Sian Thomas

Research student, Archaeology, School of History, Archaeology and Religion

Academic History

  • BA in Archaeology, University of Bristol, 2007
  • MA in Landscape Archaeology, University of Bristol, 2010
  • PhD at Cardiff University from 2013


  • Thomas, S and Kosir, U (in prep). The Soa Valley Project.
  • Cahill-Wilson, J and Thomas, S. (in prep). New work at Gatcombe Roman Settlement.

Additional Information


I have a background in both commercial and academic research archaeology. I am currently working as an archaeologist for Oxford Archaeology, which takes me to sites all over the country. I have worked for Oxford previously as well as the Museum of London Archaeology.

Most of my research excavations are conducted with the University of Bristol. I have helped to lead their undergraduate training excavations at Berkeley Castle for the last six years. Since 2009 I have been the Senior Site Supervisor running a large open area, teaching around 30 students a week over a four week period each year. I have also taught on a summer school run by the Lifelong Learning department at Bristol. Last year I introduced a week long Advanced Summer School, which will run again in 2013 through the Archaeology department.

In 2012 I helped with a large geophysical survey conducted by the Discovery Programme, who are based in Dublin, as part of their Late Iron Age and Roman Ireland project.

I am also involved with a project exploring the First World War along the Italian Front. This is a joint project with members from Britain, Slovenia, Italy and Austria taking part. The field work for this project takes place in Slovenia along the Soča Valley. I have aided in the excavation of a number of trenches, a GPS survey and rapid field reconnaissance surveys.

I have also been involved in a number of other excavations including, Olevida Cave excavations, a Neanderthal habitation site in Portugal, The Stonehenge Riverside Project, Saveock Water Archaeology, Cornwall, Blacklands in Somerset and at Launceston Priory, Cornwall. I have also volunteered with the Tamarside Archaeology Group who conducted a geophysical survey project at Restormel, Cornwall.


I have taught on a number of courses for different institutions.

For the University of Bristol:

  • The undergraduate training excavation at Berkeley Castle
  • Roman Britain module, as part of the part time archaeology degree
  • Introduction to Archaeology Summer School
  • Introduction to Archaeology Weekend Lectures
  • Advanced Excavation Techniques Summer School

For Bridgwater College in conjunction with Bournemouth University:

  • Forensic Science with Archaeology. I provided teaching on two modules of the Foundation degree programme. The first module was Forensic Anthropology and Dating and the second was Introduction to Practical and Analytical Archaeology.


The South West Peninsula and the Roman World: A New Interpretation of Social Identity during the 1st to 4th Centuries AD

The primary focus of my research is the changing social identity of the communities living within the South West peninsula, primarily Devon and Cornwall, during the Roman period. I would like to re-evaluate the way in which these communities engaged with their landscape and with each other and how and if their social practices changed in response to the annexation of Britain by the Roman Empire. Using material objects I would like to show how identities changed or adapted with the increased interaction between the populations of the South West and the Roman world.

I have chosen this area as the basis of my research as it has often been overlooked in the study of Roman Britain. It lacks the typical Roman site types and markers evident elsewhere in Britain, although recent discoveries are beginning to change this, but more work is needed.

Start Date: January 2013

Peter Guest

Dr Peter Guest

Senior Lecturer in Roman Archaeology, Director of Postgraduate

Steve Mills

Dr Steve Mills

Senior Lecturer in IT Applications