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Professor Michael Lewis

Professor Michael Lewis portrait

Areas of interest

  • Medieval metal small finds, particularly in relation to everyday living and religion
  • Heritage protection, and community involvement in archaeology
  • The Bayeux Tapestry, in the context of art and culture.


Michael Lewis is the Head of the Portable Antiquities Scheme – established to record archaeological finds discovered by the public in England and Wales – and a founding member of the European Public Finds Recording Network (2016 to present).

For five years (2012-17) he was a Special Constable with the Metropolitan Police Art & Antiques Unit, and maintains an active interest in law enforcement in relation to heritage crime. He is a member of the National Police Chief’s Council Heritage & Cultural Property Crime Working Group (2013 to present), and an advisory member of the All Party Parliamentary Archaeology Group (2003 to present).

Michael has written widely on medieval material culture – specifically metal small finds – and the Bayeux Tapestry. The latter was the subject of his PhD. He was also co-curator of the British Museum's international touring exhibition, Medieval Europe 400-1500 (2015-18), and is a member of the Comité scientifique Tapisserie de Bayeux (2013 to present), advising Bayeux Museum on the redisplay and reinterpretation of the embroidery.

Selected publications


  • Lewis, M. & Richardson, I. Inscribed Hawking Rings (British Archaeological Reports).


  • Leahy, K & Lewis, M. Finds Identified: an illustrated guide to metal-detecting and archaeological finds (Greenlight Publishing).
  • Lewis, M. 'La Tapisserie de Bayeux et l'art anglo-saxon', in S. Lemagnen, S. A. Brown & G. Owen-Crocker (eds.), L'Invention de la Tapisserie de Bayeux: naissance, composition et style d'un chef-d'œuvre medieval (Point de Vues), 229-45.
  • Lewis, M. 'Myths and Mysteries of the Bayeux Tapestry', in D. Bates (ed.), 1066 in Perspective (Royal Armouries 2018), 79-95.


  • Lewis, M. 'The Bayeux Tapestry: window to a world of continuity and change', in D. Hadley & C. Dyer (eds.), The Archaeology of the 11th Century: continuities and transformations, Society for Medieval Archaeology Monographs (Manley), 228-43.


  • Lewis, M. & Speakman, N. Los Pilares de Europa: la edad media en el British Museum (British Museum & Obra Social la Caixa); also translated into Catalan.
  • Lewis, M. 'Ecclesiastics in the Bayeux Tapestry', in A. C. Henderson & G. R. Owen-Crocker (eds.), Making Sense of the Bayeux Tapestry: readings and reworkings (Manchester University Press), 75-92.
  • Lewis, M. 'Mounts for Furnishings, Padlocks, and Candleholders: understanding the urbanisation of medieval England through metal small finds recorded by the Portable Antiquities Scheme', in B. Jervis, L. G. Broderick, & I Grau Sologestoa (eds.), Objects, Environment, and Everyday Life in Medieval Europe (Brepols), 157-85.
  • Lewis, M. 'A Detectorist's Utopia? Archaeology and Metal-Detecting in England and Wales', Open Archaeology 2, 127-39.
  • Locker, M. & Lewis, M. 'Landscapes of Devotion: pilgrim signs in their wider context', Church Archaeology 17, 49-61.


  • Lewis, M. 'Les émaux religieux de Limoges découverts en Angleterre', Cahiers Landarc, no.11, 1-59.


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