It has been very, very tough few months for this blogger and I have taken a lot of annual leave to cover some of the crises. Consequently, some of my academic work is on track, some of it far behind. As much as a morale-boost for myself and to organise my thoughts, here is some of the work I have made progress on since Christmas and New Year:

  • reading all the chapters I have supposed to have read for my pgr students
  • refereeing a book chapter
  • refereeing a series of journal articles submitted to national and international journals
  • examining of a doctoral thesis at Durham University
  • re-starting work on my cathedrals and Past Place research – more on this in another blog
  • re-starting reading and reviewing a pile of books – only one done thus far I’m afraid – sorry review editors out there!
  • editing the Archaeological Journal – ahead of schedule – see below
  • editing 3 book projects – see below
  • writing down ideas for 2-3 new articles and a book chapter – see below

So here is an archaeoden update on some of the miscellany of things I have been doing and I have made progress on:

In Press – Archaeological Journal vol. 170 for 2013

I blogged about this one last month, but the good news and update is the whole thing is typesetting, proofed twice and is now ready for upload to the RAI website for members and subscribing libraries to peruse. The print version will be circulated in April 2014.

More Progress – Archaeological Journal vol. 171 for 2014

I also blogged about this one. Very exciting here, I have almost gotten everything in and ready for typesetting. It should go off mid-February and uploaded online for members and subscribing libraries in the summer. Print version will be circulated in September 2014.

The Papers Flood in! Archaeological Journal vol. 172 for 2015

The call for papers is getting a lot of interest and I have multiple submissions with anonymous referees and the promise of many exciting papers.

Plans for 2014 are starting to hot up regarding conferences, including:

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERALandmarks of the DeadPaper with Sarah

I’ve just finished co-authoring a paper with my friend and fellow early medievalist, Sarah Semple, on perceptions of the dead in the Anglo-Saxon landscape from the fifth to the eleventh centuries AD. The paper looks at the fluctuating mortuary geographies over the period and the various issues and challenges we face in interpreting graves and cemeteries as more than end-points of funerals, but as locales for a range of activities and practices. We also consider the mnemonic agency of the dead through their graves and memorials in the Anglo-Saxon landscape.

Hammer Horror?

Following on from my 2011 paper in the Journal of Social Archaeology about the ocular agency of the assemblage within the early seventh-century chamber insider a boat beneath Mound 1 at Sutton Hoo, I’ve been thinking again this unique ‘princely’ grave. Over the next few months, I am going to write up a short paper presenting a new interpretation of the axe-hammer in relation to the other feasting and martial gear in Mound 1. This will lead to a reappraisal of the material culture’s significance for the rest of the grave and our interpretations of pagan Saxon kingship.

Hogback replica at the Museum of Liverpool

Hogbacks Mark II and IIII am making slow progress, but hogback papers II and III are roughly texted and ready for further development following my EAA Pilsen and TAG papers during the coming year.

The IMC 2012 and EAA 2013 paper – Mark II – looks at the material citations between hogbacks and a range of other contemporary media and materialities. I blog about this here. A soundbite from this paper is that hogbacks were not skeuomorphs of halls, contra. popular impressions.

The Hogbacks Mark III paper – presented at TAG 2013 – looks in more detail at the series of hogbacks at Brompton, North Yorkshire, purported by Lang to be among the earliest and certainly the one place where bears predominate in the form of the hogbacks. I presented on this at TAG and my theme in Hogbacks Mark III is how the relationships between the Brompton hogbacks, differences and similarities, serve to overturn the established typology and identify a significance to the relationality of this varied category of tenth-century grave-cover.

tenth-century cross, Maen Achwyfan, near Whitford, Flintshire

Memories in the Making As I have blogged about before, I am co-editing a book with Joanne Kirton and Meggen Gondek. We are waiting to learn whether the publisher’s anonymous reader likes our book submission ‘Memories in the Making’, exploring early medieval stone sculpture in Ireland, Scotland, England, Norway and Sweden and much more. If that particular publisher doesn’t like the book, we should hear soon and then Jo, Meggen and I have to make a judgement on what to do next.

Archaeologists and the Dead– My second co-edited book is with Mel Giles at Manchester. We have all the papers in, edited and copy-edited. All we need now is the Introduction completed by Mel and me, the foreword transcribed from an interview with Mike Parker Pearson, and some commentaries composed by David Hurst Thomas and Lynne Goldstein. Then the whole things goes off to the publisher and, like the Memories in the Making book, we will wait on the verdict.

Early medieval rock-cut graves at Heysham, Lancs.

Cremation in European Archaeology – My third edited book project is joint-edited with Jessica Cerezo-Roman and Anna Wessman. We have a very solid range of submissions that have been accepted following peer-review. This book derives from the session on cremation based on the 2012 EAA conference in Helsinki, Finland.

I am working on the Introduction to the book now, trying to pull together all the salient points and drawing on examples of work not included in the book and including some of the work of presenters at the session.

Most chapters have now been resubmitted following peer-review and substantial editorial work and they have now been copy-edited.


The sound-bite of all this is that I have many irons in the fire and it is going to be a very busy 2014!