Medieval Archaeology research cluster

Sheffield is home to one of the largest communities of medieval archaeologists in the UK, with expertise ranging from late Antiquity to the early modern period. Our research specialisms lie principally in north-western Europe, the Balkans and the Mediterranean, especially Italy. Our research and teaching are characterised by an interdisciplinary approach, and the medieval research cluster notably comprises experts in the study of material culture, human and animal bone evidence, landscape, buildings and the relationship between archaeology and text.

Major research themes include medieval religious and funerary practices, migration, ethnicity, gender, childhood and diet. Our staff are actively engaged in a wide range of fieldwork, and collaborate with a wide range of external partners in the heritage sector across Europe, opening up opportunities for our students to develop their research in partnership beyond the University and to undertake placements. The medieval research cluster also includes a large and dynamic community of doctoral and post-doctoral of researchers.




The Medieval and Ancient Research Centre at the University of Sheffield (MARCUS)

MARCUS logoMARCUS brings together a concentration of research and teaching expertise that is unique within the UK. Ranging from archaic Greece to Renaissance Europe, MARCUS represents an array of disciplines, from history to biblical studies, from philosophy to languages, and from archaeology to music. MARCUS co-ordinates a regular seminar series and organises other events, both for specialists and for the interested public.

Staff with a focus in Medieval Archaeology       


Hugh Willmott focuses on the archaeology of monasticism and the Dissolution of the Monasteries, other aspects of his work include the examination of early medieval settlement, cemeteries and industrial processes.


John Moreland undertakes a theoretically informed approach to the study of the early Middle Ages - with particular foci on production and exchange, landscapes, and the role of texts in the historical process.


Katie Hemer has research interests that include Early Medieval Western Britain, bioarchaeology, including stable isotope analysis, the archaeology of children, disability in past populations and funerary archaeology.


Umberto Albarella has been working on the role of animals in medieval societies mainly in England, Italy and Iberia; his main areas of research for the period include late medieval innovations in animal husbandry, the relationship between town and country, and the use of animals as status symbols.


Elizabeth Craig-Atkins works in human osteology and funerary archaeology, her recent research has focused on the funerary treatment of children in Anglo-Saxon cemeteries, the impact of the Conquest on funerary rites and the medieval ossuary at Rothwell, Northamptonshire.


Caroline Jackson has conducted analysis of glass and debris from glass manufacturing sites, and has performed experimental reconstruction of medieval plant ash glasses based upon finds in Northern and Southern Europe, in order to understand manufacturing practices and trade.


Related PGT programmes