Staff Profile:Dr Gabor Thomas

Dr Gabor Thomas
Job Title:
Associate Professor
  • Archaeology Research Group Leader;
  • SAGES and Archaeology Library Officer;
  • Joint Organiser (with Aleks Pluskowski) of Archaeology Seminar Series;
  • Archaeology representative on Reading Graduate Centre for Medieval Studies (GCMS)
Areas of Interest:
  • Early medieval artefacts, with a particular interest in ornamental metalwork and dress accessories
  • Early medieval art and iconography
  • Cultural identity in Viking-age England
  • The archaeology of early medieval rural settlements
  • The archaeology of the early medieval church and monasticism

PhD Supervision:

Gabor currently supervises/co-supervises three research students:

  • Lisa Backhouse: Changing Social Relations and the Making of an Early Medieval Kingdom: People and Pottery in Anglo-Saxon Kent AD 450-850
  • Zoe Knapp: A Zooarchaeological analysis of Anglo-Saxon Lyminge
  • Arica Roberts: Welsh women: an essential enigma of the early Middle Ages

Previous student topics have included: 

  • Centrality in Early England: the development of central places in early Anglo-Saxon England and their North-West European Parallels AD 499-700 (Matthew Austin, AHRC funded)
  • The Sacred in the Secular: Investigating Anglo-Saxon Ritual Action and Belief Systems through a Holistic Study of Settlements and Cemeteries in the 7th-9th Centuries AD (Alex Knox, AHRC funded)
  • The Ecology of the Anglo-Saxon Conversion: A Multi-Proxy Geoarchaeology of the Anglo-Saxon Monastic Landscape of Lyminge, Kent (Simon Maslin, AHRC funded)
  • The Brooch in Context: Costume, Culture and Identity in Late Anglo-Saxon England (Rosie Weetch, Project Curator of Early Medieval Collections at the British Museum)

I am happy to discuss proposals for postgraduate research in areas concerned with the material culture, landscape and settlement archaeology of the early medieval period. Please contact Dr Thomas.

Research groups / Centres:

Objects, Materials and People Research Cluster

Medieval Social Archaeology Group

Landscape, Climate and Lived Environment Research Cluster


I joined Reading as lecturer of Early Medieval Archaeology in 2007 having previously been based at the department of Classical & Archaeological Studies at the University of Kent 2003-7. Prior to my first academic appointment, I worked as Research Officer of the Sussex Archaeological Society (2000-2003) and Finds Liaison Officer for the Portable Antiquities Scheme in Suffolk (1999-2000).

I have two strands to my research. The first involves the large-scale excavation of Anglo-Saxon settlements preserved under modern village cores in south east England. This methodology is being used to generate new insights into how daily life in rural communities responded to major cultural transitions of the early medieval era, a paramount focus being the process of Christianisation mediated through the establishment of monastic institutions. My previous project at Bishopstone, Sussex (2003-5), was published by the Council for British Archaeology in 2010, and I have since shifted my attention to the Anglo-Saxon royal centre of Lyminge, Kent, the current phase of which (2012-15) is supported by a major grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council:

Hear me and Lyminge project staff talk about the exciting discoveries made in the latest campaign of excavation in 2013

Alongside my fieldwork, I have maintained a long-standing interest in early medieval artefact studies with a particular focus on ornamented dress accessories of the later Anglo-Saxon and Viking periods, the subject of my original PhD research at the Institute of Archaeology, London. Much of my published work in this area exploits mass data generated by the Portable Antiquities Scheme to explore the link between dress and cultural identity, in particular how new identities were forged in England and the wider North Sea World under the influence of culture contact, long-distance interaction and evolving socio-political structures over the 8th-11th centuries A.D.

Academic affiliations:

I am a fellow of the Society of the Antiquaries of London (2009), a member of the Sachsensymposion (2012-) and currently sit on the Research Panel of the Staffordshire Hoard. I have previously sat on the Councils for the Society of Medieval Archaeology, the Medieval Settlement Research Group and the Medieval Finds Research Group.

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This list was generated on Thu Jan 18 15:03:43 2018 UTC.

Earlier Publications

Thomas, G. (2006) Refining the biography of a market-place tenement: a recent excavation and archaeological interpretative survey at The Marlipins, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, Sussex Archaeological Collections 143, 173-204.

Thomas, G. (2006) Reflections on a 9th-century Northumbrian metalworking tradition: a silver hoard from Poppleton, North Yorkshire Medieval Archaeology 50, 143-164.

Thomas, G. (2005) Brightness in a time of dark": the production of secular ornamental metalwork in 9th century Northumbria, in De Re Metallica: the Uses of Metal in the Middle Ages (Ed. R. Bork) AVISTA Studies in the History of Medieval Technology, Science, and Art, Volume 4, Ashgate Press, 31-48.

Thomas, G. (2005) In the Shadow of Rookery Hill: Excavations at Bishopstone, East Sussex, Current Archaeology vol.196, 184-190.

Thomas, G. (2003). An Early Medieval Insular Buckle, in: Hardy, A., Dodd, & G. D. Keevill, Aelfrics Abbey: Excavations at Eynsham Abbey, Oxfordshire, 1989-1992, Thames Valley Landscapes Monograph 16, Oxford Archaeology, 251-54.

Thomas, G. (2003) Hamsey near Lewes, East Sussex: the implications of recent finds of Late Anglo-Saxon metalwork for its importance in the Pre-Conquest period, Sussex Archaeological Collections 139, 123-132.

Thomas, G. (2001) Strap-Ends and the Identification of Regional Patterns in the Production and Circulation of Ornamental Metalwork in Late Anglo-Saxon and Viking-Age Britain, in Pattern and Purpose in Insular Art, Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Insular Art held at the National Museum & Gallery, Cardiff 3-6 September 1998 (Eds. M. Redknap, N. Edwards, S. Youngs, A. Lane & J. Knight), Oxbow Books, Oxford, 39-49.

Thomas, G. (2001) Vikings in the City: A Ringerike-style buckle and related artefacts from the London, London Archaeologist 9, no. 8, 228-230.

Thomas, G. (2000) Anglo-Scandinavian metalwork from the Danelaw: Exploring Social and Cultural Interaction, in: Cultures in Contact: Scandinavian Settlement in England in the Ninth and Tenth Centuries (Eds. D.M. Hadley J. D. Richards), Studies in the Early Middle Ages, Brepols, Turnhout, 237-255.

BA (London), MA (London), Ph.D. (London)

Contact Details

+44 (0) 118 378 5449

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