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  • Dr Stuart Brookes
  • Honorary Senior Lecturer
  • s.brookes@ucl.ac.uk
  • UCL Institute of Archaeology, 31-34 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PY UK

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

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