Steve Ashby

Steve Ashby, FSA, FSA (Scot), FHEA


Former affiliations

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Early- and later-medieval craft, technology, identity, communication, personal appearance, and portable material culture (metalwork; bonework)
Early-medieval landscape

Personal profile

Research interests

My PhD thesis and much work since has focused on bone and antler hair combs in Britain and Scandinavia between c.AD 700 and 1400. I have used novel archaeological and scientific techniques to examine the manufacture, exchange, and use of these often overlooked items, and considered their role as dress accessories in the construction of identity.  More recently I have focused on the social content of combmaking as a technology, on the acquisition of deer antler as a raw material, and on the use of combs and other material culture in the construction of identity and transformation of appearance. 

My wider research interests include dress and identity, medieval craft and industry, and the articulation of human and animal worlds in the Middle Ages. My work frequently intersects with the archaeologies of appearance and self-representation, with material culture studies, with zooarchaeology, with landscape, and with the use of metal-detected data. 

In general terms, I am interested in the integration of scientific techniques with contemporary theory, in order to ask questions about society, trade, and identity. I am interested in supervising research students working in any of these areas.

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or