Professor Meggen Gondek
BA (Tufts), MPhil (Glasgow), PhD (Glasgow)
My principal area of interest is the archaeology of early medieval northern Britain. I obtained my undergraduate degree at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts with a major in Archaeology and a minor in Medieval Studies. In 1998, I arrived at the University of Glasgow to do my MPhil in Medieval Archaeology and stayed there for my PhD. I completed my PhD, Mapping sculpture and power: Symbolic wealth in early medieval Scotland, 6th - 11th centuries AD, in 2004.
It was during my PhD that I became increasingly interested in early medieval carved stone monuments, their role in the landscape and the processes by which they were created. This focus on sculpture in its landscape is one of the main subjects of my research and teaching.
I started my academic career in the autumn of 2003 as a temporary lecturer in early medieval art and archaeology at University College Dublin and from there went to Durham University (2004-2006) as a temporary lecturer in early medieval archaeology. I joined the Department of History & Archaeology at Chester in September 2006 as Programme Leader and Lecturer in Archaeology.
In September 2007, I became a Senior Lecturer and Reader in 2010. I have been a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland since 2009. When not teaching, researching or conducting fieldwork I can often be found outside walking in the hills and mountains.
I contribute to the teaching of the following undergraduate modules:
- Introduction to Archaeological Practice
- Introduction to the Archaeology of the British Isles
- Archaeological Skills: Tools for Research and Analysis
- The Archaeology of Material Culture
- Archaeology of Cult and Belief
- Experiential Learning: Archaeology
- Archaeology and the Irish Sea Province
- For those about to Rock: Carved Stone Monuments and their Early Medieval Contexts
- Archaeology Dissertation
I contribute to the teaching of the following postgraduate modules:
- Investigating the Past
- Research Skills in Archaeology
I currently supervise research on a number of topics related to early medieval and landscape archaeology.
I would invite interest from students wishing to undertake research on any aspect of early medieval art, the archaeology of late Iron Age - early medieval high status settlement, the development of kingdoms and the archaeology of Scotland.
My main research interests are in the early medieval archaeology of Northern Britain, particularly Scotland. I am interested in the art and material culture of this period with a focus on the production and meaning of early medieval sculpture in Northern Europe. I am also developing my research into methodologies for landscape archaeology and the development of power centres, kingdoms and the early church in the late Iron Age to early medieval period.
Early medieval carved monuments and landscape
My research on the carved monuments of early medieval (c. AD 400-1100) Scotland and Northern Europe works to develop new theoretical and practical approaches to these monuments in Scotland and further afield. Scotland has a very rich dataset of early medieval monuments including free standing Christian crosses and enigmatic Pictish symbol stones.
Research projects include the Rhynie Environs Archaeological Project (REAP), co-directed with Dr Gordon Noble of the University of Aberdeen, which examines the archaeological context of a group of Class I Pictish symbol stones from the village of Rhynie, Aberdeenshire. This exciting programme of research, survey and excavation has uncovered a high-status Pictish period settlement (5th-6th century AD) as well as a Pictish period cemetery.
I contribute or have contributed to a number of other projects, particularly in association with the Chester Archaeological Society (at Eccleston) and the Strathearn and Royal Forteviot Project based at the University of Glasgow.
Williams, H., Kirton, J. and Gondek, M. (Eds). 2015. Early Medieval Stone Monuments: Materiality, Biography, Landscape. Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer.
Chapters in Books
Gondek, M. 2015. Building blocks: structural contexts and carved stones. In. H. Williams, J. Kirton and M. Gondek (Eds), Early Medieval Stone Monuments: Materiality, Biography, Landscape (pp. 87-112). Boydell and Brewer. http://hdl.handle.net/10034/604609
Williams, H., Kirton, J. and Gondek, M. 2015. Introduction: stones in substance, space and time. In H. Williams, J. Kirton and M. Gondek (Eds), Early Medieval Stone Monuments: Materiality, Biography, Landscape (pp. 1-34). Boydell and Brewer. http://hdl.handle.net/10034/594442
Gondek, M. 2010 ‘Constructing Sacred Space - Soil, Stone, Water & Symbols: Early Medieval Carved Stone Monuments From Tillytarmont, Aberdeenshire’ in A. George et al. (eds), Early Medieval Enquiries. Bristol: Clifton Antiquarian Club, 318-333.
Gondek, M. & Noble, G. 2010. Together as one: the landscape of the symbol stones at Rhynie, Aberdeenshire, in S. Driscoll, J. Geddes & M. Hall (eds) Pictish Progress: Pictish Studies for the 21st Century, Leiden: Brill, pp. 281-306.
Gondek, M. 2007. Pictish symbol stones: caught between prehistory and history, in A. Mazel, G. Nash, & C. Waddington (eds) Art as Metaphor: The Prehistoric Rock-art of Britain, Archaeopress, Oxford, pp. 69-89.
Noble, G., Gondek, M., Campbell, E. and Cook, M. 2013. Between prehistory and history: the archaeological detection of social change among the Picts. Antiquity 87 (338), 1136-1150.
Noble, G. and Gondek, M. 2011. Symbol Stones in Context: Excavations at Rhynie, an undocumented Pictish Power Centre of the 6th-7th centuries AD? Medieval Archaeology 55, 317- 321.
Gondek, M. 2006. Investing in Sculpture: Power in early historic Scotland, Medieval Archaeology 50, 105-142.
Gondek, M. 2006. Early Historic Sculpture and Landscape: a case study of Cladh a'Bhile, Ellary, Mid-Argyll, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 138, 237-258.
Gondek, M. and Jeffrey, S. 2003. The re-use of a figurative panel from Eigg, Medieval Archaeology 47, 178 - 185.
Noble, G. and Gondek, M. 2011. ‘A Dark Age Power Centre at Rhynie.’ British Archaeology 120 (Sept-Oct 2011), 36-41.
Gondek, M. and Noble, G. 2006. Landscape with Symbols, British Archaeology, 87 (Mar-Apr 2006), 16-17.
Work in preparation and forthcoming
Noble, G. and Gondek, M. with contributions from S. Ramsay & A. Sheridan, (in press). The land before symbol stones: a geophysical survey of Rhynie, Aberdeenshire and the excavation of a Middle Bronze Age structure near the Craw Stane, Barflat. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland (expected 2017).
Gondek, M. & Noble. G. (in press) Rhynie: new perspectives on settlement in Pictland in the 5th and 6th centuries AD and the context of Pictish symbol stones. In S. Semple et al. (Eds) Life on the edge: Social, Political and Religious Frontiers in Early Medieval Europe. Expected publication with Neue Studien zur Sacshenforschung.
Gondek, M. (in press) Pagan and Christian, practice and belief in a Pictish landscape. In N. Edwards et al. (Eds) Converting the Isles (vol 2). Brepols.
Noble, G., Gondek, M. Campbell, E. and Sveinbjarnarson, O. 2012. ‘Rhynie Environs Excavation Project’ Discovery and Excavation in Scotland 13, 27-28.
Gondek, M. 2012. C-FAR - Carbon footprinting of archaeological research: Data collection methodology and interim report. Chester: University of Chester online report. http://hdl.handle.net/10034/293551
Gondek, M. and Maldonado, A. 2011. ‘Forteviot Churchyard: SERF’ Discovery and Excavation in Scotland 12, 149.
Noble, G. and Gondek, M. 2011. ‘Rhynie Environs Archaeological Project’ Discovery and Excavation in Scotland 12, 27.
Gondek, M. and James, H. 2010. ‘Forteviot Cropmark Complex SERF’ Discovery and Excavation in Scotland 11, 142-143.
Campbell, E. and Gondek, M. 2009. ‘Forteviot Pictish Cemetery’ Discovery and Excavation in Scotland 10, 150-151.
Campbell, E. and Gondek, M. 2008. ‘Forteviot Village – SERF’ Discovery and Excavation in Scotland 9, 146.
Gondek, M. 2008. ‘Peterhead Farm, Gleneagles Geophysical Survey’ Discovery and Excavation in Scotland 9, 140.
Brend, A., Gondek, M., Hall, A., Henderson, I. James, H. Jeffrey, S. Morton, D. and Scott, I.G. 2008. ‘Analysis of the fragments’ in H. James, I. Henderson, S. Foster and S. Jones A Fragmented Masterpiece: recovering the biography of the Hilton of Cadboll Pictish cross-slab, pp. 285-289. Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, Edinburgh.
Henderson, I., Gondek, M., Morton, D. and Scott, I.G. 2008. ‘Catalogue and reconstruction’ in H. James, I. Henderson, S. Foster and S. Jones A Fragmented Masterpiece: recovering the biography of the Hilton of Cadboll Pictish cross-slab, Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, Edinburgh. (Full catalogue to be made available via the Archaeology Data Service).
Campbell, E. and Gondek, M. 2007. ‘The Strathearn Environs and Royal Forteviot Project (SERF) – Forteviot Village Project’ Discovery and Excavation in Scotland 8, 157.
Gondek, M. and Noble, G. 2006. ‘The Craw Stane/Barflat, Rhynie: Late Bronze Age/Early Iron Age timber structure’ Discovery and Excavation in Scotland 6, 19.
Roberts, S., Noble, G. and Gondek, M. 2006. ‘The Craw Stane/Barflat, Rhynie: Geophysical Survey’ Discovery and Excavation in Scotland 6, 18-19.
Gondek, M. and Driscoll, S. 2004. ‘Dunkeld House grounds, Dunkeld and Dowally parish’ Discovery and Excavation in Scotland 4, 106-107.