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Dr Volker Heyd

Dr Volker Heyd

Dr Volker Heyd

Professor in Prehistoric Archaeology

Area of research

Prehistoric Archaeology

43 Woodland Road,
Clifton, Bristol BS8 1UU
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 954 6072


My research has advanced in two main directions in the last five years. Whilst I still see myself as a prehistoric archaeologist undertaking my own fieldwork projects in Hungary, France and Turkey, and focusing current key prehistoric themes such as identity, ethnicity, ideology etc., I regularly incorporate scientific methods into my research. Here the study of mobility, and the application of isotopes, has particularly kept my attention since first publishing on the subject many years ago. Besides, I am always keen to promote other multi/cross-discipline approaches, for example making use of evidence from chemistry, physical anthropology, genetics etc., for a better understanding of our own prehistoric record and materials. A significant part of my research is centered around the fourth and third millennium BC. More recently, my interests have broadened in time, to include publications and seminars encompassing the seventh millennium BC Neolithisation and the first millennium BC Iron Age, and geographically, from Central Europe to the wider Continent.  

I am currently working in four major research projects:

1) The Milking Revolution in Temperate Neolithic Europe. Funded by an ERC Advanced Grant, European Union, to R. Evershed (see:

2) Isotope analysis of well dated cattle and red deer bones from Swiss Neolithic lakeshore settlements as indicator for herd management, dairying, environment and human impact (with J. Schibler, Basel & A. Pike, Southampton). Funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (see:

3) Yamnaya Impact: Archaeological Heritage, Research into European Population History & Summer School (with G. Kulcsár & J. Dani, Hungary,  J. Peska, Czech Rep., P. Wlodarczak, Poland & J. Sutekova, Slovakia). Mosaic Funding (see:

4) Economy and Subsistence of the Corded Ware Culture in Southern Finland, 3rd Millennium BC (with M. Lavento, Helsinki). Mosaic Funding.


since 2007   Reader in Prehistoric Archaeology at the Department of Archaeology & Anthropology, University of Bristol, UK.

since 2000   Visiting Lecturer, replacement Professor and visiting Professor at TU Freiberg, Halle-Wittenberg (both Germany) and Helsinki (Finland) Universities.    

2001-2007   Department of Archaeology & Anthropology, University of Bristol, UK; first Feodor-Lynen research fellow, then Lecturer.

1996-2000   Research Director of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft Project "Publikation des Gräberfeldes von Niederkaina, Lkr. Bautzen” in Dresden, Germany.

1995-96   Project Director of the Tagebau Zwenkau excavation in the Arbeitsstelle Braunkohle of the Landesamtes für Archäologie, Saxony, Germany.

1996   Completion of the Promotion Procedure at the Universität des Saarlandes (Saarbrücken; Germany); award of summa cum laude; degree: Dr. Phil.

1995   Submission and Acceptance of Doctoral Dissertation.

1989   Zwischenprüfungen (BA-equivalent) in Prehistoric and Protohistoric Archaeology, Near Eastern Archaeology and Geology.

1986-89   Studies of Prehistoric and Protohistoric Archaeology (main subject), Near Eastern Archaeology and Geology at the Universität des Saarlandes, the Phillips-Universität Marburg and the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich.


Volker is currently teaching:

Comparative World Archaeology (ARCH10003) - 1st Year lecture subject; mandatory, 20 credit points

Bronze Age Europe and Britain (ARCH24004 / ARCH35017) - 2nd/3rd Year seminar subject; optional, 20 credit points

European Iron Age (ARCH25013 / ARCH35011) - 2nd/3rd Year seminar subject; optional, 20 credit points


  • 4th and 3rd millennium BC Europe
  • ideology
  • Bell Beaker phenomenon
  • aDNA
  • Corded Ware
  • Copper Age societies
  • Isotopes
  • Yamnaya
  • steppes
  • ethnicity
  • transhumance
  • Hallstatt princely hillforts
  • Identity
  • world-systems
  • Baden
  • Globular Amphora
  • Indo-European languages
  • pastoralism
  • Neolithisation



Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

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Selected publications

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Recent publications

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