Barbican Research Associates
providing an integrated post-excavation service for the archaeological community
The study of archaeological leather continues apace and has widened at one end to take in prehistoric skin products and at the other to cater for the ever increasing amount of early modern and later leather being recovered from archaeological excavation. Recent work has included the identification of a range of skin products and fungus associated with Bronze Age and Iron Age artefacts, some initially thought to be of leather. This has often been in collaboration with colleagues from other institutions, most recently concerning the identification and discussion of a textile and animal skin object within the Whitehorse Hill Cist burial from Devon. Such profitable collaboration has also resulted in reviews of archaeological leatherwork of Anglo-Saxon date in England and that from the Anglo-Norman period. Similarly, reports on shoes found in a Roman stone sarcophagus at Boscombe Down, and those from an 11th century sarcophagus burial at Lincoln Castle have greatly benefited from consultation with valued colleagues abroad.
Maritime finds have been a theme starting with the Mary Rose, the Newport Ship and that found in Studland Bay, currently leather from several shipwreck sites around our shores are under investigation including from Swash Channel and from the mouth of the Thames.
Metalwork is not being neglected. In recent years I have produced small finds reports from Wigmore Castle, Weoley Castle and a number of sites in Birmingham and Coventry along with smaller groups from many locations around the country. At present I am reporting on the ironwork from the Chester Amphitheatre and from the ongoing excavations of the Saxon settlement at Sedgefield in Norfolk.
From 1978 to 1981 I was an Archaeological Field Officer in the Central Excavation Unit which was then part of the Historic Buildings & Monuments Commission for England (now English Heritage).
Since 1981 I have been a freelance archaeological specialist in archaeological metalwork and leather of all periods. During this time I have worked for numerous archaeological units and for English Heritage. From 1990-95, for example, I acted as the English Heritage project officer monitoring the publication programme of former Department of Urban Archaeology now part of the Museum of London Archaeology Service.
Today I report on leather and metal small finds of all periods, contributing chapters considering these finds in the wider regional and national settings, and help to organise a range of meetings promoting their study and research.
I have a degree in Archaeology and Geography from University of Southampton (1976) and an MA in Archaeology from Institute of Archaeology, University of London (1978).
I am a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London. I am a member of the Archaeological Leather Group, the Finds Research Group and the Society of Medieval Archaeology and have served on the committees of each. Currently I am Secretary of the Archaeological Leather Group and Meetings Co-ordinator for the Finds Research Group.
2014 'The home-made shoe: a glimpse of a hidden but most 'affordable' craft', in Hansen, G., Ashby, S. and I Baug, I. (eds.) Everyday Products in the Middle Ages: Crafts, Consumption and the Individual in Northern Europe c. AD800-1600, (Oxbow Books).
2014 (with Cameron) 'Fashion and Necessity: Anglo-Norman leatherworkers and changing markets', in Hansen, G., Ashby, S. and I Baug. I. (eds.) Everyday Products in the Middle Ages: Crafts, Consumption and the Individual in Northern Europe c. AD800-1600, (Oxbow Books).
2011 'Devil's Crafts and Dragon's Skins? Sheaths, Shoes and Other Leatherwork', in Clegg Hyer, M. and Owen-Crocker, G. R. (eds.) The Material Culture of Daily Living in the Anglo-Saxon World. University of Exeter Press, 93-115.
2011 'Domestic life', in Allason-Jones, L. (ed.). Artefacts in Roman Britain, (CUP: Cambridge), 153-79.
2009 'The Roman Shoes' and 'The Medieval Leather', in Howard-Davis, C. The Carlisle Millennium Project excavations in Carlisle, 1998-2001. Volume 2: The Finds. Oxford Archaeology North: (Oxford) 831-857.
2008 'Leather finds' in Mann, J (ed.) Finds from the Well at St Paul-in-the-Bail, Lincoln, Lincoln Archaeological Studies 9. (Oxford): Oxbow Books.
2008 'Iron' in Garner, G at al (ed.) Excavations at Chester, 25 Bridge Street 2001 two thousand years of urban life in microcosm. Archaeological Service Excavation& Survey Report 14, 317-322.
2008 (with Wills, B). 'Iron Age Puff Balls', in Evans C & Knight M 2008, 'Further investigations at Arbury Camp, Cambridgeshire: The Eastern Entrance', Proceedings of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society XCVII, 17-19.
2007, 'A Medieval Water Carrier from Carlisle', Medieval Archaeology 51, 191-9.
2007, 'The leather', in 'Excavations at Abingdon West Central Redevelopment: Iron Age, Roman, Medieval, and Post-medieval Activity in Abingdon' by Kate Brady, Alex Smith, and Granville Laws Oxoniensia 72 (2007), 107-202. 2006.
2006, 'The metal finds' and with A Vince, 'Introduction to the finds' in Saunders, A, Excavations at Launceston Castle, Cornwall, Society for Medieval Archaeology Monograph 24, 301-339 and 261-8 respectively.
2006, with Fell, V and White, R. Guidelines on the X-radiography of Archaeological Metalwork (Swindon, English Heritage) Downloadable here.
2005, 'Footwear, discussion' in Gardiner, J and Allen, M J (ed.) Before the Mast Life and Death Aboard the Mary Rose. The Archaeology of the Mary Rose Volume 4: 78-94.
2005 (with Cameron, E), 'Leather buckets' in Gardiner, J and Allen M J (ed.) Before the Mast Life and Death Aboard the Mary Rose. The Archaeology of the Mary Rose Volume 4: 359-367.
2004. 'Metal finds' in Cool, H.E.M. The Roman Cemetery at Brougham Cumbria: Excavations 1966-67 Britannia Monograph 21 (London), passim.
2004. (with Cameron, E.) 'Saxon shoes, Viking sheaths? Cultural identity in Anglo-Saxon York', in Hines, J., Lane, A., and Rednap, M. (eds.) Land, Sea and Home, Society for Medieval Archaeology Monograph 20 (Leeds), 457-66.
2003 (with Carlisle, I. and Cameron, E). Craft, Industry and Everyday Life: Leather and Leatherworking in Anglo-Scandinavian and Medieval York, The Archaeology of York 17/16 (York).
2002. Metalwork in Wilson, P. Cataractonium. Roman Catterick and its Hinterland: Excavations and Research, 1958-1997. Part II. CBA Research Report 129 (York), 44-138.
2002. Leather' 42-3, in Evans, C. and Knight, M. 'A great circle: investigations at Arbury Camp, Cambridge', Proc. Cambridge Antiquarian Soc. 91, 23-53.
1997, 'The Leather' in Wilmott, T, 1997 Birdoswald Excavations of a Roman fort on Hadrian's Wall and its successor settlements:1987-92, English Heritage Archaeological Report 14, 326-341.
1995 (with G. Edwards) The care of waterlogged archaeological leather', English Heritage Scientific and Technical Publications Guideline No 4.
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