Dr Alexander Thomas

Researcher and Web Designer

0000-0002-1674-1482
ResearcherID: GOC-1628-2022

Dr Alexander Thomas

Researcher and Web Designer

0000-0002-1674-1482
ResearcherID: GOC-1628-2022

Background image: The New King Barrows of the Stonehenge landscape, Wiltshire. © Alexander Thomas.

Dr Alexander Thomas  BA MA PhD (Bris.)

Dr Alexander Thomas is a researcher and web designer. Originally from Hertfordshire, Alexander holds undergraduate , masters and doctoral degrees from the University of Bristol.

His PhD in Archaeology and Anthropology examined the archaeological and manuscript landscapes of the late 9th century AD Danelaw Boundary. A paper based on Alexander's research was a top-3 finalist at the 2020 John Hurst Memorial Prize , organised by the Medieval Settlement Research Group. During his studies, Alexander also led various seminars, tutorials and workshops for first and second year anthropology and archaeology students.

Alexander has worked as a proof-reader with Pen & Sword Books for their archaeology and historical fiction imprints, including the following titles:

  • Darwin's Apprentice: An Archaeological Biography of John Lubbock (Owen 2012).
  • The Woodville Connection (Martin 2013).
  • An Archaeological History of Britain (Eaton 2014).
  • Early Ships and Seafaring Volumes 1 and 2 (Grail 2014 & 2015).
  • An Archaeology of Human Decapitation Burials (Tucker 2014).
  • That Quiet Earth (Fellows 2014).
  • How Compassion Made Us Human: An archaeology of prehistoric sentiment (Spikins 2015).
  • An Anthology of Ancient Mesopotamian Texts (Franke 2016).
  • William Boyd Dawkins and the Victorian Science of Cave Hunting: Three Men in a Cavern (White 2016).
  • The Curse of the Pharaohs' Tombs': Tales of the Unexpected Since the Days of Tutankhamun (Harrison 2017).

Alexander has experience of various types of archaeological survey and of producing reports to Chartered Institute for Archaeologists’ (CIfA) standards.

His interests include art history and sailing. He has taken various courses at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, and has completed several Royal Yachting Association (RYA) courses and qualifications.

Researcher

Alexander is an independent historical and archaeological academic researcher of the Early Medieval period.

Research Interests and Memberships

Alexander's primary research interests focus on Viking Age England, from around the late 8th century AD up to around AD1200. He is currently writing his first book for Amsterdam University Press , which will reappraise the historical and archaeological evidence for the Danelaw. The book is due to be published in early-2025.

Alexander's research interests include:

  • The impact and legacy of the Danelaw Boundary of the late 9th century AD
  • Lordly and monastic land ownership within the Danelaw during the Viking Age
  • The relationships between the various Anglo-Saxon legal texts within the Quadripartitus collection, especially those related to the Danelaw Boundary.

Alexander is a member of The Offa's Dyke Collaboratory Research Network .

Doctoral Research: The Danelaw Boundary

Agreed in the late 9th century AD between Kings Alfred and Guthrum, Alexander's doctoral research at the University of Bristol concerned the Danelaw Boundary (c. AD878 – 890) between the Danelaw and the Kingdom of Wessex. Alexander's lead supervisor was Dr Stuart Prior , and he was co-supervised by Dr Lucy Cramp and Professor Levi Roach (of Exeter University). He was also supervised by Professors Mark Horton and Joanna Brück . Research included:

  • the analysis of diverse data sources and the identification of anomalous patterns
  • the formulation of a methodology to examine a varied dataset, compiled from broad sources, using flat databases as well as landscape and data visualisation
  • the development of solutions to resolve research problems by adapting multidisciplinary methods.

Conferences, Lectures and Events

Over the course of his PhD, Alexander was a chair, panellist and speaker at various international archaeology and medieval studies conferences including:

  • The University of Bristol Centre for Medieval Studies Postgraduate Conference
  • The Early Medieval Archaeology Student Symposium (EMASS)
  • Oxford Medieval Graduate Conference (OMGC)

Alexander has also co-organised several postgraduate archaeology and medieval conferences.

Alexander accepts requests to speak at events and conferences on various aspects of Viking Age governance. Please email him if you wish to enquire.

Forthcoming Events

Tuesday 4th July 2023, 2pm

Medway Archives Centre Lecture Series 2023

Medway Archives Centre, 32 Bryant Road, Rochester, ME2 3EP

The Fake Peace within the Textus Roffensis

Abstract: A treasure of Rochester Cathedral and formerly of the Medway Archives, the Textus Roffensis was created by Bishop Ernulf of Rochester and is an example of a 12th century AD codex diplomaticus. Often known as an exclusive encyclopaedia of Anglo-Saxon and early Kentish law code texts, it is one of just two manuscripts to only contain the Peace of Edward and Guthrum (EGu). For centuries this was thought to be a genuine Viking Age treaty text, but EGu is in fact an infamous forgery created by Archbishop Wulfstan of York. This lecture will explore the Textus itself as well as the impact of the fake text on contemporary research.


Saturday 8th July 2023 - Monday 10th July 2023

Status, Rank or Office? Social Boundaries in England, 900-1200

A three-day conference at Durham University

A Connection between Social Status and Political Boundaries in Mid-10th Century England?

Abstract: The death of King Eadred in the winter of AD955 sets into motion a series of events which test both social status and office boundaries. The subsequent accessions of two brothers, Kings Eadwig (r. AD955 – 959) and Edgar (r. AD959 – 975), the sons of King Edmund (r. AD939 – 946), are influenced by the Church, lordly allegiance, and love. Their story is often told from the perspective of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles and The Early Lives of St Dunstan (B.) but the Anglo-Saxon law codes provide another viewpoint. There exists an obscure text known evocatively as the Alfred-Guthrum Treaty Appendix (App AGu). App AGu may not be as well-known as some of its sister texts, such as the Peace of Edward and Guthrum (EGu) forgery or even the genuine Treaty of Alfred and Guthrum (AGu), but it has the potential to shed new light on the turbulent events of AD955 to 959.

This paper will discuss novel insights into the Alfred-Guthrum Treaty Appendix from an historical and archaeological perspective. It will highlight the connection between App AGu, AGu and Edgar, to reveal potentially significant implications for the geopolitical boundaries of the time. New relationships may additionally be drawn between different spheres, especially those associated with geopolitics, moreover it will pose the question: what did the medieval scribes really see?

Teaching and Marking

Alexander has led various seminars, tutorials and workshops, on archaeological practice and theory units, for first and second year anthropology and archaeology undergraduates including:

Alexander also has experience of marking first and second year undergraduate essays and exams.

Website Designer

Alexander has developed and built a variety of fluid websites for the media, education, and heritage sectors. He also has experience of building user platforms, possessing a working knowledge of the development and deployment of Progressive Web Apps (PWAs).

He is fully competent in Microsoft Office suite, Adobe Creative Cloud (including Adobe Illustrator, InDesign and Dreamweaver), Quantum GIS (QGIS), ReflexW, Geoplot, and TerraSurveyor. He also has a working knowledge of Python, HTML, CSS, PHP, JavaScript and SQL.

Copyright © . Dr Alexander Thomas.