Letty Ten Harkel

Dr Letty Ten Harkel

Postdoctoral Research Assistant

Institute of Archaeology
36 Beaumont St, Oxford, OX1 2PG

phone: 01865 278256

fax: 01865 278254

email: letty.tenharkel@arch.ox.ac.uk

Research interests

I am currently the Early Medieval Researcher in the ERC-funded project 'Landscape and Identities: the case of the English landscape 1500 BC - 1086 AD (EngLaId)' at the Institute of Archaeology (University of Oxford). For progress updates, please see our blog at englaid.com.

In addition, I am working in collaboration with colleagues from the Stichting Cultureel Erfgoed Zeeland (SCEZ), de Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the Oxford Research Laboratory for Archaeology and History of Art (RLAHA) on a project entitled 'Investigating the Dead in Early Medieval Domburg'. Funded by the Medieval Settlement Research Group (MSRG), the Society for Medieval Archaeology (SMA), the Viking Society for Northern Research (VSNR) and the Province Zeeland, this involves targeted 14C dating and stable isotope analysis of early medieval human skeletons from the ring fortress and emporium at Domburg, Netherlands, as well as analysis of remains of associated timber coffins.

Between 2011 and 2015, I was involved in international network group 'The Foundations of European Space II (FESII)', which brought together colleagues from Spain, the UK, Iceland, Italy, Norway and the Netherlands to study the interaction between local communities and supra-local polities on a comparative and cross-regional European scale. Proceedings of this network will be published by Brepols in 2017. 

From 2006-2010, I did my PhD at the University of Sheffield, spending 3 months as a British Research Council Fellow at the John W. Kluge Center, Library of Congress, Washington DC. My thesis took a Material Culture approach to investigate the process of early medieval urbanisation in Lincolnshire against the background of the Viking settlement, combining historical sources such as the Domesday Book with archaeological material, including decorative metalwork, coins, funerary sculpture and burials.

Prior to that, I worked commercially as a field archaeologist, archaeological illustrator and finds assistant in London, Sheffield, Cambridge and York, did an MA in Medieval Archaeology at the University of York, and studied Medieval Studies (history and literature) at the Universities of Utrecht (the Netherlands) and Cambridge.

Key themes of my research include:

  • Material culture and identity
  • Vikings
  • Settlement development and the rise of urban identities
  • Landscape archaeology
  • Stable isotopes
  • Relationship between archaeology, archaeological science, history and literature.

Primary geographic area

The southern North Sea basin, in particular England and the Low Countries.

Current activities and projects

  • Early Medieval Researcher, Landscape and Identities: the case of the English landscape c. 1500 BC – AD 1986
  • Investigating the Dead in Early Medieval Domburg (in collaboration with Stichting Cultureel Erfgoed Zeeland (SCEZ) and Vrije Universiteit Brussel).
  • Co-editor of a volume of proceedings of a workshop re-assessing the archaeology of early medieval Walcheren (the Netherlands), held in October 2013.
  • Tutor, Diploma and Advanced Diploma in Archaeology/Weekly Classes Programme, Oxford University Department for Continuing Education.
  • Member of Editorial Board, Medieval and Modern Matters.

Past activities and projects

  • Member of international network The Foundations of the European Space, addressing local identities and the ‘supra-local’ in early medieval Europe (proceedings to be published by Brepols in 2017).
  • Committee Member, Medieval Settlement Research Group (2011-2014)

Selected Publications

  • ‘Team EngLaId’, in prep. English Landscapes and Identities: Investigating Landscape Change from 1500 BC to AD 1086 (book proposal under consideration with Oxford University Press).
  • Deckers, P. and Ten Harkel, L. (eds), in prep. A Central Place on the World’s Edge: Studies on the Early Medieval History and Archaeology of the Island of Walcheren, the Netherlands (book proposal under consideration as a joint venture with Brepols and the Koninklijk Zeeuwsch Genootschap der Wetenschappen [Royal Zeeland Institute of Sciences]).
  • Gosden, C., Green, C., Ten Harkel, L., Lowerre, A., Kamash, Z., Franconi, T. and Cooper, A.,  in prep. Understanding the English Landscape: Modelling Mass Data from England, 1500 BC to AD 1086 (under peer review with The Archaeological Journal).
  • Ten Harkel, L., forthcoming. Ethnic Identity or Something Else? The Production and Use of Non-Ferrous Dress-Accessories and Related Items from Early Medieval Lincoln, Anglo-Saxon Studies in Archaeology and History (accepted for the 2017 issue).
  • Ten Harkel, L., Franconi, T. and Gosden, C., in press. Fields, Ritual and Religion: Holistic Approaches to the Rural Landscape in Long-Term Perspective (c. 1500 BC – AD 1086), Oxford Journal of Archaeology.
  • Ten Harkel, L., in press. ‘Est haec effera gens’: landscapes of negotiation on the former island of Walcheren, the Netherlands. In: Escalona, J., O. Vésteinsson and S. Brookes (eds), Polity and Locality in Early Medieval Europe, Turnhout: Brepols.

  • Ten Harkel, L. in press. The Norman Conquest and its Impact on Late Anglo-Saxon Towns. In: Hadley, D.M. and C. Dyer (eds), The Norman Conquest: Transformations and Continuities. Society for Medieval Archaeology Monographs.
  • Ten Harkel, L., Weetch, R. and Sainsbury, V. 2016. An Early Medieval Polychrome-Enamelled Brooch from Flaxengate, Lincoln: Continental Fashions in an Anglo-Scandinavian Town. Medieval Archaeology 60, DOI 10.1080/00766097.2016.1147786
  • Hadley, D.M. and Ten Harkel, L., 2013. Everyday Life in Viking-Age Towns: social approaches to towns in England and Ireland, c. 850-1100. Oxford: Oxbow.
  • Ten Harkel, L., 2013. A Viking Age Landscape of Defence in the Netherlands? The Late Ninth- and Tenth-century Ringwalburgen in the Dutch Province of Zeeland. In: Baker, J., S. Brookes and A. Reynolds (eds), Landscapes of Defence in the Viking Age, 223-59. Turnhout: Brepols.
  • Ten Harkel, L., 2013. The Urbanization of Viking Age Lincoln: a numismatic perspective. The Mediaeval Journal 13.1: 1-48.
  • Ten Harkel, L., 2013. Material Culture and Urbanism: The Case of Viking-Age Lincoln. Anglo-Saxon Studies in Archaeology and History 18, 157-73.
  • Ten Harkel, L., 2006. The Vikings and the Natives: Ethnic Identity in England and Normandy c. 1000. The Medieval Chronicle 4, 175-188.

All Publications

  • Donnelly, V., Green, C. and Ten Harkel, L. 2014. English Landscapes and Identities. The Early Medieval Landscape: Methods and Approaches. Medieval Settlement Research 29: 43-55.
  • Ten Harkel, L. 2014. The English Landscapes and Identities Project. Dissertation Reviews – Medieval Studies – Talking Shop, 6 May 2014. Available at http://dissertationreviews.org/archives/8716.
  • Ten Harkel, L. 2013. Landscapes and Identities: The Case of the English Landscape c. 1500 BC – AD 1986. Post-Classical Archaeologies 3: 349-56.
  • Ten Harkel, L., C. Gosden, A. Cooper, M. Creswell, C. Green and L. Morley. 2012. Understanding the Relationship between Landscape and Identity: A Case Study from Dartmoor and the Tamar Valley, Devon, c. 1500 BC – AD 1086. eTopoi: Journal for Ancient Studies. Available at http://journal.topoi.org/index.php/etopoi/article/view/105.
  • Gosden, C., A. Cooper, M. Creswell, C. Green, L. ten Harkel, Z. Kamash, L. Morley, J. Pybus and X. Xiong, 2012. The English Landscape and Identities Project. Antiquity 86 (332). Available at http://www.antiquity.ac.uk/projgall/gosden332/.
  • Gosden, C. and L. Ten Harkel. 2011. English Landscapes and Identities. The Early Medieval Landscape: a perspective from the past. Medieval Settlement Research 26, 1-10.
  • Ten Harkel, L., 2013. Of Towns and Trinkets: The Production and Consumption of Metalwork in Tenth-century Lincoln. In: Hadley, D. M. and L. Ten Harkel (eds), Everyday Life in Viking-Age Towns: social approaches to towns in England and Ireland, c. 850-1100, 172-92. Oxford: Oxbow.
  • Ten Harkel, L., 2011. De Vikingen en de Zeeuwse ringwalburgen: enkele vraagstukken. Madoc: Tijdschrift over de Middeleeuwen 25 (3): 161-72.
  • Ten Harkel, L., 2011. Land or Gold? Changing Perceptions of Landscape and Wealth in Viking-Age Lincolnshire (c. 800-1000 AD). Assemblage 11: 15-33.
  • Evans, C. and L. Ten Harkel, 2010. Roman Cambridge’s Early Settlement and Via Devana: Excavations at Castle Street. Proceedings of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society 99: 35-60.
  • Ten Harkel, L., 2008. Lincoln en de Vikingen: Het Ontstaan van een Stad. Madoc: Tijdschrift over de Middeleeuwen 22: 3, 110-19.
  • Ten Harkel, L., 2004. The Good, The Bad and The Fearless: De Vikingen en hun Vijanden in Oudnoorse en Oudengelse Oorlogspoëzie. Madoc: Tijdschrift over de Middeleeuwen 18:1, 2-10.


  • Ten Harkel, L., in press. Review of Early Medieval Monetary History: studies in memory of Mark Blackburn, eds R. Naismith, M. Allen and E. Screen (2014). The Mediaeval Journal.
  • Ten Harkel, L., 2015. Review of Champion: The Making and Unmaking of the English Midland Landscape, T. Williamson, R. Liddiard and T. Partida (2013). Medieval Archaeology 59: 354-5
  • Ten Harkel, L., 2015. Review of The Open Fields of England, D. Hall (2014). Medieval Settlement Research 30: 66.
  • Ten Harkel, L., 2015. Review of Ruralia VI: Hierarchies in Rural Settlement, ed. J. Klápště (2013). Medieval Settlement Research 30: 68-9.
  • Ten Harkel, L., 2015. Review of Woodstown: a Viking-Age settlement in Co. Waterford, I. Russell and M.F. Hurley (2014). Antiquity 89.347: 1261-3.
  • Ten Harkel, L., 2015. Review of Aggersborg: the Viking-Age settlement and fortress, eds E. Roesdahl, S.M. Sindbæk, A. Pedersen and D.M. Wilson (2014), Antiquity 89.345: 759-60.
  • Ten Harkel, L., 2014. Review of Champion: the making and unmaking of the English Midland landscape, T. Williamson, R. Liddiard and T. Partida (2013). Medieval Archaeology 58: 408.
  • Ten Harkel, L., 2014. Review of Landscapes or Seascapes? The history of the coastal environment in the North Sea area reconsidered, eds E. Thoen, G.J. Borger, A.M.J. de Kraker, T. Soens, D. Tys, L. Vervaet and H.J.T. Weerts (eds) (2013). Landscapes 15.1: 91.
  • Ten Harkel, L., 2012. Review of Oxfordshire’s Best Churches, R. Wheeler. Church Archaeology 16: 107.
  • Ten Harkel, L., 2012. Review of The Archaeology of the East Anglian Conversion, R. Hoggett (2010). Landscapes 13.1: 81-2.
  • Ten Harkel, L., 2013. Review of The Oxford Handbook of Anglo-Saxon Archaeology, ed. H. Hamerow, D. A. Hinton and S. Crawford (2011). Oxford: Oxford University Press. English Historical Review 128 (533): 915-17.
  • Ten Harkel, L., 2012. Review of Things from the Town: Artefacts and Inhabitants in Viking-Age Kaupang, ed. D. Skre (2011) and Excavations at Helgö XVIII: Conclusions and New Aspects, ed. B. Arrhenius and U. O’Meadhra (2011). Medieval Archaeology 56: 348-49.
  • Ten Harkel, L. 2012. Review of Settlement and Lordship in Viking and Early Medieval Scandinavia, ed. B. Poulsen and S. Sindbæk (2011). Medieval Settlement Research 27: 75-76.
  • Ten Harkel, L., 2011. Review article of the four-volume publication of the Flixborough excavations in North Lincolnshire. Landscapes 11, 1: 95-101.
  • Ten Harkel, L., 2009. Beneath the Seven Seas: Adventures with the Institute of Nautical Archaeology, ed. George F. Bass (2005). London: Thames & Hudson. Assemblage 10: 36-38.
  • Ten Harkel, L., 2005. Vikingen! Overvallen in het Stroomgebied van Rijn en Maas, 800-1000, A. Willemsen. Bussum: Uitgeverij Thoth, 2004. Madoc: Tijdschrift over de Middeleeuwen 19: 1, 47-49.
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