Professor Helena Hamerow

Professor of Early Medieval Archaeology; Fellow of St Cross College


Professor Hamerow researches the archaeology of rural communities in early medieval Europe. She is particularly interested in the way the establishment of kingdoms, monasteries and towns affected farmers and the early medieval countryside. 

Her research also explores the earliest Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, in particular the kingdom of Wessex, whose origins lie in the Upper Thames Valley. This has led to a multi-disciplinary project (The Origins of Wessex) which deploys place-name evidence as well as archaeological finds to investigate the British contribution to West Saxon identity and explore how the leading families of the Gewisse (a group who later came to be known as the West Saxons) used material culture and the landscape itself to consolidate their position.


  • Early medieval archaeology (North Western Europe)
  • Anglo-Saxon archaeology

Media experience

Professor Hamerow has experience of working with the media including radio and TV interviews. She has appeared on BBC Four's King Alfred and the Anglo Saxons, and acted as historical advisor to BBC Radio 3's The Essay.