Professor Helena Hamerow

Research Profile

Research activities

My research focuses on the archaeology of rural communities in early medieval NW Europe.  I am especially interested in the impact of lordship, monasteries and towns on rural producers and the countryside.  I am also interested in the well-furnished female burials of the seventh century in England and Frankia and what these reveal about the position of women in the Conversion period.

I am currently PI of an 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 three innovations that enabled medieval farmers dramatically to increase cereal yields and feed 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 am a co-Director of excavations, now completed, at the Roman small town of Dorchester-on-Thames ( and 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: