Reconstructions

West Gate Friary Oxford
The Friary as it may have appeared in the 14th century. Commissioned by Ben Ford at Oxford Archaeology.

Neolithic House in Northumbria

This reconstruction is based on the discovery of an early Neolithic house on the lowland river plain of the Milfield Basin in Northumbria, which is surrounded by the dramatic uplands of the Cheviot Hills. The Structure was a post built one but not like other Neolithic houses, e.g. Yarnton. Instead, it is thought to be akin to structures used by people in north west coast America, a double post structure, which possibly contained organic material sandwiched between the posts that was removed and moved on to the next place. I also wanted to explore and introduce the use of tattoos during the Neolithic in this illustration.

Illustrated by Mark Gridley
Commissioned by Dr Ben Edwards at Manchester Metropolitan University and Dr Seren Griffiths at UClan.

Chess
I was commissioned by the Dorset County Museum to produce this illustration as a backdrop for an exhibit displaying a few 11th century chess pieces which was installed in the new archaeological gallery that opened in November 2015. The idea was to suggest how games like chess reflected the war strategies played out on battlefields at that time.

Crick
The expansion of Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal near Crick, Northamptonshire, led to a series of archaeological investigations that have uncovered one of the largest Iron Age settlements in the country. This Illustration depicts the remarkable discoveries made over some 178 hectares of land over the last 20 years. Commissioned by Cotswold Archaeology.

Viking burial pit
I was commissioned by Oxford Archaeology to produce this interpretation of the gruesome archaeological discovery of a mass grave containing 54 dismembered skeletons and 51 skulls on Ridgeway Hill near Weymouth by archaeologists in 2009. Isotope analysis has shown the skeletons, all of which were male, to be of Scandinavian decent who were executed some time between AD 910 and 1030. The men are believed to have been Vikings executed by local Anglo-Saxons and it has been suggested that they may have been a viking raiding party which had been captured during an attempted raid into Anglo-Saxon territory.

This reconstruction is based on excavations undertaken on the M25 ring road in 2008 by Oxford archaeology. The interesting thing about this excavation to me was the size of postholes belonging to the two front posts of what was presumably a gatehouse to an Iron Age enclosure. They were over a metre in diameter and must have supported substantial posts. One possible explanation is that they were there to impress and may have been decorated with elaborate carvings.

Anglo Saxon Lyminge, Kent. Several high status buildings had been unearthed up until 2013 and the excavations that took place in 2014 uncovered even more. Further reconstructions are underway in an attempt to better understand the structures and their development through time and to shed more light on this internationally important site for an understanding of the development of royal power in early medieval Europe. Commissioned by Dr Gabor Thomas at Reading University

A sketch which was made for the previous Viking burial pit reconstruction. Analysis of the decapitated skeletons showed some signs of struggle prior to the captives execution and that some of the victims had been decapitated whilst facing their executioner.

Another sketch made prior to the viking burial pit reconstruction showing an Anglo Saxon amongst the corpses in the pre Roman pit.

Reconstruction Illustration of Late Saxon Winchester. The coloured areas show the extent of excavation within this archaeological site.

Description

A visual reconstruction of an archaeological subject such as a costume, building or settlement for example, gives one an immediate impression of how something may have appeared in the past, allowing the viewer to gain a possible insight into the lives of their ancestors. This type of visual language can bypass the usual conventions used to describe such data which normally may only be understood by specialists within a particular field, and thus can communicate directly and instantly in an exciting and stimulating way to a general audience. It may therefore be true that archaeological reconstruction provides the most immediate interface between the archaeologist and the public.