Dr Katherine Boyle


College position:

Director of Research and Director of Studies in Archaeology

Dr Katherine Boyle
Dr Katherine Boyle
Subject areas


Research Interests

Palaeolithic Faunas from Europe. This is on-going research into Palaeolithic faunas of W Europe (primarily the Châtelperronian of S. France and Uluzzian of Italy). The focus is on complexity and diversity in faunal assemblages and their relationship with biogeography and subsistence strategies. The role of prehistoric hunter-gatherers versus contemporary large carnivores (e.g. hyaena, wolf and cave/brown bear) is of particular interest.

Later Prehistoric Hunting. Post-Palaeolithic Europe sees the establishment of farming and pastoralism as major economic practices, while the role of hunting changes – to become a reflection of social practices as much as economic. The continued role of hunting in the economy and society is being examined with a focus on sites such as Molino Casarotto (Lago di Fimon, N Italy), Er Yoc'h/Er Yoh (Morbihan, France) and Marcilly-sur-Tille (Bourgogne, France).

(Pre)Historic Landscape and Environment Change: a new project, focusing on the changing natural and cultural landscape in the catchment of the river Granta. Two years of test-pitting and desk-based research in the area near Bury Farm, Stapleford (Cambs), as part of the British Archaeology Summer School have helped to establish that the course of the Granta has changed significantly over time. Both natural and man-made features of the (pre)historic landscape are being investigated in order to determine the nature of both social and economic use of the landscape and river over the last 8,000 years.

Teaching And Professional Interests

Dr Boyle supervises undergraduate students in archaeology, and am Co-Director of the ACE Foundation British Archaeology Summer School (BASS) 

Links to online publications, articles or other work


1998. The Middle Palaeolithic Geography of Southern France: Resources and Site Location. Oxford: B.A.R International Series. 723

1990. Upper Palaeolithic Faunas from South West France: A Zoogeographic Perspective. Oxford: B.A.R. (Int. Ser.) 557

Edited Books

Anderson, S. & K. Boyle, (eds.) 1996. Ritual Treatment of Human and Animal Remains. Oxford: Oxbow Books

Anderson, S. & K. Boyle, (eds.) 1997. Computing and Statistics in Osteoarchaeology. Oxford: Oxbow Books

Renfrew, C. & K. Boyle, (eds.) 2000. Archaeogenetics: DNA and the population prehistory of Europe. Cambridge: McDonald Institute Monographs

Boyle, K., Renfrew, C. & M. Levine (eds.) 2002. Ancient Interactions: East and West in Eurasia. Cambridge: McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research

Levine, M., Renfrew, C. & K. Boyle (eds.) 2003. Steppe Adaptation and the Horse. Cambridge: McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research

Mellars, P., K. Boyle, O. Bar-Yosef, & C. Stringer (eds) 2007. Rethinking the Human Revolution. Cambridge: McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research

Anderson. A., J.H. Barrett & K.V. Boyle (eds.) 2010. The Global Origins and Development of Seafaring. Cambridge: McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research.

Boyle, K., C. Gamble & O. Bar-Yosef (eds.) 2010. The Upper Palaeolithic Revolution in Global Perspective: Essays in Honour of Paul Mellars. Cambridge: McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research.


Luc Moreau, Christelle Draily, Jean-Marie Cordy, Katherine Boyle, Michael Buckley, Erik Gjesfjeld, Peter Filzmoser, Valentina Borgia, S.A. Gibson, J. Day, Robert Beyer, Andrea Manica, Marc Vander Linden, Marjorie de Grooth & Stéphane Pirson. Adaptive strategies in the Early Upper Palaeolithic of North-Western Europe under changing environmental constraints: a multidisciplinary view from Walou Cave. Journal of Paleolithic Archaeology 4DOI: 10.1007/s41982-021-00078-5 (Published OA 16 April 2021)

2017 The Zooarchaeology of complexity and specialisation during the Upper Palaeolithic in Western Europe, in U. Ambarella et al. (eds.) Oxford Handbook of Archaeozoology. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (Invited contribution), 39-51 (Chapter 3)

2014a Neolithic Hunters in the Landscape of Northern Italy, in K. Boyle, R. Rabbet & C. Hunt (eds.) Living in the Landscape. Essays in Honour of Graeme Barker. (McDonald Institute Monographs.) Cambridge: McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, 149-60.

2014b The Italian Neolithic Red Deer: Molino Casarotto, in K. Baker, R. Carden & R. Madgwick (eds.) Deer & People. Oxford; Windgather Press, 78-91.

2013 Interactions with early humans, in Danielle Schreve (ed.) Encyclopedia of Quaternary Sciences Quaternary Vertebrate Records. 2nd edn. Oxford: Elsevier, pp. 748-56. Doi: 10.1016/B978-0-444-53643-3.00256-9

2011 The Cave of Fontéchevade: Recent Excavations and their Paleoanthropological Implications, by Philip G. Chase, André Débenath, Harrold L. Dibble & Shannon P. McPherron, 2009. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 21, 137-8.

2010 Rethinking the ‘ecological basis of social complexity’, in K Boyle, C. Gamble & O. Bar-Yosef (eds.) The Upper Palaeolithic Revolution in Global Perspective: Essays in Honour of Paul Mellars. Cambridge: McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, 137-51.

Introduction: Variability, fate and the Upper Palaeolithic Revolution (with O. Bar-Yosef & C. Gamble), in K Boyle, C. Gamble & O. Bar-Yosef (eds.) The Palaeolithic Revolution in Global Perspective: Essays in Honour of Paul Mellarser . Cambridge: McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, 1-8.

2007 Real Biodiversity during the Chatelperronian, in P. Mellars, K. Boyle, O. Bar-Yosef & C. Stringer (eds.) Rethinking the Human Revolution. Cambridge: McDonald Institute Monograph Series.

Le phoque dans les eaux néolithique de Bretagne. Melvan, Revue des Deux Iles. 4, 265-74.

Interactions with early humans, in Danielle Schreve (ed.) Encyclopedia of Quaternary Sciences Quaternary Vertebrate Records. Oxford: Elsevier, pp. 3253-62.

2006 Neolithic Wild animals in Western Europe. The question of Hunting, in Dale Serjeantson and David Field (eds) Animals in the Neolithic of Britain and Europe. Oxford: Oxbow, pp. 10-25

2005 Chasse au phoque à la fin du Néolithique à Er Yoc’h (Houat, Morbihan). Melvan, Revue des Deux Iles 2, 9-25

Integrating wild and domestic resources during the Late Neolithic of Southern Brittany: a zooarchaeological study of the seal-hunting site of Er Yoh (Morbihan). In G. Monks (ed.) The Exploitation and Cultural Importance of Sea Mammals, Oxford, Oxbow Books, pp.77-94

2001Middle Paleolithic settlement patterning in Mediterranean France: human geography and archaeology. In N.J. Conard (ed.) Settlement Dynamics of the Middle Paleolithic and Middle Stone Age. Tübingen: Kerns Verlag, pp. 519-44

2000 Intra-regional similarities in resource exploitation strategies: The late Magdalenian in the Vézère Valley. In G. L. Peterkin and H. Price (eds) Regional Approaches to Adaptation in Late Pleistocene Western Europe.Oxford: BAR International Series 896, pp. 47-59

Reconstructing Middle Palaeolithic subsistence strategies in the south of France'. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 10: 226-56

1998 The middle palaeolithic geography of southern France. King’s Research Centre Newsletter 2: 8-9

1998 Mousterian settlement patterning in southern France. In F. Alhaique et al. (eds.) Workshops - Tome 1. UISPP (Workshop 5: Middle Palaeolithic and Middle Stone Age Settlement Systems, co-ordinated by N.J. Conard and F. Wendorf), Forli, pp. 241-7

1998 Ibex exploitation at Lazaret Cave, Nice, France (abstract). In S. Anderson & K. Boyle (eds) Current and Recent Research in Osteoarchaeology, p.1

1997 Late Magdalenian carcase management strategies. The Périgord data. Anthropzoologica 25-6: 287-94

1996 From Laugerie Basse to Jolivet.. The organisation of Final Magdalenian settlement patterns in the Vézère Valley. World Archaeology 27 (3): 477-91

1996 Comments on Marcel Kornfield ‘The Big-Game Focus: Reinterpreting the Archaeological Record of Cantabrian Upper Paleolithic Economy’. Current Anthropology 37: 642

1994 La Madeleine (Tursac, Dordogne). Une étude paléoéconomique du paléolithique supérieur. Paléo 6: 55-77

1993 Upper Palaeolithic procurement and processing strategies in southwest France. In G.L. Peterkin, H.M. Bricker and P. Mellars (eds.) Hunting and Animal Exploitation in the Later Palaeolithic and Mesolithic of Eurasia. Archaeological. Papers of the American Anthropological Association, No. 4. pp. 151-62

1992 Regional patterning in Late Upper Palaeolithic Mendip faunas. Quaternary Newsletter 67: 40 - 7

1992 An introduction to GIS. The Birkbeck College short course. Archaeological Computing Newsletter 32: 18-20

1988 Foraging theory: mathematical modelling of socioecological change. In J.L. Bintliff et al. (eds.) Conceptual Issues in Environmental Archaeology. Edinburgh: EUP. pp. 282-90 (with C.D. Wright)

1986 Mathematics in archaeology: return to basics. Science and Archaeology 28: 32 - 7