Matthew is a Curator of Prehistory responsible for the Scottish Chalcolithic and Bronze Age collections.

Matthew Knight

He is also Meetings Secretary for the Prehistoric Society and Chair of the Later Prehistoric Finds Group.

His research has largely focused on Bronze Age material culture, predominantly metalwork. He is interested in how people interacted with their materials in the past and has explored this in his research through the themes of memory, agency and identity, as well as undertaking various experimental activities to better understand prehistoric processes.

Matthew completed his undergraduate and Master’s qualifications at the University of Exeter between 2009 and 2014, during which he explored links between Bronze Age metalworking evidence and settlement activities and the landscape setting of metalwork hoards, as well as the phenomenon of Bronze Age objects found outside of their expected typological sequences in hoards and settlements across southern Britain. This latter research has recently expanded to incorporate heirlooms and other ‘out-of-time’ objects from across Britain and Europe and throughout prehistory collaborating with Dr Dot Boughton and Rachel Wilkinson.

Between 2012 and 2015, Matthew collaborated with Theresa Ormrod and Professor Susan Pearce to produce an updated catalogue of Bronze Age metalwork from south-western Britain. He is currently collaborating with Dr Stuart Needham, Adam Gwilt, Mark Lodwick and Peter Reavill analysing Early Bronze Age metalwork from Wales and the Marches.

In 2018, he submitted his AHRC-funded PhD thesis to the University of Exeter, which investigated the deliberate destruction of Bronze Age metalwork in South West England. This research involved an experimental programme analysing the deliberate destruction of swords, spears and axes, collaborating with experimental facilities in Britain and Italy and working with the experienced bronzecaster Neil Burridge. This was supported by an intensive investigation of material which allowed reinterpretation of a range of artefacts.

Matthew is keen to make his work publicly available and disseminates regularly through blog posts and on Twitter (@mgknight24), as well as speaking at local and international conferences.

Publications

  1. Knight, M.G. 2014. ‘Masters of Mysteries or Haphazard Handymen? An assessment of the evidence for metalworkers at Bronze Age settlements in Cornwall and Devon, south-western England’, Trowel XV, 29-41.
  2. Knight, M.G., Ormrod, T. and Pearce, S.M. 2015. The Bronze Age Metalwork of South Western Britain: A corpus of material found between 1983 and 2014. Oxford: Archaeopress. British Archaeological Reports 610.
  3. Knight, M.G. Forthcoming. ‘Putting ‘out-of-time’ metalwork in its place: commemorating and forgetting traditions through the Bronze Age metalwork of Southern Britain’, in Gibson, C., Brown, D. and Pyzel, J. (eds) Making and Unmaking Memories. Mundane Mnemonics, Artificial Amnesia and Transformed Traditions. Oxford: Archaeopress.
  4. Knight, M.G. and Chandler, B. forthcoming. ‘Two recent Bronze Age Finds in Torquay Museum and their place in South West England’. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society.
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