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Fiona Fleming

Fiona Fleming

Fiona completed her BSc Hons in Archaeology with the University of Plymouth in 2008 and her MA in Landscape Archaeology with the University of Exeter in 2009.

During a varied and diverse professional career which included an early stint in the WRNS as a radar plotter and helicopter controller and a later, more extensive career in professional theatre and television, Fiona has continued to develop her life-long interest in Archaeology. This began as an impressionable five year old living in Naval married quarters in Ilchester, Somerset, where she was frequently to be found in the garden digging for Roman villas. She believes she has her Mum to thank for this.

More profitably, Fiona has been fortunate to have spent the last four years working with the Cornwall Historic Environment Service where she continued to do voluntary work following her undergraduate placement working with the Cornwall and Scilly Historic Environment Record and the extensive aerial photograph collection. Since then she has carried out various contractual work with the Unit, including practical fieldwork and professional watching briefs. Fiona was further responsible for collating the information and writing the site descriptions for the Cornwall Council’s Access to Monuments (A2M) website. She is also a member of the Cornwall Archaeology Society.

Following the completion of her MA Fiona has been successful in being awarded a PhD studentship as part of the wider Fields of Britannia research project which will be looking at the transition in the landscape from the end of the Roman occupation of Britain into the early medieval period. This is still a poorly understood period both historically and archaeologically and the project is aimed at investigating the physical landscape evidence for occupation and land-use during this time within the wider themes of continuity and regional variation.

Fiona will be looking specifically at settlement pattern across Roman and early medieval Britain with a view to identifying a number of focussed case study areas that will potentially better our appreciation of the nature of rural settlement patterns both regionally and nationally. It is hoped to be able to offer greater insight into the native response to the end of Roman social administration in Britain and the extent of continuity or disruption that occurred. This will naturally lead into an examination of any changes that occurred in settlement pattern and social organisation as a response to early Anglo-Saxon influence. The factors for change will particularly be considered against the wider research questions for this period, being the extent to which direct Anglo-Saxon intervention was responsible against the exchange and assimilation of cultural ideologies and practices.

Fiona’s particular research interests include:

  • Social change in the landscape from the Late Iron Age into the early medieval period
  • Settlement organisation and morphology as an expression of social structure
  • The relationship between cultural and environmental determiners in the social landscape
  • The use of historic maps and place-name evidence as a landscape research medium
  • The use of GIS within landscape-based archaeological research

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