Welcome to Underhill Contracting,
the Homepage for Archaeological Consultant
Dr Dave Underhill


Dave graduated from the University of Southampton in 2012 having completed his PhD through 5 years (part-time) study at the Centre for the Archaeology of Human Origins. Prior to this Dave succesfully completed an MA in Palaeolithic Archaeology and Human Origins (Distinction) at Southampton, and a Certificate (Distinction) and BA in archaeology at the University of Leicetser. The later of these qualifications was promoted to Honours due to the quality of Daves dissertation and at graduation he was awarded the Samuel and Rachel May Prize for reporting (an irregularly awarded prize for report writting of the very highest quality). Whilst Daves primary research focus is Palaeolithic Archaeology he has a vast array of specific and transferable skills to offer.


Ph.D. - University of Southampton - Minor Corrections
Thesis: The Fauresmith: The Transition from the Earlier to Middle Stone Age in Northern South Africa
The first full scale analysis of historical Fauresmith assemblages, including the original type material, which highlighted the falacy of the industry; being a palimpsest of Earlier and Middle Stone Age material created through deflation.

MA. - Centre for the Archaeology of Human Origins, University of Southampton - Distinction
Dissertation: The Existential Hominid: Early Stone Age Individuals at the Cave of Hearths, South Africa (grade: 70%)
An examination of the Cave of Hearths Earlier Stone Age material, examining the extent to which such an assemblage can be used in examining post-processual theories of the individual. available here

BA.(Hons) - University of Leicester - 1st (Promoted to Hons degree &awarded the Samuel and Rachel May Prize for report writting)
Dissertation: "In my Bedroom or in my Dreams": Material Culture of the Solid Body Electric Guitar and the Cult of Youth (grade: 80%)
An anthropological study into the persistent form of the Fender Stratocaster, Telecaster & Gibson Les Paul; & the nature of authenticity. available here.

Cert. - University of Leicester - Distnction
A distance learning certificate in archaeology undertaken during rehabilitation from wrist surgery.

Selected Employment History

2018-present - Mineral Products Qualifications Council - Special Projects Officer
Building on my success with the Industry Ambassador project, described below, the company has created the post of Special Projects Officer for me. Whilst still managing the Ambassador project, I am now involved in other areas of the business. I am currently engaged in several projects including; re-drafting National Occupational Standards for the Sector; the establishment of a sector specific Advanced Technology Hub; rewritting policies and procedures to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation; creating an app to facilitate advertising courses; and researching, designing and building the companies new Intranet. I also sit on the company's Health and Safety Committee.

2017-2018 - Mineral Products Qualifications Council - Project Coordinator
Reporting to the MP Futures division I manage a national project recruiting and training Industry STEM Ambassadors for the minerals and extractives sector. Challenged with enlisting and managing a cohort of industry based volunteers from across the UK; and negotiating with their employers for their release to perform STEM based sessions for local schools and groups. In just 8 months I had recruited over 100 volunteers who had engaged over 500 young people. I have produced a number of magazine articles and reports aimed at employers, potential ambassadors and funding bodies. This work has entailed liaising closely with a number of major multi-nationals and SMEs alike, in addition to funding bodies, volunteers, schools, and charity organisations.

2015-2018 - University of Nottingham - Teaching Associate
In 2015 I was approached by the university to simultaneously write two undergraduate modules in Prehistory; a first year Core module (Human Origins: From Forests to First Farmers), and a second year option (Prehistoric Britain). These were written in tandem with their delivery, and received solid Student Evaluation returns. I have been employed each year since to deliver the first year core module slimed down to cover solely British Prehistory. I have also taken on pastoral care for students and peer support of staff, in addition to setting exam questions and grading transcripts, and all course administration.

2014-2017 - Parental Duties
Whilst juggling temporary contracts personal circumstances forced me to become the primary carer to my son. Beyond developing the patience of Job, this involved; time management and clear planning, multi-tasking amid constant distraction, intense inter-personal and diplomatic negotiation skills, motivating and encouraging success whilst maintaining a keen sense of fair-play and integrity.

2012-2016 - Underhill Contracting - Consultant and Analyst
As a self-employed consulting archaeologist I successfully managed all aspects of my own business, whilst keeping to strict deadlines and maintaining professional standards. Specialising in Lithic reports, surveying, and directing excavations and field schools I worked for myriad clients from commercial archaeology companies through multiple universities to national entities such as the British Museum and Jersey Heritage. It was with great regret that personal circumstances forced me to fold the business.

2012-2014 - Pre-Construct Archaeological Services Ltd - Field Assistant / Supervisor / Project Officer
Beginning as a digger I was rapidly, and repeatedly promoted until I was a Project Manager in all but name. I was responsible for managing clients; researching, excavating, recording and reporting on sites from all periods and many regions. Toward the end of my time with the company I was made unofficial GIS officer and maintained a 'Contract Of Works' with them when I took the plunge and went freelance full-time.

2007-2011 - University of Southampton - Teaching Assistant
Beginning by leading seminar groups I was eventually teaching on a number of modules across the Department of Archaeology; both undergraduate and post-graduate. I was responsible for planning, administering, marking and delivering courses on all aspects of the discipline. Translating often complicated theories and methods for developing audiences.


Peer-Reviewed Publications:

2016 Rethinking Human Responses to Sea-level Rise: The Mesolithic Occupation of the Channel Islands. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society 82: 27-71. With: Conneller, C., Bates, M., Bates, R.C., Shadla-Hall, T., Blinkhorn, E., Cole, J., Pope, M., Scott, B., & Shaw, A.D.

2012. The Earliest Middle Stone Age of Northern South Africa. In: Ruebens, K., Bynoe, R., & Romanwska, I. CAHO10: Unravelling the Palaeolithic. Oxford: Archaeopress: 13-26.

2012. Quaternary Environments and Archaeology of Jersey: A New Multidisciplinary Project Looking at the Early Prehistoric Occupation of the English Channel Region. In: Ruebens, K., Bynoe, R., & Romanwska, I. CAHO10: Unravelling the Palaeolithic. Oxford: Archaeopress: 27-38. With Pope, M., Bates, M., Cole, J., Conneller, C., Ruebens, K., Scott, B., Shaw, A., Smith, G., & Wragg-Sykes, R.

2011. The Study of the Fauresmith: A Review. The South African Archaeological Bulletin 6: 15-26.

2011. A History of Stone Age Archaeological Study in South Africa. The South African Archaeological Bulletin 66: 3-14.

2009. Overview of the Broader Significance of the ESA and MSA at the Cave of Hearths. In: McNabb, J. & Sinclair, A. (eds). The Cave of Hearths: The Makapan Middle Piestocene Project: Field Research by Anthony Sinclair and Patrick Quinney 1996-2001. University of Southampton Series in Archaeology 1 (Oxford: Archaeopress): 150-163. With McNabb, J. & Sinclair, A.

2008. Subjectivity inherent in By-Eye Symmetry Judgements and the Large Cutting Tools at the Cave of Hearths, South Africa. Papers from the Institute of Archaeology 18: 101-13.

I have also authored several non-peer reviewed articles & a vast array of grey literature; Heritage Statements and Desk Based Assessments, Schemes of Investigation, site reports, specialist artefact reports, etc.

I have been a peer-reviewer for Lithics: The Journal of the Lithic Studies Society & the journal Human Origins.

Selected Academic Achievements

  • I have presented at myriad conferences, symposia, and Research meetings including: Palaeolithic-Mesolithic meetings at the British Museum, The Theoretical Archaeology Group, and Unravelling the Palaeolithic amongst many others.

  • Holding various responsibilities I have been on the organising Committees for multiple conferences including the 'Innovation Conference' (2008), 'TAG' Southampton (2008), multiple University of Southampton 'Post-Graduate Archaeology Symposia' (2007-2009), QRA/Prehistoric Society Field Meetings (Solent Basin and West Sussex Raised Beaches) (2009), several Lithic Studies Society conferences (2011-16), and 'Unravelling the Palaeolithic' (2011). For the later I was directly involved in negotiating the expansion of the conference into a series held annually between 5 different institutions.

  • At all levels of my academic life I have taken an active interest in departmental matters, having been elected to or joined staff-student committees at every opportunity and also sitting on Programme committees as both student and staff. During my time at Leicester I also established a new Arch-Soc student society; 'Archaeologists Anonymous'.

  • I have designed and coded myriad websites for various organisations, including their maintenance and upkeep. Amongst many others I have been the webmaster for Centre for the Archaeology of Human Origins (including Teamsite CMS) (2007-11) and the Lithic Studies Society (2010-16).

Selected Research Excavations

2009-15 Les Varines, Le Canal du Squez, Col de la Roque, Les Marionneux, La Cotte de St. Brelade; Jersey
2010-11 Bodium & Scotney Castles
2010 Itchen Abbas
2008-10 Blandford Survey
2008 Ebbsfleet, London
2008 Beedings, Sussex
2005 Beacon Hill, Leicestershire
2004 St Margaret's at Cliffe, Kent
2004 Vine Street, Leicester
2003 Abbey Park, Leicester

Selected Film, TV and Documentary Work

Film Work:
2012 - Molly Crows -
1998 - Merlin the Quest Begins - with Jason Connery and Gareth Thomas
1996 - The Bruce - with Oliver Reed and Brian Blessed
1996 - Macbeth - with Jason Connery and Helen Baxendale
1994 - Chasing the Deer - with Brian Blessed and Ian Cuthbertson

Documentary Video Work:
2002 - Lord of the Rings Big Pig Productions
1996 - Battle of Bosworth Campaigns in History
1995 - Wars of the Roses Campaigns in History
1995 - Battle of Crecy WorldWide Pictures
1995 - The Conquistadors WorldWide Pictures
1995 - Mary Queen of Scots Café Productions
1994 - The Normans WorldWide Pictures

TV and Satellite Work:
2005 - You Know You Wanna Do It Sky One
2005 - Edward II UKTV History
2000 - Our House BBC
2000 - Central News ITV
1999 - Myth and Magic Weekend Disney Channel
1998 - Blue Peter BBC

Living History

2000-present - Seathieves Pirate Association - Co-Founder and official
1999-present - Stand and Deliver (the Highwayman Association)
1998-2006 - Les Routiers de Rouen - official
1997-present - Foresters of Sherwood
1996-present - Wars of the Roses Campaign Society - Co-Founder and official
1992-present - Company of the White Boar - official

Theartrical Work

2012-2016 - Christmas Banquet entertainment - Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
2003-2007 - Film Promotions - Star City, Birmingham
2001 - Black Rose Theatre - Co-Founder
1996-1998 - Companions of the Black Prince
1992-present - Spirit of England Medieval Theatre Company
1990-1992 - Ring of Steel Medieval Drama Company ¬ Co-Founder

Museum Displays constructed

2003 - Air Raid Shelter exhibit at the City of Caves, Nottingham
2002 - The Golden Age of Piracy exhibit at the Galleries of Justice, Nottingham
2001 - Photographs for the Weaponry and Wounds exhibit at Bosworth Battlefield
2001 - Spellbound exhibit at the National Museum of Law, Nottingham

Fencing Styles Studied in-depth;

Fiore de Liberi - Italian Fifteenth Century Longsword and Polearms
Hans Talhoffer - German Fifteenth Century Longsword and Polearms
Gaspard Le Marchant - 1796 Light Cavalry Sabre
Vincento Saviolo - Italian Sixteenth Century Rapier
Di Grassi - Italian sixteenth Century Rapier and Main Gauche, Rapier and Cloak
George Silver - English Sixteenth Century Backsword


Playing Guitar

I have been playing guitar and bass for many years having been in a number of local bands seeing the most success with Moth.

presently i am the second guitarist in I Am Jupiter

I also spent time assissting at Flexigon Sound recording studio, specialising in Reggae productions

Sending your message. Please wait...

Thanks for your contact. I shall respond as soon as possible

There was a problem sending your message. Please try again.

Please complete all the fields in the form before sending.