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. It now has over 60 staff, with over 300 undergraduates and 100 graduate students. Nonetheless it has managed to retain a small community feel.


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, as well as on Anglo-Saxon and Viking archaeology.

University roles

Julian is also Director of York's Centre for Digital Heritage, and since October 2013 he has been the founding Director of The White Rose College of the Arts and Humanities (WRoCAH).



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 the University of Sheffied to investigate the winter camp of the Viking Great Army at Torksey.

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.


 Viking Torksey






Research group(s)

Digital Heritage

Proto and Historical Archaeology



External activities


  • Director, Archaeology Data Service, 1996-
  • Co-Director, Internet Archaeology, 1995-
  • Member, AHRC Peer Review College, 2007-
  • Member, Viking Congress, 2001-
  • Member, Archaeological Archives Forum, 2002-
  • Member, Institute of Archaeologists, 1988-
  • Fellow, Society of Antiquaries, 1991-
  • Board Member, Digital Antiquity, University of Arizona, 2009-

Editorial duties

  • Editorial Board of Studies in the Early Middle Ages, Archaeologia Islandica, and Internet Archaeology

Invited talks and conferences

  • Guest lecturer, University of Brno, Czech Republic, Sept 2011
  • Invited keynote speaker, CAA Sweden, Uppsala, Nov 2011
  • Invited speaker, Xi'an, China, May 2013
  • Invited keynote speaker, Opening the Past, Pisa, June 2013
  • Invited keynote speaker, Cultural Heritage Workshop, Copenhagen, June 2013

Professor Julian Richards

Contact details

Prof. Julian D Richards
Department of Archaeology
University of York
The King's Manor
Follow me on Twitter @Julian62523002

Tel: (44) 1904 323930