Jane Harrison

Profile details


Research Associate and Tutor in Archaeology


Jane’s first degree was in History at Cambridge University, and she was then awarded an MSc in Applied Landscape Archaeology and a DPhil in Archaeology from University of Oxford. For the last fifteen years, she has been a research field archaeologist, a Tutor at the Department since 2010 and a Senior Associate Tutor from 2014-2017. She has excavated in England and Scotland, and especially in Orkney and Oxfordshire. Between 2010 and 2015, Jane was a leading archaeologist, teacher and researcher on the Department’s East Oxford Archaeology Project, working with Dr David Griffiths and Dr Olaf Bayer. She is the Fieldwork Director of the Appleton Area Archaeological Research Project along with Trevor Rowley (Emeritus Fellow of Kellogg) – the project has a CBA/ Mick Aston grant – and Deputy Director of the Origins of Wessex Project with Professor Helena Hamerow.

Teaching and Fieldwork


MSc in Applied Landscape ArchaeologyAdvanced Diploma in British Archaeology - fieldwork training and dissertation supervision

Undergraduate Certificate in Archaeology, Undergraduate Diploma in British Archaeology - archaeological periods and in particular early-later medieval north-west Europe; landscape and urban archaeology, archaeological practice and theory; archaeological science and dating.

Certificate of Higher Education: archaeology assessor


Deputy Director Origins of Wessex Project

Fieldwork Director Appleton Area Archaeological Research Project

Directing excavations for the East Oxford Archaeology Project

Assistant Director and Excavation Supervisor Birsay-Skaill Landscape Archaeology Project

Supervisory Staff Marcham-Frilford excavations Hillforts of the Ridgeway

Research interests

Viking and medieval archaeology in the North Atlantic and north-western Europe; urban landscapes; placed deposits; material culture and settlement; landscape archaeology (theory and practice); community archaeology and impact.

Jane’s research focuses on Viking colonisation, and on Scandinavian settlement in the north of England and Scotland: she is writing a book for Routledge on Viking settlement in the North Atlantic. A particular interest is the ways in which settlers go about constructing new ‘home’ landscapes. Jane is also researching placed deposits in domestic contexts in the Viking world and is interested in the development of urban landscapes. She has therefore been involved with archaeology in the suburbs, examining their development as urban hinterlands and creating ways of training local people to participate constructively in rigorous research, and in innovative ways of communicating the results of that research. These ideas drove the East Oxford Archaeology Project.


•           Harrison, J. forthcoming, Settlement, Identity, and Landscape in the Viking-Late Norse Colonies of the North Atlantic, Abingdon: Routledge.

•           D. Griffiths and J. Harrison, forthcoming, Beside the Ocean. Coastal Landscapes: Viking and Late Norse Settlement at the Bay of Skaill, Marwick and Birsay Bay, Orkney. Archaeological Research, 2003-2015, Oxford: Oxbow Books/ Historic Scotland.

•           D. Griffiths and J. Harrison (eds) forthcoming, The Archaeology of East Oxford: Archeox, the story of a community, Oxford: OUDCE monograph.

•           Bond, J., Harrison, J. and T. Rowley, forthcoming 2017, ‘Appleton Manor: a history (Part 1), Oxoniensia 81.

•           Harrison, J. 2014, ‘Scandinavian Settlement in Cleveland’, in H. O’Donoghue and P. Vohra (eds), The Vikings in Cleveland, Nottingham: Centre for the Study of the Viking Age, University of Nottingham, pp.13-21.

•           Harrison, J. 2013a, ‘Settlement Landscapes in the North Atlantic: The Northern Isles in Context, ca. 800–1150 AD’, Journal of the North Atlantic, Special Volume 4, pp. 129-147.

•           Harrison, J. 2013b, ‘Building Mounds. Longhouses, Coastal Mounds and Cultural Connections: Norway and the Northern Isles, c AD800-1200’, Medieval Archaeology 57(1), pp. 35-60.

•           Harrison, J. 2013c, ‘Mounds, Middens and Social Landscapes: Viking-Norse Settlement of the North Atlantic’, in D. Jørgensen and S. Sörlin (eds), Northscapes: History, Technology and the Making of Northern Environments, Vancouver: UBC Press, pp. 85-109.

•           Griffiths, D. and J. Harrison 2011a, ‘Interpreting Power and Status in the Landscape of Viking Age Orkney’,  in S. Sigmundsson (ed.) Viking Settlements and Viking Society: papers from the proceedings of the sixteenth Viking Congress, Reykjavík and Reykholt, 16-23 August 2009, Reykjavík: University of Iceland Press, pp. 132-146.

•           Griffiths, D. and J. Harrison 2011b, ‘A Viking Age Settlement under wind-blown sand’, Medieval Britain and Ireland 2010, Medieval Archaeology 55, pp. 321-6

•           Griffiths, D. and J. Harrison, 2011c, ‘Settlement under the sand: new Viking discoveries in Orkney’, Current Archaeology 22:1, pp. 12-19.

•           Harrison, J. 2006, ‘The Anglo-Saxon Period’, in P. Cockrell and S. Kay (eds) A View from the Hill, Oxfordshire: Blewbury Society.

•           2004 – 2013: Data Structure Reports (Interim Archaeological Reports) to Historic Scotland standards, one a year : e.g.

•           Griffiths, D. and J. Harrison 2005, Birsay-Skaill Landscape Archaeology Project, Orkney. Data Structure Report 2004-5, BS04 (Birsay) and SG04 (Snusgar), Oxford: University of Oxford report.

•           Griffiths, D. and J. Harrison 2010, Birsay-Skaill Landscape Archaeology Project, Orkney, Phase XII, Data Structure Report 2010, SG10 (Snusgar), Oxford: University of Oxford report

•           Griffiths, D. and J. Harrison 2012, Birsay-Skaill Landscape Archaeology Project, Orkney, Phase XIII, Data Structure Report 2011, SG11 (Snusgar), Oxford: University of Oxford report

•           Griffiths, D. and J. Harrison 2014, Damsay, Orkney DY13, Data Structure Report, Oxford: University of Oxford report

•           East Oxford Archaeology Project archaeological reports www.archeox.net and reports in South Midlands Archaeology


Selected Conference and Workshop Presentations

Delegate and presenter: Viking Congress 2017

Director and speaker: East Oxford, A Thames Valley Landscape, 2016

Speaker: Old Norse Research Seminar, University of Oxford, 2016


Presenting participant:


Presenting papers at conferences including: 

  • Architectural Representation in the Middle Ages, 2017
  • People and Places in the Medieval Thames Valley: Oxford 2013
  • Institute for Archaeologists Annual Conference: Oxford 2012
  • Flows of Food, Folk and Thought. Environmental Histories of the Nordic Countries: Tromsø, Norway 2011
  • Inaugural St Magnus Conference: Orkney 2011