A research project of the Department of Archaeology.
Dr Chris Caple has been examining, analysing and reporting on artefacts since 1979. He has worked on a wide variety of objects; medieval pins, Milton Keynes Pendant, metal patination – the Andrews Hill Black Brooch, the north doors of Durham Cathedral as well as writing and collating the find reports for the large scale excavations at Dryslwyn Castle and Nevern Castle. Much of this research was brought together in his book Objects: Reluctant Witnesses to the Past published in 2006. This holistic approach to artefact study, which integrates scientific analysis with typological, technical, and social studies of artefacts, is widely used as a textbook. His research on artefacts continues, most recently with a paper in the Oxford Journal of Archaeology, which demonstrated the existence of ancestral artefacts in the post-Roman period, whose existence is revealed through the composition of later artefacts. This provides new evidence for the importance of ancestral materials (Caple 2010).