Dr Helen Wickstead

School: School of Critical Studies and Creative Industries
Position: Senior Lecturer


Helen Wickstead leads modules in Museum and Gallery Studies and Heritage. She also teaches into Forensic Archaeology and Historic Building Conservation. She is currently researching a book – "Megalithic Moderns" – investigating concepts of megalithic architecture between the first use of the word 'megalith' in 1849 and the post-war radiocarbon revolution. She has worked as heritage and museum professional in Britain, France, the Czech Republic, Turkey and North Sudan, joining Kingston in 2009.

Research expertise

Helen Wickstead's research explores the relationships between modernity and prehistory. Her publications include archaeologies of twentieth century concrete used to display and restore prehistoric heritage sites, histories of archaeological aerial photography, and analyses of archaeological drawing and mapping technologies. She is the Convenor of a research network - art+archaeology - which works with international contemporary artists to generate opportunities for arts-based research in archaeology.

Helen is Director of archaeological excavations at a nationally important complex of prehistoric monuments near Damerham, Hampshire. Her PhD thesis (published as a monograph in 2008) used digital mapping of archaeological remains to examine theories of property in prehistoric societies. Helen has a long standing interest in how the ancient world is visualized today, and in how new ways of seeing created modern understandings of prehistory.

Teaching areas & responsibilities

MA Museum & Gallery Studies (module leader, three modules) MA Heritage (Contemporary Practice) (module leader, two modules) and Research Degree supervision, PhD and MA by Research.

Educational and professional qualifications

  • 2013Fellow Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
  • 2008Member Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (MCIfA)
  • 2007PhD Institute of Archaeology, UCL
  • 2000MA Archaeology UCL
  • 1996BA(Hons) Archaeology UCL

Conferences & events

'Drawing on Photographs: Aerial Photogrammetry and the History of the Virtual' at Royal Anthropological Institute Conference, British Museum, 28th May 2014.

'Abstract and Concrete: Constructing Twentieth Century Prehistories' at Theoretical Archaeology Group Conference, University of Birmingham, 16th December 2011

'But is it Art-Science?' at Theoretical Archaeology Group Conference, University of Birmingham, 15th December 2011

'3 annoying ways for Archaeologists to avoid thinking about Art', at Assembling Archaeology, University of Sheffield, 10th September 2011

'Antique Virtual: Historical perspectives on aerial photographs and virtual maps', with Martyn Barber, at the Visualisation in Archaeology Conference, University of Southampton, 18th-20th April 2011

'Art as the Contemporary Archaeology of Archaeology?' at the Visualisation in Archaeology Conference, University of Southampton, 18th-20th April 2011

'Contemporary Film-making and the Stonehenge Art Ban' at the Theoretical Archaeology Group Conference (TAG), University of Bristol, 17th-19th December 2010

'Nudity, Eugenics and the History of Aerial Archaeology' with Martyn Barber at The National Mapping Programme Annual Conference, Geological Society, Burlington House, 1st December 2010

'Metallurgy and Society' with Martyn Barber, at Wessex Culture? 'Revolution or Late Beaker Evolution: Defining changes in the early 2nd millennium BC. Prehistoric Society Conference at Bournemouth University, 16th – 18th April 2010

'Familiar fields? How to explain the emergence of land division' with Robert Johnston as part of Transformations or Continuities? Understanding Britain from 1600-1400 BC Conference at the British Museum, October 26th 2009

'Putting what on the map? Spatial technologies and the production of archaeological landscapes' paper given as part of session I co-organised Technologies and Ontologies: Archaeological truths and subjective sciences at Theoretical Archaeology Group Conference (TAG) University of York 2007

'Site Specific: Between Artists and Archaeologists' discussant and session organiser at World Archaeological Congress, University College Dublin 2008

'Concepts of Upland' European Association of Archaeologists, St. Petersburg, 2003 (Prize-winner, best graduate student paper, second prize)

'Test-Pit: Research seminar on interdisciplinary practice' co-organiser and speaker at The Public Art Research Group, School of Art, Birmingham City University, 17th May 2011

'Making an exhibition of ourselves: Working with visual artists', University of Cambridge, 26th January 2011

'Field Drawings' seminar and exhibition at University of the Arts, London as part of the Centre for Drawing's Agendas series 15th October 2008

'Archaeology: Learning in the field' at Material Knowledge: Thinking through things, part of the Festival of Blackboards, Cubitt Gallery, London, 30th June 2011

Manual Setting, Danielle Arnaud Gallery, London, Contributor to exhibition curated by Paul Ryan, 28th January to 11th February 2011

'Unearthed: Archaeology in the earthscape' at Earthscapes: Geology + Geography, Artists and scientists explore landscape, Seminar as part of Earthscapes exhibition, Bridport Arts Centre, Bridport, Dorset, 1st March 2010

Touchstone, Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum, Salisbury, 2nd April to 26th June 2010; Co-ordinator with Curator Kim Chittick

Stonehenge Riverside: The Ventral Surface, Oliver Holt Gallery, Sherborne, 19th Sept. to 17th Oct. 2009, Co-ordinator with Curator Andrew Stooke; public gallery talk,'Art and Archaeology', October 3rd 2009

Drawing Stonehenge. Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, 26th July to 23rd December 2008, Coordinator with Curator of Modern Art, Mary Griffiths

Interferences, High Moorland Visitor Centre, Dartmoor, May – July 2006, Curator, with Dartmoor National Park Education Officer, Mike Nendick, Gallery talk with artist Varvara Shavrova


Collaborator with museums and galleries in the development of exhibition projects including The Whitworth Art Gallery, Oliver Holt Gallery, Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum; contributor to the exhibition 'Manual Setting' at Danielle Arnaud Contemporary Art. Funded consultancies with Cranborne Chase and West Wilts. Downs Area of Outstanding National Beauty (Farming and Archaeology Project (2009-2010) and English Heritage and Hampshire County Council (Damerham Archaeology Project, 2008-2013) advising on conservation and heritage of threatened archaeological landscapes.

Research groups & programmes

Research supervision


Number of items: 22.


Wickstead, Helen and Barber, Martyn (2015) Aerial archaeology and the 'lost gardens' of Seething Wells. London Archaeologist, 14(3), pp. 73-78. ISSN (print) 0024-5984

Wickstead, Helen and Barber, Martyn (2015) Concrete prehistories : the making of megalithic modernism. Journal of Contemporary Archaeology, 2(1), pp. 195-216. ISSN (print) 2051-3429

Wickstead, Helen and Barber, Martyn (2012) A Spectacular History of Survey by Flying Machine! Cambridge Archaeological Journal, 22(1), pp. 71-88. ISSN (print) 0959-7743

Barber, Martyn and Wickstead, Helen (2010) 'One Immense Black Spot': Aerial views of London 1784-1918. London Journal, 35(3), pp. 236-254. ISSN (print) 0305-8034

Wickstead, Helen and Barber, Martyn (2010) A newly recorded hilltop enclosure at Myncen Farm, Minchington. Proceedings of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society, 131, pp. 103-112. ISSN (print) 0070-7112

Barber, Martyn and Wickstead, Helen (2009) A 'new' enclosure at Minchington, Dorset. Research News : newsletter of the English Heritage Research Department(13), pp. 29-30. ISSN (print) 1750-2446

Wickstead, Helen (2009) The Uber-Archaeologist: Art, GIS and the male gaze revisited. Journal of Social Archaeology, 9(2), pp. 249-271.

Wickstead, Helen, Carey, Chris, Bayer, Olaf and Barber, Martyn (2009) Discoveries to the east of Cranbourne Chase: the Damerham Archaeology Project. PAST(61), pp. 9-12. ISSN (print) 0965-1381

Wickstead, Helen, Carey, Chris, Bayer, Olaf and Barber, Martyn (2009) Remote sensing and geophysical survey near Damerham, Hampshire. CBA Wessex News(Spring), pp. 17-19. ISSN (print) 1475-5130

Fyfe, Ralph, Bruck, Joanna, Johnston, Robert, Lewis, Helen, Roland, T. P. and Wickstead, Helen (2008) Historical context and chronology of Bronze Age land enclosure on Dartmoor, UK. Journal of Archaeological Science, 35(8), pp. 2250-2261. ISSN (print) 0305-4403

Wickstead, Helen (2008) Drawing time. British Archaeology(101), pp. 44-49. ISSN (print) 1357-4442

Bruck, Joanna, Johnston, Robert and Wickstead, Helen (2003) Excavations of Bronze Age field systems on Shovel Down, Dartmoor 2003. PAST(45), ISSN (print) 0965-1381

Wickstead, Helen (1996) In reply to MacDonald, Hung and Crawford, 1995, 'Prehistory as propaganda'. Papers from the Institute of Archaeology, 7, pp. 9-12. ISSN (print) 0965-9315


Wickstead, Helen (2008) Theorizing Tenure: Land Division and Identity in Later Prehistoric Dartmoor, South-West Britain. Oxford, U.K. : Archaeopress. 242p. (British Archaeological Reports, British Series, no. BAR 465) ISBN 9781407303116

Book Section

Wickstead, Helen (2013) Between the lines: drawing archaeology. In: Graves-Brown, Paul , Harrison, Rodney and Piccini, Angela, (eds.) The Oxford handbook of the archaeology of the contemporary world. Oxford, U.K. : Oxford University Press. pp. 549-564. (Oxford handbooks in archaeology) ISBN 9780199602001

Wickstead, Helen (2008) Drawing archaeology. In: Duff, Leo and Sawdon, Phil, (eds.) Drawing: the purpose. Bristol, U.K. : Intellect Books. pp. 13-27. ISBN 9781841502014

Wickstead, Helen (2008) Land, landscape and Englishness in the discovery of prehistoric land division. In: Chadwick, Adrian M., (ed.) Recent Approaches to the Archaeology of Land Allotment. Oxford, U.K. : Archaeopress. (BAR International Series, no. BAR S187) ISBN 9781407303550

Wickstead, Helen (2006) Archaeologist. In: Adams, Eileen and Baynes, Ken, (eds.) Professional Practices. London, U.K. : Campaign for Drawing. pp. 12-13. (Power Drawing)

Conference or Workshop Item

Wickstead, Helen (2016) Prehistoric sex objects : the phalli of Windmill Hill. In: TAG 2016; 19-21 Dec 2016, Southampton, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Wickstead, Helen (2016) The prehistoric phallus : a history of archaeology and sex. In: Centre for Medical History Seminar Series; 12 May 2016, Exeter, U.K.. (Unpublished)


Wickstead, Helen [Contributor] (2011) Manual Setting. Manual Setting. , 28th Jan to 11th Feb 2011 , Danielle Arnaud Gallery.


Wickstead, Helen and Barber, Martyn (2010) Archaeology on your farm: gaining from history. (Manual) Kingston upon Thames : Damerham Archaeology Project. 6 p.

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Theorising Tenure: Land Division and Identity in Later Prehistoric Dartmoor, South-West Britain