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Kelly Clarke-Neish

Member of the Department of Archaeology


Academic Qualifications

PhD Archaeology and History, Durham University (2021)

MA Medieval History (Distinction), Durham University (2016)

BA(Hons) History (First Class), Durham University (2015)


I am interested in exploring political, economic, cultural and social connections in north-west Europe during the early medieval period (AD 550-850). My research takes an interdisciplinary approach, combining methodologies from both history and archaeology, and incorporates a range of evidence including written, topographical, numismatic and other forms of material evidence. 

My recently completed doctoral research, undertaken in the departments of Archaeology and History at Durham University, examined the evidence for interaction between the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms and Merovingian Gaul during the seventh century AD. Whilst recent scholarship has tended to examine these regions separately, my project incorporated an interdisciplinary and transnational approach. Through a comparative analysis of textual sources, material culture and manuscript evidence from both regions, my project re-evaluated our understanding of the importance of relationships to the formation and development of seventh-century kingdoms and culture.The results of this study also prompted a reconsideration of many of the long-held ideas relating to interactions between these regions (including the emergence of double monasteries, classification of trading sites and the existence of a Merovingian hegemony) and offered several important contributions to ongoing debates surrounding the origins of the European economy, the formation of kingdoms, and the impact of Christianity upon social structures. I am currently reworking my thesis into my first book. 

At present, I am also working on a number of small research projects exploring gendered networks and connections including one on the emergence of double monasteries (monasteries that housed both men and women) across the English Channel. I am also working on a collaborative research project examining the use of gold coins as pendants in Anglo-Saxon England and the involvement of women in a multi-currency economy.

Currently, I am a teaching assistant in the Department of History at Durham University and an associate member of the Department of Archaeology.

Conference Contributions


2018: 'Pierced, Looped and Framed: The (re)-use of coins in jewellery in seventh-century Anglo-Saxon England', Seventh International Symposium in Early Medieval Coinage: England and the Wider World. Joint paper given with K. Haworth (Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, 13th October) 

2018: 'Pierced, looped and framed: the (re)use of coins in jewellery in seventh-century Anglo-Saxon England. An Introduction', Early Medieval Archaeology Student Symposium (EMASS), joint paper given with K. Haworth. (University of Glasgow, 19-21 April) 

2017: 'Contacts, Coinage and Control in the southern North Sea: A reassessment of Anglo-Saxon and Merovingian coinage produced during the seventh century', Society for Medieval Archaeology Student Colloquium (Newcastle University, 1-2 December 2017)

2017: 'Coinage and connections between Merovingian Gaul and the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in the Seventh-Century', Sylloge of the Coins of the British Isles (SCBI) Symposium: 'Money between Ireland, Britain and Europe' (British Academy, 13th June 2017)

2016: 'An Overview of the 'Productive Sites' in the Kingdom of Northumbria, 600-800', Sylloge of the Coins of the British Isles (SCBI) Symposium: 'Evaluating Early Medieval Currency: Perspectives on Money and Coinage in Britain and Ireland, c. 500-1150' (British Academy, June 2016) Paper given during MA studies.


2018: 'The (re-)making of the southern North Sea world: politics, trade and long-distance interactions between Merovingian Gaul and the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in the 'long' seventh century', Society for Medieval Archaeology Annual Conference 2018: 'Grave Concerns' (Durham University, 13-15 July)

Conference/Society organisation

2018-19: Early Medieval Archaeology Student Symposium (EMASS) co-organiser (with K. Haworth and V. Lucas.) 

2017-18: Department of Archaeology Research Dialogues leader (with K. Haworth.) Co-organised a one day workshop entitled, 'The Materiality of Maritime Cultures and Connections' (Durham University, 26th June 2018) 

2017-18: Durham Medieval Archaeologists (DMA), joint-chair. 

2016-17: Durham's Medieval and Early Modern Student Association (MEMSA), Co-conference Chair. Co-organised the eleventh annual conference, 'Imitation and Innovation: Uses of the Past in the Medieval and Early Modern Worlds' (Durham University, 11-12th July 2017)

Further roles

2021-2022: Production Editor, Symeon alumni magazine, Department of History, Durham University 

2018: Outreach tutor, ‘Fostering Aspirations with North-East Sixth Forms', Department of History, Durham University

2018: MEMSA Community Course tutor (Treasures of Durham and the North East, c. 500-1800 CE). 1 hour lecture followed by 1 hour interactive seminar. Title of session: 'Coins and communication during the 'Golden Age' of Northumbria A.D. 600-800' 

2017-2018: MEMSA Journal co-editor. Co-edited the proceedings of the 11th annual MEMSA conference. Journal available in both print and online format (July 2018).


2017: Research Dialogues Leader 2018

2016-2019: AHRC Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership Award

2015-6: Durham Postgraduate Taught Scholarship 


In preparation: Kelly Clarke-Neish and Katie Haworth, 'The reuse of gold coins as pendants in Anglo-Saxon England' (title tbc)

2018: Dominic Birch, Kelly Clarke and Katie Haworth (eds.), Imitation and Innovation: Uses of the Past in the Medieval and Early Modern World. Proceedings of the 2017 MEMSA Student Conference. MEMSA Journal 3 (Durham, 2018)

Teaching Experience

2022-2023: Strand tutor/lead for the level one module, 'Making History'. Strand title: England and the Continent: Europe and the Anglo-Saxons, AD. 600-800 (HIST1702)

2021-2023: Tutor for the level one History module, 'Transformations in the Late Antique Mediterranean' (HIST1701)

2019-2020: Lecturer for the level two Archaeology module, 'Archaeology of Medieval and Post-Medieval Britain and Ireland in its European Context' (ARC2131)

2018-2019: Tutor for the level one History module, 'The Birth of Western Society, 300-1050' (HIST1011)

2017-2018: Tutor for the level one History module, 'The Birth of Western Society, 300-1050' (HIST1011) 

Research interests

  • Anglo-Saxon Archaeology
  • Anglo-Saxon History
  • Communication, connections and interactions in the Early Middle Ages
  • Late Merovingian Archaeology
  • Late Merovingian History