My PhD developed interdisciplinary approaches to Second World War sites and artefacts, and this remains a central element of my research. I have worked on Second World War sites in the UK, Finland and Poland, and published books on the material culture of wartime childhood (2019) and the archaeology of Second World War Britain (2013). I am interested in the heritage of post-1945 anti-colonial conflicts, and have conducted fieldwork in Kenya looking at the traces of the Mau Mau uprising.
Public and community archaeologyI work in the UCL tradition of public archaeology as a radical critique of the discipline, encompassing archaeological ethics, minority heritage rights, 'history from below', anarchist approaches to cultural property, and studies in the politics and economics of the heritage industry. I have published books on community archaeology (2012) and public archaeology (2017), and have run community heritage projects in the UK and Spain since 2006.
History and philosophy of archaeology I have a longstanding interest in the cultural and epistemological significance of eyewitnesses to archaeological practice. This led me to my ongoing biographical study of the surgeon and antiquarian Thomas Pettigrew (1791-1865), who pioneered the spectacular public unrolling of Egyptian mummies, and co-organised Britain's first archaeological congress. I have also researched the origins of archaeological chemistry and the history of violent protest at archaeological sites, amongst other diverse topics.