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Prof. J. Symonds (1962) has been appointed professor of Historical Archaeology (North of the Alps) at the University of Amsterdam's (UvA) Faculty of Humanities.

Dr. J. Symonds (James)
Photo: Jeroen Oerlemans

James Symonds’s research focuses on the archaeology of the modern world (c.AD 1450-present) and includes work on capitalism, colonialism, landscapes of improvement and diaspora, urban and industrial archaeology, and the archaeology of poverty. Symonds has extensive experience of urban excavation in the UK, and has undertaken field research projects in the Isle of South Uist (Western Isles, Scotland), Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Island (Canada), and Lapland (Finland). He is currently working on two research projects in the Czech Republic. The first examines the changing nature of the Iron Curtain between the 1950s and 1980s, and the second explores the impact of the Thirty Year’s War on rural settlements in 17th century Bohemia.

James Symonds studied prehistory and archaeology at the universities of Sheffield and Oxford, and previously worked as a fellow and anniversary research lecturer in Historical Archaeology at the University of York. Prior to that, he was director of Archaeological Research and Consultancy at the University of Sheffield (ARCUS) from 1992-2009.

Symonds holds visiting academic positions at the Boston University (USA), Oulu University (Finland), and the University of West Bohemia (Czech Republic). He is a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries (London), a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries (Scotland), a fellow of the Higher Education Academy (UK) and a member of the Institute for Archaeologists (UK).

James Symonds’s edited and co-authored books include: The Historical Archaeology of the Sheffield Tableware and Cutlery Industries (BAR, 2002); South Uist: Archaeology & History (Tempus, 2004); Industrial Archaeology: Future Directions (Springer, 2005); Interpreting the Early Modern World: Transatlantic Perspectives (Springer, 2010); Table Settings: The Material Culture and Social Context of Dining, AD 1700-1900 (Oxbow, 2011); Historical Archaeologies of Cognition: Historical Archaeologies of Faith, Hope, and Charity (Equinox, 2013). He has also published widely in international journals such as Historical Archaeology, the Journal of Social Archaeology, the Journal of Material Culture.