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Elizabeth Blanning

Elizabeth Blanning


Member of Council

Secretary of Fieldwork Forum

Laying aside an early ambition to be an archaeologist, I studied music at Royal Holloway, University of London (more enthusiasm than talent), realised I had no aptitude for teaching the same, and became a nurse and Health Visitor in London. 

My husband’s job led to a move to Tokyo for several years. Returning to the UK and to Kent, I embarked on my archaeological education, starting with the University of Kent’s part-time Certificate in Archaeology and, after completing BA and MA, eventually graduating with a PhD in Classical and Archaeological Studies in 2015. My thesis, Landscape, Settlement and Materiality: Aspects of Rural Life in Kent during the Roman Period, won the KAS Hasted Prize.Having been born in Cheshire, it was only some years after moving to Kent that I discovered my own family’s Kentish Wealden history, cementing my sense of belonging in my adopted county.

I am a keen fieldworker. My first experience was as a volunteer with Canterbury Archaeological Trust on the Canterbury Big Dig. I worked for CAT at The Meads, Sittingbourne, have been involved in University projects in Kent, Lincolnshire and Ostia and excavate with the Maidstone Area Archaeological Society. I have volunteered on the Museum of London’s recent Roman Lamps project and English Heritage’s Richborough collection. I am an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Kent (currently working on Roman quernstones) and am a Trustee for CBA South East.

Although my archaeological interests lie chiefly in the Roman period of Kent, the experience I bring to the society crosses many boundaries: academic, professional and volunteer; landscape, excavation and finds. I believe that it is only through cooperation and collaboration between individuals, groups and disciplines that we can truly serve the archaeology of our county.