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Helen Geake

Helen Geake

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Helen Geake with Stewart Ainsworth while shooting a Time Team in 2007

Helen Mary Geake is an archaeologist who was one of the key members of Channel 4's popular and long-running archaeology series Time Team, presented by Tony Robinson, along with Mick Aston and Phil Harding.[1]

Geake was born in Wolverhampton in 1967 but grew up in Bath. She originally trained as a secretary. However, reading archaeology books and attending lectures by Mick Aston led her to study medieval archaeology at University College London. Subsequently, she took a DPhil at the University of York in Anglo-Saxon cemeteries contemporary with the spectacular ship burial at Sutton Hoo.[1]

After university she worked as assistant keeper of archaeology at Norwich Castle Museum before joining the Portable Antiquities Scheme, first as their Finds Liaison Officer for Suffolk and then as Finds Adviser for post-Roman objects, based at Cambridge University.[2] In 2014 she became the PAS's adviser to its voluntary finds recorders, based at the British Museum.

She first worked for Time Team in 1998 as a digger, and took part occasionally thereafter as an Anglo-Saxon specialist. She joined the frontline team of presenters for the 2006 series and continued until 2010.[1]

She has contributed a number of articles on her specialist field, editing and writing other works. In 2003 she was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London.[3] She is also a regional member of the Council of Rescue: The British Archaeological Trust.[4]

In November 2014 it was announced that Geake would contest the Bury St Edmunds constituency for the Green Party at the 2015 General Election;[5] she came fourth with 7.9 per cent of the vote.[6]

Geake is married to Angus Wainwright, the National Trust archaeologist for the East of England, with two sons and a daughter, and lives in Woolpit, Suffolk. She is a cousin of the late John E. Geake, after whom the asteroid 9298 Geake is named.

Selected works

  • 'Burial Practice in Seventh- and Eighth-Century England' in Martin Carver (ed.), The Age of Sutton Hoo, Boydell Press, Woodbridge, 1992. ISBN 0851153305
  • The Use of Grave Goods in conversion-Period England c.600-c.850, British Archaeological Reports, Oxford, 1997. ISBN 0-86054-917-8
  • 'Why were hanging bowls deposited in Anglo-Saxon graves?' in Medieval Archaeology vol. 43, 1999.
  • Early Deira: Archaeological Studies of the East Riding in the Fourth to Ninth Centuries AD (editor, with Jonathan Kenny), Oxbow Books, Oxford, 2000. ISBN 1-900188-90-2
  • 'Persistent problems in seventh-century burial', in S. Lucy and A. Reynolds (eds.), Burial in Early Medieval England, Society for Medieval Archaeology Monograph 17, W.S. Maney and Son, London, 2002. ISBN 1-902653-65-3
  • 'The control of burial practice in Anglo-Saxon England' in Martin Carver (ed.), The Cross Goes North: : Processes of Conversion in Northern Europe, AD 300–1300, York Medieval Press, 2003. ISBN 1-84383-125-2


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