Dawn McLaren MA (Hons) PhD FSA Scot 

Assistant director (post-Excavation)


Dawn McLaren

From 2003 to 2012 Dawn worked as a research assistant, and latterly, Post-Excavation Officer, in the Archaeology Department (now Scottish History and Archaeology Department) at National Museums Scotland (NMS) in Edinburgh. During her time at NMS she developed expertise in identifying, recording, cataloguing and reporting on prehistoric to post-medieval artefacts, particularly Iron Age coarse stone tools, quernstones, later prehistoric and medieval metalworking debris and Bronze Age worked bone. In conjunction with working at NMS, Dawn completed a PhD investigating aspects of Earlier Bronze Age burials. As a result of her doctoral research into Bronze Age burials, Dawn contributed to the construction of ScARF’s Bronze Age research framework as panel member. 

Since joining AOC in 2012, Dawn has been principally engaged as an artefact specialist and as Assistant Director of post-excavation, she manages AOC’s in-house artefact team. Dawn manages a variety of small- to large-scale post-excavation and archiving projects, both in-house and as a consultant to external institutions, including Historic Environment Scotland and National Museums Scotland. Most recently, Dawn has been an active member of AOC’s community archaeology excavation team, working closely with volunteers and community groups to provide public engagement artefact workshops and lectures, and to enable on-site artefact identification.

Dawn continues to specialise in the analysis of prehistoric artefacts and pursues her research interests in Bronze Age burials and later prehistoric material culture, lecturing and publishing on both subjects. 


Selected Bibliography

McLaren, D 2018 ‘The coarse stone [Cults Loch 3; the promontory crannog]’, in G Cavers & A Crone A Lake Dwelling in its Landscape. Iron Age settlement at Cults Loch, Castle Kennedy, Dumfries & Galloway, 106-13. Oxford: Oxbow.

Hunter, F, McLaren, D & Cruickshanks, G 2018 ‘The material world of Iron Age Wigtownshire’, in G Cavers & A Crone, A Lake Dwelling in its Landscape. Iron Age settlement at Cults Loch, Castle Kennedy, Dumfries & Galloway, 194-217. Oxford: Oxbow.

Cook, M, Lawson, J & McLaren, D 2017 ‘Excavations and Interventions in and around Cramond Roman Fort and Annex, 1976 to 1990’, Scottish Archaeology Internet Report, 74.

McLaren, D 2016 ‘The pierced clay ornaments’, in M Grieg ‘A cremation pit at Howford, Strichen, Aberdeenshire’, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 146 (2016) 96-8 (91-102).

McLaren, D & Hunter, F 2016 ‘The iron’ in A Crone & E Hindmarch Living and dying at Auldhame, East Lothian. The Excavation of an Anglian monastic settlement and medieval parish church, 75-84. Edinburgh: Soc Antiq Scot.

McLaren, D 2013 ‘The rotary quern stones’ in I Armit & J McKenzie 2013 An Inherited Place: Broxmouth Hillfort and the south-east Scottish Iron Age, 309-333. Edinburgh: Soc Antiq Scot.

McLaren, D 2012 ‘Worked bone and antler objects’ in Johnson, M & Cameron, K 2012 ‘An early Bronze Age unenclosed cremation cemetery and Mesolithic pit at Skilmafilly, near Maud, Aberdeenshire’, Scottish Archaeological Internet Report 53, 26-9.

McLaren, D 2011 ‘The coarse stone’. In H Moore and G Wilson, Shifting Sands. Links of Noltland, Westray: Interim Report on Neolithic and Bronze Age Excavations, 2007–09, 99-106. Edinburgh: Historic Scotland (Archaeology Report No. 4)

McLaren, D 2011 ‘Where have all the flowers gone? Bronze Age children's burials in south-east England: Initial thoughts’, in M. Lally & A. Moore (eds.) (Re)Thinking the Little Ancestor: New perspectives on the archaeology of infancy and childhood. Archaeopress: BAR International Series 2271, pp85-99.

McLaren, D & Hunter, F 2008 ‘New aspects of rotary querns in Scotland’, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 138, 105-128. 

McLaren, D 2004 ‘An important child’s burial from Doune, Perthshire, Scotland’, in Gibson, A & Sheridan, J A  Sickles and Circles: Britain and Ireland at the time of Stonehenge, 289-303, Stroud: Tempus.