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Professor Christopher Scull

Honorary Visiting Professor

Media commentator


Research interests

  • Early medieval Europe
  • Material culture and society in England, 4th-8th centuries CE
  • Anglo-Saxon burial practice
  • Mortuary Archaeology
  • Refining Archaeological Chronologies
  • Inter-disciplinary approaches to the study of the past

Research projects

  • Survey and excavation at Rendlesham, Suffolk
  • The Anglo-Saxon princely burial at Prittlewell (Essex): analysis and publication

Related links

Personal website - Chris Scull



Survey and excavation at Rendlesham, Suffolk (with Suffolk County Council)

Surface finds have revealed the site of a major settlement of the sixth to eighth centuries AD that may be confidently identified with the Anglo-Saxon royal establishment recorded by Bede in a context of AD 655-664. A programme of systematic field survey (including controlled metal-detecting, magnetometry, aerial photography, contour survey and geochemical survey) followed by evaluation aims to characterise the material culture signature of activity on the site, clarify spatial distributions and structuring, and assess preservation and potential.

The survey methodology integrates remote-sensing and ploughzone data with a precision that allows spatial and

chronological modelling of activity on the site. All survey data is held within a GIS environment allowing interrogation against other topographic, environmental and historic mapping data-sets. In addition to its importance for early medieval archaeology, the project is helping developing approaches to characterising and assessing the significance of ploughzone assemblages, and management and protection responses.

The Anglo-Saxon princely burial at Prittlewell (Essex): analysis and publication

Archaeological evaluation in advance of a proposed road scheme at Prittlewell, Southend-on Sea (Essex) in 2003 uncovered the lavish burial of a man in a wooden chamber beneath a barrow mound dated to the late sixth / early seventh centuries AD. It is important as the only intact princely grave excavated in England since the Mound One ship burial at Sutton Hoo in 1939, for the conditions inside the chamber which preserved the original disposition of objects including those hung on the chamber walls, and for the rich and varied burial assemblage which includes a unique indication of Christian belief in the form of two gold foil crosses laid over the face of the deceased.

The programme of analysis, managed by Museum of London Archaeology and funded by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and English Heritage, is intended to deliver a definitive monograph publication in 2015/16, to secure the finds and archive, and to provide the understanding essential for future public interpretation and display of the burial assemblage.


Education and qualifications

MA Archaeology & Anthropology (Cambridge)

Career overview

2012 - Visiting Professor, Institute of Archaeology, University College London

2010 -  Honorary Visiting Professor, Department of Archaeology and Conservation, Cardiff University

2005-2010 Research Director, English Heritage

2002-2005 Head of Historic Environment Commissions, English Heritage

1993-2002 Assistant Manager and Manager, Archaeology Commissions, English Heritage

1992-1993 Fieldwork Manager, Essex County Council Field Archaeology Service

1990-1991 Lecturer in early medieval archaeology, Institute of Archaeology, University College London

1986-1990  Lecturer in early medieval archaeology, University of Durham

1985-1986  Field Officer, Oxford archaeological Unit

1983-1985  Randall MacIver Student in Archaeology, the Queen's College, Oxford

Notable achievements

2009-2010  DCMS Science and Research Advisory Committee

2008-2010  AHRC/ESPRC Science and Heritage Programme Advisory Board

Professional memberships

2012 - present  Council member (Trustee), Society of Antiquaries of London

1998 - present   Co-ordinating Committee of the Internationales Sachsensensymposion

2007-2009  Editorial Board, Early Medieval Europe

1998-2001  External Examiner, Department of Archaeology, York University

1996  Visiting Lecturer, Department of Prehistoric Archaeology, Århus University

1996  elected Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London

1990  Membership of Institute for Archaeologists (MIfA)

External profiles