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Department of Archaeology

Staff

Ms Indra Werthmann, BA (Hons), MA

(email at i.j.e.werthmann@durham.ac.uk)

Biography

I hold a B.A. (Hons) in Archaeology (major) and Art History (minor), and a M.A. with Distinction in Archaeology from University College Dublin.

My MA dissertation bore the title The Past in the Past - the re-use of Roman objects in early Anglo-Saxon graves 5th to 7th century AD, in which I examined the significance of re-used Roman material in Anglo-Saxon sample cemeteries from Kent, East Anglia, the Midlands and Northumbria. My PhD research builds upon those results, taking the research further.

I am an AHRC Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership funded PhD student. This partnership brings together the expertise and resources of Durham University, Newcastle University and Queen's University Belfast.

Research Topic

Reviving Antiquities: Roman objects and identity in early Anglo-Saxon society

Abstract

My research explores the re-use of Roman objects in early Anglo-Saxon society. I am particularly interested how these items were used in the funerary and settlement contexts. My geographic scope comprises the coastal lines of England, namely East Anglia and Kent, in order to compare results with evidence for re-use in the Germanic home countries: Denmark, North Germany, the Netherlands and France. In this way, I hope to get an insight into the roles these objects played in identity creation in early Anglo-Saxon England. My research questions will investigate if the items were associated to a Roman past or if they reflected other values, such as affiliations or social divisions. I will also explore if there is a difference between Roman objects being used in the funerary and settlement contexts, which might indicate a distinction between objects being used in life and in death. Traditional approaches have focused solely on Anglo-Saxon England; incorporating continental data will give us new insights into mutual links, affiliations and the processes of migration and acculturation during the Dark Ages.

Grants

2016: Durham University Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS) 232 £ for research visit to University of Cambridge and Norwich Castle

2016: Durham University Centre for Academic and Research Development (CARD) 232 £ for organising the conference "The Past in the Past: Heirlooms and Curated Material in Past Societies"

2016: Durham University Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS) 250 £ for organising the conference "The Past in the Past: Heirlooms and Curated Material in Past Societies"

2016: St. Chad's College Student Development Fund 40 £ for organising the conference "The Past in the Past: Heirlooms and Curated Material in Past Societies"

2016: Durham Early Medieval Debates 500 £ for organising the conference "The Past in the Past: Heirlooms and Curated Material in Past Societies"

2015: Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership RTSG fund 800 £ for research trip to Rijksmusem Oudheden Leiden, Archeologisch Depot Amersfoort, Friesmusem Leeuwarden, Archeologisch Depot Nuis and Niedersaechsiches Institut zur Kuestenforschung Wilhelmshaven

Conference contributions

Papers

2017: "The Image of the Past: Reassembling Identities through Roman Objects in Early Anglo-Saxon Society" 52nd International Congress on Medieval Studies, 11-14th of May, Western Michigan University

2016: "Antiquity and Affiliation: Roman Objects and Identity in Anglo-Saxon and Merovingian Graves 5th to 7th centuries AD", Society for Medieval Archaeology Student Colloquium, 3-5th of November, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

2016: "Antiquity and Affiliation: Roman objects and identity in Anglo-Saxon and Merovingian graves", Interrogating the Germanic: A category and its use in late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages, 13-15th of May, University of York

2016: "The image of the Past in new contexts: The significance of reusing Roman objects in early Anglo-Saxon society, 5th to 7th century AD", Regenerate Materiality and the afterlives of things in the Middle Ages conference, 6-7th of May, University of St. Andrews

2016: "Antiquities and Affiliation: Roman objects and identity in Anglo-Saxon and Merovingian graves", Edinburgh Conference on Late Antiquity, 21-22nd of April, University of Edinburgh

2015: "Reviving Antiquities: Roman objects and identity in early Anglo-Saxon England", European Association of Archaeologists, 2-5th of September, University of Glasgow

2015: "Reviving Antiquities - Roman objects establishing identity in early Anglo-Saxon and Merovingian graves", Early Medieval Archaeology Student Symposium, 23-25 April, University of Oxford

2014: "Reviving Antiquities - Roman objects as vehicles for constructing identity in early Anglo-Saxon society, 5th to 7th century AD", Society for Medieval Archaeology Student Colloquium, 13-15 November, Queen's University Belfast

Workshop/conference organisation

2016: The Past in the Past: Heirlooms and Curated Material in Past Societies

Conference Organiser

https://thepastinthepast.wordpress.com/

Public Outreach

2015: Course Tutor for the adult education Durham University Mini Module The Anglo-Saxon World at Bede's World, Jarrow, Tyne & Wear.

 

Research Interests

  • Roman material in early Anglo-Saxon contexts
  • Early Anglo-Saxon funerary practices
  • Links between early Anglo-Saxon England and mainland Europe
  • The archaeology of early medieval northwest Europe
  • Material culture

Teaching Areas

  • 2015/16: Tutor for the level 1 course: "Medieval to Modern: An Introduction of the Archaeology of the Medieval to Post Medieval World"

    (24 hours/year.)
  • 2015/16: Teaching Assistant for the level 1 course: "Archaeology Practicals" (9 hours/year.)
  • 2016/17: Tutor for the level 1 course: "Medieval to Modern: An Introduction of the Archaeology of the Medieval to Post Medieval World" (24 hours/year.)

Indicators of Esteem

  • 2017: Invited Speaker: "The Image of the Past: Reassembling Identities through Roman Objects in Early Anglo-Saxon Society, 5th to 7th Century AD", Institute of Medieval Archaeology/British Museum Seminar Series, 21st of March.
  • 2017: Invited Speaker : "The Image of the Past: Reassembling identities through Roman objects in early Anglo-Saxon society, 5th to 7th century AD", Newcastle University Roman Archaeology Seminar Series, 28th of February
  • 2015: Chair of the Durham Medieval Archaeologists : The Durham Medieval Archaeologists (DMA) group is a student-led initiative, which discusses PhD-related topics and holds seminars.
  • 2015: Culture and Heritage Studies Student Representative for the Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership Management Committee :

Is supervised by

Archaeology Staff June 2014