Professor Neil Christie

Professor of Medieval Archaeology

School/Department: Archaeology and Ancient History, School of

Telephone: +44 (0)116 252 2617


Address: School of Archaeology & Ancient History University of Leicester


After my BA and doctorate at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, I held a Scholarship and then research post at the British School at Rome; before gaining a postdoctoral award as Sir James Knott Fellow at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne; and I then held a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship with the University of Oxford’s Institute of Archaeology. I joined the Archaeology staff at the University of Leicester in 1992 and became Professor in 2017.

My primary administrative duty in the School was long as Postgraduate (Research) Tutor. I also had an extended role as PGR Director for the College of Social Sciences Arts and Humanities. I was made a University Distinguished Teaching Fellow in 2019 based on my contribution to PGRs. Until very recently I was also one of the Site Directors for the Midlands4Cities AHRC doctoral partnership. I am co-director of Leicester's Medieval Research Centre.

Key external roles include Reviews Editor for both Medieval Archaeology and Medieval Settlement Research Group journals. I am a regular peer reviewer for the European Science Foundation and for the PRIN (Italy); I also also a regular peer reviewer of journal articles as well as book proposals for publishers such as CUP, Routledge, Archaeopress, Brill and BAR Publishing. I am series editor for the Equinox publisher series The Archaeology of Medieval Europe. I am an elected member of the Società degli Archeologi Medievisti Italiani and a correspondent for the journal Archeologia Medievale.

I have been on the AHRC Peer Review Panel and have served at various departments of Archaeology in the UK as external examiner for undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.


In total I have published 20 books and monographs and over 80 papers/articles in peer-reviewed journals conference proceedings and edited works. In addition I have produced c. 30 short reports on fieldwork seasons (e.g. for Medieval Archaeology, Medieval Settlement Research and South Midlands Archaeology) plus review articles and over 180 reviews in a wide range of national and international journals such as Landscapes, Medieval Archaeology, American Journal of Archaeology, Journal of Roman Archaeology and Early Medieval Europe.

I am a highly productive researcher managing to combine sizeable outputs with a busy teaching and administrative load as well as external roles. My outputs have given me a high European profile while the AHRC-funded UK-based Wallingford project (2008-11) greatly elevated my standing in the UK.

I am editor for Equinox’s Archaeology of Medieval Europe series (and have already signed up six future volumes).

My research has long been informed by archaeological fieldwork - primarily in Italy (British Academy and British School at Rome funding plus EU Horizon 2020 funding for church excavations at Classe) but also in Spain, Turkey and, of course, the UK.


My key recent books and edited volumes include:

(co-edited with A. Carneiro & P. Diarte-Blasco), Urban Transformations in the Late Antique West: Materials, Agents, and Models. (Serie Humanitas Supplementum Estudos Monograficos). Coimbra: Coimbra University Press, 2020. Online open access volume:

(co-edited with P. Diarte-Blasco), Interpreting Transformations of People and Landscapes in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages: Archaeological Approaches and Issues. Oxbow Books: Oxford, 2018. ISBN 978-1-78925-034-3.
(co-edited with H. Herold), Fortified Settlements in Early Medieval Europe: Defended Communities of the 8th-10th Centuries. Oxbow Books: Oxford, 2016. ISBN 978-1-78570-235-8 

(co-editor, with K. Keats-Rohan and D. Roffe), Wallingford: The Castle and the Town in Context. BAR British Series 621. Archaeopress: Oxford, 2015. ISBN 978-1-4073-1418-1.  

(with O. Creighton, and H. Hamerow and M. Edgeworth), Transforming Townscapes. From Burh to Borough: The Archaeology of Wallingford, AD 800-1400. Society for Medieval Archaeology Monograph 35. SMA: London, 2013. ISBN 978-1-909662-09-4. 

(edited with A. Sarantis), War and Warfare in Late Antiquity: Current Perspectives. (Late Antique Archaeology 8.1, 8.2), 2 volumes. Brill: Leiden, 2013.  ISBN 978-90-04-25257-8 (ISSN 1570-6893). 

(co-editor, with Andrea Augenti), Vrbes Extinctae: Archaeologies of Abandoned Classical Cities. Ashgate: Farnham, 2012. ISBN 978-0-7546-6562-5. 

The Fall of the Western Roman Empire. An Archaeological and Historical Perspective. Bloomsbury: London, 2011. ISBN 978-0-34075-966-0.

From Constantine to Charlemagne: An Archaeology of Italy, AD 300-800. Ashgate: Aldershot, 2006. 

(editor), Landscapes of Change. Rural Evolutions in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. Ashgate: Aldershot, 2004.  



Principal areas of research include: Late Roman to medieval archaeology; urbanism; defence; landscape change; churches; Italy; Anglo-Saxon England; barbarian Europe


Current PhD Students and topics:

• David Cardona: Catacombs in Context: A Maltese Investigation

• Giulia Bison: Late Antique Metalworking and Recycling in Rome

• Alessandra Pegurri: Common Wares and the Economy of Late Antique Rome (M4C AHRC funded)

• Zoltan Pallag: The Roman Picnic in Late Antiquity (M4C AHRC funded)

• Margherita Riso: The Christianisation of Late Antique to Early Medieval Rural Sicily (M4C AHRC funded)

• Matt Selheimer: Life at the Cross-Roads: How street intersections shaped Roman socio-spatial experience

• Tamar Miller: Relics and Fourth-Century Christianity

* Brandon Fathy: Modelling an Emergent Port and Town: Early Medieval Ipswich and its Context

• Alessandro Carabia: Byzantine Liguria: A Frontier Province in Context (M3C AHRC Funded - primary supervisor at University of Birmingham)

• Matthew Tuohy: The Origins and Growth of the Hundred of Willey (Bedfordshire) (co-supervision with R. Jones of English Local History at UoL) 


My teaching (undergraduate and Masters, both campus-based and by distance learning) covers Roman to medieval archaeology including courses on Living in Medieval Towns and Early Christian Europe exploring aspects such as urban and rural change across time. I also cover themes such as the City of Rome and Standing Buildings archaeology.

Press and media

late Roman and early medieval archaeology


• Elected Fellow of Society of Antiquaries (1997)

  • Elected member of the Società degli Archeologi Medievisti Italiani (2015)

• AHRB Panel 1 Member (Classics and Archaeology) for Major Grants Research Leave etc. (1997-2000); AHRC Peer Review Panel (2004-10)

• Extensive experience as ESF grants reviewer; awards and projects reviewed for research councils in: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Portugal.

• External examiner for undergraduate programmes in the UK (including Kent, Newcastle, Nottingham, Oxford, York, Sheffield); external PhD examiner in UK and abroad (including in Ireland, Belgium, Italy and Hungary).

• Honorary Secretary of the Medieval Settlement Research Group (2004-19) plus Reviews Editor (ongoing); Reviews and Medieval Britain and Ireland Editor for Medieval Archaeology journal (2006-); Correspondent for Italian Archeologia Medievale journal (2000- ).

• Extensive experience as peer reviewer for journals and book publishers in the UK and abroad. 


Current Post: Professor of Medieval Archaeology with the University of Leicester (promoted to Chair in August 2017; appointed Reader in April 2005; promoted to Senior Lecturer in Oct. 1999; appointed Lecturer in 1992)

1981 - University of Newcastle Upon Tyne (B.A. Hons. in Archaeology - Class I)

1985 - University of Newcastle Upon Tyne. Ph.D in Archaeology

1985-86 - Rome Scholarship at the British School at Rome studying 'Byzantine Liguria'

1986-87 - Research Associate at the British School at Rome, writing up a set of old church excavations and surveys

1987-89 - Sir James Knott Research Fellowship with the Department of Archaeology at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, researching 'Later Roman Italy A.D. 250-500'

1989-91 - British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Institute of Archaeology, Oxford Univesrity, researching the Lombards

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