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Professor Chris Gerrard, BA (Hons), PhD, MIFA, FSA

Professor & Head of Department in the Department of Archaeology
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 41134

(email at


Professor Christopher Gerrard has held a Chair in Archaeology since 2009 and was a Deputy Head of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Health 2008-2011.

After studying for a joint honours degree in Archaeology and Geology Chris continued at the University of Bristol to complete his PhD in 1987 under the supervision of Professors Mick Aston and Richard Harrison. He was later awarded a post-doctoral grant from the Spanish government to work on medieval pottery in Spain, and subsequently joined the newly-formed Cotswold Archaeological Trust in Cirencester in 1989, going on to become the Senior Archaeological Consultant at Countryside Planning and Management. He left commercial archaeology in 1992 to take up a post as lecturer at the University of Winchester (then King Alfred's College), joining the Archaeology department in Durham in 2000. He was Deputy Head of Department and Chair of the Department's Research Committee in the period 2005-7 before becoming a Deputy Head of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Health (for Postgraduate matters) 2008-11 and Deputy Head of Department again in 2012.

Chris has conducted fieldwork in many different parts of Britain, notably at Shapwick (Somerset) in an intensive landscape project he directed with Mick Aston, and at Clarendon (Wiltshire) where he worked with Tom Beaumont James on the medieval and later royal palace and park. Both these projects, funded in large part by English Heritage, benefitted greatly from the involvement of local communities and volunteers. He has also worked in Spain for many years and has published excavations and standing building recording on later medieval sites there. His particular interest is in the transition from Islamic to Christian societies and their landscapes in the north-east of Spain, including themes such as water/irrigation and qanats. He is currently undertaking field survey and site recording with Spanish colleagues as part of the Moncayo Archaeological Survey. His past experience in project management and ongoing interests in heritage and site presentation involve him in a variety of projects including the nomination for the World Heritage Site at Jarrow and Monkwearmouth and he is a trustee of the Ad Gefrin Trust (which manages the early medieval site at Yeavering in Northumberland). He evaluates publications for Oxford University Press, Blackwells, and many others, as well as grant applications for research councils in the UK and abroad.

Chris' research students mainly work in three areas: medieval and later landscapes (in the UK and Spain), artefacts, and medieval Spain. Among the former are Simon Draper who worked on early medieval Wiltshire (now post-doctoral researcher at University of West of England), Abby Antrobus on medieval townscapes (now development control officer with Suffolk County Council), Amanda Richardson on medieval parks (now a Senior Lecturer in History at Chichester), Richard Kelleher (British Museum), Jenny Morrison (development control officer with Tyne and Wear) who worked on post-medieval landscapes around Newcastle, and Ronan O'Donnell who has won an AHRC studentship to work on post-medieval landscapes in the north-east England. Among those who have worked on artefact topics are Eleanor Standley whose thesis was about medieval dress accessories (now Assistant Keeper at the Ashmolean Museum and a Lecturer at the University of Oxford), Phil Marter on medieval ceramics (now a Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of Winchester), Erica D'Amico on Byzantine ceramics (now a Lecturer at Richmond, Rome) and Ran Zhang on Chinese export ceramics. Michelle Mundee (now a Lecturer at the University of York) has recently completed her PhD on the diet of medieval Spain using isotopic techniques. Many of these researchers have successfully published their theses, for example Draper, Heley, and Richardson as BAR Archaeopress volumes and Standley in the Antiquaries Journal. Those with an interest in studying later medieval topics in Britain and Europe should contact me directly.

Research Groups

Department of Archaeology

Research Projects

Department of Archaeology

Research Interests

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

Selected Publications

Articles: magazine

Books: authored

Books: edited

Books: reviews

Books: sections

Edited works: conference proceedings

Essays in edited volumes

Journal papers: academic

Show all publications