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Durham University

Department of Archaeology


Ms Christina Smith

Contact Ms Christina Smith

Academic Biography

Christina Cowart-Smith (BA Hons, MLitt, MA, FSA Scot) is an Insular medievalist specialising in the history and archaeology of early medieval Britain, AD 500-1200, with particular research focus on southern Scotland.

Before her doctoral studies, Christina completed a BA(Hons) in Classics (minors in Archaeology & Art History) at Stanford University (USA), a MLitt in Early Medieval Scottish History at the University of Glasgow, and a MA in Early Medieval Archaeology at Durham University. At Durham, her PhD studies are generously funded through a Durham Doctoral Scholarship (2018-21).

Research Topic

Provisional thesis title: "The British High Cross: Context, Form, and Development, AD 600-1200" (supervisors: Dr. David Petts & Prof. Sarah Semple)

Research Interests

Early medieval history, archaeology, and art history; sculpture and monumentality; iconoclasm; phenomenology; Late Antique art and architecture; archaeology of early medieval monasticism; landscape archaeology; Scottish history; West Highland fiddling.


2019: British School at Rome, Northern Bridge (AHRC) Doctoral Training Programme

2019: Hatfield Trust Research Award, Hatfield College, Durham University

2018: Durham Doctoral Scholarship for PhD, Durham University (offer taken)

2018: Cambridge International Scholarship for PhD, Cambridge Trust, Trinity College, University of Cambridge (offer declined)

2018: Hatfield Trust Research Award, Hatfield College, Durham University

2018: Rosemary Cramp Fund, Dept. of Archaeology, Durham University

2015: VPUE Major Grant, Stanford University

2015: Small Grant, Dept. of Classics, Stanford University

2014: Stanford Chappell Lougee Fellowship, Stanford University


2017: First Marquis of Montrose Award for Scottish Studies (for top MLitt dissertation in the field of Scottish Studies), University of Glasgow

2016: Phi Beta Kappa, Stanford University Chapter, Beta of California

2016: Robert M. Golden Medal for Excellence in the Humanities and Creative Arts (for top BA dissertation), Stanford University

2016: Senior Prize in Classics, Dept. of Classics, Stanford University

2015: Junior Prize in Classics, Dept. of Classics, Stanford University

Conference Contributions

Christina has most recently delivered papers at Leeds IMC (2019), Durham/Newcastle University's EMASS (2019), Glasgow University's EMASS (2018), the University of York's N/EMICS conference (2018), Durham University's MEMSA postgraduate conference (2017), and the University of York's CMS postgraduate conference (2017). She has published papers in conference proceedings from Glasgow EMASS (BAR Publishing 2019) and York N/EMICS (forthcoming, Brill Publishers 2020).


Medieval to Modern World, undergraduate tutor (2018-19)
Medieval to Modern World, undergraduate tutor (2019-20)
Historical and Archaeological Methods and Sources, undergraduate tutor (2019-20)
Medieval Archaeology MA, postgraduate tutor (2019-20)


Cowart-Smith, Christina (2019). 'Sculpture in south-east Scotland, AD 400-1100.' In Current Approaches to People, Places and Things in the Early Medieval Period. Proceedings of the 12th Annual Early Medieval Archaeology Student Symposium. Ed. Christie, H. & Kasten, M. Oxford: BAR International Series 2951. 65-75.

Research Groups