Dr Gareth PerryGareth Perry

Research Technician in Archaeological Science and Laboratory Manager

Departmental Health and Safety Officer

BEng(Hons), PGCE, MA, PhD

Email Address: gareth.perry@sheffield.ac.uk

Telephone: 0114 22 22928

Department Address:

Department of Archaeology
University of Sheffield
Minalloy House. Room D13
10 – 16 Regent Street
S1 3NJ
United Kingdom



I originally trained as a Mechanical Engineer at the University of Manchester. After completing a PGCE in secondary school science teaching I spent a number of years teaching physics. I arrived at the Department of Archaeology, University of Sheffield, in 2007 when I enrolled on the Material Culture Studies MA. Here I completed my PhD and progressed to my current role.


Research Interests

  • Scandinavian settlement
  • Anglo-Saxon and medieval pottery
  • Ceramic petrology
  • Ceramic technology
  • Anglo-Saxon and medieval society
  • Anglo-Saxon funerary practices and cemetery studies
  • Experimental archaeology
  • Pottery use and re-use
  • Scientific analysis of archaeological materials

Current research projects/collaborations

  • The introduction of the potters’ wheel to late 9th-cvcentury England. The late 9th-century witnessed a revolution in ceramic manufacturing practice, with the introduction of wheel-thrown, kiln-fired pottery, methods of production which had been absent from England since the collapse of Roman rule. Introduced by Continental potters, these technologies appeared at the time of Scandinavian settlement. Yet, as large parts of Scandinavia were at the time largely aceramic, scholars have been reluctant to correlate this revolution in manufacturing practice with the arrival of Scandinavian settlers. It is now accepted that the settlers are unlikely to have arrived directly from areas traditionally thought of as being the Scandinavian homelands, nor was the settling group composed of individuals of purely Scandinavian origin. The influence that the ceramic production and consumption practices of societies that the settlers lived in prior to their arrival in England had on this revolution in pottery production has not hitherto been examined. This project considers for the first time the transformation in manufacturing practice as a function of the pottery traditions of these societies, as well as those of the late Saxon communities that played host to the migrants.
  • Pottery production in Anglo-Scandinavian Newark (Nottinghamshire). This project, funded by the Society for Medieval Archaeology, seeks to understand the technological choices made by potters working in Newark. The emergence of the Newark industry is placed in context with the broader potting traditions and political and economic developments in the Trent Valley in the ninth to twelfth centuries.
  • The Anglo-Scandinavian pottery industry at Torksey (Lincolnshire), as part of The Viking Winter Camp at Torksey (with Prof. Dawn Hadley and Prof. Julian Richards (University of York) and Dr Gareth Williams (British Museum); funded by the British Academy, Society of Antiquaries of London and the University of Sheffield). Combining petrographic thin section analysis, scanning electron microscopy, excavated and geological evidence, this research takes a holistic approach to pottery technology, providing insight into the selection and preparation of raw materials, the fabrication of vessels, construction of kilns, and the determination of firing temperatures and firing regimes.
  • The pre-burial uses of early Anglo-Saxon cremation urns and the relationship between their forms and function.
  • Identifying the ‘catchment areas’ of early Anglo-Saxon cemeteries through petrological analysis of settlement and cemetery pottery.



Perry, G.J. 2019 – in press. Situation Vacant: Potter required in the newly founded late Saxon burh of Newark-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire. Antiquaries Journal 99.
Hadley, D. Richards, J. Brown, H. Craig-Atkins, E. Mahoney-Swales, D. Perry, G. Stein, S. Woods, A. 2016. The Winter Camp of the Viking Great Army, AD 872-3, Torksey, Lincolnshire. Antiquaries Journal 96:23-67
Perry, G.J. 2016. Pottery Production in Anglo-Scandinavian Torksey (Lincolnshire): Reconstructing and contextualising the chaîne opératoire. Medieval Archaeology 60 (1), 1-21.
Perry, G.J. 2014. All form one and one form all: the relationship between pre-burial function and the form of early Anglo-Saxon cremation urns. In Blinkhorn, P. and Cumberpatch, C. (eds) The Chiming of Crack'd Bells: Current Approaches to Artefacts in Archaeology. BAR International Series 2677. Oxford: BAR, 39-64.
Perry, G. J. 2012. A hole for the soul? Possible functions of post-firing perforations and lead plugs in early Anglo-Saxon cremation urns. In Jervis, B and Kyle, A. (eds) Make Do and Mend: Archaeologies of Compromise, Repair and Reuse. BAR International Series 2408, 43-52.
Perry G. J. 2011. Beer, butter and burial: the pre-burial origins of cremation urns from the early Anglo-Saxon cemetery of Cleatham, North Lincolnshire. Medieval Ceramics, 32, 9-22.
Perry, G. J. 2011. The Anglo-Saxon accessory vessel from site CLN96. In Palmer-Brown, C. and Rylatt, J. (eds) How Times Change: Navenby Unearthed. Pre-Construct Archaeological Services Ltd Monograph No 2. Lincoln: Pre-Construct Archaeology, 101-3.

Commercial Reports

Commercial Reports

Perry, G. J. 2019. Assessment of Anglo-Saxon Pottery from Catterick Bridge. Unpublished report for Northern Archaeological Associates Ltd.
Perry, G.J. 2018. Lincoln Fine Shelled Ware from Tickhill Castle. Unpublished report for CFA Archaeology Ltd.
Perry, G.J. 2017. Early Glazed Wares from Borgring, Denmark. Unpublished report for The Museum of Southeast Denmark.
Perry, G. J. 2017. Characterisation Studies of Pottery from Humber Gateway: Humber Farm and South Hill. Unpublished report for Wessex Archaeology.
Perry, G. J. 2016. Characterisation Studies of Roman Pottery and CBM from Vindolanda, Unpublished Report for the Vindolanda Charitable Trust.
Perry, G. J. 2016. Characterisation Studies of Roman Pottery and CBM from Vindolanda (V14), Unpublished Report for the Vindolanda Charitable Trust.
Perry, G.J. 2015. Characterisation Studies of Roman pottery from Vindolanda (V14). Unpublished report for The Vindolanda Charitable Trust.
Perry, G.J. 2015. Early to Middle Saxon Pottery from Skeffling, East Yorkshire (EP09). Unpublished report for Oxford Archaeology North.
Perry, G.J. 2015. West Langton Accessory Vessels. Unpublished report for Wessex Archaeology.
Perry, G. J. 2015. Characterisation Studies of Anglo-Saxon Pottery from Benson and Rycote (Oxfordshire). Unpublished report produced for Maureen Mellor, University of Oxford’s South Oxfordshire Project.



  • Emerging Europe: From Storage to Stonehenge and States


  • Reconstructing Ancient Technologies: Ceramics
  • Applied Archaeological Science
  • Materialising Culture: Agents, things and social processes
  • Mineralogy and Petrology of Archaeological Ceramics

Investigating Ancient Environments

Administrative Duties

Administrative Duties

Departmental Health and Safety Officer