Building on long-running department research engagement with the archaeology and heritage of North East England and the strengths of Archaeological Services, our commercial operation in the north east, Northern Communities is a new research and impact group engaging with a broader northern British and European, Atlantic and Arctic context. Key emerging research themes include borders and identities, migrations and diaspora, industrial legacies, place-making and indigenous archaeologies. Interdisciplinary projects underway are exploring the lifeways and challenges facing northern communities (Cohabitating with Vikings, People and Place), while Scottish Soldiers has enabled archaeological findings from Durham to reach international audiences creating connections with museums and researchers in North America. Research on social inequalities in the past by the Landscapes of the Great Depression and Fewston project teams has established new narratives around the experiences of industrial communities in the north and the expansive HLF-funded community project Belief in the North is setting an agenda for a more proactive, structured co-productive research with local and regional groups and the public.
Potential plans for 2021-22 include:
Interdisciplinary collaborations with members of the Bioarchaeology and Landscapes research and impact groups are generating projects that are using new methodologies and data sets to explore past lifeways such as Cohabitating with Vikings and People and Place, while new areas of investigation are focused on fragile environments, from marginal zones to historic urban landscapes.
Research is underpinned by major fieldwork programmes including the Lindisfarne Holy Island Project (David Petts, Karen Milek), the Auckland Castle Project (Chris Gerrard) and the Yeavering Environs Project (Sarah Semple and The Gefrin Trust).