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Tim Sutherland
Battlefield Archaeology (Tutor)




Tim Sutherland has enjoyed an extensive and varied career in archaeology for over 30 years since he worked on the archaeological excavations of the Roman Fort at Castlefield, Manchester. Tim has a broad experience in professional archaeology, working his way up from a site assistant, via project officer, to archaeological inspector and archaeological consultant. He gained a distinction in his Masters degree in archaeological prospection and geophysical survey.


Full publications list

Sutherland T.L., Shiels D., Hughes G., Sutherland S.H. (eds.) Conference Proceedings : Fields of Conflict, 2016; Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland

Sutherland, T.L. (2019) 'Archaeology@Waterloo:  Accessing the Potential', in Sutherland T.L., Shiels D., Hughes G., Sutherland S.H. (eds.) Conference Proceedings : Fields of Conflict, 2016; Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland

Sutherland, T.L. (2019) 'Preface' in Sutherland T.L., Shiels D., Hughes G., Sutherland S.H. (eds.) Conference Proceedings : Fields of Conflict, 2016; Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland

Sutherland, T. L. 2016 'Échec et mat : comparaison des indices du squelette de Richard III avec d’autres traumatismes médiévaux provoqués par des armes.' (eds) Guilaine, J. et Semelin, J. Violences de guerre, violences de masse Une Approche archeologique, Chapitre 5. 79-92

Sutherland, T.L. 2015 'The Battlefield' in Curry, A. and Mercer, M. (eds) 2015 The Battle of Agincourt Yale University press, New Haven, 190 - 201

Sutherland, T.L. 2015 'The 'Towton Battle Axe' - A reinterpretation' in Arms and Armour Volume 12 Issue 2, 124-135

Sutherland, T. and Holst, M. 2014. ‘Demonstrating the value of battlefield archaeology - war graves on ‘Towton field’: their location and excavation’, Schlachtfeld und Massengrab: Spektren Interdisziplinärer Auswertung von Orten der Gewalt (Zossen): 87-95

Holst, M. & Sutherland, T. 2014. ‘Towton Revisited – Analysis of the Human Remains from the Battle of Towton 1461’, Schlachtfeld und Massengrab: Spektren Interdisziplinärer Auswertung von Orten der Gewalt (Zossen): 97-129

Sutherland, T.L. 2012 'Conflicts and Allies: Historic Battlefields as Multidisciplinary Hubs - A Case Study frm Towton AD 1461'. Arms & Armour. Vol. 9 No. 1, 69-82
Sutherland, T.L. 2011 'The Bloody Battle of Towton, England' in M.Carver & J. Klapste. (eds) The Archaeology of Medieval Europe. Twelfth to Sixteenth Centuries. Vol. 2 272-276

Sutherland, T.L. 2011 'Guns at Towton' Battlefield, The Magazine of the Battlefields Trust, Vol. 16, Issue 1.

Sutherland, T.L., 2010  'Killing Time: Challenging the Common Perceptions of Three Medieval Conflicts—Ferrybridge, Dintingdale and Towton—"The Largest Battle on British Soil" Journal of Conflict Archaeology, 5 No.1, 1-25

Sutherland, T.L. 2010 'Archaeological Watching Brief and Metal Detector Survey at Gill House Farm, Long Marston, North Yorkshire' Journal of Conflict Archaeology, 5, 106-126

Sutherland, T.L., 2009 'Archaeological Evidence of Medieval Conflict  - Case Studies from Towton, Yorkshire, England (1461) and Agincourt, Pas de Calais, France (1415)'. H.H. Meller (ed.) Schlachtfeldarchaogie – Battlefield Archaeology. 1. Mitteldeutscher Archaologentag vom 09.bis 11. Oktober 2008 in Halle (Salle), 109-116

Sutherland, T.L. 2006 'Unknown Soldiers: The Discovery of War Graves from the Battle of Towton AD1461 in ' From Artefacts to Anomalies: Papers inspired by the contribution of Arnold Aspinall, Conference proceedings from University of Bradford 1-2 December 2006

Sutherland, T.L. & Richardson, S., 2006 'Arrows point to mass graves: The location of the dead from the Battle of Towton AD 1461.' D. Scott, L. Babits and C. Haecker (eds.) Fields of Conflict: Battlefield Archaeology from the Roman Empire to the Korean War, 1, 160-173

Schmidt, A. Sutherland, T.L. & Dockrill, S. 2006 ‘Inside the mound: geophysical investigation of the Old Scatness Iron-age Broch, Shetland’ R.E. Jones and L. Sharpe Going over Old Ground: Perspectives on archaeological geophysical and geochemical survey in Scotland. BAR British series 416

Sutherland, T.L. & Holst, M.R. (2005). Battlefield Archaeology -The Archaeology of Ancient and Historical Conflict, Guidelines for the British Archaeological Job Resource (BAJR) (

Sutherland, T.L. 2004 ‘Topsoil: key battlefield layer’ British Archaeology November (79): 15

Sutherland, T.L. & Schmidt, A. 2003 ‘A multidisciplinary approach to battlefield archaeology’ Landscapes 4 (2): 15-25 (

Sutherland, T.L. & Boylston, A. 2001 Mass grave marks England’s bloodiest battle (

Sutherland, T.L. 2000 ‘Recording the grave’, in V. Fiorato, A. Boylston & C. Knusel (eds.) Blood Red Roses: The Archaeology of a Mass Grave from the Battle of Towton 1461, Oxbow, Oxford: 36-44

Sutherland, T.L. 2000 ‘The archaeological investigation of the Towton Battlefield’, in V. Fiorato, A. Boylston & C. Knusel (eds.) Blood Red Roses: The Archaeology of a Mass Grave from the Battle of Towton AD 1461, Oxbow, Oxford: 155-168

Sutherland, T.L., Schmidt, A. & Dockrill, S.J. 1998 ‘Resistivity pseudosections and their topographic correction: a report on a case study at Scatness, Shetland’, Archaeological Prospection  5: 229-237

Boylston, A., Novak, S., Sutherland, T.L., Holst, M.R. & Coughlan, J. 1997 ‘Burials from the Battle of Towton’, Royal Armouries Yearbook. 2: 36-39

Boylston, A., Holst, M.R., Coughlan, J., Novak, S., Sutherland, T.L., & Knusel, C. 1997 ‘Recent excavations of a mass grave from Towton’, Yorkshire Medicine 9 (3): 25-26

Coningham, R.A.E. & Sutherland, T.L. 1997 ‘Dwellings or granaries? The pit phenomenon of the Kashmir-Swat Neolithic’, Ancient Pakistan XII: 177-190







Specialising in medieval battlefields and warfare, Tim continues to contribute significantly to battlefield archaeology both nationally and internationally.

He was founder of the Conflict Archaeology International Research Network (CAIRN), a network established to bring together an international group of experts working within the discipline of the archaeology of conflict, providing a much needed forum for discussion, debate and exchange of ideas. 

He has directed a number of high profile battlefield projects, the largest of which being the Towton Battlefield Archaeology Project which began in 1997. This project, initiated and directed by Tim, was the first successful multidisciplinary approach to systematically recovering and recording material from a medieval battle in Britain. This project is ongoing, with further excavations on a second mass grave on the battlefield, as well as extensive fieldwork and research on the battle as a whole, including the identification and recovery of one of the largest assemblages of medieval arrowheads to be found on a medieval British battlefield. Tim is also soon to be submitting his PhD thesis, a major work on the battlefield and battlefield methodology entitled, ‘The Application of an Integrated Prospection Methodology to the Understanding of the Archaeological Landscape of the Towton Battlefield’. 

Other successful projects include the ongoing extensive archaeological survey of the Battle of Agincourt (1415), involving an excavation of the official site of mass graves, as well as providing expert guidance on research strategies for battlefield projects on many important battle sites. These include Fulford (1066), Vadum Jacob, Israel (1179), Lewes (1264), Evesham (1265), Aljuboratta, Portugal (1385), Shrewsbury (1403), Stoke Field (1487), Mästerby and Visby, Gotland, Sweden (1361), Dornach, Switzerland (1499), Knockdoe, Ireland (1504), Lützen, Germany (1632) and Waterloo, Belgium (1815).

Tim has also advised H.M. Government on battlefield heritage management and protection and has given presentations in the Houses of Parliament. He has been the archaeological advisor to, and has featured in many radio and television programmes. He is currently lead archaeologist in the sucessful television archaeological documentary series Medieval Dead, series 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Tim has been published, both nationally and internationally, on subjects ranging from medieval conflict and battlefields to remote sensing on Iron Age brochs and pre-historic grain storage pits in Pakistan. He is also an experienced lecturer in archaeology having previously worked at the Universities of Bradford and Bournemouth. He has lectured on many subjects including battlefield archaeology, forensic archaeology and geophysical survey.




External activities


  • Conflict Archaeology International Research Network (CAIRN: Founder and coordinator)
  • Lead Archaeologist and presenter for the television documentary series MEDIEVAL DEAD (series 1, 2, 3 & 4; each with six episodes)  



Contact details

Tim Sutherland