifically the non-monumental aspects of the cult. The dining practices of Mithraism in particular are a fascinating and under-explored aspect of the religion, and can provide new insights into potential cult beliefs.

Earliest food memory: eating gooey grilled cheese sandwiches after school.

About Mark McKerracher: Previously a student at the University of Oxford, currently an independent researcher. I specialize in the archaeology of early medieval farming, with a particular focus on the plant remains of Anglo-Saxon England (5th-11th centuries AD). I am currently writing a book about innovations in farming in the Mid Saxon period (7th-9th centuries), based on my AHRC-funded doctoral project, and also maintain a blog – ‘Farming Unearthed’ – which explores the subject of agricultural archaeology.

Favourite food: a hearty, fruity, sausage casserole.

Earliest food memory: spaghetti shapes (possibly of the Postman Pat variety)

About Charlene Murphy. Charlene is a post-doctoral Research Associate at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London, UK working on the ERC funded Comparative Pathways to Agriculture Project (ComPAg). Her current research is in South Asian archaeobotany.

Favourite food: After spending several archaeological field seasons in southern Italy her favourite food is Margarita pizza.

Earliest food memory: Growing up in Canada it was hot pancakes with maple syrup.

Project webpage:
About Ruth Pelling: Ruth is the Senior Archaeobotanist at Historic England, responsible for providing archaeobotanical advice and for conducting research on various aspects of English archaeobotany. She was the Fazzan Project archaeobotanist and based her PhD on the work.

Favourite food: dark rye bread toasted with butter and marmite! But also rhubarb crumble.

Earliest food memory:  sitting on the floor, pulling periwinkles out of their shells with a pin, at my grandparent’s house!

About Adam Sutton ( Having previously studied at the universities of Nottingham and Southampton, I am now a PhD student at the Department of Archaeology, University of Reading. I’m an archaeological ceramicist by trade, and my current work focuses on changes in ceramic production technology in southern Britain between c.100 BC and AD 70. I’m fascinated by what pottery can tell us about the past, and how it allows us to tap into the lived experiences not only of the elites but also of everyday people; whether they be the people using pottery, making it, or burying their relatives with it. For more information on my work, check out my academia profile or follow me on twitter: @sutton_adam

 Favourite food: A proper Singapore chow mein (extra spicy!)

Earliest food memory: After-school McDonalds with my Nan; it’s all about the McNuggets!

3 thoughts on “Guest Bloggers

  1. Pingback: Wasting Perfume on Lentils | Not Just Dormice – Food for Thought

  2. Pingback: Millet in the Roman Diet | Not Just Dormice – Food for Thought

  3. Pingback: The Poetry of Food – poems by Dan Simpson inspired by the ‘Food for Thought’ exhibition | Not Just Dormice – Food for Thought

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