Aarhus University Seal

Introduction of Barbora Wouters

Barbora Wouters - BA, MA (Vrije Universiteit Brussel), MPhil (Cantab), PhD - has taken up a position as postdoc at UrbNet (Northern Emporium Project), starting 2 June 2017.

Barbora Wouters holds a dual doctorate from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and University of Aberdeen, funded by a PhD Fellowship of the Research Foundation Flanders – FWO. She specializes in the geoarchaeology of early medieval towns. Her doctoral research (AD 400-1000) evaluated the potential of micromorphological study on a range of urban sites, including Viking-age towns such as Hedeby and Kaupang, and (early) medieval homogeneous dark earths such as that of Antwerp, Tongeren and Lier. In establishing a biographical approach to their analysis, she developed a way to compare different aspects of these towns, including their origins, human activities, use of space, evolution, as well as the preservation conditions on site. Her work has also led to the development of a micromorphological sampling protocol for the excavation of (Scandinavian) medieval town sites and, combining archaeology and scientific techniques, has been awarded several scientific awards including the Nenquin Prize, the Renée De Bock Doehaerd Prize, and a Quaternary New Research Workers Award.

She is currently employed as a postdoctoral fellow on the Northern Emporium Project, where she will conduct geoarchaeological and micromorphological analyses on the site of Ribe. Here, she will focus on the understanding of the (micro)stratigraphy and address questions regarding the town’s earliest development, preservation, enigmatic phases in the urban record (for instance the famous “phase C”), spatial variation and density, and its transition into medieval times. An important aspect of her previous work focused on methodological issues such as alternative sampling strategies for sites that can no longer be excavated, and the combination of micromorphology with other high definition techniques. In Ribe, she will continue developing these pathways further, as well as test a range of novel applications that include the use of micromorphology in all stages of site assessment and excavation.

Barbora Wouters is a guest lecturer at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (2017-2018) where she teaches two courses on (urban) archaeology. She also serves on the editorial board of the Belgian magazine Ex situ – Tijdschrift voor Vlaamse Archeologie, which aims to make local and regional archaeology more accessible to a wider audience.