Professor Helena Hamerow

Research Profile

Research activities

My research focuses on the archaeology of early medieval NW Europe.  I am especially interested in the impact of lordship, monasteries and towns on rural producers and the agricultural economy.  I am also interested in what female burials of the seventh century and reveal about the position of women in England and the Frankish world during the Conversion period.


I am PI of a major ERC-funded project, ‘Feeding Anglo-Saxon England. The Bioarchaeology of an Agricultural Revolution’ (‘FeedSax’;  Using preserved cereal grains, faunal remains, pollen and other data, FeedSax is tracing the emergence and spread of innovations that enabled medieval farmers to increase cereal yields and feed rapidly growing populations: systematic crop rotation, widespread adoption of the mouldboard plough, and low-input, extensive, cultivation. 

I am also interested in the earliest stages of the formation of the kingdom of Wessex, whose origins lie in the Upper Thames Valley and have been involved in a range of fieldwork in this region (


I also co-Directed excavations, now concluded, at the Roman small town of Dorchester-on-Thames ( and am PI of the AHRC-funded Novum Inventorium Sepulchrale, an on-line database of Anglo-Saxon graves and grave-goods from Kent (




Feeding Anglo-Saxon England: The Bioarchaeology of an Agricultural Revolution

Modelling Urban Renewal and growth in Britain and Norh-West Europe, AD800-1300

Novum Inventorium Sepulchrale

The Origins of Wessex


Undergraduate teaching

Undergraduate course convenor for:

  • FHS option paper - Anglo Saxon Society & Economy in the Early Christian Period
  • FHS option paper - Emergence of Medieval Europe

Postgraduate teaching

Postgraduate taught course options in: