Archaeology, anthropology and history of modern conflict The civilian experience of warfare, focusing on the British Home Front in the Second World War. This includes an ongoing fieldwork-based project on air-raid shelters and extensive historical research on children and the material culture of violence. I have written extensively on the theory of conflict archaeology including issues of memorialisation, education, human remains and research ethics.
Public archaeology The public understanding of the past is a methodological approach to archaeology rather than a distinct sub-discipline. As such, it has been a consistent element in all of my research. I am interested in numerous aspects of public archaeology including fringe or alternative archaeologies, religious and nationalistic constructions of the past, and the politics and economics of the heritage industry. I have a particular interest in public interactions with the archaeological process.
Community archaeology I continue to work with a range of schools and community heritage initiatives in and around London. I have taken part in ongoing debates about the nature of community archaeology; its aims, strengths and problems. I am committed to an accessible and democratic approach to the study of the past that empowers and enables interested groups or individuals to practice archaeology.
History and philosophy of archaeology My current research aims to provide a historical context for the development of public archaeology in Britain over the past two hundred years. This research will focus on popular encounters with archaeological processes and materials, from nineteenth century mummy-unrollings to twenty-first century webcams on excavations. My wider aim is to locate the development of public archaeology in relation to changing ideas of witnessing and audiences in the history of the natural sciences.