Staff Profile:Dr James Leary

Areas of Interest:
  • Neolithic and early Bronze Age monumentality.
  • The social impact of sea-level rise and submergence of landscapes in the past.
  • Mobility and movement in past.

Postgraduate supervision:

Jim currently supervises three postgraduate students:

  • Elaine Jamieson: Memory, Mobility and the Perception of Place: a view of elite landscapes in Medieval England.
  • Claire Nolan: Therapeutic Landscapes of the Neolithic: Exploring the potential for Britain's Neolithic heritage to promote well-being amongst present-day visitors and communities.
  • Katy Whitaker: What is the impact of the historical exploitation of sarsen stone on the understanding and interpretation of the prehistoric archaeology of southern England?
Research groups / Centres:

Landscape, Climate and Lived Environment Research Cluster

Key facts:

Jim Leary convenes the Archaeological Thought and Careers in Archaeology modules, and contributes to the Practicing Archaeology module. He has been an archaeologist and prehistorian with English Heritage since 2005, and was 'Field Archaeologist in Residence' at the McDonald Institute, University of Cambridge in 2012. Prior to English Heritage, Jim spent 7 years with a commercial archaeological unit in London. In 2007 and 2008, he directed the major excavations into Silbury Hill and has managed the post-excavation programme since. He co-authored the monograph of this work, as well as a popular account (with a foreword by David Attenborough). In 2010 Jim directed excavations at Marden henge, which lies between Stonehenge and Avebury, revealing one of the best preserved Neolithic buildings in England. More recently Jim assisted with work that cored through the Marlborough Castle Mound, conclusively proving for the first time that its origins are prehistoric and contemporary with Silbury Hill. Jim has also researched perceptions and understandings of sea-level rise in the Mesolithic (see his recent book, The Remembered Land: Surviving Sea-level Rise after the Last Ice Age) as well as mobility and movement in archaeology. He sits on the council of the Prehistoric Society, and has written a chapter on excavation and evaluation for the Avebury and Stonehenge WHS Research Agenda. Jim has also written numerous archaeology-related articles for popular magazines and journals.

Recent Publications:
Jump to: 2016
Number of items: 3.


This list was generated on Thu Jan 4 15:41:50 2018 UTC.

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Further Publications:


  • Leary, J., Field, D. and Campbell, G. (2013). Silbury Hill. Europe's largest prehistoric mound. Swindon: English Heritage publishing.
  • Bates, M.R., Wenban-Smith, F.F., Collins, M.J., Keen, D.H., Leary, J., Parfitt, S.A., Penkman, K., Rhodes, E., Ryssaert, C. and Whittaker, J. (Submitted [under review for 2013]). Cold stage occupation at the end of the Acheulian (MIS 8): Evidence from Harnham, Salisbury (UK), southern England. Quaternary Science Reviews.


  • Leary, J. and Field, D. (2012). Journeys and juxtapositions. Marden henge and the view from the Vale. In Gibson, A. (ed.) Enclosing the Neolithic. Recent studies in Britain and Europe, 55-65. Oxford: BAR (International Series 2440).
  • Leary, J. and Marshall, P. (2012). The Giants of Wessex: The chronology of the three largest mounds in Wiltshire, UK. Antiquity 86(334) (Project Gallery).
  • Leary, J. and Butler, J. (2012). Roman archaeology in the upper reaches of the Walbrook Valley: Excavations at 6-8 Tokenhouse Yard, London EC2. London: PCA monograph series 14.


  • Leary, J. (2011). Experiencing change on the prehistoric shores of Northsealand: An anthropological perspective on Early Holocene sea-level rise. In J. Benjamin, C. Bonsall, C. Pickard and A. Fischer (ed.) Submerged Prehistory. Oxford: Oxbow Books.
  • Leary, J., Branch N.P. and Rayner, L. (2011). Prehistoric Southwark. Excavations in Bermondsey shed further light on the prehistory of north Southwark. The London Archaeologist 13(2), 31-5.


  • Leary, J. and Field, D. (2010). The Story of Silbury Hill. Swindon: English Heritage publishing.
  • Leary, J., Darvill, T. and Field, D. (ed.) (2010). Round mounds and monumentality in the British Isles and beyond. Oxford: Oxbow Books (Neolithic Studies Group Seminars Paper 10).
  • Leary, J. (2010). Silbury Hill. A monument in Motion. In J. Leary, T. Darvill and D. Field (ed.) Round mounds and monumentality in the British Isles and beyond, 139-151. Oxford: Oxbow publishing.


  • Leary, J. (2009). Perceptions of and responses to the Holocene flooding of the North Sea lowlands. Oxford Journal of Archaeology 28(3), 227-37.


  • Leary, J., Branch, N.P. and Bishop, B.J. (2005). 10,000 years in the life of the River Wandle: Excavations at the former Vinamul site, Butter Hill, Wallington. Surrey Archaeological Collections 92.
  • Leary, J. with Brown, G., Rackham, J., Pickard, C. and Hughes, R. (2004). Tatberht's Lundenwic. Archaeological excavations in Middle Saxon London. London: PCA monograph series 2.
  • Leary, J. (2004). 285-291 Tooley Street - further evidence for a Late Iron Age/Early Roman settlement in Bermondsey. London Archaeologist, 10(11).


BA in Archaeology (Cardiff), PhD in Archaeology (Manchester), MIFA, FSA

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