Nikolah Gilligan

Nikolah Gilligan

Diploma in Nutrition, Irish Training and Educational Centre, Dublin, 2011
MSc. with Distinction in Environmental Archaeology and Archaeobotany, Institute of Archaeology, University College, London 2010
Train the Trainer FETAC Level 6
ECDL course
Excavation Licence-holder (granted by DoEHLG and NMI) 2007
BA Hons in Ancient History (with Latin) and Archaeology, University of Wales, Lampeter 1996-1999


Member of IADG


Phone +353-87-9171105


  • Plant macrofossil analysis and reporting
  • Sampling strategies and advice
  • Post-excavation processing services
  • Underwater Archaeology with N.A.S. and  A.I.M.A. (Adv.  P.A.D. I. diver)

Additional expertise

  • Licensed Site Director
  • Archaeology Tutor/Workshop organiser


I have been working in commercial archaeology since 1999 and gained a Director’s Licence in 2007. Throughout my excavation career I have worked in Ireland and Australia on small private developments and large infrastructural projects. I have also worked with the British School of Athens at the Bronze Age site of Phylakopi in Milos, Greece. Anticipated future work on-site, both excavating, processing samples and archaeobotanical analysis, includes a pre-domestication site in Turkey and a multi-period tell site in Syria.

I returned to university in 2009 to gain an MSc. in Environmental Archaeology with a particular focus on archaeobotany. My dissertation was based on an assemblage from Bronze Age levels of an extensive tell site in Syria and was entitled Tell Shiyukh Tahtani; Diet and Storage. I continue to be the site archaeobotanist, although excavations have been halted while the country is in turmoil.

Although I have a general interest in archaeobotanical assemblages of all periods, my research interests are primarily focused on the economic and social information that can be gained from assemblages in Ireland, Europe and the Near East. I am also interested in adaptation to climate change in the past, as well as the transition between hunting&gathering and domestication, and how these topics can be explored through archaeobotanical assemblages


Volunteer work

I am currently volunteering time at the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, to create a database of 19th century seed collections.  I also have a Facebook page entitled Archaeological and Historical Diets (and archaeobotany), where members of the public can discuss these topics;


N. Gilligan (forthcoming). Analysis of a Bronze Age assemblage, Tell Shiyukh Tahtani, Syria. Estrat Critíc, l'Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Gilligan, N. (2011) The Bronze Age landscape of Aughinish, Co. Limerick. North Munster Antiquarian Journal. Vol 51.
Barker, L.W. (2011) Gilligan, N. & Fegan, G. (Eds) Laois Burial Grounds Survey 2011 (Vol 1). Laois County Council.
Barker, L.W., Gilligan, N. & Fegan, G. (2011) Laois Burial Grounds Survey 2011 (Vol. 2: Gazetteer of Burial Grounds)
Gilligan, N. (2011) The Bronze Age landscape of Aughinish, Co. Limerick. North Munster Antiquarian Journal. Vol 51.
Gilligan, N. 2008.  The Aughinish fulacht fiadh. In Rusal Aughinish News. Vol. 27. No. 2. Aughinish Alumina Ltd., Co. Limerick

Additional papers currently in preparation
Unpublished reports available directly from me


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