Dr Ffion Reynolds
I am currently involved with the Guerilla Archaeology public engagement project.
My research has been used to advance the value of worldview studies by investigating the changing application of shamanism to the understanding of the past, present and the future through the establishment of the Guerilla Archaeology public engagement team. Previous research into shamanism has proved its applicability as a cross-cultural and universal neurological concept, indicating that cosmology construction is somehow ‘hard-wired’ into the brain. By using shamanism as a spring-board for exploring our own place in the world today, Guerilla Archaeology aims to provoke responses which are relevant to the present by exploring alternative explanations of the past.
Thesis title: Ways of seeing, being, doing: reconstructing Early Neolithic worldviews in southern Britain
My PhD reconstructed a possible worldview for the Neolithic period of southern Britain between 4000 and 3300cal BC. To reach this aim, it united three theoretical perspectives into a definition of Neolithic cosmology. Animistic, totemistic and shamanistic systems of thought provide powerful cosmological schemes in which close identification is made between different kinds of people and other types of being, be it animal, object or essence. By building a new understanding of cosmology, and then by working this understanding through five case-studies, my PhD research helped to refine current discussions on cosmology and worldviews, contributing to a broader understanding of Neolithic lifeways.