DR Michael Lewis FSA MIfA
Research Associate

Profile

Biography

Bibliography

Michael Lewis is Deputy Head of the Department of Portable Antiquities & Treasure and Curator, Medieval Collections at the British Museum. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquities of London (FSA), a Member of the Institute for Archaeologists (MIfA) and an Advisory to the All Party Parliamentary Archaeology Group (APPAG)

His PhD (Kent) examined the Archaeological Authority of the Bayeux Tapestry, which was subsequently published as a British Archaeological Report (404). He co-ordinated (with Profs Gale Owen-Crocker and Dan Terkla) the 2008 international symposium on the Tapestry at the British Museum; the proceedings of which were published in 2011. He has also written numerous articles on the Bayeux Tapestry, particularly in relation to the factors that influenced its design.

Michael also edits the Portable Antiquities Scheme and Treasure annual reports, and contributes on the work of the Scheme to Post-Medieval Archaeology and elsewhere. He is a small finds expert, with a particular interest in medieval and post-medieval small metal finds, writing numerous articles and notes on these items. His current research is diverse, but includes work on late Anglo-Saxon hooked-tags, medieval pilgrim’s badges and Limoges enamels, as well as post-medieval vervels.

In series 2 and 3 of History’s Mud Men, Michael advised Johnny Vaughan and Steve Brooker on their foreshore discoveries, and sent them off on their historical adventures. He also appeared on Britain’s Secret Treasures (ITV1), which featured the work of the PAS and Treasure Act. 

Publications

Full publications list

Books

  • The Real World of the Bayeux Tapestry (The History Press, 2008).
    • The Archaeological Authority of the Bayeux Tapestry (British Archaeological Reports, 2005).

Edited Publications

  • with G. Owen-Crocker & D Terkla, New Research on the Bayeux Tapestry: proceedings of a conference at the British Museum (Oxbow, 2011).
  • with G. Egan, K. Leahy, J. Naylor & S. Worrell, A Decade of Discovery: proceedings of the Portable Antiquities Scheme Conference 2007 (British Archaeological Reports, 2010).
  • Portable Antiquities Scheme Annual Reports: 2011 (British Museum, forthcoming 2012), 2009-2010 (British Museum, 2011), 2006 (British Museum, 2007), 2005-6 (British Museum, 2006), 2004-5 (MLA, 2005), 2003-4 (MLA, 2004), 2001/02-2002/03 (Resource, 2003), 2000-1 (Resource, 2002).
  • Portable Antiquities Scheme & Treasure Annual Reports: 2008 (British Museum, 2011), 2007 (British Museum, 2009).
  • Treasure Annual Reports: with I. Richardson, C. Lyons & H. Orange, 2010 (British Museum, forthcoming 2012), with I. Richardson & C. Lyons, 2009 (British Museum, 2011), with I. Richardson, 2008 (British Museum, 2010).   

 

Articles & Notes (forthcoming)

  • With K. Leahy, ‘Domestic Dwellings, Workshops and Working Buildings’, in G. R. Owen-Crocker & M. C. Hyer (eds.), The Material Culture of Daily Living in the Anglo-Saxon World, Vol. II (University of Exeter Press, forthcoming 2014).
  • ‘Buttons and cufflinks with ‘Crown and Heart’ Motifs, Finds Research Group datasheet (forthcoming 2013).
  • ‘Ecclesiastical Dress in the Tapestry’, in A. Henderson & G. Owen-Crocker (eds.), Inside and Beyond the Bayeux Tapestry (University of Exeter Press, forthcoming 2013).
  • ‘Life Insurance in the Medieval Period: insights offered by the distribution of pilgrims’ badges recently found in England’, in B. Bowers, L. Keyser (eds.), The Sacred and Secular in Medieval Healing: sites, objects and texts (Ashgate, forthcoming 2013). submitted
  • ‘Pilgrim Signs of St Margaret of Antioch: some thoughts on their spatial distribution’, in J. Naylor (eds.), ‘Medieval Britain & Ireland in 2011: Portable Antiquities Scheme’, Medieval Archaeology 57 (2013). submitted
  • ‘Visual Representations of Harold Godwinson’, Haskins Society Journal, Japan 6 (forthcoming 2013). submitted
  • ‘The PAS – A Rather British Solution: the mandatory reporting and voluntary recording of archaeological objects in England and Wales’, in A. S. Lagerlöf, Who Cares? Perspectives on Public Awareness, Participation and Protecting in Europe’s Archaeology, European Archaeological Council, occasional publication (forthcoming 2012). submitted
  •  ‘Heraldic Devices in the Bayeux Tapestry’, The Coat of Arms (forthcoming 2012). submitted

Articles & Notes (published)

  • ‘Limoges Enamels’, in J. Naylor (eds.), ‘Medieval Britain & Ireland in 2010: Portable Antiquities Scheme’, Medieval Archaeology 56 (2012), 314-7.
  • Reports of the Portable Antiquities Scheme in Post-Medieval Archaeology: 2011, 46/2, 320-32 (2012), 2010, 46/1, 211-27 (2012), 2009, 45/2, 325-36 (2011).
  • ‘Leaden dolls, books and seals: fresh insights into post-medieval material culture provided by finds recorded through the Portable Antiquities Scheme’ in D. Cranstone, H. Harnow, P. Belford & L Høst Madsen (eds.), Across the North Sea: later historical archaeology in Britain and Denmark, c.1500-2000 AD (University Press of Southern Denmark, 2012), 93-103.
  •  ‘Horse Trappings’, in G. R. Owen-Crocker, Elizabeth Coatsworth & Maria Hayward (eds.), Encyclopaedia of Medieval Dress and Textiles of the British Isles c.450-1450 (Brill, 2012), 278-80.
  • with A. Richardson & D. Williams, ‘Portable Antiquities and their Potential for Understanding the Past’, in G. R. Owen-Crocker & M. C. Hyer (eds.), The Material Culture of Daily Living in the Anglo-Saxon World (University of Exeter Press, 2011).
  • ‘The Bayeux Tapestry and Oxford, Bodleian Library, Junius 11’, in M. Lewis, G. Owen-Crocker & D. Terkla (eds.), New Research on the Bayeux Tapestry: proceedings of a conference at the British Museum (Oxbow, 2011), 107-11.
  • ‘Questioning the Archaeological Authority of the Bayeux Tapestry’, Cultural and Social History 7. 4 (2010), 467-84.
    • ‘Embroidery errors in the Bayeux Tapestry and their Relevance for Understanding its Design and Production’, in M. Foys, K. Overbey & D. Terkla (eds.), New Threads: Critical Directions for the Bayeux Tapestry (Boydell & Brewer, 2009), 130-40.
    • ‘The Mystery of Charles Stothard FSA and the Bayeux Tapestry Fragment’, Antiquaries Journal 87 (2007), 400-6.
    •  ‘A New Date for ‘Class A, Type 11A’ Stirrup-strap Mounts, and Some Observations on their Distribution’, Medieval Archaeology 51 (2007), 178-84.
    •  ‘Identity and Status in the Bayeux Tapestry: the iconographic and artifactual evidence’, Proceedings of the Battle Conference 29 (2007), 100-120.
    • ‘The Bayeux Tapestry and Eleventh-Century Material Culture’, in G. R. Owen-Crocker (ed.), King Harold II and the Bayeux Tapestry (Woodbridge, 2005), 179-94.
    • ‘A Controlled Metal Detector Survey in Kent’, The National Trust Annual Archaeological Review 9, 2000-2001 (2001), 24-5.

Popular Articles

  • ‘Spotlight on PAS Finds’, Treasure Hunting (monthly since July 2012).
  • ‘Saints and their Badges’, Treasure Hunting (monthly since March 2012).
  • ‘Heavenly Treasures: Limoges enamels recorded by the Portable Antiquities Scheme’, Treasure Hunting (December 2011), 16-21.

Small Finds Reports

  • ‘Iron rowel-spur from Carisbrooke Castle’, English Heritage Research Report (forthcoming 2012).
  • with K. Parfitt, ‘Neolithic Stone Axe: Offham, Near West Malling’, Archæologica Cantiana 122 (2002), 397-9.
  •  with P. Macdonald & K. Smallwood, ‘An Insular La Tène Toggle, Wrotham’, Archæologica Cantiana 122 (2002), 399-401.
  • with M. Blackburn, ‘Kent (finds 2001)’, in H. Geake, ‘Portable Antiquities Scheme’, Medieval Archaeology 46 (2002), 134-5.
  • with N. Allen, B. Ager, J. Darvill, J. Robinson, ‘Kent (finds 2000)’, in H. Geake, ‘Portable Antiquities Scheme’, Medieval Archaeology 45 (2001), 240-1.

Reviews

  • B. C. Withers, The Illustrated Old English Hexateuch, Cotton Claudius B.iv: The Frontier of Seeing and Reading in Anglo-Saxon England (The Library, Transactions of the Bibliographical Society s.7, 9.4, 2008).
  • G. Beech, Was the Bayeux Tapestry made in France? The case for St. Florent of Samur (Caa.reviews, 2007).

Conference Papers (selection)

  • with Martin Locker, Landscapes of Devotion: pilgrim signs in their wider context (British Museum, London), 22 October 2012.
  • The Artefatual Evidence for the Urbanisation of Medieval England: understanding the contribution of metal finds recorded through the Portable Antiquities Scheme (EAA, Helsinki), 31 August 2012.
  • Pilgrim’s Badges and Some New Insights on their Spatial Distribution (Queen’s College, Oxford), 22 June 2012.
  • Medieval Pilgrim’s Badges and Their Function: transition from tourist souvenir to efficacious miracle working object and back again (University of York), 12 May 2012.
  • Medieval Pilgrim’s Badges: functional tourist tat (Rice University, Houston), 29 March 2012.
  • Life Insurance in the Medieval Period: insights offered by the distribution of pilgrims’ badges recently found in England (International Medieval Conference, Kalamazoo), 12 May 2011.
  • Recording Archaeological Finds Found by the Public (European Association of Archaeologists Conference, Den Haag), 3 September 2010.
  • Heraldic Devices in the Bayeux Tapestry (International Medieval Congress, Leeds), 12 July 2010.
  • Tackling the Trade in Illicit Antiquities (Institute for Archaeologists Conference, Southport), 15 April 2010.
  • The Value of Visual Representations of Harold Godwinson (Haskins, Boston), 7 November 2009.
  • Antiquities Law in the UK: the legislation regarding finding, reporting and selling UK antiquities and Recording Archaeological Finds: liaising with metal-detectorists and other finders (National Cultural Heritage Conference, Tainan), 30-31 October 2009.
  • Mandatory Reporting and Voluntary Recording: the legal obligations for finders of archaeological objects in England and Wales (Portable Antiquities in Europe and the Wider World: law, ethics, policy and practice, Pécs), 12 July 2007.
  • Embroidery errors in the Bayeux Tapestry and their Relevance for Understanding its Design and Production (International Medieval Conference, Kalamazoo), 13 May 2007.
  • Identity and Status in the Bayeux Tapestry: the iconographic and artifactual evidence (Battle Conference on Anglo-Norman Studies, Battle), 28 July 2006.

Research

Overview

Overview

Michael Lewis has a particular interest in metal small finds, particularly late 10th and 11th century material culture. However, in recent years he has developed an interested in a wider array of medieval and post-medieval metalwork, including hooked-tags, pilgrim’s badges, vervels etc.

Research

Michael Lewis’ current research projects include:

  • (with John Naylor, Ashmolean Museum) Typology of Late Anglo-Saxon Hooked-Tags.
  • (with Naomi Speakman, British Museum) Catalogue of Pilgrim Badges in the British Museum.
  • (with Ian Richardson, British Museum) Catalogue of Hawking Vervels Reported Treasure.
  • Ecclesiastical dress in the Bayeux Tapestry.
  • Catalogue of Silver Buttons with Crown and Hearts.

Teaching

Undergraduate

First year



Second year



Third year



External activities

Memberships

Fellow, Society of Antiquaries of London (FSA).

Member, Institute for Archaeologists (MIfA): Professional Development & Practice committee; Finds Group committee.

All Party Parliamentary Archaeology Group, Advisory Group.

Finds Research Group.

European Association of Archaeologists

Invited talks and conferences

Conferences organised/co-organised

  • Objects and Landscape: understanding the medieval period through finds recorded by the Portable Antiquities Scheme (British Museum), 22 October 2012.
  • The Staffordshire Hoard Symposium (British Museum), 30-31 March 2010.
  • Recording the Past: how different European countries deal with portable antiquities (British Museum), 7 September 2009.
  • The BT@ the BM: New Research on the Bayeux Tapestry (British Museum), 15-16 July 2008.
  • A Decade of Discovery (British Museum), 17-18 April 2007.
  • Advancing Archaeological Knowledge (British Museum), 11 April 2006.
  • PAS Conference: looking to the future (British Museum), 14 March 2005.

 

Michael Lewis rhc image

Contact details

Michael Lewis