Institute of Archaeology

Dr Jonathan Gardner

Dr Jonathan Gardner

Teaching Fellow

Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square

Institute of Archaeology

Joined UCL
3rd May 2016

Research summary

The heritage of infrastructure and mega projects

My research considers the history and impact of large-scale construction projects on urban environments and their societies, with a particular focus on London. This interest began with studies in my MA thesis looking at the Isle of Dogs/Canary Wharf and how 'heritage', variously defined, is mobilised to support tor challenge development work. This was subsequently followed by in-depth doctoral research into the relationship of London's 'mega events' with the past, conceptualised as heritage or otherwise. This took as its key case studies,  the London 2012 Olympics site in Stratford, the 1951 Festival of Britain's South Bank Exhibition, and the Great Exhibition of 1851's Crystal Palace at Hyde Park (and its legacy at Sydenham).

My research seeks to not only understand how these projects change underlying landscapes, sites and communities, but also to ask what they create in their often destructive emergence, and how this is itself valued as a form of heritage. 
Similarly, I seek to interrogate how large-scale projects such as the London 2012 Olympic Games, used archaeology and other visions of the past to legitimise urban changes and 'urban regeneration' more generally.

More recent and ongoing research looks at the relationship of large scale infrastructural development like HS2 and major road building schemes to heritage resources. 

More generally I investigate the role of materials in creating such large scale changes, through processes such as land-filling, land-reclamation and demolition, and  archaeology's similarities with  these, and its practitioners' relationship with them.

Teaching summary

2018-19 Teaching

ARCL0130 Museum Communication and Audience Engagement

ARCL0132 Collections Curatorship

ARCL0144 Heritage Globalisation and Development

2017-18 Teaching (at UCL Institute of Archaeology): 


University College London
PhD, Archaeology and Heritage | 2017
University College London
MA, Cultural Heritage Studies | 2011
University College London
BA Hons, Archaeology | 2007