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Julian D Richards
Professor of Archaeology



Prof. Julian Richards, is Director of the Archaeology Data Service, and Co-Director of the ejournal Internet Archaeology. He is not to be confused with Julian "Meet the Ancestors" Richards.

Julian originally intended to study History at University but claims that switching to Archaeology and Anthropology (which he studied at Cambridge) was one of the best decisions he ever made. He first came to York to take part in the Coppergate Viking excavations, but after a brief spell at the University of Leeds he returned to York in 1986 to lecture on Anglo-Saxon and Viking archaeology. The Department has grown tremendously since he first joined, when he was only one of five staff members with around a dozen students.


Julian's involvement in archaeological computing began in 1980 when he started his PhD research studying pre-Christian Anglo-Saxon burial ritual using the computing power of an ICL mainframe and an early Z80 micro-computer. In 1985 he co-authored the first textbook in archaeological computing for Cambridge University Press, and has subsequently written numerous papers and edited a number of books on the applications of information technology in archaeology.

He has also published numerous books and articles on Anglo-Saxon and Viking archaeology, including Viking Age England, a Very Short Introduction to Vikings, and with Dawn Hadley, The Viking Great Army and he Making of England.

Departmental roles

Julian was Head of Department from 2006-12. He is a member of Departmental Management Team and Departmental Research Committee.

University roles

Julian was the founding Director of York's Centre for Digital Heritage, and from 2013-2019 he was the founding Director of The White Rose College of the Arts and Humanities (WRoCAH). He is. currently a member of University Research Committee



Julian specialises in the archaeology of Anglo-Saxon and Viking Age England, especially mortuary behaviour and settlement evolution. He has directed excavations of Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Scandinavian settlements at Cottam, Cowlam, Burdale, and Wharram Percy. He has also excavated the only Viking cremation cemetery in the British Isles at Heath Wood, Ingleby. He undertook one of the first research projects to make use of metal-detected evidence to investigate the Viking and Anglo-Saxon Landscape and Economy of England, and he is currently collaborating with Professor Dawn Hadley, to investigate the Viking Great Army of the late 9th century and winter camp at Torksey, with an extended project, Tents to Towns, on the broader impact of the Viking Great Army.

Julian is also a leading expert on computer applications in archaeology and has authored and edited numerous books and papers on computer applications. He is Co-Director of Internet Archaeology, an electronic journal developed in York, and Director of the Archaeology Data Service, the national digital data archive for archaeological research. He is Deputy Coordinator of the European  ARIADNE RI e-infrastructure for archaeological research.


Viking Torksey The Winter Camp of the Viking Great Army AD 872-3

Tents to Towns The Viking Great Army and its Legacy


Research group(s)

Digital Heritage

Proto and Historical Archaeology


NEARCH New Approaches to Contemporary Archaeology

ARIADNE E-infrastructure for European archaeology

E-RIHS European Research Infrastructure for Heritage Science

SSHOC Social Science and Humanities Open Cloud

ArchAIDE Computer approaches to automatic pottery recognition

WIST Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Stone Sculpture (with University of Durham)


Gabriele Gattiglia, University of Pisa

Franco Niccolucci, University of Florence

Dawn Hadley, University of York


External activities


Professional distinctions

  • Member, Chartered Institute of Archaeologists, 1988
  • Fellow, Society of Antiquaries, 1991
  • Member, Viking Congress, 2001 (English representative, 2012-)
  • Honorary Life Member, Computer Applications in Archaeology, 2015

Grant reviewing

  • Member, AHRC Peer Review College, 2007-2013
  • Member, EPSRC Peer Review College, 2016-2019
  • I have also assessed funding applications for the Leverhulme Trust, European Science Foundation, Foundation for Polish Science, Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation, Finnish Research Council, UNESCO, KNAW (Netherlands), the Swedish Research Council, Norwegian Research Council, and the Austrian Academy of Sciences

External Committees

  • Board Member, Digital Antiquity, University of Arizona, 2009-2023
  • Board Member, FAIMS, University of New South Wales, 2012-2014
  • Board Member, Academic Book of the Future, British Library/AHRC, 2015-2016
  • Board Member, Historic England Heritage Information Access Strategy, 2015-

Editorial duties

  • Internet Archaeology, 1995-present
  • Antiquity, 1988-2013
  • Studies in Early Medieval Europe, 1998-2014
  • Journal on Computing and Heritage (JOCCH), 2014-present

Professor Julian Richards

Contact details

Professor Julian D Richards
Department of Archaeology
University of York
The King's Manor

Tel: (44) 1904 323930