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Oliver Davis

Dr Oliver Davis

Senior Lecturer, CAER Heritage Project Co-director (Study Leave 2022/3 (Semester 1))

Ysgol Hanes, Archaeoleg a Chrefydd

+44 29225 10215
Adeilad John Percival , Ystafell 5.44, Rhodfa Colum, Caerdydd, CF10 3EU
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I am the co-director, along with Dr Dave Waytt, of the CAER Heritage Project. Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Caerau And Ely Rediscovering (CAER) Heritage Project is a collaborative project between Cardiff University, Ely and Caerau Communities First, local schools and local residents. The project is based around one of Cardiff's most important, but little-known, archaeological sites, Caerau Iron Age hillfort, and seeks to engage local people and school children in their shared history and help challenge marginalisation.

Ely and Caerau are great places with strong communities, but today they are only suburbs of Cardiff, Wales' capital city, and face significant social and economic problems. Yet, before the advent of the Roman invasions in AD74, Caerau hillfort was the major power centre for the entire Cardiff region and is one of the largest and most impressive hillforts in south-east Wales. During the Medieval period a ringwork and church (St Mary's) were built within the ancient Iron Age defences and their impressive remains can still be seen today.

The CAER Heritage Project's objective is to help the people of Caerau and Ely to connect with this site's fascinating the past and make it relevant to the present. From the outset the project's key objectives have been to put local people at the heart of cutting-edge archaeological research, to develop educational opportunities and to challenge stigmas and unfounded stereotypes ascribed to this part of Cardiff.

Please visit the CAER Heritage Project website to find out more about the project, and if you would like further information about the project please contact me on the email address or telephone number given above.
















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My main research interests lie in the understanding of later prehistoric settlement (particularly hillforts), farming and social patterns through a consideration of landscape relationships identified through remote sensing techniques. I have taken a lead role in the development of LiDAR as an archaeological prospection tool in Wales and have published widely on the use of this technique for identifying archaeology. I am also particularly interested in the later prehistoric, Roman and early medieval settlement of Glamorgan and have undertaken extensive aerial reconnaissance and air photo mapping in the area.

Other research

I am currently working with the RCAHMW on the investigation of the archaeology of two Welsh islands – Skomer and Grassholm. The Skomer Island Mapping Project is investigating a remarkably well preserved later prehistoric landscape through remote sensing (including aerial photography, LiDAR and geophysical survey) and ground survey. My work on Grassholm, combining ground survey with aerial reconnaissance, has identified a small prehistoric farmstead on the island as well as potentially early medieval structures.


I am module co-ordinator and lecturer for:

I also teach on the following module:


Education and qualifications

2004-2010 PhD, Cardiff University, Title: A sense of place and space: an investigation of Iron Age communities in central and western Hampshire

2001-2002 MA British Prehistory, Cardiff University

1998-2001 BA Archaeology, Cardiff University

Career overview

2013-Present CAER Heritage Project Co-director

2011-2013 Aerial archaeologist, RCAHMW

2010-2011 Heritage Management Archaeologist, Dyfed Archaeological Trust

2009-2010 Archaeological Records Officer, Cadw

Aelodaethau proffesiynol

  • Institute for Archaeologists: Associate
  • Secretary of the IfA Next Generation Special Interest Group
  • Council for British Archaeology: Wales

Meysydd goruchwyliaeth

I would be happy to supervise postgraduate research in:

  • Iron Age Wales
  • Later prehistoric societies and landscapes of southern Britain
  • The Iron Age in northern Europe
  • Public/community Archaeology