Alan Brown - Project Director
About Me
I am a senior Public Engagement and Development Officer for the STFC Daresbury Laboratory in Cheshire. From November 2002 to August 2008 I was a station scientist on the SRS (synchrotron Radiation Source) at Daresbury. The SRS was switch off for the last time on the 18th August 2008 after providing 28 years scientific support for cutting edge research. The SRS was the world’s first designated Synchrotron radiation source. Now the world has over 70 thanks to the research and development done at Daresbury. LONG LIVE THE MEMORY OF THE SRS. 

My interest in archaeology was sparked when I answered the call for volunteers to work on the Priory site at Norton Priory in Runcorn. I was 13 years old and on summer holidays from school, I was lost for something to do so off I went to become a volunteer. I was hooked. My interest in archaeology continued into my adulthood. I worked as a volunteer researcher on the Archaeometry project at Daresbury laboratory. I played a major part in setting up a database of Diffraction patens of ceramic’s and clays. 

The Poulton Research Project 

In 1998, while collecting samples and processing data for the database, I made contact with Peter Peers at the Poulton Research Project site in Cheshire. After spending a day or two at the site, I realized how important it was and the impact it could have on the history of Cheshire. In 2000 I was introduced to the science of Archaeo-geophysics (thanks to Mr. Chris Holder of the Poulton Research Project, a very able teacher). I have carried out two main surveys and numerous small surveys at Poulton (http://www.poultonproject.org). I have also carried out one survey under the license of CADW and one survey under the license of English Heritage. 

Caer Alyn Archaeological and Heritage Project (CAAHP) 

In October of 2003 I was asked by Mr. Phil Cox to evaluate a site for Geo-physics. The site is possibly an Iron Age hill fort with what appears to be a Bronze Age tumulus close by. The site is located in north east Wales (approximately 4 miles from the border of England and Wales). My first visit to the site impressed me very much. I was invited to become part of the project management team shortly after. I was elected by the Management Committee as Scientific Adviser for Geophys and Environmental on 27th March 2004. 

I have an excellent geo-physics team consisting of: Annabelle Rogers (Assistant Surveyor, Landscape investigator for Caahp), Lydia Jones (Archaeology and Geophys student) 

In December 2014, a restructuring of the site lead to the creation of the Caer Alyn Archaeological Project, of which I was elected as Project Director. This new project will move the focus towards mor academic archaeological research.

Other Information 
I have an interest in experimental archaeology; which fits in well with my interest in ceramics and clays. 

In 1999 and then again in 2000, I attempted to recreate a Roman up-draft kiln, but both attempts failed. Kiln 1 failed due to very high temperatures during condition firing (the floor collapsed) and Kiln 2 in 2000 failed due to bovine curiosity (the cows trampled it down, a case of curiosity killed the kiln). Kiln number 3 was constructed and fired on the 19th of August 2006 and was a resounding success with a total of 30 pots fired and only 3 wasters.  
In 2013 we constructed a clay bread oven baed on a design dicoverd at Armana, Egypt. Our plan was to fire some reconstructed Egyptian faience. The attempt was partially successful with the faience coming out of the kiln witha nice pale blue colour. This project was filmed by  Manchester Museum, and can be seen in their upper Egyptian gallery. In 2014, a second kiln proved even more successful, wuith the attainment of glazing on the surface of the faience, in addition to a richer blue colouring.

Other Interests 
Ancient Egypt (The New Kingdom) 
When I was 13 years old, Mum and Dad bought me the book "The Tomb of Tutankhamen" by Howard Carter. I have been hooked ever since. 

Geology 
Found a fossil on a beach in Cornwall, I was captured hook line and sinker. 

Archaeometry 
Scientific investigation of archaeological materials. 

Soul Music 
Northern Soul, 60s, 70s and 80s, rare soul. 

Favourite Books 
T.Rex and The Crater of Doom by Walter Alvares (Princeton University Press) ISBN 0-691-01630-5. Tells the story of the Chicxulub Impacter 65 million years ago. 

The Right Stuff by Tom Wolf. The story of the Mercury Astronauts. 

The Tomb of Tutankhamen by Howard Carter. Fantastic story of archaeological discovery 

Hatchepsut, The Female Pharaoh by Joyce Tyldesley (Penguin Books Ltd) ISBN 0-670-85976-1. The story of a remarkable woman. 

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, (Pan Books) ISBN 0-330-31611-7. Very funny book, almost as mad as me. 

Favourite Quotation 
"A black cat crossing your path signifies that the animal is going somewhere". 

Groucho Marx's interpretation of a popular superstition. 

Alan can be contacted mailto: alan.brown@stfc.ac.uk