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Department of Archaeology


Kelly Marie Clarke

Personal web page

The (re-)making of the North Sea world: politics, trade and long-distance interactions between Anglo-Saxon England and Merovingian Gaul in the 'long' seventh century in the Department of History

Contact Kelly Marie Clarke

I am a PhD student under the joint supervision of Dr Foxhall-Forbes and Prof. Semple in the departments of History and Archaeology.

I am interested in examining the interactions/connections that existed during the Early Medieval period (c.600-800), and how interactions were sustained. My previous research focused on communication within and between the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms and used an interdisciplinary approach combining methodologies from both history and archaeology and different kinds of evidence e.g. topographical, written, linguistic and numismatic evidence.

My PhD project widens my geographical focus and re-investigates interactions between the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms and northern Merovingian Gaul in the seventh century through three interlinked perspectives: political connections; trading networks and ecclesiastical ties. Most recent scholarship examines these regions separately, but using an interdisciplinary and transnational approach will produce a richer interpretation of regional relationships in the early Middle Ages. Through a comparative analysis of textual sources, material culture and manuscript evidence from both regions, my project will re-evaluate our understanding of the importance of intercultural relationships to the formation and development of seventh-century kingdoms and culture, and investigate their wider significance in shaping and (re-)making the southern North Sea world. 

Conference Contributions

2018: (Poster Presentation) 'The (re-)making of the southern North Sea world: politics, trade and long-distance interactions between Merovingian Gaul and the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in the 'long' seventh century', Society for Medieval Archaeology Annual Conference 2018: 'Grave Concerns' (Durham University, 13-15 July)

2018: 'Pierced, looped and framed: the (re)use of coins in jewellery in seventh-century Anglo-Saxon England', Early Medieval Archaeology Student Symposium (EMASS), joint paper given with K. Haworth. (University of Glasgow, 19-21 April) 

2017: 'Contacts, Coinage and Control in the southern North Sea: A reassessment of Anglo-Saxon and Merovingian coinage produced during the seventh century', Society for Medieval Archaeology Student Colloquium (Newcastle University, 1-2 December 2017)

2017: 'Coinage and connections between Merovingian Gaul and the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in the Seventh-Century', Sylloge of the Coins of the British Isles (SCBI) Symposium: 'Money between Ireland, Britain and Europe' (British Academy, 13th June 2017)

2016: 'An Overview of the 'Productive Sites' in the Kingdom of Northumbria, 600-800', Sylloge of the Coins of the British Isles (SCBI) Symposium: 'Evaluating Early Medieval Currency: Perspectives on Money and Coinage in Britain and Ireland, c. 500-1150' (British Academy, June 2016) Paper given during MA studies.

Conference/Society organisation

2017-18: Department of Archaeology Research Dialogues leader (with K. Haworth.) Co-organised a one day workshop entitled, 'The Materiality of Maritime Cultures and Connections' (Durham University, 26th June 2018) 

2017-18: Durham Medieval Archaeologists (DMA), joint-chair. 

2016-17: Durham's Medieval and Early Modern Student Association (MEMSA), Co-conference Chair. Co-organised the eleventh annual conference, 'Imitation and Innovation: Uses of the Past in the Medieval and Early Modern Worlds' (Durham University, 11-12th July 2017)

Further roles

2018: MEMSA Community Course Tutor. 1 hour seminar followed by 1 hour interactive seminar. Title of session: 'Coins and communication during the 'Golden Age' of Northumbria A.D. 600-800' 

2017-2018: MEMSA Journal co-editor. Co-edited the proceedings of the 11th annual MEMSA conference. Journal available in both print and online format in July 2018


2017: Research Dialogues Leader 2018

2016-2019: AHRC Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership Award

2015-6: Durham Postgraduate Taught Scholarship 


2018: Dominic Birch, Kelly Clarke and Katie Haworth (eds.), Imitation and Innovation: Uses of the Past in the Medieval and Early Modern World. Proceedings of the 2017 MEMSA Student Conference. MEMSA Journal 3 (Durham, 2018)

Teaching Experience

2017-18: Tutor for the level one History module, 'The Birth of Western Society, 300-1050' (HIST1011)

Research Interests

  • Anglo-Saxon Archaeology
  • Anglo-Saxon History
  • Communication, connections and interactions in the Early Middle Ages
  • Late Merovingian Archaeology
  • Late Merovingian History

Is supervised by