Roman Mummy Mask

Heritage can be defined as our past and our perception of collective past influences; it encompasses who we think we are as an individual, group or nation.

At Lampeter, we have an interdisciplinary approach to Heritage, which draws upon anthropological, archaeological, historical and environmental approaches to understanding the human past.

Our research is multifaceted, examining tangible and intangible evidence of past people’s lives and the ways in which these can be engaged with, protected, conserved and stewarded for the future. We understand that heritage is not fixed and unchanging but instead shifts to reflect contemporary ideas and identities. It is continually reconstructed and reinterpreted, frequently contested and sometimes the cause of bitter conflict. Current research foci engage with:

  • religious and theological legacy of Wales, focusing for instance on Welsh monastic houses; 
  • Consideration of the social importance and meaning of objects outside their originating cultural contexts;
  • Exploration of the ownership of cultural knowledge within contested landscapes;
  • Investigation of the ways in which heritage can be used to drive social and economic regeneration of contemporary communities. 

2018: Prof. Nigel Nayling has been awarded a British Academy Newton Advanced Fellowship, working closely with Istanbul University, for a project developing digital methods of 3D recording to document ship timbers in the former Theodosian harbour at Yenikapi, Istanbul. Here some 37 medieval ships have been excavated. These are of iternational importance in understanding the development of medieval shipbuilding in the Mediterranean.

  • Critical Analysis of Current Practice in Heritage Led Regeneration. Including development of sustainable futures for built & natural heritage through community engagement.
  • Conservation, Restoration and Development of Inland Waterways in the UK, Ireland and Europe.
  • Approaches to the conservation and management of operational industrial heritage: Comparative studies of the UK, Europe and North America. 
  • Industrial, Maritime & Transport Heritage of Wales.

Steel, L. and Attala, L. 2019 (eds)

Body Matters: Exploring the Materiality of the Human Body. Cardiff: University of Wales Press

Burton. J. 2019

‘Island Monasteries in Medieval England’, in Island Monasteries / Monastic Islands: topography and toponomy of a monastic formation, ed. G. Signori (Germania Sacra: 2019), pp. 65–81

Webster, H. 2019

'The resuscitation of the twice-hanged Man: miracles and the body in medieval Swansea', Body Matters: Exploring the Materiality of the Human Body, ed. L. Attala and L. Steel (Cardiff, 2019) pp. 135 – 55.

Scott, A. 2019.

The ‘Missing Link’ Between Science and Show Business: Exhibiting Gorillas and Chimpanzees in Victorian LiverpoolJournal of Victorian Culture, vcz015,

Austin, D. and Bezant, J. 2019 

 ‘The medieval landscapes of Cardiganshire’, in The Cardiganshire County History, volume 2: the Middle Ages 

Coard, R. 2019

Dead and dusted: Exploring the mutable boundaries of the body, in Body Matters, Exploring the Materiality of the Body. (eds L. Attala and L. Steel), UWP. 

Webster, H. 2018

The Annals of Dunstable Priory, ed. H. Webster, trans. D. Preest (Boydell and Brewer: Woodbridge, 2018).

Austin, D. 2018

Strata Florida: a former Welsh Cistercian Abbey and its future – David Austin in Monastic Life in the Medieval British Isles Essays in Honour of Janet Burton. Editor(s): Julie Kerr Emilia Jamroziak Karen Stöber. 

Zinn, K. 2018

Did you sleep well on your headrest? – Anthropological Perspectives on an Ancient Egyptian Implement. Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections 17(2018), 202–219. 

Zinn, K. 2017

Object Biographies and Political Expectations: Egyptian Artefacts, Welsh Heritage and the Regional Community Museum. In: Proceedings of the 11th International Congress of Egyptologists, Florence, Italy 23-30 August 2015. Oxford: Archaeopress.

Zinn, K. 2017.
Lacklustre offering plates? Symbolic Food Consumption, Ritual, and Representations in ancient Egyptian funerary culture. In: L. Steel, K. Zinn (eds.). Exploring the materiality of Food 'Stuffs': Transformations, symbolic consumption and embodiments. 205-225. London: Routledge

Zinn, K. and L. Steel (eds) 2017

Exploring the materiality of Food 'Stuffs': Transformations, symbolic consumption and embodiments. London: Routledge, 2017. 

Abbots, E.-J. 2016.
Introducing a Special Issue on Food Stuffs: Materialities, Meanings and Embodied Encounters, Gastronomica: The Journal of Critical Food Studies 16(3): 1-4

Petersen, A. 2016.   
Building the Past; Archaeology and National Development in the Gulf. In P. Erskine-Loftus, V. Hightower and M. al-Mulla (eds) Representing the Nation; Museums in the Gulf, 95-108. London: Routledge.

Zinn, K. 2016.  
Shaping Welsh identity? – Egyptian Objects and Intangible Heritage. In: The Ancient Near East Today 4(2016)6. Available online:

Webster, H. 2015

‘Mediating memory: recalling and recording the miracles of St Thomas Cantilupe’, Power, Identity and Miracles on a Medieval Frontier: Journal of Medieval History vol 41 (2015).Frontier’, Journal of Medieval History vol 41

Coles, G. 2017.
National Survey of Inland Waterways Restoration and Development:  A critical analysis of the current state of waterways projects in England & Wales.  120pp plus appendix.  CBA for the Canal & River Trust. Publication planned for May/June 2017.

Coles, G. 2017.
An Economic Development Study of the Southern Cromford Canal Corridor, Derbyshire: Langley Mill to Ironville; Ironville to Butterley Tunnel & Ironville to Pinxton (the Pinxton Arm). 210pp plus appendices.

Coles, G.  2016.
Historic Environment Assessment for the Civil Parish of Croxton Kerrial & Branston, North East Leicestershire. 99pp plus appendices.

Coles, G.  2016.
Heritage Business Strategy for Robertsbridge Abbey, Sussex. 25pp.

Coles, G. 2016.
Business Development Strategy for the Heritage Shunters Trust.  42pp.

Coles, G. 2016.
Analysis of Social, Economic and Demographic Change and the Future of Volunteering on the Heritage Railways of East Anglia. 55pp plus apendicies.

Coles, G. 2016.
Economic Development and Options Study for the Regeneration of the Manchester & Salford Junction Canal Corridor, Central Manchester.  88pp. 

Coles, G. 2016.
Review of the economic development opportunities associated with waterway improvements at South Kyme, Lincolnshire. 25pp.

K. Zinn as editor and lead contributor

Six feet under? Funerary aspects of Egyptian culture. Lampeter: UWTSD, 2016.

FoodStuffs – Food in time and space: Egypt – China – Wales. Lampeter: UWTSD, 2014.

History, Politics and Kingship: Ancient Egypt and China in Merthyr Tydfill. Lampeter: UWTSD, 2013.

Scarabs and Dragons: A taste of Ancient Egypt in Lampeter. Lampeter: UWTSD, 2012.

G. Coles as lead or major contributor:

2015 “Local Plans;  Delivering inland waterway restoration projects in England and Wales”  Canal & River Trust Restoration Group. Milton Keynes.

2015 “Epic Engineering – Showcasing what can be achieved when restoring our waterways”  Canal & River Trust Restoration Group. Milton Keynes.

2014 “Water Adds Value: Highlighting the impact of the restoration of our waterways”. Canal & River Trust Restoration Group. Milton Keynes.

Our interdisciplinary research is reflected by the various papers presented by colleagues at conferences and public lectures at academic institutions both in the UK and overseas.

Oct 2019
“Timothy Richard (1845-1919) in China: A Visionary Between Worlds.”
2-day Conference at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Lampeter Campus (Wales, UK), 3-4 October 2019.
In 2019, we celebrate the centenary of Timothy Richard (Li Timotai 李提摩太), a Welsh Baptist missionary who from 1870-1915 spent 45 productive years in China. This two-day colloquium in Lampeter (Wales) aims to revisit and re-assess Richard’s career and impact in China and Europe from multiple disciplinary angles, including history, theology, sinology, literary and cultural studies, translation studies, education, and heritage studies.

Apr 2018 
Contesting Landscapes: Hidden Histories vs. Memorialised Spaces in Cyprus. Louise Steel, invited speaker in the symposium: Voicing the Colonized: An Exploration of Differing Experiences and Responses to Conquest from the Old and New World, at the Society of American Archaeology 83rd Meeting, Washington DC.

Jan 2017 
Food and Migration, Emma-Jayne Abbots, Invited Panellist at the SOOP Event, SOAS Food Studies Centre

Jul 2016 
Decomposition, memory, permanence and plastic: exploring how materiality alters practice
, Luci Attala. In the Decomposition: Materials and Images in Time panel, ASA2016, Durham University.

Feb 2016
Materiality, Sustainability, Advocacy
, Luci Attala, at the HEA conference, Brighton

Dec 2016 
And what is this scrap of wood…” OR How did the god lose his beard? – Connecting tangible Egyptian objects with their audiences to create intangible heritage, Katharina Zinn, at AHRC ECR-Conference: Past matters, Research futures, London, Royal Society.

Nov 2016 
Tangible objects in museums and their biographies as medium of intangible heritage – the case study of the “oriental” collection of Hartley Harry Southey in the Cyfarthfa Museum, Merthyr Tydfil, Katharina Zinn, Beijing Union University

Oct 2016 
The small museum in the park and shaping local identity: The cultural heritage of tangible objects and their intangible biographies. Katharina Zinn at the Heritage Conference: The historical and cultural heritage of the Three Hills and Five Parks: Value and Function, Beijing

Jun 2016 
Whose heritage? – Forgotten Egyptian objects and re-imagining identity - examples from the regional Welsh community museum and the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, Katharina Zinn at the Challenging History conference, Cardiff University and Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales

Nov 2015 
From being an overseer of cattle in Egypt to shaping Welsh identity: tangible objects and their biographies as medium of intangible heritage,
Katharina Zinn in Object Biography for Archaeologists II: The Object as Magnet, ASOR Annual Meeting, Atlanta

Aug 2015 
Object Biographies and Political Expectations: Egyptian Artefacts, Welsh Heritage and the Regional Community Museum, Katharina Zinn in Museums and Collections Session at the International Congress of Egyptologists (ICE) XI Florence

May 2015 
Managing Heritage in a Waterways Context, Geraint Coles, 2nd National Conference on Waterway Restoration, The Bond, Birmingham

Nov 2014 
Isis, Horus and Osiris - a Divine Family in Wales? Object biographies of un-provenanced Egyptian artefacts OR How to create a narrative of objects in the Egyptian collection of Cyfarthfa Castle Museum, Merthyr Tydfil, Katharina Zinn, in Object Biography for Archaeologists I: A Practical Workshop, ASOR Annual Meeting, San Diego

Apr 2014 
Learning & Professional Development Activities via Active Volunteering
, Geraint Coles, at the National Conference of the Friends of Museums, Christchurch Mansion, Ipswich

Mar 2014 
Why a Pizza Express Does Not a Regeneration Make, Geraint Coles, Paper for Ipswich Futures Conference, Ipswich Council and University Campus Suffolk, Ipswich Waterside

Our vibrant research culture encompasses numerous conferences and workshops at Lampeter and book launches for our most recent publications. We also have weekly seminars where staff and post-graduate students present their ongoing research alongside invited speakers from the UK and overseas.

Mar 2017
The History and Heritage of iron mining on the Canigou Mountain, South Eastern Pyrenees
, Sharon Carter, Past Peoples Seminar Series. 

Mar 2017
Narrating Ancient Egypt: Ancient Egypt in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century fantasy fiction
, Dr Maria Fleischhack, Leipzig University

Oct 2016
Hidden Pasts: Negotiating Narratives in a Contested Landscape
, Louise Steel, Past Peoples” Seminar Series

Feb 2016
Globalization or not? Mid and long-distance interactions and their effects on Chinese societies during the late 2nd and early 1st millennium BCE
, Prof Gideon Shelach, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, “Material Worlds” Seminar Series

Jan 2016
Land, Sea and Sky in the Near East: the Destruction and Preservation of Cultural Heritage
, Dr John Curtis of the Iranian Heritage Foundation, keynote lecture at BANEA 2016@Lampeter

We work hard to engage audiences not only from our student body and the wider public with our research. Examples of our impact include:

Cyfarftha Castle Egypt Project: Welsh Heritage and the Regional Community Museum

Annual exhibitions of material from the Southey and his “Oriental Collection” at Cyfarthfa Castle Museum have been run in Lampeter (Roderic Bowen library) and at the Cyfarthfa Castle Museum museum since 2012. These run in conjunction with public lectures and workshop activities with the local secondary schools in Lampeter and Merthyr Tydfil. A centenary exhibition for the arrival of the collection at Cyfarthfa Castle Museum is planned for March 2017:

  • June 2017: Beyond the tomb? Ancient Egyptian Artefact from Cyfarthfa Castle Museum – UWTSD – including the Museum of Lies project
  • March 2017. Harry Hartley Southey and his “Oriental Collection”, Cyfarthfa Castle Museum, Merthyr Tydfil (in preparation)
  • May / June 2016. Six feet under? Funerary aspects of Egyptian culture, Roderic Bowen Libraries and Archive, UWTSD
  • May 2014. FoodStuffs – Food in time and space: Egypt – China – Wales - Roderic Bowen Libraries and Archive, UWTSD (in conjunction with the Embodied Foodstuffs workshop)
  • July 2013. History, Politics and Kingship: Ancient Egypt and China in Merthyr Tydfill” - Roderic Bowen Libraries and Archive, UWTSD
  • June 2012. Scarabs and Dragons – A taste of Ancient Egypt in Lampeter, Roderic Bowen Libraries and Archive, UWTSD

Hidden Pasts: Developing narratives for community archaeology and local history at Arediou, Cyprus

This was entered as the flagship impact case study for Classics REF 2014 and was awarded 3*. A key aspect of the project has been to promote a wider understanding of the value and relevance of the past (both recent and ancient) as a means of safeguarding the archaeological record for future generations, through the encouragement of local engagement in the construction of narratives of cultural heritage. As part of this project a number of hands-on interactive workshops have been held with the village school at Arediou. Also reading and teaching materials have been created for use in the local school.

Confucius Institute for Heritage Studies

The work with unprovenanced objects, their relevance for academic and wider audiences as well as mastering the challenges of such objects within museums and as part of global and local heritage will be rolled out on international level with a workshop of the European Association of Chinese Studies (EACS) in September 2017 entitled Hidden in Plain Sight: Materiality, Meaning and Accessibility of Chinese Objects in Local Collections 04-08/09/2017 (cooperation of the Confucius Institute for Heritage Studies, Lampeter, UWTSD and Cyfarthfa Castle).

Conservation, Restoration and Development of Inland Waterways in the UK, Ireland and Europe.

Delivered the first review in ten years of the current state of inland waterways projects in the UK.  This is shaping the strategic agenda for the Canal & River Trust and the investment prioritisation agenda for the Heritage Lottery Fund.

As a consequence I was able to give detailed contextual evidence on behalf of the Chesterfield Canal Trust as to the Impact of the Diversionary Route proposed for the Eastern Arm of the High Speed Two (HS2) Railway in the vicinity of Norwood, Rotherham, upon the Heritage and Archaeology of the Chesterfield Canal and associated industries.  Paper to the Parliamentary Enquiry into the route and impact of HS2, January 2017.

Industrial, Maritime & Transport Heritage of Wales.

Community Engagement with Social & Economic Regeneration  

Strategic planning for Economic Development

Development of Sustainable futures for built & natural heritage

Our research is embedded in our teaching and several modules incorporate practical engagement with Heritage, ownership of the past. This reaches beyond the obvious modules to be studied in the BA and MA courses of Heritage Studies such as Heritage and the Heritage Industry (level 4), Heritage Management (level 5), Museums, Heritage and Representation (level 6) or Exhibiting the Past: Museums, Collections and Heritage (MA).

In addition, Heritage issues are inherent part of other courses and modules belonging to the curriculum of BA and MA courses of archaeology, Mediterranean archaeology, anthropology and the comparative programmes of Ancient Civilisation (BA and MArt). This includes the Mediterranean Fieldtrip, which focuses on heritage and historical narratives in Cyprus, as well as primary research already on BA and MA level which was presented in student research journals, at BCUR and Posters in Parliament in addition to postgraduate research training on MRes, MPhil and PhD level.