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Stuart Brookes

  • BA, PGD Till, MA, PhD, FSA
  • Honorary Senior Lecturer
  • Leverhulme Trust Research Associate 2009-12
  • Assistant Editor, Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine

Research Interests

  • Landscapes of Governance: a three-year interdisciplinary research project bringing archaeology, place-names and written sources together in a national study of early medieval assembly sites


  • My research is mainly concerned with early medieval state formation as seen in landscape evidence, burials and their associated artefacts, buildings and settlements. In recent years I have written on Anglo-Saxon civil defence in the Viking age, examining evidence for military geographies (fortifications, communications, battlefields, logistics), as well as the links between militarism, civil organization and statehood. I have also looked at the socio-economic organization of early states by analyzing comparatively the consumption of objects/raw materials in cemeteries, and the evolution of settlement hierarchies. I am currently exploring landscape evidence for civil organization and governance, addressing in particular the ways in which communities become distributed in space and the evolution of cooperative systems between them, including the emergence of fora for dispute settlement and punishment.

Current Research Interests

  • Geographical approaches to state formation. Spatial manifestations of culture. Border and frontier formation. Heterarchies and hierarchies. Analysis of territories, especially hundreds, parishes, shires, kingdoms. GIS approaches to modeling communications and settlement patterns
  • The development of towns, particularly ports and strongholds. Plan-form analysis of towns and fortifications. Linking urban development to coastal reconstruction.
  • Databasing and quantitative analysis of inter-disciplinary data. I have been compiling large datasets of burial evidence; settlement data; place-names and historical data, and am interested in ways of compiling, interrogating and disseminating large datasets.
  • Social organization as interpreted from burial. Chronological and spatial patterns in intra- and inter- cemetery assemblages. Statistical and macro-economical approaches to cemetery data.
  • Nails, clench-nails and bolts, and their use in boats, doors, beds, coffins, etc (!)
  • Phenomenological approaches to landscape. How to characterize and document ‘places’. Viewshed and soundshed analysis.
  • Archaeology of Kent, London, southern England, Germany, Scandinavia

Research Directory Records

Research Projects

  • Civil Defence in the Viking Age: a multidisciplinary project investigating the nature of visual and physical networks of military communications and fortifications in Anglo-Saxon England.
  • Foundations of European Space Project 2
  • Kentish Anglo-Saxon Emporia Project: Excavation, quantification of survey data and analysis of key Anglo-Saxon trading settlements.
  • Reflective Pedagogies: Promoting reflexive practice in archaeological fieldtrips: An empirical survey of the learning environment and use of archaeological fieldtrips to promote critical reflection.


Educational Background

  • 2008: PGD in Teaching in Lifelong Learning, Birkbeck, University of London
  • 2003: PhD Archaeology – Institute of Archaeology, UCL
  • 2003: PGC in Teaching in Lifelong Learning, Birkbeck, University of London
  • 1998: MA Research Methods for the Humanities – Institute of Archaeology , UCL
  • 1996: BA Medieval Archaeology – Institute of Archaeology , UCL


  • Baker, J., Brookes, S. and Reynolds, A. eds. (2013). Landscapes of Defence in Early Medieval Europe, Studies in the Early Middle Ages series. Turnhout: Brepols
  • Baker, J. and S. Brookes (2013). Beyond the Burghal Hidage: Anglo-Saxon Civil Defence in the Viking Age, History of Warfare 84. Leiden: Brill [Winner of the Verbruggen Prize 2013]
  • Brookes, S.J., Harrington, S. and Reynolds, A. eds. (2011). Studies in Early Anglo-Saxon Art and Archaeology: Papers in Honour of Martin G. Welch. British Archaeological Reports, 156-70
  • Brookes, S.J. and Harrington, S. (2010). The Kingdom and People of Kent AD 400-1066. Their history and archaeology. The History Press
  • Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine 99-104 (2006-2012). Assistant Editor
  • Brookes, S.J. (2007). Economics and Social Change in Anglo-Saxon Kent AD 400-900: Landscapes, Communities and Exchange. British Archaeological Reports 431


  • Baker, J. and Brookes, S.J. (2013). Monumentalising the political landscape: a special class of Anglo-Saxon assembly-sites. Antiquaries Journal 94, 1-16
  • Brookes, S.J. (2013). Mapping Anglo-Saxon Civil Defence. In Baker, J., Brookes, S.J., and Reynolds, A.J (eds.) Landscapes of Defence in Early Medieval Europe. Turnhout: Brepols
  • Brookes, S.J. and Harrington, S. (2013). Electronic Census: enhancing or masking individuality in the early Anglo-Saxon past? In B. Ludowici (ed.), Individual and Individuality. Approaches towards an Archaeology of Personhood in the First Millennium  AD. Neue Studien zur Sachsenforschung 4, 21–6
  • Reynolds, A. and Brookes, S. (2013). Anglo-Saxon civil defence in the localities: a case study of the Avebury region. In Reynolds, A.J. and Webster, L. (eds.) The Northern World in the Early Middle Ages: Studies in Honour of James Graham-Campbell. Turnhout: Brepols, Leiden: Brill, 561–606.
  • Mallett, L., Reddish, S., Baker, J., Brookes, S. and A. Gaunt. (2012). Community archaeology at Thynghowe, Birklands, Sherwood Forest. Transactions of the Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire 116, 53–72.
  • Baker, J. and Brookes, S.J. (2012). Fulham 878–9: a new consideration of Viking manoeuvres. Viking and Medieval Scandinavia 8
  • Brookes, S.J. (2012). Settled Landscapes – a regional perspective of Early Anglo-Saxon settlement in Kent. In Annaert, R., De Groote, K., Hollevoet, J., Theuws, F., Tys, D. and Verslype, L. (eds.) The Very Beginnings of Europe? Brussels: Relicta Monografieën 7, 69–80
  • Brookes, S. and Reynolds, A. (2012). The Origins of Political Order and the Anglo-Saxon State. Archaeology International
  • Baker, J., Brookes, S.J. and Reynolds, A. (2011). Landscapes of Governance: Assembly sites in England, fifth-eleventh centuries. Post-Classical Archaeology 1, 499-502
  • Baker, J. and Brookes, S.J. (2011). From frontier to border: the evolution of northern West Saxon territorial delineation in the ninth and tenth centuries. Anglo-Saxon Studies in Archaeology and History 17, 104-19
  • Brookes, S.J. (2011). The lathes of Kent: a review of the evidence. In Brookes, S.J., Harrington, S. and Reynolds, A. (eds.). Studies in Early Anglo-Saxon Art and Archaeology: Papers in Honour of Martin G. Welch. British Archaeological Reports, 156-70
  • Brookes, S.J. (2008). Archaeology in the Field: enhancing the role of fieldwork training and teaching. Research in Archaeological Education 1
  • Brookes, S.J. (2007). Boat-rivets in graves in pre-Viking Kent . Medieval Archaeology 51, 1-18
  • Brookes, S.J. (2007). Walking with Anglo-Saxons: Landscapes of the Living and Landscapes of the Dead in Early Anglo-Saxon Kent. In Semple, S. & Williams, H. (eds.) Anglo-Saxon Studies in Archaeology and History 14, 143-153
  • Brookes, S.J., Harrington, S. and Welch, M. (2006). Documenting the dead: creating an on-line census of Anglo-Saxon burials from Kent. Archaeology International 2005/2006, 28-31
  • Brookes, S.J. and Milne, G. (2006). Towns and trade on an unkind coast: rewriting the history and maritime archaeology of the Cinque Ports. The Romney Marsh Irregular 28, 5-13
  • Brookes, S.J. (2003). ‘The Early Anglo-Saxon Framework for Middle Anglo-Saxon Economics: the case of East Kent ’. In Pestell, T. & Ulmschneider, K. (eds.) Markets in early medieval Europe : trading and 'productive' sites, 650-850. Windgather Press, 84-96
  • Brookes, S.J. (2000). ‘Fieldwork Diary: The Kentish Anglo-Saxon Emporia Project’. Papers from the Institute of Archaeology 11, 77-79



  • Baker, J. and Brookes, S.J. (forthcoming). Explaining Anglo-Saxon military efficiency: the landscape of mobilisation.
  • Baker, J. and Brookes, S.J. (in press). Overseeing the sea: some West Saxon responses to waterborne threats in the South-East. Proceedings of the ISAS Conference 2009
  • Brookes, S.J. (forthcoming). 'Pseudo-boat-burials' in pre-Viking England: some recent discoveries. In Sjövold, T. et al. (eds.) Valsgärde Uppsala: Museum Gustavianum
  • Brookes, S.J. (forthcoming). The View from the Sea: maritime migration and the colonised landscapes of Early Anglo-Saxon Kent. In Stevens, F. and Whitehouse, R. (eds.) The Archaeology of Water. London: UCL/Left Coast Press
  • Brookes, S.J. (forthcoming). Viking-age Kent, c. 800-1042. In Weekes, J. (ed.)Early Medieval Kent. Woodbridge: Boydell

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