Death & Memory – Past & Present


IMG_20150618_095035Welcome to the blog of archaeologist and chocolate obsessive Professor Howard Williams.

The blog aims to focus on new ideas and discoveries in the world of archaeology. Posts will focus specifically on my research interests in mortuary archaeology and archaeologies of memory as well as archaeological heritage, the Middle Ages, public archaeology, the history of archaeology and contemporary archaeology. You will also find some random stuff and some ‘archaeorants’ on topics I think are pertinent to my research.

Note: some entries air preliminary findings and ideas. Please feel free to contact me if you would like to learn when and how they will reach publication. See my introductory blog entry for more background and the purpose of this blog.

My research explores the archaeology of death, burial and commemoration in Britain and Scandinavia in the Middle Ages, focusing in particular on what have traditionally been called the Anglo-Saxon and Viking worlds. I also research mortuary practices and commemoration in later prehistory, the ancient world and modern times. Also, I occasionally research the history of the discipline and evaluating the character and strategies of its public engagements and significance in popular culture.

Find out more about my research by visiting one of the following:

In addition, Archaeodeath is on social media:

You might like to also check out the Offa’s Dyke Collaboratory website.

This is my academic blog, but please note that the views are mine alone, not those of anyone else or my institution. The same applies to my social media posts.

If you would like to support my teaching and research, here’s my Amazon Wish List!

15 thoughts on “About

  1. Dear Professor Howard
    I’m currently writing a thesis on the link between death and Jewellery and I’m anxious to pick your brain on the symbolism and significance of of Jewellery buried with the dead historically. May I contact you directly with some questions? I promise not to take up too much of your time.

    Best regards


  2. Dear Professor Williams,

    I’m Emily Stanton, a first-year Master’s Student in Archaeology at Cornell University. For my MA thesis, I would like to do something on the inscribed stones of Wales. My thesis advisor, Dr. Manning, recommended I contact you to ask what unanswered questions there are about these pieces. Provisionally, I would like to tie together the threads of materiality, memory, and mythology to explore the changing meanings and roles of the stones over time. I have read your “Archaeologies of Remembrance” and “Death and Memory in Early Medieval Britain” which, combined with my semester abroad at Cardiff University in 2013, inspired me to research this topic. I have purchased “Early Medieval Stone Monuments” and greatly look forward to reading it!

    Any advice your can offer on areas of research (suitable to a 30-page MA thesis!) would be greatly appreciated!

    Many thanks.

    Emily Stanton

  3. Found your blog in an unusual route – I am guessing you have spent some time in Orkney?! We visited this summer, interesting representations of death on some gravestones, especially at Birsay. Happy to share a few photos.

  4. Hi, I found your blog whilst looking for information about the Bede Museum, and am following your blog now because I love history and I’m really enjoying reading your posts.

  5. Hi I was wondering if I could send you some pictures of some local medieval grave slabs in the graveyard local to me in Shropshire. I can not find any information on them online or in the local library. I just wondered how old they were. I understand you are busy so no worries otherwise I will keep searching.

  6. Good evening,

    I am the Clerk of Rhosddu Community Council in Wrexham. Following a suggestion from a local resident, Rhosddu Community Council is considering commissioning Information Boards regarding Wat’s Dyke, to be placed on the Open Space next to the Scheduled Monument behind Wat’s Dyke School. The Boards are intended to describe the Dyke, and its location. We are applying for funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund (a modest £3,500)

    I came across your blog “Where can you visit Wat’s Dyke in Wrexham” which not only puts forward the most compelling arguments for such Information Boards, but also provides photographs of “The School Dyke” itself.

    May Rhosddu Community Council use extracts of that blog in support of its application for funding to the National Lottery, to enable the provision of the Information Boards to proceed. If authorised, we will, of course, preface the extracts by stating that the Author is Prof Howard M R Williams, Archaeologist, published on January 3 2019.

    We are working with Clwyd-Powys Archaeolgical Trust on the text and illustrations for the Information Boards.

    Nigel Hodges
    Rhosddu Community Council

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