Jane Downes

Circumpolar Observatory

Affiliate information

Professional Title Director
Institution University of the Highlands and Islands
Departmental Affiliation Archaeology Institute
Related affiliates
Thorvardur Arnason July 15, 2018
Nicole Misarti July 15, 2018
Richard Oram July 15, 2018
Árni Daníel Júlíusson July 15, 2018
Dr. George Hambrecht July 15, 2018
All affiliates

Jane Downes


Professor Jane Downes, PhD, MCIfA, is director of the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) Archaeology Institute based in Orkney, Scotland. Jane has a background in commercial and research fieldwork, and has developed the archaeological degree programmes within the UHI. Jane has research interests in burial archaeology, particularly cremation, and in prehistoric and islands and coastal archaeology. She also has research interests in climate change and archaeology, the management and sustainable development of landscape and cultural heritage resources (and is involved in the research of several World Heritage Sites in connection with this), and community engagement including Education for Sustainability (including an initiative to connect islands communities in Orkney and Rapa Nui (Easter Island). Jane’s research includes contributing to an understanding of prehistoric communities in the Northern Isles of Scotland through excavations at the Knowes of Trotty, Orkney Barrows and Swandro in Orkney (part of Orkney, Gateway to the Atlantic with S. Dockrill and J Bond) and currently is engaged in excavating early Neolithic settlement at Cata Sand, Orkney. Jane has also recently undertaken research in Rapa Nui into the impact of coastal erosion on the iconic monuments of the island. Jane is currently working with local communities in the Cook Islands to record and develop the distinctive archaeology present in these islands. Jane has also contributed to the ‘UNESCO World Heritage and Tourism in a Changing Climate’ report and is a member inter alia of the Scottish Government Strategic Historic Environment Forum (SHEF) Climate Change Working Group. Further information on current projects are available at archaeologyorkney.com.