Elaine is a specialist in landscape archaeology, with a focus on medieval settlement, landscapes and elite culture. She is particularly interested in how people in the past perceived natural and cultural landscapes, and the importance of place in constructing and maintaining collective and personal identities. She is an active field archaeologist with an extensive background in earthwork survey and landscape investigation and has worked on research projects both in Britain and abroad.
After completing an MA in Archaeology at Durham University in 1996, Elaine worked briefly in commercial archaeology before moving across to the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland to work on their landscape characterisation project. In 2000 she joined the Research Department of what was then English Heritage and worked as an Archaeological Investigator for over 15 years, specialising in landscape archaeology and analytical earthwork survey, latterly managing a small team of archaeological and architectural investigators. During her time with English Heritage Elaine was involved in several large landscape projects, undertaking fieldwork on the Quantock Hills, Dartmoor, Stonehenge and elsewhere, and between 2006 and 2010 was responsible for the delivery of a major multi-disciplinary project on the Mendip Hills.
In 2015 Elaine joined the University of Reading and worked on funded research projects while at the same time undertaking a PhD in Archaeology. She joined the University of York as their Fieldwork Project Manager in 2022.
Elaine’s research is focussed on medieval settlement and landscapes, with a particular interest in the expression of elite power in England. Her PhD considered the values attached to natural and cultural landscapes, with a focus on Norman castles. Her wider interests include how monuments from the past were re-used in the past, a research theme that stems from her work on the ‘Round Mounds’ project (funded by the Leverhulme Trust) which between 2015 and 2017 explored the origins of numerous castle mottes up and down the country. More broadly, she is interested in the theory and application of methodologies for the recording of archaeological landscapes and monuments, and the ways in which traditional and digital technologies can be combined to best capture, analyse and present archaeological field remains.