Maisie Taylor is an internationally renowned wood specialist as well as an excellent archaeologist: she has co-directed excavations at Etton Causewayed enclosure and Flag Fen, as well as having appeared many times on the UK TV show Time Team. She has also worked on the waterlogged wood from many important British sites, including Fiskerton, Yarnton Floodplain, Eton Rowing Lakes, Bradley Fen, The Holme timber circles, and in recent years, Star Carr and Must Farm.
Maisie Taylor studied archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology, UCL, but she has had a range of other careers as well. She was a primary school teacher before becoming a trainee draughtsman in an electronics drawing office, and then a freelance archaeologist and sheep farmer. And Maisie has enlisted the help of many an archaeologist at shearing time with the promise of an endless supply of doorstep sandwiches, homemade cake, and perfectly brewed tea. Her range of skills mean that she is a wonderful colleague who can not only offer advice on excavation technique, especially in relation to waterlogged wood, but she is also patient in her teaching and is a wonderful mentor. She has helped many people in their careers, and is especially good at building the confidence of young women in archaeology.
At Star Carr, Maisie was frequently on site – and when she wasn’t, she was at the end of the telephone or email providing thoughtful advice. She has been an inspiration to all who have worked with her and her research into the waterlogged wood at Star Carr is groundbreaking, as it has been for all the other sites she has worked on. Maisie’s work has helped transform our understanding not only of woodworking but of prehistoric lifeways.
Post by Nicky Milner and Mike Bamforth
Photo of Maisie Taylor courtesy of Nicky Milner and Mike Bamforth.
Photo of Must Farm excavations courtesy of Wikimedia Commons under the Creative Commons License.