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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, funded by the Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership (NBDTP).

I am interested in examining the interactions/connections that existed during the Early Medieval period, and how interactions were sustained. Both my BA and MA dissertations, also completed at Durham, 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 and databases.

My PhD project widens my geographical focus and investigates interactions between the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms and 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 North-Sea World. 

Conference Contributions

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, 1st 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 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: DMA (Durham Medieval Archaeologists), joint-chair 

2017: Co-conference Chair. I was the joint Conference Chair for MEMSA (Durham's Medieval and Early-Modern Student Association) in 2016-17 and organised the eleventh annual conference. The conference "Imitation and Innovation: Uses of the Past in the Medieval and Early Modern Worlds" took place in July 2017. 

Currently, I am co-editing the proceedings of the conference which will be published next summer.


2017: Research Dialogue Leader 2018

2016-2019: AHRC Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership Award

2015-6: Durham Postgraduate Taught Scholarship 

Teaching Areas:

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