I have worked as an archaeobotanist within the context of Irish commercial archaeology since the late 1990s, examining a wide range of material dating from the Mesolithic to the post-medieval period. My main interests are in plant remains and the ways these are used to answer (or raise) archaeological questions.

I visited the amazing Russian medieval city of Novgorod during five seasons of excavation between 1997 and 2002 (skipping one season because of lack of funding) and worked as a research assistant for Mick Monk from UCC. We looked at the waterlogged plant remains found in deposits from the city.

Coming soon…

Johnston, P., & Kiely, J. (In press). Hidden Voices. The archaeology of the M8 Fermoy – Mitchelstown motorway. Dublin: Transport Infrastructure Ireland. (This book includes a chapter on the archaeobotanical material found during the excavations.)

Recent presentations

‘From garden to gut and beyond: the plant remains from Rathfarnham Castle.’ Public lecture at Rathfarnham Castle during Heritage Week 2018. [Slides with links: here.]

My most recent archaeobotany publications

  • Johnston, P. (2015). Examining social and economic aspects of Middle to Late Bronze Age settlement in Ireland using archaeobotany: case studies from North Cork. In J. Kneisel, M. Dal Corso, W. Kirleis, H. Scholz, N. Taylor, & V. Tiedtke (Eds.), The Third Food Revolution? Setting the Bronze Age table: common trends in economic and subsistence strategies in Bronze Age Europe (pp. 64–74). Bonn: Verlag Dr. Rudolph Habelt GmbH. Eprint: Third food revolution_Johnston.

  • Johnston, P. (2014). Archaeobotanical Data from Two Middle and Later Bronze Age Round House Sites in Cork, Ireland. Journal of Open Archaeology Data 3:e1, DOI:

  • Monk, M. and Johnston, P. (2012). Perspectives on non-wood plants in the sampled assemblage from the Troitsky excavations in medieval Novgorod. In M. Brisbane, N. Makarov and E. Nosov (eds.) The Archaeology of Medieval Novgorod in Context: studies in centre/periphery relations. Oxford: Oxbow Books. (See the eprint here: 17 Novgorod IV.)

More research outputs are listed on my ORCID profile page.