School of History, Welsh History and Archaeology

Research projects

Modern and Contemporary History and Welsh History

National Identity and Institutional Politics: Welsh Devolution 1885-2001

This project is a study of political and cultural influences on the devolution process in Wales and is concerned with both civic and cultural forms of national identity.

Research in the Penrhyn Family and Penrhyn Estate

The second Baron Penrhyn has become famous for his role in the Penrhyn lock-out of 1900-1903, an industrial conflict that attracted attention across the UK at the turn of the last century. His quarries once supplied slate to much of the western world.

The Labour Party and the Politics of Housing in Manchester and Salford 1945-1987

This case study of housing policy in two adjacent but different Labour-dominated cities is designed to cast light on one of democratic socialism's major post-war policy problems.

Constitutional change and British Labour politics 1964-1979

Funded by the British Academy, and building on our ESRC devolution research,  this project involves examining the broader constitutional agenda on the Labour party in the 1960s and 1970s. It attempts to show that New Labour's interest in the 'Modernisation of goverment' has deep roots in the Labour party's concern about the machinery of government.

History and Welsh History

Local Contexts of Change: Popular Religion, Community, and the Development of Confessional Identity in Wales and the Marches

This is funded by a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship in Medieval and Early Modern History awarded to Dr Katharine Olson from 2008-2011. It is an interdisciplinary project dealing with the religious, social, intellectual, and cultural history of late medieval and early modern Wales and the Marches, from the fifteenth century to 1640. For further details, please visit Dr Katharine Olson's webpage.

Central Government Taxation Records for Wales, 1291-1689

An ESRC funded project to research central government records of the taxation of laymen in Wales 1291-1689.  Information arising from the research about the documents and their context is now available online at www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/e179

National Identity and Institutional Politics: Welsh Devolution 1885-2001

This project is a study of political and cultural influences on the devolution process in Wales and is concerned with both civic and cultural forms of national identity.

Research in the Penrhyn Family and Penrhyn Estate

The second Baron Penrhyn has become famous for his role in the Penrhyn lock-out of 1900-1903, an industrial conflict that attracted attention across the UK at the turn of the last century. His quarries once supplied slate to much of the western world.

Medieval History and Welsh History

Local Contexts of Change: Popular Religion, Community, and the Development of Confessional Identity in Wales and the Marches

This is funded by a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship in Medieval and Early Modern History awarded to Dr Katharine Olson from 2008-2011. It is an interdisciplinary project dealing with the religious, social, intellectual, and cultural history of late medieval and early modern Wales and the Marches, from the fifteenth century to 1640. For further details, please visit Dr Katharine Olson's webpage.

Central Government Taxation Records for Wales, 1291-1689

An ESRC funded project to research central government records of the taxation of laymen in Wales 1291-1689.  Information arising from the research about the documents and their context is now available online at www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/e179

Archaeology

A Corpus of Early Medieval Inscribed Stones and Stone Sculpture in Wales

Over 500 early medieval inscribed stones and pieces of stone sculpture are now known from Wales and are of crucial importance to our understanding of the period between the end of the Roman Britain and the coming of the Normans.  This University of Wales Board of Celtic Studies research project is in partnership with National Museum Wales and the Royal Commission on Ancient and Historical Monuments Wales.

Hillforts of the Clwydian Range and Llantysilio Mountains

In collaboration with the 'Heather and Hillforts' project, the School is embarking on a programme of research on the hillforts of the Clwydian Range and Llantysilio Mountains. We excavated in Moel y Gaer, Llanbedr hillfort in Summer 2009, carried out surveys on Moel Fodig, Fron Newydd and Caer Drewyn in 2009-2011, and excavated at Moel Fodig in summer 2011. Through this project, we aim to better understand the development of the hillforts of the Clwydian Range and Llantysilio mountain, not least regarding the chronological sequence of the construction of these monuments (with excavations serving the purpose of locating datable material), a slow and tedious process since the lack of pottery (North Wales being aceramic throughout most of the Iron Age) and bone finds (due to acidic soils) limits dating attempts to absolute scientific dating (14C). Click here to read related news story.

The Meillionydd Project

The Meillionydd excavations are aimed at characterising and improving our understanding of the double ringwork enclosures of the Llŷn peninsula. The first three seasons have already provided some very exciting results, with more work on site planned for Summer 2013. Should you be interested in participating in community archaeology work as part of this project, please contact Dr Kate Waddington or Prof Raimund Karl.

Early Celtic Societies in North Wales

This is a collaborative research project, directed by Prof Raimund Karl in the School and Prof John T. Koch at the Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies in Aberystwyth. Funded by the University of Wales Publications and Collaborative Research Committee (the successor to the former Board of Celtic Studies), this project employed a researcher, Dr Kate Waddington, to compile a GIS of late 2nd mill. BC to early 2nd mill AD settlement in North Wales. The data is being used to analyse the interaction between local, small-scale societies and the emergence of complex societies during the formative period of what today can be considered to be characteristic for Wales.
This project is due to be published shortly in a University of Wales monograph, entitled: ‘The settlements of northwest Wales from the Late Bronze Age to the early medieval period’ (K. Waddington).

Bangor Studies in Archaeology, Reports

To make the preliminary results and interim reports about its fieldwork more readily available to the public, we have started a series of pdf reports, the Bangor Studies in Archaeology. The following volumes are currently available for free download:

Previous Projects

The Welsh Roundhouse

A Board of Celtic Studies funded research project investigating excavated hut circle sites in Wales.

Ardudwy Early Landscapes Project

The project is investigating the relatively understudied later prehistoric (3rd-1st millennia BC) agricultural and settlement remains in Ardudwy, north-west Wales. The ongoing programme of fieldwork is funded by the Board of Celtic Studies, the Robert Kiln Charitable Trust, Research Centre Wales and supported by the University of Wales, Bangor, and Gwynedd Archaeological Trust.

Heritage

Current projects

Archaeological heritage management and public archaeology in Austria

Following from the Discovering the Archaeologists of Europe 2007-8 study, dubious practices in Austrian archaeological heritage management, including suspicious collusions between archaeologists in the National Heritage Agency BDA and private archaeological contractors were examined in an extended research project. This first stage of this project, which caused massive changes in Austrian heritage management over the years 2009-11, came to an end with the publication of a monograph (Karl 2011) on Archaeological Heritage Management in Austria – Practice, Problems, Suggested Solutions. Changes induced by the research carried out for this project include the prohibition for public servants in the archaeology department of the  BDA to also head private archaeological contractor businesses (by ministerial edict), the end of the practice of the BDA to award high-value contracts to these very same contractors without tender or offer the services of these contractors to third parties as if they were part of the BDA (internal order of President of the BDA; freeing the private market for archaeological contractors from unfair competition and releasing several million € per annum into that private market), and the creation of the first minimum standards for archaeological excavations in Austria (issued by the department of archaeology of the BDA).

A second stage of this project is currently examining the possibilities for and problems with a (lack of) public archaeology in Austria. Under the present legislation, only persons with a degree in an archaeological subject are allowed to search for archaeological finds in Austria, effectively criminalising large parts of the Austrian population which want to contribute to the archaeological process. The current research aims to examine whether these citizens, in particular the metal detectorists, cause significant damage to Austrian archaeology (as is usually claimed by archaeologists), or whether their contribution outweighs the damage they might cause.

Studying Archaeology in Europe: Austria

Together with several national and transnational partners, we are now also involved with the Studying Archaeology in Europe project, where we will, once again on behalf of the Austrian partner IÖAF, examine the situation of students studying archaeology in Austria. This project is a follow-up to the Discovering the Archaeologists of Europe project (see below) and was developed by archaeology students inspired by it.

Visualising the Archaeology of Gwynedd

This is a three year, KTP funded project to create a high-quality, stakeholder–led online image-library to showcase the archaeology of north-west Wales.  The image-library will be a valuable commercial, educational and research tool.  The partnership offers an important opportunity for leading regional heritage organisations to work collaboratively.  The project builds upon the School’s ARCH/EPSRC Science and Heritage cluster promoting visualisation, interpretation and representation of heritage information.  The project aims engage directly in the Welsh Assembly Government’s digital economy strategy.

Previous projects

Discovering the Archaeologists of Europe: Austria

This project, part of the wider Discovering the Archaeologists of Europe project and carried out on behalf of the Austrian partner IÖAF, examined the archaeological labour market in Austria. The projects final report (in German and English) can be found on the transnational project website.
Medionemeton - building a museum of Iron Age life in Mitterkirchen, Upper Austria

This project was managed jointly with J. Leskovar (Oberösterreichisches Landesmuseum Linz) and K. Löcker (University of Vienna) and intended to update the Iron Age Open Air Museum in Mitterkirchen, Austria. While currently on ice, new activities are taking place at Mitterkirchen, with (hopefully) some future developments towards plans like the ones outlined on this page (which have been superceded by work on the Mitterkirchen water power station, which made it impossible to bring the plans as described here to fruition).

 

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