Dr Gareth PerryGareth Perry

Laboratory and Technical Supervisor

BEng(Hons), PGCE, MA, PhD

Email Address: gareth.perry@sheffield.ac.uk

Telephone: 0114 22 22928

Room G15, Department of Archaeology, Northgate House, West Street, S1 4ET


I originally trained as a Mechanical Engineer at the University of Manchester. After completing a PGCE in secondary school science teaching I spent a number of years teaching physics. I arrived at the Department of Archaeology, University of Sheffield, in 2007 when I enrolled on the Material Culture Studies MA. Here I completed my PhD and progressed to my current role as Laboratory and Technical Supervisor.

Research Interests

  • Anglo-Saxon and medieval pottery
  • Ceramic petrology
  • Ceramic technology
  • Anglo-Saxon and medieval society
  • Anglo-Saxon funerary practices and cemetery studies
  • Anglo-Saxon settlement
  • Experimental archaeology
  • Pottery use and re-use

Current research projects/collaborations

  • Pottery production in Anglo-Scandinavian Newark (Nottinghamshire). This project, funded by the Society for Medieval Archaeology, seeks to understand the technological choices made by potters working in Newark. The emergence of the Newark industry is placed in context with the broader potting traditions and political and economic developments in the Trent Valley in the ninth to twelfth centuries.
  • The Anglo-Scandinavian pottery industry at Torksey (Lincolnshire), as part of The Viking Winter Camp at Torksey (with Prof. Dawn Hadley (University of Sheffield), Prof. Julian Richards (University of York) and Dr Gareth Williams (British Museum); funded by the British Academy, Society of Antiquaries of London and the University of Sheffield). Combining petrographic thin section analysis, scanning electron microscopy, excavated and geological evidence, this research takes a holistic approach to pottery technology, providing insight into the selection and preparation of raw materials, the fabrication of vessels, construction of kilns, and the determination of firing temperatures and firing regimes.
  • The pre-burial uses of early Anglo-Saxon cremation urns and the relationship between their forms and function.
  • Identifying the ‘catchment areas’ of early Anglo-Saxon cemeteries through petrological analysis of settlement and cemetery pottery.



  • The Age of the Vikings
  • The Celtic West


  • Reconstructing Ancient Technologies: Ceramics


  • Perry, G.J. 2014. All form one and one form all: the relationship between pre-burial function and the form of early Anglo-Saxon cremation urns. In Blinkhorn, P. and Cumberpatch, C. (eds) The Chiming of Crack'd Bells: Current Approaches to Artefacts in Archaeology. BAR International Series 2677. Oxford: BAR, 39-64.
  • Perry, G. J. 2012. A hole for the soul? Possible functions of post-firing perforations and lead plugs in early Anglo-Saxon cremation urns. In Jervis, B and Kyle, A. (eds) Make Do and Mend: Archaeologies of Compromise, Repair and Reuse. BAR International Series 2408, 43-52.
  • Perry G. J. 2011. Beer, butter and burial: the pre-burial origins of cremation urns from the early Anglo-Saxon cemetery of Cleatham, North Lincolnshire. Medieval Ceramics, 32, 9-22.
  • Perry, G. J. 2011. The Anglo-Saxon accessory vessel from site CLN96. In Palmer-Brown, C. and Rylatt, J. (eds) How Times Change: Navenby Unearthed. Pre-Construct Archaeological Services Ltd Monograph No 2. Lincoln: Pre-Construct Archaeology, 101-3.

Other professional activities

Regional Groups Officer for the Medieval Pottery Research Group (MPRG).