Prestigious Research Fellowship awarded to Bangor Archaeologist

Professor Nancy Edwards (School of History, Welsh History and Archaeology) has been awarded a prestigious three year Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship to write a book on Life in Early Medieval Wales.

The period from the collapse of Roman rule to the coming of the Normans was formative in the evolution of Wales, its language and identity. Yet we know less about Wales c. AD350–1050 than any other part of Britain and Ireland. To enable wide-ranging comparison the research will be set within the broader framework of recent developments in early medieval European archaeology. The growing body of archaeological evidence for Wales will then be interrogated alongside the sparse written sources in order to analyse how people lived – their settlements, economy, society and beliefs, and how these changed over time.

Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship awards enable well-established and distinguished researchers in the humanities and social sciences to devote themselves to a single research project of outstanding originality and significance. Of the 31 Major Research Fellowships awarded in 2014, Professor Edwards is in receipt of the only award made to a University in Wales. In the words of Dr Peter Shapely, Head of the School of History, Welsh History and Archaeology, “Professor Edwards’ award of a prestigious Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship is an outstanding achievement both for herself and the School of History, Welsh History and Archaeology.”

Nancy Edwards is Professor of Medieval Archaeology at Bangor University. Her research, much of which is multi-disciplinary, focuses on the archaeology of Britain and Ireland c AD400–1100. She has published widely on the archaeology of early medieval Wales, particularly on sculpture and the archaeology of the church. 

Professor Edwards has recently completed a major research project on the Early Medieval Inscribed Stones and Stone Sculpture in Wales. This was in partnership with the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales and Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales and was funded by the British Academy, Arts and Humanities Research Council, University of Wales, Bangor University and the Cambrian Archaeological Association. 

She is also currently writing up Project Eliseg, an excavation project to examine the archaeological context of the Pillar of Eliseg, a ninth-century cross which stands on a Bronze Age burial cairn near Llangollen, Denbighshire. This project (with Dr Gary Robinson, Bangor University and Professor Howard Williams, University of Chester) has been funded by Cadw, the Society of Antiquaries of London, the Universities of Wales, Bangor and Chester, the Prehistoric Society and the Cambrian Archaeological Association.

For a complete list of award holders for 2014 please follow this link  

Publication date: 14 January 2015