Senior Research Associate
Director, Access Cambridge Archaeology
Cambridge CB2 3ER
Carenza Lewis has been teaching in the Department since 1999, having previously been an archaeological investigator for the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments of England (RCHME), after completing her first degree in archaeology and anthropology at Cambridge. Between 1986 and 1999 she carried out analytical field investigations of monuments and landscapes ranging in date from the Neolithic (Avebury Henge) to the Second World War (Mulberry Harbour construction site, Lepe), focussing particularly on the archaeological and historical evidence for the medieval landscape of Wessex, and in particular the development of the rural settlement pattern. In 1992 she was appointed to the Leverhulme Trust-funded post-doctoral research project at Birmingham University into the origins of the medieval settlement pattern of the East Midlands, a post she carried out on secondment from RCHME. The results were published in 1997 and instituted a follow-up research programme . In 1993 she was selected to be one of the archaeological presenters of Time Team, the innovative and long-running award-winning Channel 4 archaeological series then about to start filming. This series has now been running for 12 years and has broadcast more then 150 programmes following original excavation and archaeological research, repeatedly breaking new ground in its format and presentation of the process of archaeological investigation to the general public.
On her return to RHCME from Birmingham University in 1994 Carenza Lewis refined the methodology of the East Midlands work in a top-down investigative analysis of medieval settlement in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. In 1999 she moved from Wessex to Cambridgeshire, leaving RCHME (then merging with English Heritage) to combine expanding media work with teaching in Corpus Christi College and the Department of Archaeology in Cambridge. Between 2000 and 2002 she presented television series on BBC 2, BBC Knowledge and HTV, on various aspects of archaeology. Since 2001 she has been an affiliated lecturer teaching medieval archaeology in the Department of Archaeology in Cambridge, which since 2009 has included coordinating and teaching the later medieval part of the MPhil in medieval archaeology.
In 2004 Carenza was appointed to the Department of Archaeology to promote undergraduate archaeology at Cambridge and beyond as part of a programme of widening access to higher education among under-represented groups, in the course of which she set up Access Cambridge Archaeology. Access Cambridge Archaeology (ACA) now employs three staff and involves numerous student volunteers and members of the public including large numbers of school pupils. ACA operates across the country, developing and delivering new ways of promoting social and economic well-being through active participation in archaeology while raising interest in archaeology as an academic subject. Activities include community excavations, public lectures, Discovery Days (1-day indoor workshops intended to inspire, inform and build thinking skills), and Higher Education Field Academies (HEFA) (3-day outdoor courses to develop a range of skills for HE and the workplace). The HEFA programme has been widely praised and involves around 500 teenagers from up to 100 schools in the eastern region per year. In 2007 Carenza was awarded an honorary ScD by University of East Anglia in recognition of her contribution to scholarship and the social impact of her work with ACA. In 2009 she was short-listed for the Marsh Archaeology Award for her contribution to public archaeology.
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