School of Histories, Languages and Cultures

Dr Peter Halkon


Peter HalkonSenior Lecturer in Archaeology

Phone: +44 (0)1482 466629
Email: a.p.halkon@hull.ac.uk


Educated at Bridlington School, Peter read Ancient and Medieval History and Archaeology at the University of Liverpool. He has a PGCE from the College of Ripon and York, St John and an MA in Archaeology from the University of Durham. His PhD, entitled Archaeology and environment in a changing East Yorkshire landscape: The Foulness Valley c. 800 BC to c. AD 400 was undertaken in the Geography Department at Hull University. Peter was formerly a Teacher of History and Archaeology at Bransholme High School, Wilberforce Sixth Form College, and Wyke Sixth Form College, all in Hull. He was Education Officer for the Council for British Archaeology and York Archaeological Trust (1991-4) and part-time Archaeology tutor in the School of Adult and Continuing Education at Leeds University and established the part-time BA Hons in Archaeology at Hull University and the BA Hons in History and Archaeolo gy within the History Department.  He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He was an external examiner at the University of York School of Adult and Continuing Education and currently External Examiner at Edinburgh University in the Office of Lifelong Learning.

He was a steering group member, UAUK (University Archaeology UK, formerly Subject Committee for Archaeology); Peer Reviewer for the European Science Foundation. He is a council member of the Historical Metallurgy Society and member of Comité pour la Sidérurgie Ancienne.

He is Vice Chair and Programme Secretary, Roman Antiquities Section, Yorkshire Archaeological Society.

Main research interests

  • Landscape Archaeology
  • Later Prehistoric and Roman periods
  • The Parisi – Iron Age and Roman East Yorkshire
  • Early iron production in Europe
  • Remote sensing (Particularly aerial archaeology)
  • Computer based Virtual Landscapes

Since the 1980s he has been co-directing a landscape archaeology project focused on the Foulness Valley, East Yorkshire, "The Valley of the First Iron Masters" with Professor Martin Millett (University of Cambridge). This project was runner up in the Pitt-Rivers Award of the British Archaeological Awards 1988, and BAe Systems won the Wedgewood Award for sponsorship in 2000 for their financial support. Although limited in area this has covered a period from the Palaeolithic to the medieval period. In 2003 Peter and Ian Dolphin, (the then Head of eStrategy, Academic Services) together with the East Riding Archaeological Society were awarded £84,000 by the Heritage Lottery Fund for the construction of a Web based virtual landscape "Valley of the First Iron Masters". Launched in December 2004, this website gained one of the Vice-Chancellor’s Awards at the University in 2005. Funding is being sought to update this web resource. The major foci of this research were the lowland landscape around Holme on Spalding Moor with its Iron Age iron and Roman pottery industries; the Roman roadside settlement at Shiptonthorpe; a detailed study the Iron Age and Roman activity in a 3x3 km landscape block around Hayton (See publications). Amongst other research, Peter, together with Dr Jeremy Taylor (University of Leicester), Dr Helen Woodhouse (Historic England) and Dr Helen Fenwick (Department of History, University of Hull) and Dr Henry Chapman (University of Birmingham) have surveyed the site of a Roman Temple near Millington in East Yorkshire, and with Dr Helen Woodhouse an Iron Age Wold top settlement near Market Weighton.

Current research projects

  • 2012 to present - Consultant archaeologist and coordinator: Exploring a Yorkshire Wolds Village – Nunburnholme Community Heritage project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Ferens Education Trust.
  • 2013 to present – Co-Director - Investigation of a multi-period site near Elloughton, East Yorkshire, funded by Royal Archaeological Institute, Hull University, East Riding Archaeological Society and East Riding Archaeological Research Trust. So far this has involved a major programme of geophysics in collaboration with James Lyall of Geophiz.biz and two seasons of excavation. 

Academic consultant in the Post-excavation project on the nationally significant Iron Age cemetery at Pocklington excavated by MAP 2013-15.

Selected Publications


  • 2015 Halkon, P. Millett, M. and Woodhouse, H. Hayton, East Yorkshire: Archaeological Studies of the Iron Age and Roman landscapes. Yorkshire Archaeological Report 7. Leeds:  Roman Antiquities Section, Yorkshire Archaeological Society.
  • 2013 Halkon, P. The Parisi – Britons and Romans in Eastern Yorkshire. Stroud: The History Press.
  • 2008 Halkon P. Archaeology and environment in a changing East Yorkshire landscape: The  Foulness Valley c. 800 BC to c. AD 400. Oxford:  British Archaeological Reports 472. Reviews:  Taylor and Francis Online & AARG (Aerial Archaeology Research Group)
  • 2004 Halkon, P. (ed) 2004 and 1999 Further light on the Parisi: recent research in Iron Age and Roman East Yorkshire. Hull: ERAS, Dept. of History, University of Hull.
  • 1999 Halkon, P. and Millett, M. Rural Settlement and industry: Studies in the Iron Age and Roman archaeology of lowland East Yorkshire. Yorkshire Archaeological Report 4 Leeds: Yorkshire Archaeological Society. Review.
  • 1992 Halkon, P and Binns, G. and Corbishley M. The Archaeology Resource Book. London:  English Heritage/Council for British Archaeology.
  • 1990 Halkon, P. (ed) and Harrison, W. (author) Bill's Book: Memories of a Yorkshire Wolds Character. Cherry Burton: Hutton Press.
  • 1989 Halkon, P. (ed) New Light on the Parisi: Recent Discoveries in Iron Age and Roman East Yorkshire. Hull: ERAS, School of Adult and Continuing Education, University of Hull.

Articles and chapters in Books

  • 2014 Iron and the Parisi - socio-economic and ritual aspects of iron and related industries in Roman East Yorkshire, UK. In B. Cech and T. Rehren (eds) Early Iron in Europe. Montagnac: Monographies Instrumentum 50, 201-14.
  • 2014 Iron in the landscape of Iron Age East Yorkshire, UK. In Pernicka, E. and Schwab, R. (eds.): Under the volcano. Proceedings of the International Symposium on the Metallurgy of the European Iron Age (SMEIA). Rahden/Westf.: Leidorf (Forschungen zur Archäometrie und Altertumswissenschaft; Bd. 5), 73-91
  • 2013 Halkon P. Visiting Tara—the first impressions of an English landscape archaeologist. In O’Sullivan, M. Scarre, C. and Doyle, M. Tara—from the past to the future. Towards a new research agenda.  Dublin: Wordwell, 569-573.
  • 2013 Perceptions of smiths and metalworkers-cultural evidence from Britain and beyond. Humphris, J., Rehren, T. and Veldhuijzen, X. (eds) Proceedings of the World of Iron Conference. London: Archetype Publications, 188-200.
  • 2013 ‘What have experimental archaeologists done for us?”. Iron in the archaeology of the East Yorkshire Iron Age’. Doonan, R. and Dungworth, D. Historical Metallurgy-Accidental and  Experimental Archaeometallurgy. Proceedings Historical Metallurgy Society Annual  Conference. London: English Heritage and HMS
  • 2012 Halkon, P. Using aerial archaeology in teaching and research. In V. Julkowska (ed).  Foto-Historia, Fotografia Wprzedstawianiu Przeszlosci. Posnan: Instytut Historii and Instytut  Prahsitorii, Uniwersytet im. Adana Mickiewicza w Poznaniu, 95 -105
  • 2012 Halkon, P. Iron landscape and power in Iron Age East Yorkshire. The Archaeological  Journal 168
  • 2011 Halkon P.  Britons and Romans in an East Yorkshire Landscape, UK.  XVII International  Congress of Classical Archaeology, Roma 22-26 Sept. 2008 Session: Roman and Barbarian. Rome: Bollettino di Archeologia on line I 2010/ Volume speciale E / E10 / 3, 24-40
  • 2010 Halkon P. and Serneels, V. Iron and change in Europe – The first 2000 years, Scientific Report ESF Exploratory Workshop, London, UK, 26-28 March 2010, Standing Committee for the Humanities, European Science Foundation, Strasbourg.
  • 2010 Halkon P. and Manby, T.G., Millett, M., Woodhouse, H., Ballantyne, R., Bishop, B., Huntley, J., Jaques, D. 2010. Neolithic Settlement Evidence from Hayton, East Yorks. Yorkshire Archaeological Journal 82, 31–57.
  • 2009 Halkon, P. and Innes, J., Long, A., Shennan, I., Manby, T., Gaunt, G., Heath A., Wagner, P., Schofield, J., Schreve, D., and Roe, D. Change and continuity within the Prehistoric landscape of the Foulness Valley, East Yorkshire. East Riding Archaeologist 12, 1-66.
  • 2009 Halkon P.  Beyond the cockpit - the role of aerial photographs for archaeology in UK Higher Education. In D. Cowley & R.  Palmer (eds) Collected papers and report of the AARG/EAC Working Party on Aerial Archaeology. Occasional Publication of the Aerial Archaeology Research Group No. 1 Aerial Archaeology Research.
  • 2009 Halkon, P. Ceremony and Carpentry? Neolithic stone axeheads in an East Yorkshire Landscape - Internet Archaeology Issue 26 - Implement Petrology theme Submitted:      February 2009; Published: September 2009.
  • 2007 Halkon, P. Valley of the First Iron Masters. In P. Y Milcent (ed) L'économie du fer protohistorique: de la production à la consommation du métal. Actes colloque AFEAF Toulouse (Association Française pour l'Etude de l'Age du Fer), Bordeaux: Aquitania Supplément 14/2.151-163.
  • 2006 Halkon, P. Prehistoric wetland environments and human exploitation of the Foulness Valley E.  Yorkshire, UK. In   M. C. Lillie and S. Ellis (eds) Wetland Archaeology and Environments: Regional issues, global perspectives. Oxford: Oxbow Books, 91-107.
  • 2006 Halkon, P. and Millett, M. Introduction, (1-3) The background (4-6), Millett, M and Taylor J. Surface Surveys (7-37). In M. Millett (ed) Shiptonthorpe, East Yorkshire. Archaeological Studies of a Romano-British roadside settlement. Yorkshire Archaeological  Report 5. Leeds: RAS YAS and ERAS.
  • 2005 Halkon, P. Creating an award winning website for Community Archaeology and Research: “Valley of the First Iron Masters” - a case study M.Mudge, N.Ryan, R.Scopigno,(eds) VAST 2005 The 6th International Symposium on Virtual Reality Archaeology and Cultural Heritage. Pisa: Eurographics Association, 44-50
  • 2005 Halkon, P. and Innes J. 2005 ‘Settlement and Economy in a Changing Prehistoric Lowland Landscape – An East Yorkshire (UK) Case Study’.  European Journal of Archaeology 8 (3), 225-259
  • 2004 Halkon, P. Valley of the First Iron Masters – a case study in inclusion and interpretation. In P. Frodsham (ed) Integrating the ambiguous: archaeology and interpretation in the 21st century. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports British Series 362, 75-81.
  • 2003 Halkon, P. Researching an Ancient Landscape: The Foulness Valley, East Yorkshire. In T. Manby, S. Moorhouse and P. Ottaway (eds) The Archaeology of Yorkshire: An Assessment at the Beginning of the 21st Century. Leeds: Yorkshire Archaeological Society with English Heritage and CBA, 261-74.
  • 2002 Halkon, P. The Roman pottery Industry at Holme-on-Spalding Moor, East Yorkshire. In J. Price and P. Wilson (eds) Craft and Industry in Roman Yorkshire and the North. Oxford: Oxbow Books, 1-33.

Other publications

  • 2013 Halkon, P. Iron and change in Europe: The first 2000 years. TEA The newsletter of EAA 4 0. Winter 2013/14, 48-50.
  • 2005 Halkon, P. Review: The Humber Wetlands by Robert Van De Noort, Windgather 2004, Archaeological Journal.London:  Royal Archaeological Institute, 357-8
  • 2002 Halkon, P.  Review: Roads in Roman Britain by Hugh Davies, Tempus 2002, Archaeological Journal. London: Royal Archaeological Institute, 326-7
  • 2003 Halkon, P. and Millett, M. East Riding: An Iron Age and Roman landscape revealed.  Current Archaeology 187, 303-309.
  • 2003 Halkon, P. and Chapman, H, Fenwick H, Taylor, J, Woodhouse H. The Rediscovery of the Roman temple at Millington, East Yorkshire. ARA-The Bulletin of the Association for Roman  Archaeology 15, 8-9.
  • 2000 Halkon, P. and Millett, M. Foulness-Valley of the First Iron Masters. In Selkirk, A. (ed) Current Archaeology 169, 20-29.
  • 1999 Halkon, P. and Millett, M., Taylor, J. Fieldwork and Excavation at Hayton, East Yorkshire 1998. In S. Lucy (ed) University of Durham and Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Archaeological Report  for 1998.
  • 1999 Halkon, P. The early Landscape of the Foulness Valley, East Yorkshire. In D. R. Bridgland, B.P.  Horton and J.B. Innes (eds) The Quaternary of North-East England - Field Guide. London:  Quaternary Research Association, 173-175.
  • 1999 Halkon, P. The Holme Project. R. Van De Noort and S. Ellis (eds) The Wetland Heritage of the Vale of York. Humber Wetlands Project, University of Hull/English Heritage.
  • 1999 Halkon, P. A Roman Villa near Pocklington. In S. Esmonde-Cleary, Roman Britain 1998. Britannia. Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies.
  • 1998 Halkon, P. A Roman Relief from Bolton East Yorkshire. Britannia 29, Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies, 321-326
  • 1997 Halkon, P. Fieldwork on early iron working sites in East Yorkshire, Journal of the Historical Metallurgy Society 31 [1], 12-16.
  • 1992 Romano-British Facepots from Holme-on-Spalding Moor and Shiptonthorpe, East Yorkshire. Britannia, 23, 222-8.

Other output

  • 2011 Booklet with Dr David Marchant, East Riding of Yorkshire Council, on the internationally significant “South Cave Weapons Cache” to accompany permanent display of the weapons in the Treasure House, Beverley.
  • 2008 Displays, Lecture and consultancy work for “Heavy Metal in the Iron Age, The South Cave Weapons Cache and other Treasures” exhibition at the Treasure House, Beverley for the East Riding of Yorkshire Council.

TV and radio

  • May 2011 Consultant for several days for BBC4 TV programme on metals, as part of a series on materials for producer, Chris Salt.
  • 30 August 2010 BBC Radio Four PM – “Dry start to summer delights archaeologists” Interviewed on the recent success of archaeologists using aerial photography to pinpoint ancient settlements due to dry summer.
  • January 2010 History of the World in 100 objects - interview about Ferriby boats BBC Radio Humberside
  • April 2010 interview about South Cave Swords exhibition BBC Radio Humberside
  • 21 March 2002 Foulness Valley project featured on A coast of secrets, Close Up North, BBC (North), 7.30pm
  • 21 March 2002 Item for Tonight programme Yorkshire TV on Hasholme Boat
  • June 1999 Look North (BBC ONE) item on Foulness Valley landscape Archaeology Project
  • September 1998 BBC Radio Humberside – Items on Hayton Excavation
  • November 1996 Beyond 2000 programme for Discovery Channel on Hasholme Boat

Press (selected recent articles)


PHMain research interests (see Publications)

Landscape Archaeology

Being from a farming background, I have been involved in exploring the relationship between people and the landscape from the ice ages to the medieval periods, particularly the effect of environmental constraints and  change in lowland landscapes, drawing on evidence from aerial survey, geophysics, field walking and targeted excavation. More recently focus has been on the Yorkshire Wolds, particularly the underexplored western escarpment and the relationship between upland and lowland.

Iron Age and Roman East Yorkshire

I am fortunate enough to have been brought up and still reside in one of the most significant archaeological regions for the study of Iron Age Britain. With the chariot burials and square barrows of the “Arras Culture” near at hand, together with the so-called “Wolds entrenchments” there is much to investigate! Following the long term collaborative research on the impact of Rome in the region with Professor Martin Millett (Cambridge University) around Holme-on-Spalding Moor with its Roman pottery industry, the Roman roadside settlement at Shiptonthorpe and the Iron Age and Roman landscape around Hayton, including a Flavian fort, Roman roadside settlement and Romanised farmsteads, current work has been focussed on the environs of the Civitas Capital of Petuaria (Brough-on- Humber). With James Lyall (Geophiz.Biz), a new geophysical survey was undertaken in 2014 on the Burrs, the core of the Roman town, revealing hitherto unknown detail including roadways and buildings and with James Lyall and Rodney Mackey (East Riding Archaeological Society) two seasons of excavation, supported by the Royal Archaeological Institute and ERAS,  on a recently discovered extensive Roman settlement close to the Humber itself, which has uncovered much activity throughout the Roman period including high-status buildings and late Roman burials.

Early iron production in Europe

I established an international network with the assistance of Professor Vincent Serneels (University of Fribourg, Switzerland) and Professor Claudio Giardino (University of Salento, Italy) with members from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Poland, Hungary, France, Spain, Ireland and the UK to investigate the origins, manufacture and impact of iron from the late Bronze Age to the Viking period. This has involved organisation of and participation in conference sessions and lectures in Italy, the Czech Republic, France, Austria, Germany and Spain. I am keen to expand this network. I am a Council Member of the Historical Metallurgy Society.

Remote sensing (Particularly aerial archaeology)

I have been taking archaeological aerial photographs for many years, particularly as part of the Foulness Valley project and am involved with the Aerial Archaeology Research Group. This has often been combined as in the case of Hayton, with programmes of geophysics and field walking.

Computer based Virtual Landscapes

Working with colleagues in Computer Science, I have helped to develop an award winning website supported by the HLF and real-time 3D stereoscopic flythroughs of landscapes enabling layers of information to be interrogated and manipulated.

Hon. Research Fellow - John Deverell is currently undertaking research on the entrenchments of the Yorkshire Wolds and is Finds Officer for the Nunburnholme Community Heritage Project and the Roman site near Elloughton.

Current Projects

Exploring a Yorkshire Wolds Village – Nunburnholme Community Heritage project 

Since 2012 I have been Consultant Archaeologist and coordinator of this Project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Ferens Education Trust and University of Hull. Nunburnholme is a small village on the western escarpment of the Yorkshire Wolds with a rich past, first documented in full in Nunburnholme: its History and Antiquities (London: Henry Frowde 1907) by the Rev. M.C.F Morris, Rector of Nunburnholme and son of the famous naturalist the Rev. F.O. Morris, author of British Birds and many other books. The important 12th century church, with its stunning Norman archway and the Viking Age Cross are well known, and various tantalising glimpses of it archaeological potential were apparent from various accounts and my own knowledge, as my parents moved to the village over forty years ago. At the instigation of enthusiastic villagers, particularly Mrs Ann Hill and the Jubilee Committee with the support of the Nunburnholme with Kilnwick Percy Parish Council, we applied to the Heritage Lottery Fund to find out more, receiving a grant of £28,000.

Our exploration of the village has been in three main strands:

Archaeology: led by myself with the assistance of James Lyall (Geophiz.Biz) and Dr Malcolm Lillie (Reader in Archaeology and Geography, University of Hull). The geophysical survey revealed much more information about the medieval village, including the site of the nunnery which put the Nun- in Nunburnholme and the intriguing earthworks around the church.  Villagers of all ages took part in mole hill surveys in the fields under pasture, finding pottery and building material in the nunnery and manor area. The main discovery, however, was a large hill-top site hinted at in the English Heritage air photographic mapping Ancient Landscapes of the Yorkshire Wolds (C. Stoertz, 1997) but proven to be a series of enclosures connected by droveways, surrounding an ovoid open area of some 250x150m, opening out into a fan shape to the east some 300m across.  In 2014 and 2015 trenches were cut across selected features, which were full of Iron Age pottery and animal bone, probable evidence for feasting. It is likely that this hilltop was a central meeting place for the whole region.  The eastern part of the plateau contained a cemetery of over twenty square barrows, typical of the Arras Culture, two of which were excavated, revealing an elderly male with a pig and a younger male also with a pig, both burials were surrounded by a wooden box-like structure. Also sampled by excavation was a possible Neolithic mortuary enclosure and large round barrow or hengi-form feature.


Further information:

Geology: led by Richard Myerscough a well-regarded Geologist from the region and former part-time tutor at the University of Hull, who also resurveyed the area with a group of villagers and other experts and found a new geological fault.

House Research Group: led by Annika Nickson, who formerly worked on Historic Buildings with English Heritage, (and a Hull University Graduate and part-time tutor) who investigated the most interesting vernacular buildings in the village, including a cottage which may date back to the 17th century reminiscent of the long houses which incorporated a byre for animals, an 18th century farmhouse and a Victorian school, now converted into a domestic dwelling. The study incorporated documentary research on the buildings and the families that lived in them and oral history by the older inhabitants.




Undergraduate modules taught include:

Level 4

  • 20653 The Archaeology of Britain
  • 20654 Archaeology, Theories, Methods and Practice

Level 5

  • 20316 The Archaeology of Roman Britain

Level 6

  • 20605 The Parisi: Britons and Romans in Eastern Yorkshire
  • 20152 Research Design and GIS
  • 20155 Final Year Dissertation

Research Students

I look forward to supervising PhD and Masters students in subjects relating to Iron Age Britain, Roman Britain, Early Iron production and Landscape Archaeology. 


  • Yvonne Inall (Australia)  gained her PhD in 2015 entitled: In search of the spear people: the archaeology of Iron Age weapons and warfare in East Yorkshire in their European Context, co-supervised with Dr Malcolm Lillie in the Geography Department.
  • Zechariah Jinks-Fredrick (USA)  is currently undertaking research on Constructing Iron Age Communities: A Study on the Depositional Praxis of Iron Objects in Britain, Scotland, and Wales from 800BC-50AD.


  • Michaela Stones – (Humber Field Archaeology) MA History – is currently undertaking a dissertation on Roman pottery supply in the Humber Region


  • Year Two Tutor History Department 2015-16
  • Programme Leader: Part Time Degree in Archaeology
  • Examinations officer, History Department 2013-14
  • Disabilities Officer History Department 2012-13
  • History Department Year 2 Tutor 2010-11
  • History Department Year 3 Tutor 2011-12
Back to top