Institute of Archaeology


Christopher Scull - Honorary Visiting Professor

Christopher Scull
  • Email: c.scull@ucl.ac.uk
  • UCL Institute of Archaeology, 31-34 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PY UK

Christopher Scull is an archaeologist with an international research profile in early medieval archaeology. An experienced strategic manager, and project and programme manager, he has a record of promoting integration and inter-disciplinary approaches in historic environment research and management.

After reading Archaeology and Anthropology at Cambridge University, and postgraduate study at Oxford University, he held posts as a Lecturer in Archaeology at Durham University and the UCL Institute of Archaeology before joining Essex County Council's Field Archaeology Group (now UCL Archaeology South East) as a Fieldwork Manager.

He joined English Heritage as an archaeologist in 1993, becoming Head of Historic Environment Commissions in 2002 and then Research Director in 2005, where he headed a Department of 150 staff across the range of historic environment research specialisms, before leaving in 2010 to pursue a portfolio of research and consultancy interests.

As well as holding Honorary positions at the Department of Archaeology & Conservation at Cardiff University and the UCL Institute of Archaeology, he is also a Fellow and Council Member (Trustee) of the Society of Antiquaries of London, a Member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists, and a Committee Member of the Internationales Sachsensymposion.

Christopher has also served on the Advisory Panel of the AHRC / ESPRC Science & Heritage Programme, the DCMS Science & Research Advisory Committee, and the Editorial Board of the journal Early Medieval Europe.

Research Interests

Christopher has wide experience of research, fieldwork and publication in the UK and Europe. His principal areas of research interest are society and economy in north-west Europe AD 400-700, with a particular emphasis on material culture and developing socio-economic complexity in post-Roman English societies. Within this, long-standing interests include mortuary archaeology and early medieval burial practices, and refining archaeological chronologies. He also has a long-standing interest in, and commitment to, inter-disciplinary approaches to the study of the past.

Current projects include analysis and publication of the Anglo-Saxon princely burial at Prittlewell, Essex (with Museum of London Archaeology); survey and analysis of the Anglo-Saxon royal settlement at Rendlesham, Suffolk; and the AHRC-funded network Monumentalising Kingship: Places of Royal Residence and the Making of Early Medieval British Kingdoms AD 500-800.

Chris is currently leading the Leverhulme-Trust funded collaborative project 'Lordship and Landscape in East Anglia CE 400-800.'

He contributes teaching on Institute courses 'Early Medieval Archaeology of Britain' and 'Medieval Archaeology', working with Andrew Reynolds and colleagues in promoting and developing research networks and projects in early medieval archaeology, and in maintaining the Institute's profile in this field.


Selected recent publications


  • With J. Naylor. 'Sceattas in Anglo-Saxon graves', Medieval Archaeology 60/2, 205-241
  • With F. Minter and J. Plouviez. 'Social and economic complexity in early medieval England: a central place complex of the East Anglian kingdom at Rendlesham, Suffolk', Antiquity 90 (354), 1594-1612


  • 'Chronology, burial and conversion: the case of England in the 7th century'. In C. Ruhmann and V Brieske (eds), Dying Gods-religious beliefs in northern and eastern Europe in the time of Christianisation, 73-83. Neue Studien zur Sachsenforschung 5


  • With F. Minter and J.Plouviez. 'Rendlesham Rediscovered', British Archaeology 137, 50-55


  • With A. Bayliss, J. Hines, K. Høilund Nielsen and G. McCormac, Anglo-Saxon graves and grave goods of the sixth and seventh centuries AD: a chronological framework. Leeds: Society for Medieval Archaeology Monograph 33
  • 'Ipswich:contexts of funerary evidence from an urban precursor of the seventh century AD.' In D. Bates and R. Liddiard (eds), East Anglia and its North Sea world in the Middle Ages, 218-229. Woodbridge: Boydell
  • 'Die Bekehrung der Angelsachsen'. In C. Stiegmann, M. Kroker and W. Walter (eds), CREDO. Christianisierung Europas im Mittelalter Band I, 192-201. Petersberg: Michael Imhof


  • 'Social transactions, gift-exchange, and power in the archaeology of the fifth to seventh centuries.' In H. Hamerow, D. Hinton and S. Crawford (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Anglo-Saxon Archaeology, 848-864. Oxford: Oxford University Press
  • 'Foreign identities in burials at the seventh-century English emporia.' In S. Brookes, S. Harrington and A. Reynolds (eds), Studies in early Anglo-Saxon art and archaeology: papers in honour of Martin G. Welch, 82-87. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports 527


  • Early medieval (late 5th - early 8th centuries AD) cemeteries at Boss Hall and Buttermarket, Ipswich, Suffolk . Leeds: Society for Medieval Archaeology Monograph 27
  • 'The Human Burials' in S. Lucy, J. Tipper and A. Dickens, The Anglo-Saxon Settlement and Cemetery at Bloodmoor Hill, Carlton Colville, Suffolk , 385-426. Cambridge: East Anglian Archaeology Report 131


  • 'Ipswich: development and contexts of an urban precursor in the seventh century'. In B. Hård and L. Larsson (eds), Central Places in the Migration and Merovingian Periods, 303-315. Lund: Uppåkrastudier 6


  • 'Local and regional identities and processes of state formation in fifth- to seventh-century England: some archaeological problems'. In B. Arrhenius (ed.), Kingdoms and Regionality: transactions from the 49 Sachsensymposium 1998 in Uppsala, 121-125. Stockholm: Stockholm University Archaeological Research Laboratory
  • 'Burials at emporia in England'. In D. Hill and R. Cowie (eds), Wics: the early medieval trading centres of northern Europe, 67-74. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press


  • 'How the dead live: some current approaches to the mortuary archaeology of England in the fifth to eighth centuries AD', Archaeological Journal 157, 399-406


  • 'Social archaeology and Anglo-Saxon kingdom origins', Anglo-Saxon Studies in Archaeology and History 10, 17-24
  • With A. Bayliss: 'Dating burials of the seventh and eighth centuries: a case-study from Ipswich, Suffolk.' In J. Hines, K. Høilund Nielsen and F. Siegmund (eds), The pace of change: studies in early medieval chronology, 80-88. Oxford: Oxbow
  • With A. Bayliss: 'Radiocarbon dating and Anglo-Saxon graves'. In U. von Freeded, U. Koch and A. Wieczorek (eds), Völker an Nord- und Ostsee und die Franken. Akten des 48 Sachsensymposiums in Mannheim vom 7 bis 11 September 1997, 39-50. Bonn: Rudolph Habelt


  • 'Migration Theory and Early England: some contexts and dynamics of cultural change', Studien zur Sachsenforschung 11, 177-185


  • 'Urban centres in pre-Viking England?'. In J. Hines (ed.), The Anglo-Saxons from the Migration Period to the eighth century: an ethnographic perspective, 269-310. Woodbridge: Boydell


  • 'Approaches to material culture and social dynamics of the Migration Period in eastern England'. In J. Bintliffe and H. Hamerow (eds), Europe between Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages: recent archaeological and historical research in western and southern Europe, 71-83. Oxford: BAR S617
  • With C.C. Haselgrove: 'The changing structure of rural settlement in southern Picardie during the first millennium AD'. In J. Bintliffe and H. Hamerow (eds), Europe between Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages: recent archaeological and historical research in western and southern Europe, 58-70. Oxford: BAR S617


  • 'Archaeology, early Anglo-Saxon society and the origins of Anglo-Saxon kingdoms', Anglo-Saxon Studies in Archaeology and History 6, 65-82


  • 'Before Sutton Hoo: structures of power and society in early East Anglia'. In M.O.H. Carver (ed.), The age of Sutton Hoo: the seventh century in north-western Europe, 3-23. Woodbridge: Boydell
  • 'Excavation and survey at Watchfield, Oxfordshire, 1983-92', Archaeological Journal 149, 124-281
  • 'Balances and weights from Anglo-Saxon graves: implications for the contexts of exchange', Studien zur Sachsenforschung 8, 97-102
  • With C.C. Haselgrove: 'The Romanization and de-Romanization of Belgic Gaul: the rural settlement evidence'. In M. Wood and F.M.V.R. Queiroga (eds), Current research on aspects of the Romanization of the western provinces, 9-24. Oxford: BAR S575


  • 'Post-Roman phase 1 at Yeavering: a re-consideration', Medieval Archaeology 35, 51-63


  • 'Scales and weights in early Anglo-Saxon England', Archaeological Journal 147, 183-215
  • With A.F. Harding: 'Two early medieval cemeteries at Milfield, Northumberland', Durham Archaeological Journal 6, 1-29


  • 'Excavations in the cloister of St Frideswide's Priory, 1985', Oxoniensia 53, 21-73. [Reprinted in W.J. Blair (ed.), St Frideswide's monastery at Oxford: archaeological and architectural studies (1990)]


  • 'A sixth-century grave containing a balance and weights from Watchfield, Oxfordshire, England', Germania 64, 105-38
  • ''With C. Mortimer and M. Pollard: 'Analysis of Anglo-Saxon copper-alloy finds from Watchfield, Oxfordshire', Journal of Historical Metallurgy 20 (1986), 36-42


  • 'Further evidence from East Anglia for enamelling on early Anglo-Saxon metalwork', Anglo-Saxon Studies in Archaeology and History 4 (1985), 117-24