School of History, Classics and Archaeology

Staff Profile

Professor Sam Turner

Professor of Archaeology / Head of School / Director, McCord Centre


Research Interests

My research and teaching interests focus on the landscapes of Britain and Europe after the Roman period, and on medieval archaeology (particularly early medieval religion)

Research Roles

I am Director of the McCord Centre for Landscape, a University Research Centre which aims to bring together landscape researchers around the University. The Centre also has strong links to the School of History, Classics and Archaeology's 'Landscapes' research theme

I co-convene Med.LA.B - a forum for early medieval, late Antique and Byzantine research, itself part of MEMS, Newcastle University's research group for Medieval and Early Modern Studies

My roles beyond Newcastle University include the following:
• Co-Editor, Landscapes
• Programming Committee, International Medieval Congress
• Committee member, Medieval Europe Research Community 
• Chair of Management Committee, Archaeology Data Service
• Editorial Board, Journal of European Landscapes

Research Projects

Current and recent projects involving colleagues at Newcastle and beyond include:

Apalirou Environs Project, Naxos
'As One Monastery in Two Places': Wearmouth and Jarrow in their Landscape Context
Boğsak in Isauria: new approaches to historic landscapes
Canvis i continuitats
Chassenon - Cassinomagus
CHeriScape - Cultural Heritage in Landscape
CHiLaT - Cultural Heritage in Landscape: Planning for Development in Turkey
ChroMoLEME - Character of Monastic Landscapes in Early Medieval Europe
Cultural Heritage through Time
East Yorkshire to Norfolk Historic Seascape Characterisation
Hadrian's Wall Community Landscape Archaeology Project (WallCAP)
Irish Sea Historic Seascape Characterisation
Making Christian Landscapes: Early Medieval Ireland
Mothecombe Project
RESCOPART: Research consultation and participation
RESTOMO: Reintroducing Stone and Mortar
Tyne and Wear Historic Landscape Characterisation

Colleagues who are working on these research projects in the McCord Centre include Francesco Carrer, Rob Collins, Maria DugganNicky GarlandGraham Fairclough, Elif KoparalStelios Lekakis, Emmet Marron, Mihail MitreaCaron NewmanKerry ShawAlex Turner, and Soetkin Vervust 

I have (co-)organised these conferences and symposia at Newcastle and elsewhere:

• Fifth international Landscape Archaeology Conference (LAC2018), 17-20 September 2018, Newcastle and Durham
• Historic Landscapes: character, assessment and visualisation, 2-3 June 2017, Izmir (with Dr Elif Koparal and Dr Z. Aktüre)
Digital Approaches to Landscape Analysis, 20-21 February 2017, Istanbul (with Dr Gunder Varinlioglu)
• The CHeriScape network organised a series of five international conferences between 2014-2016, including a final conference in Newcastle in June 2016 
Characterising Historic Landscapes: interdisciplinary perspectives, 1-4 March 2016, Izmir (with Prof. Engin Nurlu)
New Approaches to Historic Landscapes, 15-16 February 2016, Istanbul (with Dr Gunder Varinlioglu)
• Ceramics and Atlantic Connections, 26-27 March 2014 (with Maria Duggan and Dr Mark Jackson, Newcastle University)
Making Christian Landscapes: Conversion and Consolidation in the Early Middle Ages, 21-23 September 2012 (with Dr Tomás Ó Carragáin, UCC)
• Heartland to Frontier: MSRG Winter Seminar, 3 December 2011
• Light: a Christmas Symposium, 11 December 2009 (with Dr Mark Jackson, Newcastle University)
• Early Medieval Northumbria: Current Work and Future Directions, 11-12 February 2006 (with Dr David Petts, University of Durham) (published by Brepols as Early Medieval Northumbria: Kingdoms and Communities, 450-1100)
• Concealed Communities: Marginal and Mobile people in Late- and Post-Medieval Landscapes, 9 December 2005 (published in 2007 as a special issue of Intl J. Historical Archaeology

Postgraduate Supervision

I am currently supervising PhD students on topics including early medieval archaeology, rural landscapes in the medieval and post-medieval periods, and landscape and heritage management. Please contact me if you are interested in studying for a research degree at Newcastle in any of these areas:
• Medieval or later landscape history and archaeology
• Early medieval and medieval archaeology
• Management of the historic landscape
• Interdisciplinary studies in archaeology and history or other related disciplines

My current research students include [with funding source indicated where applicable]:
• Mareike Ahlers, 'The first monuments' [AHRC]
• David Astbury, 'Long-term landscape development in northern England' [AHRC]
• Niels Dabaut 'Cultural heritage and landscape identity in the Tyne Valley' [AHRC, co-supervision with Queen's University, Belfast]  
• Gianluca Foschi 'The role of musical proportions in early Christian buildings'
• Rod Grimshaw 'Thirlmere: landscape and memory'
• Sophie Laidler, 'Tangible and intangible archaeology and the contemporary community' [AHRC, co-supervision led by Durham University]
• Victoria Lucas, 'Glass chemistry as a window on Anglo-Saxon innovation, recycling, trade and contact, AD 700-1000' [AHRC, co-supervision with Durham University]
• Shaun Macdonald, 'Understanding regional patterns of stone-built churches in Anglo-Saxon England'
• Ben Morton, 'Understanding the dynamics of change in historic landscapes' [AHRC]
• Laura Patrick, 'Cultural landscape of late medieval Gaelic Ulster' [AHRC, co-supervision led by Queen's University, Belfast] 

My previous research students include:
• John Bowman - PhD (2017) 'Iron and steel in the Derwent valley'
Maria Duggan - PhD (2015) 'Links to Late Antiquity' [AHRC] (now British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, Newcastle University)
Vicky Manolopoulou - PhD (2015) 'Processing emotion: litanies in Byzantine Constantinople' [Church of Greece] (now Lecturer in Byzantine History, King's College London)
Dulma Karunarathna - PhD (2014) 'The female in changing social contexts in historical societies of ancient Sri Lanka' [Commonwealth Commission] (now Senior Lecturer in Archaeology, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka)
Caron Newman - PhD (2014) 'Mapping the late medieval and post medieval landscape of Cumbria' [Newcastle University] (now Research Associate, McCord Centre for Landscape, Newcastle University)
• Shiela Newton - PhD (2014) 'Landscape change: the case of two Pennine parishes'
Katie Green - PhD (2012) 'Rural Byzantine landscapes and societies: new approaches to characterisation and analysis' [AHRC] (now Communications and Access Manager, Archaeology Data Service, University of York)
• Janet Lambert - PhD (2010) 'Experiencing landscape' [AHRC]
• Jonnie Shipley - PhD (2010) 'Concealed communities: the history and archaeology of upper Coquetdale and the College Valley during the late medieval and post-medieval periods' [AHRC]
• Andrew Newton - PhD (2009) 'The location of early medieval churches in Northumbria: conversion to a Christian landscape in northern England'

Industrial Relevance

The McCord Centre undertakes consultancy and applied research projects relating to landscapes, seascapes and historic buildings. Recent examples include the Tyne and Wear HLC, the Irish Sea HSC, the North Sea (East Yorkshire to Norfolk) HSC and Forestry and Woodland Futures



Undergraduate Teaching

I normally contribute to these modules:
ARA3013 Early medieval northern Europe
ARA1030 Archaeology of Britain from the Romans to the 20th century
HIS1027 European history
ARA2012 Fieldwork
ARA3023 Dissertation

Postgraduate Teaching

I lead these modules: 
ARA8180 Early medieval Britain and Europe
ARA8234 Landscape archaeology
and contribute to:
ARA8090 Themes, theories and methods in archaeology
ARA8113 Early medieval Britain: Anglo-Saxons, Celts, Vikings