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Durham University

Department of Archaeology

Medieval and Post-Medieval Archaeology

Durham University is recognised as a leading centre of excellence for medieval and post-medieval archaeology, with an international reputation for high-quality and wide-ranging research on the historic archaeology of Britain and Europe. Building on a long tradition of early medieval and medieval archaeology, established at Durham University by Prof. Rosemary Cramp, the Department offers research and teaching expertise on the historic archaeology of Britain and continental Europe. Our research strengths include: death and burial, religion and belief, monumentality, historiography, trade, urbanism and landscape in medieval and post-medieval Britain, Ireland and continental Europe.

“I chose to study at Durham because of the importance of the medieval and post-medieval research being undertaken by staff in the department, and because the city and surrounding areas are full of historic monuments to explore. I really enjoyed my year here; every lecturer was both knowledgeable and approachable, and we were very well-supported throughout all of our modules and during the transition into dissertation-led independent study. I enjoyed learning about inter-disciplinary approaches in tandem with medieval studies students, and appreciated the active post-graduate community, which through the department and MEMSA organised a range of different lectures, trips, and training opportunities. Durham also provided access to archaeological and heritage institutions as a way to develop professional skills; I took modules led by Oriental Museum staff, and gained placements at Palace Green Library and Beamish Open-Air Museum. I had a highly valuable and productive time at Durham, and I think it prepared me well for current PhD study.”

Cait Scott, MA Archaeology 2016-17 Current PhD scholarship holder at University of Sheffield

Prof Sarah Semple

Religion, belief and popular practices in pre-Christian and Conversion Period Europe
The archaeology of governance and power in North West Europe
Death and burial in early medieval Britain
Church archaeology and monasticism
Anglo-Saxon Sculpture
Interdisciplinary approaches to early medieval research
Historiography of Anglo-Saxon Studies
Material culture, memory and commemoration
Landscape archaeology

Prof Chris Gerrard

  • Archaeological resource management
  • Historic earthen architecture
  • Historic irrigation and water
  • Landscape archaeology
  • Medieval artefacts
  • Medieval ceramic imports
  • Medieval disasters and responses
  • Medieval rural settlement
  • Spanish medieval ceramics
  • Templars and Hospitallers

Dr Pam Graves

Archaeology of the body
Dunbar Scottish Soldiers Project
Medieval and post-medieval urban and religious archaeology
North-east England, Scotland and North Sea rim in the medieval and post-medieval periods
Religious and urban identities
Religious architecture
Window glass

Dr David Petts

Anglo-Saxon Northumbria
Archaeology of coastal communities
Archaeology of Northern England
Early Christianity
Landscape Archaeology
Post-medieval archaeology
Early medieval Wales

Dr Derek Kennet

Arabian archaeology
Archaeology of trade and economy
Early historic South Asia
Indian Ocean archaeology
Islamic archaeology
Medieval India
Sasanian archaeology

Dr Mike Church

Environmental archaeology of the North Atlantic islands including the Western Isles of Scotland, Faroes, Iceland and Greenland
Geochronological applications, specifically radiocarbon dating and tephrochronology, in the North Atlantic islands
Geomorphology and palaeolimnology in relation to the human / environment interaction in the North Atlantic islands
Mineral magnetic applications on archaeological and palaeoenvironmental sites
Archaeobotany of Scotland and the North Atlantic islands

Dr Karen Milek

Viking Age archaeology
Indigenous-Viking interactions and its impacts on material culture, architecture, and land use
Pre-Christian and Christian beliefs and practices in Scandinavia and the Scandinavian colonies
Medieval and historic turf buildings
Geoarchaeology applied to medieval and post-medieval sites, landscapes, and field systems