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Dr Pamela Graves

Associate Professor

Associate Professor in the Department of Archaeology


Pam Graves has worked in Urban Archaeological Units in York (YAT), Lincoln (CLAU) and Newcastle, on subjects ranging from medieval religious houses in their landscape settings, to artefact research, and GIS. Her specialisations are urban archaeology and the development of a mercantile culture in Northern Europe, religious practice and architecture in both the medieval and post-medieval periods; medieval window glass; and archaeological theory, especially the analysis of ritual. Some of these themes have been developed in lecture courses: Dust to Dust: death, burial and ritual, C12th-C19th; Sex and Shopping: the archaeology of urban life and work, C12th-C18th: and may be studied in depth in the Durham MA in Archaeology (Historical Strand). She has written on the built environment as an expression of the political enfranchisement of urban communities; and art and architecture as an index to the variety of religious practice in the middle ages.

Pam's current research is developing integrated material culture and theoretical approaches to the body in historical contexts, to sensory archaeology, and to special deposition in the medieval and post-medieval periods. She is working on "Sensing and Censing: aspects of Aroma in Medieval Religious Practice"; and "The Echo from the Well: closure deposits of ecclesiastical wells following the Reformation".

Her work on Newcastle, and mercantilism in the North Sea/Baltic Sea rims has resulted in a multi-period assessment of the archaeology of Newcastle, co-authored with David Heslop, Tyne and Wear Archaeological Officer - Newcastle upon Tyne: The Eye of the North (2013); and a second volume, North Sea Capital: Newcastle, the making of a Mercantile Community, is in preparation. A case study of the relationship between radical religion and the built environment has been published as "Building a New Jerusalem: A group of merchant houses in seventeenth-century Newcastle upon Tyne, England", in the International Journal of Historical Archaeology volume 13:4 for 2009.

Dr Graves is a specialist in the study of medieval painted glass retrieved from excavation, and has been publishing reports on glass since 1991. Her most recent work on the window glass from Glastonbury Abbey is in press. She is currently interested in the dispersal of painted glass from religious houses after the Dissolution of the Monasteries (Graves 2013 and in prep.). The analysis, re-use and archaeological deposition of architectural stonework features in contributions by Dr Graves to Finds from the Well at St Paul-in-the-Bail, Lincoln, edited by Jenny Mann (2008).

Pam has served on the editorial boards of the Scottish Archaeological Journal (see former Glasgow Archaeological Journal); and the Archaeological Journal. She has served as an ordinary Member of Council for the SOCIETY FOR MEDIEVAL ARCHAEOLOGY, the SOCIETY FOR POST-MEDIEVAL ARCHAEOLOGY, and the ROYAL ARCHAEOLOGICAL INSTITUTE. She is Archaeological Consultant to the Dean and Chapter of DURHAM CATHEDRAL and is currently involved in a project to record and analyse the buildings of the former Prior's Lodgings, including an extensive palimpsest of medieval graffiti in the former Prior's Chapel (Graves and Rollason, L., 2013, 'The Monastery of Durham and the Wider World: medieval Graffiti in the Prior's Chapel', Northern History 50:2, 186-215).

Research interests

  • Archaeology of the body
  • Dunbar Scottish Soldiers Project
  • Iconoclasm
  • medieval and post-medieval urban and religious archaeology
  • north-east England, Scotland and North Sea rim in the medieval and post-medieval periods
  • religious and urban identities
  • religious architecture
  • window glass

Esteem Indicators

  • 2013: Invited speaker: Lost Luster: Innovative interdisciplinary research on archaeological window glass in North Western Europe (10th-18th C.): October 2-4, Abbey Museum Ten Duinen, Koksijde, Belgium.
  • 2009: Keynote speaker: The Early Modern Parish, 6-8 April: Worcester College, Oxford. AHRC, Landscape & Environment and Oxford Brookes University.
  • 2005: Referee for International and National Journals: Refereed papers for: \tCurrent Anthropology,International Journal of Historical Archaeology; Journal of Anthropological Archaeology;Journal of the North Atlantic;World Archaeology;Antiquity.I have also refereed a monograph for the Society for Medieval Archaeology.
  • 2003: Editorial Board membership: Editorial Board for:
    Scottish Archaeological Journal (1999-2003).
  • 2003: Elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in March 2003: Elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in March 2003
  • 2002: Invited lecturer at Lund University: In November 2002, I was invited to deliver lectures on medieval religious practice and church archaeology at the Institutionen for arkeologi och antikens historia, Lunds Universitet.
  • 2001: ongoing - Consultant Archaeologist to the Dean and Chapter of Durham Cathedral:
  • 2000: National Period Society Council Membership: Councils for:
    Society for Medieval Archaeology, (2000-2003)
    Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology, (2000-2003)
    Royal Archaeological Institute, (2002-present).


Authored book

Chapter in book

Conference Paper

Journal Article


Supervision students