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Department of Archaeology



I completed my BA in Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Cambridge in 2014, my MA in Medieval Archaeology at the University of Sheffield in 2015, and my PhD at the University of Cambridge in 2019. My PhD thesis was entitled "Burial Practices in Transition: A study of the cultural and religious cohesion of early medieval Europe".

In 2020, I was elected as a junior research fellow at Girton College, Cambridge.


My research focuses on burial practices in the early Middle Ages (5th-10th centuries AD), and how such burial practices varied across Europe. My PhD examined the transition from furnished to unfurnished burial, with a particular emphasis on England, France, Germany, and the Low Countries. I am interested in processes of globalisation across early medieval Europe, relations between the living and the dead, and the methods by which we investigate them. My work combines GIS and statistical approaches with historical and anthropological theory.

I have been involved with excavations at the site of the Great Viking Army camp at Repton since 2017.



Key publications: 

Brownlee, E. (2021) Connectivity and funerary change in early medieval Europe. Antiquity 95.379, 142-159

Brownlee, E. (2020) The dead and their possessions: the declining agency of the cadaver in Early Medieval Europe European Journal of Archaeology 23.3, 406-427.

Brownlee, E. (2017) “In the resurrection, no weakness will remain”: perceptions of disability in Christian Anglo-Saxon England. Archaeological Review from Cambridge 32.1, 53-71

Other publications: 

Brownlee, E. (2018). Book Review, Life on the Edge: Social, Political and Religious Frontiers in Early Medieval Europe by S. Semple, C. Orsini, and S. Mui (eds). Archaeological Review from Cambridge 32.2

Teaching and Supervisions


I currently supervise Part IIA and IIB students for A24 - The Medieval Globe

I have previously supervised

  • A2 - Archaeology in Action (Part I)
  • A12 - Archaeological Theory and Practice II (Part IIB)
  • ARC24 - The North Sea in the Early Middle Ages (Part IIA and IIB)

Other Professional Activities

  • Co-convenor of the Medieval Archaeology Group seminars
  • Winner of the 2017 EAA student award presented at the Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists

Job Titles

Ottilie Hancock Junior Research Fellow in Archaeology, Girton College
Fellow, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research

General Info

Available for consultancy
Research Expertise / Fields of study: 
Material Culture
Archaeological Theory

Contact Details

Girton College


Person keywords: 
Funerary Archaeology
Early Medieval Europe
GIS and Statistics
Material Culture
Cultural Change
Material Culture
Geographical areas: 
Periods of interest: