Barbican Research Associates
providing an integrated post-excavation service for the archaeological community
The study of archaeological leather continues apace and has widened at one end to take in prehistoric skin products and at the other to cater for the ever increasing amount of early modern and later leather being recovered from archaeological excavation. There is also now an interesting 'bulge in the middle' concerning leatherwork of the middle Anglo-Saxon period. I very much enjoy researching material in collaboration with others and have greatly benefited from working with valued colleagues both here and abroad. In addition to material from a range of sites throughout Britain I have reported on leather of the early modern period from the Icelandic site of Skálholt, and will be reporting on more leather from another Icelandic site. Maritime finds continue to be a theme and currently leather recovered from a number of shipwreck sites including the London, the Invincible and the Rooswijk wreck is under investigation.
Recently an article ‘The home-made shoe, a glimpse of a hidden, but most ‘affordable’, craft’ has been selected for inclusion in Medieval Archaeology, Critical Concepts in Archaeology Volume 1 edited by Roberta Gilchrist and Gemma Watson (2016) and described as ‘reprints of 77 influential papers carefully selected to highlight the key issues and debates in the development and contemporary practice of later medieval archaeology in Europe’. I am so pleased that such a humble topic as peasant footwear should receive such recognition.
Metalwork is not being neglected. In recent years I have produced small finds reports from Wigmore Castle, Weoley Castle and a number of sites in Birmingham and Coventry along with smaller groups from many locations in England and Wales. As my contribution on the Roman ironwork from the Chester Amphitheatre has recently been published, attention will now shift to the medieval and later artefacts.
From 1978 to 1981 I was an Archaeological Field Officer in the Central Excavation Unit which was then part of the Historic Buildings & Monuments Commission for England (later English Heritage and now Historic England).
Since 1981 I have been a freelance archaeological specialist in archaeological metalwork and leather of all periods. During this time I have worked for numerous archaeological units and for English Heritage. From 1990-95, for example, I acted as the English Heritage project officer monitoring the publication programme of former Department of Urban Archaeology now part of the Museum of London Archaeology Service.
Today I report on leather and metal small finds of all periods, contributing chapters considering these finds in the wider regional and national settings, and help to organise a range of meetings promoting their study and research.
Recent work has included commenting on a small number of pieces recovered from a beach in South Georgia near the Antarctic,and currently I am working on leather from Oxford and Bristol.
I have a degree in Archaeology and Geography from University of Southampton (1976) and an MA in Archaeology from Institute of Archaeology, University of London (1978).
I am a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London. I am a member of the Archaeological Leather Group, the Finds Research Group and the Society of Medieval Archaeology and have served on the committees of each. Currently I am Membership Secretary for the Finds Research Group.
Volken, M., Mould, Q. and Cameron, E. 2021. 'A reassessment of leatherwork from the Sutton Hoo ship burial', The Antiquaries Journal 101, 160-80.
2019. 'Leather', in S. Teague and B. Ford, Excavations in Oxford's south suburb at Brewer Street, Littlegate Street and Rose Place, Oxford Archaeology 1 January 2019, 126-31.
2018. 'Another piece in the jigsaw: the leather from a Roman well at Tollgate, Farm, Staffordshire', in T. Ivleva, J. De Bruin, M. Driessen (eds.) Embracing the Provinces: Society and material culture of the Roman Frontier regions. Essays in honour of Dr Carol van Driel-Murray, Oxford, Oxbow Books, 159-67.
2018. Ironwork sections, in T. Wilmott and D. Garner. The Roman Amphitheatre of Chester. Volume 1: The Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology, Chester Archaeological ans Survey Report 16, Oxford, Oxbow books.
2017 Mould, Q (ed.) Leather in Warfare: Attack, Defence and the Unexpected. Royal Armouries conference proceedings. Trustees of the of the Armouries.
2017 (with Keily, J.) ‘Leatherworking in South-Eastern Britain in the Roman Period’ in D. Bird (ed.) Agriculture and Industry in South-Eastern Roman Britain, (Oxford: Oxbow Books), 236-254
2016 (with Cameron, E.) ‘The animal pelt’ in A.M. Jones, Preserved in the Peat. An extraordindary Bronze Age burial on Whitehorse Hill, Dartmoor, and its wider context. (Oxford: Oxbow Books), 64-68
2016 (with Cameron, E. and Harris, S.) ‘The textile and animal-skin object’ in A.M. Jones, Preserved in the Peat. An extraordindary Bronze Age burial on Whitehorse Hill, Dartmoor, and its wider context. (Oxford: Oxbow Books), 148-156
2014 'The home-made shoe: a glimpse of a hidden but most 'affordable' craft', in Hansen, G., Ashby, S. and I Baug, I. (eds.) Everyday Products in the Middle Ages: Crafts, Consumption and the Individual in Northern Europe c. AD800-1600, (Oxbow Books).
2014 (with Cameron, E) 'Fashion and Necessity: Anglo-Norman leatherworkers and changing markets', in Hansen, G., Ashby, S. and I Baug. I. (eds.) Everyday Products in the Middle Ages: Crafts, Consumption and the Individual in Northern Europe c. AD800-1600, (Oxbow Books).
2011 'Devil's Crafts and Dragon's Skins? Sheaths, Shoes and Other Leatherwork', in Clegg Hyer, M. and Owen-Crocker, G. R. (eds.) The Material Culture of Daily Living in the Anglo-Saxon World. University of Exeter Press, 93-115.
2011 'Domestic life', in Allason-Jones, L. (ed.). Artefacts in Roman Britain, (CUP: Cambridge), 153-79.
2009 'The Roman Shoes' and 'The Medieval Leather', in Howard-Davis, C. The Carlisle Millennium Project excavations in Carlisle, 1998-2001. Volume 2: The Finds. Oxford Archaeology North: (Oxford) 831-857.
2008 'Leather finds' in Mann, J (ed.) Finds from the Well at St Paul-in-the-Bail, Lincoln, Lincoln Archaeological Studies 9. (Oxford): Oxbow Books.
2008 'Iron' in Garner, G at al (ed.) Excavations at Chester, 25 Bridge Street 2001 two thousand years of urban life in microcosm. Archaeological Service Excavation& Survey Report 14, 317-322.
2008 (with Wills, B). 'Iron Age Puff Balls', in Evans C & Knight M 2008, 'Further investigations at Arbury Camp, Cambridgeshire: The Eastern Entrance', Proceedings of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society XCVII, 17-19.
2007, 'A Medieval Water Carrier from Carlisle', Medieval Archaeology 51, 191-9.
2007, 'The leather', in 'Excavations at Abingdon West Central Redevelopment: Iron Age, Roman, Medieval, and Post-medieval Activity in Abingdon' by Kate Brady, Alex Smith, and Granville Laws Oxoniensia 72 (2007), 107-202. 2006.
2006, 'The metal finds' and with A Vince, 'Introduction to the finds' in Saunders, A, Excavations at Launceston Castle, Cornwall, Society for Medieval Archaeology Monograph 24, 301-339 and 261-8 respectively.
2006, with Fell, V and White, R. Guidelines on the X-radiography of Archaeological Metalwork (Swindon, English Heritage) Downloadable here.
2005, 'Footwear, discussion' in Gardiner, J and Allen, M J (ed.) Before the Mast Life and Death Aboard the Mary Rose. The Archaeology of the Mary Rose Volume 4: 78-94.
2005 (with Cameron, E), 'Leather buckets' in Gardiner, J and Allen M J (ed.) Before the Mast Life and Death Aboard the Mary Rose. The Archaeology of the Mary Rose Volume 4: 359-367.
2004. 'Metal finds' in Cool, H.E.M. The Roman Cemetery at Brougham Cumbria: Excavations 1966-67 Britannia Monograph 21 (London), passim.
2004. (with Cameron, E.) 'Saxon shoes, Viking sheaths? Cultural identity in Anglo-Saxon York', in Hines, J., Lane, A., and Rednap, M. (eds.) Land, Sea and Home, Society for Medieval Archaeology Monograph 20 (Leeds), 457-66.
2003 (with Carlisle, I. and Cameron, E). Craft, Industry and Everyday Life: Leather and Leatherworking in Anglo-Scandinavian and Medieval York, The Archaeology of York 17/16 (York).
2002. Metalwork in Wilson, P. Cataractonium. Roman Catterick and its Hinterland: Excavations and Research, 1958-1997. Part II. CBA Research Report 129 (York), 44-138.
2002. Leather' 42-3, in Evans, C. and Knight, M. 'A great circle: investigations at Arbury Camp, Cambridge', Proc. Cambridge Antiquarian Soc. 91, 23-53.
1997, 'The Leather' in Wilmott, T, 1997 Birdoswald Excavations of a Roman fort on Hadrian's Wall and its successor settlements:1987-92, English Heritage Archaeological Report 14, 326-341.
1995 (with G. Edwards) The care of waterlogged archaeological leather', English Heritage Scientific and Technical Publications Guideline No 4.
All website contents copyright Barbican Research Associates 2022