Dr Scott Timpany

ORCA Marine
Orkney College East Road
KW15 1LX

tel: +44 (0)1856 569224
mob: 07853 198651

Available to talk to the media about

  • Palaeoenvironmental studies including: Pollen, Charred and Waterlogged Plant Remains, Charcoal and Wood analysis, Non-pollen palynomorphs, Microscopic charcoal.
  • Past woodlands of Orkney
  • Sediments and Landscape Change over time
  • Holocene Environmental Change
  • Impact of prehistoric and historic peoples on the landscape of the UK

In these languages



Scott completed his undergraduate degree in Geography at Coventry University in 1999 and followed this with an MSc by research in Quaternary Studies, also at Coventry University in 2001. Here he investigated the presence and human-environmental interactions of Early Mesolithic people on the Mizen Peninsula, Co. Cork, through palynological study. Scott went on to complete a PhD in Archaeology at The University of Reading in 2005 on the palaeoecological reconstruction of submerged forests along the Severn Estuary and Bristol Channel. This involved the excavation of these relict forests, which dated from the Mesolithic through to the Bronze Age, and the study of the intertidal peats within which they are buried through studies of pollen and non-pollen palynomorphs, wood identification, dendrochronology and waterlogged plant remains.

Whilst finishing his PhD, Scott went to work in the commercial sector for Headland Archaeology Ltd from 2004-2012. Here he worked on a large number of developer-funded commercial projects across the UK and Ireland, ranging from single sites to road schemes and wind farm developments containing multiple sites. Using developer-funding Scott was able to instigate research projects such as the Burnt Mound study from sites along the A4/A5 in Northern Ireland (publication in preparation – see below). Here a multi-disciplinary study, including pollen and non-pollen palynomorphs, waterlogged plant remains, wood and macroscopic charcoal, together with microscopic charcoal and insects, was undertaken in order to investigate the use of the burnt mounds and the impact of their use on the environment. This study has led to the potential identification of wood management in the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age in order to maintain the wood fuel resource for burnt mound activity.

Scott has recently started at Orkney College where he will be developing his new role of Environmental Geoarchaeologist for ORCA Marine as part of the Marine Historic Environment Project and also hopes to contribute his skills in Geoarchaeology and Palaeoecology to the Archaeology Department.

Current research

Metal Links Project (2012 – present) – looking at palynological and geochemical evidence for historic metal working on the Copper Coast and Wicklow Mountains and the impact this had on the local environment; both in terms of environmental change and pollution. This is a joint project with Dr Tim Mighall at the University of Aberdeen.

Isle of Bute (2010 – present) – reconstructing the palaeoenvironmental history over the past 11,000 years for an area on the north of the Isle of Bute. This represents the first full Holocene pollen study for the island and was funded by the Discover Bute Landscape Partnership Scheme.

Burnt Mounds from the A4/A5 road scheme (2008 – present) – developer funded investigating the use and environmental impact of burnt mounds from sites on the A4/A5 in Northern Ireland.

Newrath, Co. Kilkenny (2008 – present) – developer funded study reconstructing Holocene environmental change and RSL sea-level change at Newrath, Co. Kilkenny with particular emphasis on human-environmental interaction and the impact large-scale environmental change had on prehistoric peoples.

Orkney's Past Woodlands (2013 - present) - research led investigation looking at the compostion and character of Orkney's past woodlands through the study of submerged forest tree remains and intertidal peats in some of the sheltered bays of the Orkney Isles.

Research groups and interests

Publication Officer for the Severn Estuary Levels Research Committee
Member of the Association for Environmental Archaeology
Member of the Irish Archaeobotany Discussion Group
Member of the Irish Wood Discussion Group
Member of the ScARF panel on Science in Archaeology
Scott is a Nautical Archaeological Society assistant tutor for the NAS Introduction and Part 1 Certificate in Foreshore and Underwater Archaeology.

Selected publications

Timpany S and Wheeler J 2013 ‘An 11,000 year Palaeoenvironmental History for the Isle of Bute’, Chapter 2 Understanding Bute’s Past Landscapes, in P Duffy (ed.) One Island Many Voices, Discover Bute Landscape Partnership Monograph 19-30.

Wheeler J, Timpany S and Long P 2012‘Palaeoenvironmental evidence for local human-environment impacts and abandonment at Landscape, Co. Waterford’ accepted for publication in Journal of Irish Archaeology 21 17-34.

Timpany S, Monk M and Power O 2011 ‘Agricultural boom and bust in medieval Ireland: plant macrofossil evidence from kiln sites along the N9/N10 road scheme’, in Conran S, Danaher E and Stanley M (eds.) Past times, changing fortunes National Roads Authority Monograph Series No. 8 National Roads Authority Dublin, 73-84.

Timpany S 2011 ‘The changing landscape of the lower Suir Valley: evidence for seven thousand years of people’s interaction with the environment’ in Eogan J. and Twohig E. (eds.) Cois tSuire - nine thousand years of human activity in the Lower Suir Valley. National Roads Scheme Monographs 8, National Roads Authority Dublin 187-198.

Timpany S and Haston SJ 2011 ‘The plant macrofossils’ in Jones, E ‘Through the Cowgate: life in 15th century Edinburgh as revealed by excavations at St Patrick’s Church’ Scottish Archaeological Internet Reports

Dingwall K, Lochrie J and Timpany S 2010 ‘Mount or motte? Recent excavations at Montfode, Ardrossan’ Scottish Archaeological Journal 32.2 121-135.

Robertson A., Lochrie J. and Timpany S. 2010 ‘Neolithic tool manufacture on the Antrim coast: excavations at West Division, Greenisland’. Ulster Journal of Archaeology 69 27-45.