Dr Letty Ten Harkel

Research Profile

I am currently a Researcher on the Endangered Archaeology in the Middle East and North Africa (EAMENA) project, which is funded by the Arcadia Fund and based at the Universities of Oxford, Leicester and Durham. This project uses satellite imagery to rapidly record and make available information about archaeological sites and landscapes which are under threat. For more information, please see http://eamena.arch.ox.ac.uk

I arrived at Oxford in 2011, when I joined the ERC-funded project 'Landscape and Identities: the case of the English landscape 1500 BC - 1086 AD (EngLaId)' at the Institute of Archaeology as the Early Medieval Researcher. The final project publication is currently in preparation.

In addition, I am working in collaboration with colleagues from the Netherlands, Belgium, England and South Africa on a project entitled 'Investigating the Dead in Early Medieval Domburg'. Funded by the Medieval Settlement Research Group (MSRG), the Society for Medieval Archaeology (SMA), the Viking Society for Northern Research (VSNR), the Province Zeeland and the Stichting Nederlands Museum voor Anthropologie en Praehistorie (SNAP), this involves targeted 14C dating and stable isotope analysis of early medieval human skeletons from the ring fortress and now-destroyed emporium at Domburg, Netherlands, as well as analysis of remains of associated timber coffins.

Between 2011 and 2015, I was involved in international network group 'The Foundations of European Space II (FESII)', which brought together colleagues from Spain, the UK, Iceland, Italy, Norway and the Netherlands to study the interaction between local communities and supra-local polities on a comparative and cross-regional European scale. Proceedings of this network will be published by Brepols in 2017. 

From 2006-2010, I did my PhD at the University of Sheffield, spending 3 months as a British Research Council Fellow at the John W. Kluge Center, Library of Congress, Washington DC. My thesis took a Material Culture approach to investigate the process of early medieval urbanisation in Lincolnshire against the background of the Viking settlement, combining historical sources such as the Domesday Book with archaeological material, including decorative metalwork, coins, funerary sculpture and burials.

Prior to that, I worked commercially as a field archaeologist, archaeological illustrator and finds assistant in London, Sheffield, Cambridge and York, did an MA in Medieval Archaeology at the University of York, and studied Medieval Studies (history and literature) at the Universities of Utrecht (the Netherlands) and Cambridge.

Current activities and projects

  • Researcher, EAMENA project
  • Co-investigator, Investigating the Dead in Early Medieval Domburg project.
  • Editor, peer-reviewed journal Medieval Settlement Research, and committee member/trustee of Medieval Settlement Research Group
  • Member of Editorial Board, Medieval and Modern Matters.
  • Co-editor of a volume of proceedings of a workshop re-assessing the archaeology of early medieval Walcheren (the Netherlands), held in October 2013.
  • Tutor, Diploma and Advanced Diploma in Archaeology/Weekly Classes Programme, Oxford University Department for Continuing Education.
  • Associate Lecturer, Birkbeck, University of London.
  • Sessional Lecturer, University of Reading.

Past activities and projects


English Landscapes Project

  • An Incredible Journey? Understanding ancient landscapes from England to the Middle East and North Africa

  • 'Est haec effera gens': landscapes of negotiation on the former island of Walcheren, the Netherlands

    Edited by:
    Brookes, S, Vesteinsson, O, Escalona, J
  • Ethnic identity or something else? The production and use of non-ferrous dressaccessories and related items from early medieval Lincoln

    Ten Harkel, A
  • Fields, Ritual and Religion: Holistic Approaches to the Rural Landscape in Long-Term Perspective (c.1500 BC-AD 1086)

    Ten Harkel, L, Franconi, T, Gosden, C

    ten Harkel, L
  • More
List of site pages