Research Interests

Colin's research focuses on Iron Age societies in Britain and Europe and their relations with the Mediterranean world; the archaeology of early coinage and currency; on the relevance of developer-funded archaeology for understanding long-term evolution of settlement and landscape in Europe; Iron Age and Roman material culture and deposition; and on the use of radiocarbon dating and Bayesian Modelling for dating later prehistoric societies. He has published several books on the British and European Iron Age and on Iron Age coinage. His most recent publications include a monograph (image below) on the results of a 30 year research programme focused on the late Iron Age royal site at Stanwick, North Yorkshire, one of the largest later prehistoric fortified sites in Europe, a new synthesis of the later prehistory of north-west Europe using the evidence from modern development-led excavations, the outcome of a 5-year project with Prof Richard Bradley (Reading University) British and Irish prehistory in their European context, funded by Leverhulme Trust, and an edited volume with Stefan Krimnicek (University of Tubingen) on the Archaeology of Money, arising from the Leverhulme Programme, Tracing Networks: Craft Traditions in the Ancient Mediterranean and Beyond, based in the School of Archaeology & Ancient History.  Other recent or forthcoming publications include an article on the radiocarbon dating on the Iron Age cremation burial cemetery at Westhampnett in West Sussex, a study of hoarding and metalwork deposition in Iron Age Britain, a review of the impact of Bayesian chronologies on the British Iron Age in World Archaeology, and an analytical survey of four later prehistoric fortified sites in Kent.

Stanwick cover
Cover of the 2016 Stanwick monograph. Top right: the perimeter earthwork from the north-east. Bottom right: excavations in progress. Left: fragments of a South Gaulish Hermet 15 flask; a rare obsidian cup from central Italy; and the topstone of a local beehive quern in sandstone.

With Peter Wells (Minnesota) and Katharina Rebay-Salisbury (Vienna), Colin is currently editing the Oxford Handbook of the European Iron Age, which will start to be published online in the next few months, with the book appearing in 2018. He is currently engaged in three externally-funded research projects: (Re)dating Danebury hillfort and later prehistoric settlements in its environs: a Bayesian approach (with Chris Gosden, Oxford University & Gordon Cook, SUERC, funded by the Leverhulme Trust), for which the final monograph will be published in 2018; Crisis or continuity? Hoarding in Iron Age and Roman Britain with special reference to the 3rd century AD, (with Roger Bland & Sam Moorhead, British Museum; David Mattingly & Jeremy Taylor, School of Archaeology & Ancient History, funded by AHRC), which will be published by Oxbow in 2018; and In the Footsteps of Caesar: the archaeology of the first Roman invasions of Britain (funded by the Leverhulme Trust), which is entering its final year.

Colin's most recent fieldwork is in south-east England, where the Caesar project has been investigating sites potentially associated with the invasions of 55 and 54 BC. In addition to the Stanwick research project, he has previously led fieldwork projects in the Arroux valley in southern Burgundy, in southern Scotland, in north-east England, and in the Aisne Valley, northern France. The Traprain Law Environs Project with Dickinson College USA excavated six later prehistoric enclosed settlements on the East Lothian coastal plain, including Whittinghame Tower (2002), Standingstone (2003) and Knowes (2004), providing much new information about the changing character of settlement in the region from the later Bronze Age to the early Medieval period. The project was published in 2009 by the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland as The Traprain Law Environs Project: Excavations and fieldwork 2000–2004. The Arroux Valley survey (2000-2003) used geophysical survey and fieldwalking to locate rural sites in the largely pastoral landscape around Mont Beuvray (Bibracte), the Iron Age capital of the Aedui, and Autun, its Roman successor. The Arroux survey is published at

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