Sarah Semple


My research focusses on the early medieval period in Britain and Europe and I have a particular interest in early medieval interaction with the natural and man-made environment with reference to the role of landscape in definitions of identity, religion and cult practice, as well as charting the ideological and political uses of natural topography and ancient remains. These interests have come to fruition in a new OUP book Anglo-Saxon Perceptions of the Prehistoric. Ritual, Religion and Rulership published this year. They have also led to a successful collaboration with Richard Jones (Leicester) in the delivery of an AHRC-funded network series in 2009: Sense of Place in Anglo-Saxon England now published as an edited volume Sense of Place in Anglo-Saxon England.

These interests have also proved critical to developing a research interest in state formation in early medieval Europe and my participation in this HERA-funded project. TAP examines multidisciplinary evidence for the emergence of assembly sites and administrative frameworks across Northern Europe from AD 300-1300 – my role has been devoted to establishing how research has developed over time on the topic and how it has been influenced in past and present by the social and political climate. This has allowed the project to develop beyond the state of the art and by setting off from a position of European-wide knowledge on past and current research. Recent results feature in the European Journal of Archaeology (August 2013) and the project monograph which will be published in 2014 with the Society for Medieval Archaeology.


Department of Archaeology,
Durham University,
South Road,