School of History, Classics and Archaeology

Staff Profile

Dr Jane Webster

Senior Lecturer in Historical Archaeology


Roles and Responsibilities

I am a Senior Lecturer in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology.

I maintain the Heritage City website, which helps students from across the University find dissertation and project work centred on historic Newcastle

I co-ordinate outreach activities with primary and secondary schools across the region, and am also leader of the Newcastle University branches of the Young Archaeologists Club (clubs for children aged 8-18), which are run by myself and staff and student volunteers.


Undergraduate Teaching

My principal modules are ARA 1030 Britain from the Romans-Present, ARA 2097 Historical Archaeology of the Modern World, and ARA 3031 Britain after 1500, and ARA 3001-3. Many Newcastle archaeology students undertake fieldwork training with me every summer at the Derwentcote Steelworks Forge Cottages site, Gateshead Local volunteers and sixth-formers wanting to get some excavation experience can also dig with us for free: just email me at

You can download a copy of the Module Handbook for ARA 3031 Britain after 1500 from the teaching resources pages on the Society for Historical Archaeology website at

I maintain the Heritage City website, which helps students from across the University find dissertation and project work centred on historic Newcastle

Winner of the Vice Chancellor's Distinguished Teacher Award 2011.


Research Interests

I am an Historical Archaeologist in the widest sense of that term. My research crosses traditional frontiers (both temporal and disciplinary) but focuses on colonial material culture, from the early Roman Empire to the eighteenth century. My work explores the material culture of colonial subjects (including indigenous peoples and slaves), and examines the uses that these groups made of ‘foreign’ or imposed material things, as they created new identities in new circumstances. I work mainly in two fields: Romano-British iconography and the archaeology of slavery (looking at the latter in both in the Roman period and between 1660 and 1807). I am currently writing a book called Material Culture of the Middle Passage, looking at the social world of slave ships making the Atlantic sea crossing that took slaves to the New World during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Webster, J and Cooper, N (eds) (1996) Roman Imperlialism: Post-Colonial Perspectives can be read online at

Read my 2007 article in British Archaeology, called 'Ringed with the wrecks of slave ships: the Atlantic slave trade' at

My 2010 paper 'A distant diaspora; thinking comparatively about origins, migrations and Roman slavery' can be accessed at

 Many of my publications are available on the Academia website:

Postgraduate Supervision

I am currently supervising PhD candidates working on 18th century popular protest; Trench Art from the First world war; the Derwent valley iron and steel industry; the comparative archaeology of mimesis in the Roman provinces; and the artefact biography of trade goods on slave ships. I would be very happy to hear from prospective research students with interests in either Romano-British or Historical Archaeology (post AD 1500), and particularly in the archaeology of slavery at any period.