Helen Geake

Helen Geake with Stewart Ainsworth while filming an episode of Time Team in 2007
Born1967 (age 51–52)
Wolverhampton, England
Academic background
Alma materUniversity of York
Academic work
InstitutionsNorwich Castle Museum
Portable Antiquities Scheme

Helen Mary Geake FSA (born 1967) is a British archaeologist and small finds specialist. She was one of the key members of Channel 4's long-running archaeology series Time Team.[1]

Early life and education

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.

Geake is a member of the Department of Archaeology Advisory Board at the University of York and previously acted as a regional member of the Council of Rescue: The British Archaeological Trust.[3][4]

In January 2003 she was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London.[5]


Helen looking at small finds during a Time Team excavation in Lincoln's Inn Fields

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]

In 2012 Helen appeared in three episodes of Britain's Secret Treasures having previously appeared as an Anglo-Saxon specialist in National Geographic specials titled Saxon Gold: New Secrets Revealed (2011) and 'Saxon Gold: Finding the Hoard' (2010).[6]


Geake stood for the Green Party in the Bury St Edmunds constituency at the 2015 General Election;[7] she came fourth with 7.9 per cent of the vote.[8] In the 2017 General Election she came fourth with 4.2 per cent of the vote.[9] She is again the Green candidate at the 2019 general election.[10]

Personal life

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.[citation needed]

Selected publications

  • '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


  1. ^ a b c "channel4.com – Time Team – Meet the Team – Helen Geake". www.channel4.com. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
  2. ^ Helen Geake's profile at Cambridge University Archived 11 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine; Helen Geake's page at the Portable Antiquities Scheme site
  3. ^ "Helen Geake". University of York. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  4. ^ Archived 31 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Fellows Directory: Dr. Helen M Geake FSA". Society of Antiquaries of London. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  6. ^ Helen Geake on IMDb
  7. ^ "Director selected as Tory candidate for Bury St Edmunds". BBC News. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
  8. ^ "Bury St Edmunds Parliamentary Constituency". BBC News. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
  9. ^ "Election 2017: Bury St Edmunds Parliamentary constituency". BBC News. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  10. ^ Mata, William (25 September 2019). "Time Team star Helen Geake to stand for Green Party in Bury St Edmunds election". Bury Free Press.