School of History, Classics and Archaeology

Staff Profile

Dr Oscar Aldred

Visiting Fellow


Research Interests

My research interests are related to landscape archaeology, aerial archaeology and archaeological theory. I am interested primarily in British and North Atlantic landscapes, irrespective of period, although I have a specialism in medieval and later landscapes, including the contemporary. I am an expert in characterisation (method and theory), GIS, mapwork, excavation and survey (aerial, field and technical). 

Research Projects

I am currently working for the Cambridge Archaeological Unit on landscape, excavation and post-excavation projects, Before this I was the Aerial and Remote Sensing Mapping Manager at Historic Environment Scotland (HES). Previous to this I was a Research Associate in the McCord Centre for Landscape.

Some of my recent research projects are:

  • The designed landscape of Rothley Lake, Wallington (Newcastle University & National Trust)
  • Searching for inspiration: Lancelot 'Capability' Brown’s ‘landscape’ and its role in his design practice (Newcastle University & National Trust)
  • Tyne & Wear Historic Landscape Characterisation (HLC) (Newcastle University, English Heritage & Newcastle City Council)
  • North Sea (East Yorks - Norfolk) Historic Seascape Characterisation (Newcastle University & English Heritage)
  • ArcLand - Archaeolandscapes Europe EU Culture 2007 - 2013 (Institute of Archaeology, Iceland, with partners)
  • An archaeology of movement, based on Icelandic material focusing on speed, rhythm, choreography and operational chains (University of Iceland, PhD)
  • The island communities of Breiðafjörður, Iceland (Institute of Archaeology, Iceland)
  • The landscape and seascape of Vatnsfjörður, north-west Iceland (Institute of Archaeology, Iceland)
  • Reykholtskirkja, Iceland. Excavation, post-excavation and publication (Institute of Archaeology, Iceland, National Musuem of Iceland & Snorrastofa)
  • Réttir (sheep folds) in the landscape: the anthropology and archaeology of landscapes in Iceland (University of Iceland)

My previous research projects (selection) are:

  • Reykjavík Harbour front excavations phase 1 and 2 (Institute of Archaeology, Iceland)
  • A System of medieval earthworks in north east Iceland (Institute of Archaeology, Iceland & Myvatn Research Station)
  • Satellite mapping using DigitalGlobe data for Iceland (Institute of Archaeology, Iceland)
  • ARENA (Archaeological Records of Europe: Networked Access) EU Culture 2000 (Institute of Archaeology, Iceland & Archaeological Data Service, University of York, with partners)
  • Approaching diverse European dynamic pre-industrial landscapes in the volcanically active regions of Greece and Iceland (COST A27 Understanding pre-industrial structures in rural and mining landscapes) (Institute of Archaeology, Iceland, with partners)
  • Höfðagerði, Núpar, Iceland: excavation of a Viking age smithy (Institute of Archaeology, Iceland)
  • Historic Landscape Characterisation - National Review of Methodology (Somerset County Council & English Heritage)
  • Historic Landscape Characterisation – Somerset and Exmoor National Park (Somerset County Council & English Heritage)
  • Settlement and field: Medieval landscape of Wimpole Hall, Cambridgeshire (National Trust)

Research Roles

As Chair of AARG between 2011-2014 I was responsible for workings of AARG, the scientific programme and the organisation of the international annual AARG conferences: 2012 at Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary; 2013 in Amsterdam, Holland; 2014 in Dublin, Ireland.

Industrial Relevance

My current and previous project portfolio includes several applications of archaeological research for the heritage management sector. These applications are used to give develop better management procedures and to facilitate more informed planning decisions, as well as to increase information about archaeological and related work for stakeholders and the general public.



Instructor (2013-2014):
ARA2098: Understanding Historic Landscapes: from the Early Middle Ages to the 21st Century
ARA3013: Early medieval Britain: Anglo-Saxons, Celts, Vikings
ARA1030: The Archaeology of Britain from the Romans to the 20th Century
ARA3001-ARA3002-ARA3003: Dissertation in Archaeology

Instructor (2012-2013):
ARA2098: Understanding Historic Landscapes: from the Early Middle Ages to the 21st Century