Mr James Peake
PhD Archaeology, Cardiff University, from 2010.
Funded by the MoD and Defence Estates (USF) through Suffolk County Council.
MSc Conservation (distinction), Cardiff University 2009.
Partially-funded by a Postgraduate Studentship.
DISSERTATION: ‘A Comparative Study of the Composition and Technology of 13th and 14th Century Islamic Enamelled Glass from the Near East’. (Supervisor: Prof. Ian Freestone).
BSc Conservation of Objects in Museums and Archaeology (1:1), Cardiff University 2008.
DISSERTATION: ‘A Comparative Study of Ceramic Technology in Seljuq Tiles and Pottery from Kubadabad in Turkey using Scanning Electron Microscopy’. (Supervisor: Prof. Ian Freestone).
Working title: ‘The composition and origins of Early Medieval glass beads in Britain, focusing on the RAF Lakenheath (Eriswell) Anglo-Saxon cemetery complex, Suffolk’
At the present time, our understanding of the materials available for the production of artefacts used by Early Anglo-Saxon communities is limited, and this is particularly the case with glass. To what extent were these people dependent upon the recycling of earlier Roman material, what was imported from continental Europe or the Byzantine Mediterranean, and what were they producing themselves? To what extent were artefacts produced at a local level, in regional centres, or imported from overseas? In the case of indigenous production, were craftsmen peripatetic or attached to specific communities? Were there specialist producers of different types of artefact in the same material? The answers to such questions contribute to the reconstruction of the fabric of daily life, help us to understand the contacts between Anglo-Saxon England and the wider world, and to understand the level of specialist technological knowledge possessed by the Anglo-Saxons, its ownership and its transmission.
Excavations at Eriswell from 1997-2002 revealed over 400 Anglo-Saxon burials dating to between 475 and 625 AD. Some 2,700 beads are among the personal items associated with the female burials; of these over a thousand are of glass. The beads have been assigned to typo-chronological groups by leading specialist Dr Birte Brugmann, and offer an outstanding opportunity to investigate the technology, origins and variability of glass beads in this period. Quantitative compositional analysis by energy-dispersive x-ray analysis in the scanning electron microscope (SEM-EDS) will be undertaken, supported by trace element analysis by laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS). This will allow many of the competing hypotheses about production and origins of materials and artefacts to be tested. Comparison with material from elsewhere, including earlier Roman material and glass from the contemporary Near East, will potentially provide insights into the nature of the organisation of the glass industry and the extent to which these craftsmen relied upon the supply of cullet (scrap glass).
Peake, J. R. N. and Freestone, I. C. (in press) ‘Cross-craft interactions between metal and glass working: slag additions to early Anglo-Saxon red glass’, SPIE Photonics Europe 2012 Proceedings.
Peake, J. R. N. and Freestone, I. C. (in press) ‘Opaque yellow glass production in the early medieval period: new evidence’, Neighbours and Successors of Rome: Traditions of Glass Production and Use in Europe and the Middle East in the Later First Millennium AD.
Peake, J. R. (2012) ‘AHG Conference: ‘Neighbours and Successors of Rome’: Traditions of glass production and use in Europe and the Middle East in the later first millennium AD’, Glass News, 31, 4-6.
Peake, J. R. (2012) ‘AHG Grant Report: Opaque yellow glass production in Late Antiquity’, Glass News, 31, 13.
Peake, J. (2009) ‘A comparative study of ceramic technology in Seljuq tiles and pottery from Kubadabad, Turkey’, Medieval Archaeology, 53, 323-324.
Professional research reports
Peake, J. R. N. (2011) Report on the Composition of a Sandglass from the Newport Medieval Ship, Unpublished Report. Newport City Museum and Heritage Service, Newport.
Peake, J. R. and Freestone, I. C. (2011) Report on the Glass Beads from Bornais, South Uist, Unpublished Report. School of History, Archaeology and Religion, Cardiff University.
Peake, J. R. and Freestone, I. C. (2011) Report on the Glass and Glassworking Debris from the Tarbat Monastery Excavations, Unpublished Report. National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh.
‘Technology and Composition of Early Anglo-Saxon Glass Beads from Eriswell, Suffolk’,
39th International Symposium on Archaeometry (ISA 2012), KU Leuven. Poster presentation. May 2012.
‘Cross-craft interactions between metal and glass working: slag additions to red glass’,
NARNIA Workshop: Integrated Approaches to the Study of Historical Glass, VUB, Brussels. Oral presentation, April 2012.
‘The technological examination of the glass’, RAF Lakenheath Anglo-Saxon Cemeteries Publication Project Meeting 2011, Bury St. Edmunds. Oral presentation, September 2011.
‘Opaque yellow glass production in the early medieval period: new evidence’, Neighbours and Successors of Rome, King’s Manor, York. Poster presentation, May 2011.
‘The origins of glass in early Anglo-Saxon England: production and trade’, Voice of Humanities, Cardiff University. Oral presentation, March 2011.
‘The composition and origins of glass beads from the Eriswell Anglo-Saxon cemetery’, RAF Lakenheath Anglo-Saxon Cemeteries Publication Project Meeting 2010, Bury St. Edmunds. Oral presentation, September 2010.
‘The science of ceramics: analysis of 13th century tiles from Seljuq Turkey using SEM-EDS’, Conservation Matters in Wales Christmas Conference: Ethics and Practice, Cynon Valley Museum. Oral presentation, December 2008.
Selected grants and awards
Ministry of Defence (Defence Estates, United States Forces) doctoral research grant (2010-2013).
19th AIHV congress grant from the Association Internationale pour l’Histoire du Verre (2012).
ISA 2012 conference grant from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (2012).
Postgraduate Quality Committee Research Grant, Cardiff University (2012).
Postgraduate Quality Committee Research Grant, Cardiff University (2011).
Association for the History of Glass (AHG) conference grant (2011).
Sir Cyril Fox Fund, Cardiff University (2009).
Postgraduate Studentship, Cardiff University (2008-2009).
John Hurst Award (runner-up prize) for best undergraduate dissertation in Medieval Archaeology, by the Society for Medieval Archaeology (2008).
Richard Atkinson Prize for best undergraduate dissertation in Archaeology and Conservation, Cardiff University (2008).
I planned and led a seminar series ‘An Introduction to Basic Chemistry for Studies in Cultural Heritage’ for undergraduate and postgraduate conservation students.
Since 2008 I have been seminar tutor for the following modules:
• HS 2118 Introduction to Conservation Practice
• HS 2119 Investigative Cleaning in Conservation
• HS 2330 Practical Projects 1
• HS 2331 Practical Projects 2
I have marked essays for the following modules:
• HS 2329 Conservation in Field Archaeology
I have given practical equipment demonstrations for:
• X-radiography and wet-plate film development.
• X-ray film digitising.
• Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM).
• Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR).
• Sampling strategies and sample preparation (resin blocks, specimen stubs, etc.).
• Digital light microscopy.
• Air abrasion.
I have also written numerous risk assessments and end of term student progress reports.
• UK International Council of Museums (ICOM-UK).
• Institute of Conservation (ICON).
• Association Internationale pour l'Histoire du Verre (AIHV).
• British Association for the History of Glass (AHG).
• Society of Glass Technology (SGT).
• Council for British Research in the Levant (CBRL).