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Dr Philip Macdonald

Dr Philip Macdonald

Excavation Director


Telephone: 028 90 973767
Email: p.macdonald@qub.ac.uk 


Dr Philip Macdonald is an experienced field archaeologist who has directed excavations at a range of important sites, including the Late Bronze Age promontory fort of Knockdhu, Co. Antrim, the early medieval emporium on Dunnyneill Island, Co. Down and the Anglo-Norman Castle at Dundrum, Co. Down. His current research interests include the medieval archaeology of Belfast, developing new methods for addressing the development of cemeteries, and the archaeology of Gaelic inauguration. His monograph 'Lyn Cerrig Bach. A study of the Copper Alloy Artefacts from the Insular La Tène Assemblage' (2007) represents a landmark study in La Tène art and metalwork studies. As a recognised find specialist, Philip was formerly employed by the National Museum of Wales to establish and co-ordinate the Portable Antiquities Scheme in Wales. He is both a member of Society of Antiquaries and the Historic Monuments Council.

Membership of professional bodies, academic and research groups

  • Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London
  • Member of the Historic Monuments Council (Northern Ireland)
  • Member of Cambrian Archaeological Association
  • Member of Monmouthshire Antiquarian Association
  • Member of the Institute of Field Archaeologists
  • Member of the Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland


Selected Publications & Reports


2007: Macdonald P: The copper alloy artefacts from Lyn Cerrig Bach, University of Wales Press (for the Board of Celtic Studies and National Museum of Wales), Cardiff.

Chapters in Books

Forthcoming: (with N. Carver): 'Chronology, development and context - an analysis of the excavated graveyard at Ballyhanna', in C. McKenzie and E. Murphy (eds), The Science of a Cemetery: the Ballyhanna Research Project, National Roads Authority, Dublin.

2012: The medieval settlement, in S.J. Connolly (ed.), Belfast 400. People, Place and History, Liverpool University Press, Liverpool, 91-121.

2010: (with J. Ó Néill) Investigation of the find-spot of the Tamlaght hoard, Co. Armagh, in G. Cooney, K. Becker, J. Coles, M. Ryan and S. Sievers (eds), Relics of Old Decency. Archaeological studies in Later Prehistory, Wordwell, Dublin. 167-179.

2007: Macdonald P: Perspectives on insular La Tène art, in C.Haselgrove and T.Moore (eds), The Later Iron Age in Britain and beyond, Oxbow books 329-338.

Journal Articles

2009: (with H.E.M. Cool and H. Mason) Excavations on the defences of Caerleon Legionary Fortress in 1982, Archaeol. Cambrensis 158, 113-129.

2009: (with B. Hartwell): 'Anne Plumptre and the Giant's Ring, County Down: a possible bleach green watchtower', Ulster J. Archaeol. 68, 152-157.

2008: 'Archaeological evaluation of the inaugural landscape of Crew Hill (Cráeb Telcha), County Antrim', Ulster Journal of Archaeology, 67, 84-106.

2008: 'A new survey of Templecormack, Audleystown, County Down', Ulster Journal of Archaeology, 67, 126-135.

Specialist Reports

2012: (with Clarke, A, Sharples, N. and Smith, A): Artefactual evidence, in N. Sharples (ed.), A Late Iron Age Farmstead in the Outer Hebrides. Excavations at Mound 1, Bornais, South Uist, Oxbow Books, Oxford, 253-289.

2009: 'Drumadoon metalwork report', Proc. Roy. Irish Acad. 109C, A54-A57.