Professor Stephen Rippon
Professor of Landscape Archaeology
Telephone: 01392 724353
Director of Research, Archaeology
Stephen Rippon is a landscape archaeologist with interests focused on the Roman and medieval periods in Britain and mainland North West Europe. His early work focused on the history of wetland reclamation, that explored how human communities changed from simply exploiting the rich natural resources that wetlands have to offer, to modifying these environments to make them more suitable for agriculture, to fully transforming them through reclamation. His initial projects were in and around the Severn Estuary in SW Britain that were published in The Gwent Levels: the evolution of a wetland landscape (1996, Council for British Archaeology), and The Severn Estuary: the evolution of a wetland landscape (1997, Leicester University Press). This was followed by a major comparative study of North West Europe, published in The Transformation of Coastal Wetlands: Exploitation and Management of Marshland Landscapes in North West Europe during the Roman and Medieval Periods (2000, British Academy).
His current research includes the origin and development of regional variation in landscape character, using interdisciplinary analysis of archaeological, cartographic, documentary, place-name and architectural evidence, published in Beyond the Medieval Village: The Diversification of Landscape Character in Southern Britain has (Oxford University Press, 2008), and Making Sense of An Historic Landscape (Oxford University Press, 2012).
Stephen is also developing a range of interdisciplinary approaches to studying the landscape, some of which are included in Historic Landscape Analysis (2004 [reprinted 2008], Council for British Archaeology). He also works closely with palaeoenvironmental specialists, and a major paper has been published in Medieval Archaeology 50 (2006) ('Beyond villages and open fields: the origins and development of a historic landscape characterised by dispersed settlement in South West England').
Stephen is currently the Director of Research in the Department, and Dean of the University's Faculty of Graduate Research. He is also President of the Medieval Settlement Research Group, Treasurer of the Society for Medieval Archaeology, and a past Chairman of the Severn Estuary Levels Research Committee and the Council for British Archaeology South West Region.
At undergraduate and masters level he teaches on the principles and methods of archaeology, and the landscapes of Roman and medieval Britain. He supervises research students (PhD, MPhil and MA by Research) across a wide range of topics in the fields of medieval and landscape archaeology.