School of History, Classics and Archaeology

Staff Profile

Dr Maria Duggan

British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow


Research Interests:

  • Roman and Byzantine ceramics
  • Trade and economy in Late Antiquity
  • Early Medieval Western Britain
  • The Atlantic Seaboard of Europe
  • The archaeology and material culture of the Aegean and East Mediterranean.

Research Project

Tintagel: Trans-European Connections in the Post-Roman World

Research Project involvement

During my time at Newcastle University I have been involved in research projects in Britain, France, Greece and Turkey. In 2012 I co-authored the report of the excavations at Mothecombe in Devon, led by Prof. Sam Turner and Steve Roskams and I am currently part of the team conducting ceramic analysis led by Dr Mark Jackson for the Apalirou Environs Project, Naxos. I am also currently acting as ceramic specialist on the imported wares for the Tintagel Castle Archaeological Research Project (TCARP) conducted by Cornwall Archaeology Unit for English Heritage, and sit on the Expert Panel for this project.


I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Liverpool and spent several years working in commercial archaeology in the North West of Britain. I returned to Newcastle and came to Newcastle University to conduct an MLitt and then a PhD which was completed in 2016. My AHRC-funded doctoral project 'Links to Late Antiquity: understanding contacts on the Atlantic Seaboard in the 5th to 7th centuries AD’ considered emerging ceramic evidence for connections between western Britain, Ireland and Atlantic regions of France, Spain and Portugal. This presented a new interpretation of post-Roman imported pottery recovered from British sites since the 1930s. My postdoctoral project will allow me to develop my research on these artefacts, focusing on Tintagel in Cornwall as the key site for understanding contacts between Britain, the Atlantic Seaboard, and the Mediterranean.

Editorial Roles:

Since 2016 I have been on the editorial committee of the Rei Cretariae Romanae Fautores (RCRF) which is the international society for the study of Roman ceramics, and publishes a bi-annual Acta following each of its conferences.

Conferences Organised:

Distant Seas, Connected Worlds: Tintagel, Britain and Greece in Late Antiquity Symposium, 22nd January 2020, British School at Athens

Ceramics and Atlantic Connections Symposium, 26-27 March 2014, Newcastle University.

Co-organiser, EMASS 2014 (Early Medieval Archaeology Student Symposium), 19-21 May 2014, Durham University.

Co-organiser, TRAC 2011 (Theoretical Roman Archaeology Conference), April 2011, Newcastle University

I also acted as co-coordinator for the MedLAB Research Forum (Early Medieval, Late Antique & Byzantine) at Newcastle University from 2012/13 to 2015/16.


British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship

Newcastle University and the British School at Athens


Tintagel: Trans-European Connections in the Post-Roman World

This 3 year project will provide a detailed assessment and analysis of the internationally significant post-Roman imported ceramic assemblage from Tintagel, Cornwall. The aim is to develop knowledge of Britain and Europe during the fifth to seventh centuries AD – specifically the nature of connections between the East Mediterranean and Atlantic, the evolution of contacts between communities living along the Atlantic Seaboard and the function of exotic commodities within the emerging societies and political structures of late antique/early medieval Western Europe. 

The project involves a 1 year collaboration with the Fitch Laboratory at the British School at Athens, which will enable a detailed scientific examination of the studied assemblage. Establishing the origins, range and quantity of material from Tintagel will allow a full reconsideration of the site in its British, Atlantic and international context during this crucial period of European transformation.

The project is grateful for the support from The Duchy of Cornwall, English Heritage,The Royal Cornwall Museum, The British Museum, and Cornwall Archaeology Unit for accessing collections.


Teaching at Newcastle University:

During the period of my PhD registration I was employed as a seminar group leader for the first year undergraduate history module HIS1025 World Empires (2012/13-2015/16).

I have given lectures and seminars on undergraduate and postgraduate modules ARA2091 Archaeologies of the Roman Empire, ARA3013 Early Medieval Northern Europe, and ARA8081 Early Medieval Britain and Europe. In semester one of 2017 I co-taught the history module HIS2103 The Dark Ages: Early Medieval Europe and its Neighbours 500–900. In 2018 I provided teaching as part of ARA8150 Graduate Seminar in Roman Archaeology and ARA2092 The Medieval World AD 400-1500.

I have trained students participating in research excavations and surveys in the UK: (Mothecombe for Newcastle University and Besthorpe Quarry for the University of Manchester), in France (Chassenon), Turkey (Pisidia and Aspendos) and Greece (Apalirou Environs Project)

I have also organised and led/co-led one-day external training workshops at Newcastle University:

Leader for one-day masterclass for CIAS (Cluster for Interdisciplinary Artefact Studies), The Digital Illustration of Ceramics, June 2015 and June 2016.

Co-leader for one-day specialist ceramic training workshop for CIAS, An Introduction to the Late Roman Pottery of Southern England and Fifth and Sixth Century Imported Mediterranean Ceramics, November 2015.