Matt Brudenell


I have a deep and abiding interest in the archaeology of Cambridgeshire and Eastern England, with over twenty years’ experience of working in the region, both directly within the commercial sector and in research on material generated from development-led archaeology.

I first entered professional archaeology with the Cambridge Archaeological Unit (CAU) in 2001, following the completion of my degree in Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Cambridge. In 2012 I finished a PhD at the University of York and returned to work within the commercial sector. In my various roles I have been a field archaeologist, prehistoric pottery specialist, researcher, curatorial archaeologist, and project manager.

I returned to the CAU as Director in 2021. I am now responsible for the operational leadership of the organisation and the shaping of its strategic direction, both in terms of its commercial endeavours and research objectives.

My primary research interests lie in the archaeology of the Cambridge region and the later prehistory of Eastern England, specifically the Later Bronze Age and Iron Age. My research focusses on ceramics, settlements, landscapes and the practical engagements between people, things, and places. In my work I have explored how pottery was implicated in the constitution of identities at multiple scales of social resolution, examining the articulation of broad regional patterns and basic technological traditions, such as the ways pots were made, used and deposited.

I am also interested in synthesising the wealth of regional data from commercial archaeology, to better understand how broader processes unfolded in different ways in different parts of Britain. For example, how regional sequences combine and diverge at different points and places in prehistory, and what this means in social terms.

Key publications

Knight, M., and Brudenell, M. 2020. Pattern & Process. Landscape Prehistories from Whittlesey Brick Pits, The Bradley Fen & King's Dyke Excavations (Flag Fen Basin Depth & Time Series Volume 1). Cambridge: McDonald Institute Monographs. 

Evans, C., and Lucy, S., with Appleby, G., Appleby, J., and Brudenell, M. 2016. Lives in Land. Mucking Excavations by Margaret and Tom Jones, 1965-1978: Prehistory, Context and Summary. Cambridge: Cambridge Archaeological Unit Monograph. 

Evans C., with Brudenell, M., Patten, R., and Regan, R. 2013. Process and History: Prehistoric Fen-edge Communities at Colne Fen, Earith (The Archaeology of the Lower Ouse Valley/Volume I). Cambridge: McDonald Institute Monograph. 

Evans, C., Beadsmore, E., Brudenell, M., and Lucas, G. 2009. Fengate Revisited: Further Fen-edge Excavations, Bronze Age Fieldsystems & Settlement and the Wyman Abbott/Leeds Archives (CAU Landscape Archives: Historiography and Fieldwork (1)). Cambridge: Cambridge Archaeological Unit. 

For a complete list of all publications visit Matt Brudenell's profile at the Department of Archaeology