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Medieval History Research Centre

Research Associates


Dr Stephen Harrison
Research Associate in Medieval History


Research Interests

My research focuses on the early and high Middle Ages (c.400-1350), with a particular interest in the early Viking Age. I am presently, or have very recently been, involved with the following projects:

  • 'Viking' Graves? Death, Burial and Identity in Early Medieval Britain and Ireland (2009-11).This IRCHSS-funded postdoctoral project at UCD expanded on research carried out as part of my PhD, specifically, seeking to identify key features of indigenous burial practices in the period before the establishment of insular Scandinavian settlements and communities, by focusing on study areas in England, Scotland and Ireland. Through this research, it is hoped to examine the form and extent of indigenous influences on insular Scandinavian burial practices in the period before furnished burial was abandoned. This will form part of a book on The Viking Graves of Britain and Ireland, a study of the social significance of furnished burial in early Viking Age Ireland and Britain.
  • The Irish Viking Graves Project (1999-Present). This National Museum of Ireland-funded project began in 1999, and has continued sporadically ever since. Its objective is the publication of the first comprehensive and accurate catalogue of Irish Viking Graves and Grave-Goods. To achieve this, extensive research has been carried out at a number of archives, and all artefacts associated with Irish Viking graves, whether at the National Museum of Ireland or elsewhere, have been re-examined. The resulting publication, which is now in press, will represent the most important work on the subject for over a century.


Select Publications


  • Viking Graves and Grave-Goods in Ireland (With R. Ó Floinn) (Dublin: National Museum of Ireland; in press)
  • The Medieval World and the Modern Mind (Ed., with Micheal Brown) (Dublin: Four Courts, 2000), pp. 201.


  • ‘Bride Street revisited: a re-evaluation of a tenth-century burial at Dublin’, in S. Duffy (ed.), Medieval Dublin, 10 (Dublin: Four Courts, 2010), pp. 126-52.
  • ‘The Suffolk Street sword: further notes on the College Green Cemetery’, in J. Sheehan & D. Ó Corráin (eds), The Viking Age: Ireland and the West: Proceedings of the XVth Viking Congress (Dublin: Four Courts, 2010), pp. 136-44.
  • ‘Separated from the foaming maelstrom: landscapes of insular ‘Viking’ Burial’, in S. Semple & H. Williams (eds), Anglo-Saxon Studies in Archaeology and History, 14 (2008), pp. 173-82.
  • ‘College Green – a neglected ‘Viking’ cemetery at Dublin’, in A. Mortensen & S.V. Arge (eds), Viking and Norse in the North Atlantic: Select Papers from the Proceedings of the Fourteenth Viking Congress, Tórshavn, 19-30 July 2001 (Annales Societatis Scientiarum Færoensis Supplementum 44) (Tórshavn: Føroya Fornminnissavn, 2005), pp 329-339.
  • ‘Viking graves and grave-goods in Ireland’, in A.C. Larsen (ed.), The Vikings in Ireland (Roskilde: The Viking Ship Museum, 2001), pp. 61-75.
  • ‘The terms milites, equites and equestres in the early crusading histories’, Nottingham Medieval Studies, 50 (2006), pp. 1-21.


Teaching and Supervision

At Level 1 I will be offering a new module in 2011-12 on ‘Medieval and Post Medieval Archaeology’. I will also be offering a List 3 module entitled ‘from Saints to Vikings: The Archaeology of Early Medieval Ireland, 400-1000’. I am also available to supervise M Phil students on appropriate topics.