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About Dr Morn Capper

I have worked in the heritage sector in museum education at Sheffield Museums and Galleries Trust and contributed in teams which produced major galleries and exhibitions at the British Museum and Birmingham Museums Trust. I acted as a specialist curatorial advisor to the Staffordshire Hoard gallery at Birmingham Museums Trust 2011-2014. I also undertake curatorial consultancy and public engagement work.

My research focuses on the political, cultural, social and economic development of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia and its neighbours and on the impact of archaeological discoveries and the relics of the Medieval past on people in the modern day.  Prior to joining the University of Chester I have been working as a Research Associate with ‘The Impact of Diasporas on the Making of Britain’, a Leverhulme funded project exploring the impact of the movement of people on the making of Britain in the first Millennium AD via archaeology, history, sociology, linguistics and DNA evidence.

I am keen to develop sustainable heritage partnerships between universities, museums and other researchers and with communities. I am also investigating the impact of museums and heritage volunteering and in cross-disciplinary networks linking researchers with academic, professional and skilled amateur expertise.


I contribute to the teaching of the following undergraduate modules:

  • Living with the Past: An Introduction to Archaeological Heritage
  • Recreating the Past: Archaeological Heritage Interpretation
  • Collecting the Past: Museums and Material Culture 
  • Preserving the Past: Managing and Presenting Buildings, Monuments and Collections
  • Preserving the Past: Managing Historic Buildings and Ancient Monument

I also contribute to the teaching of the following postgraduate modules:

  • Archaeological Heritage in Practice
  • Research Skills in Archaeology and Heritage
  • Heritage Research Project
  • Design, Heritage and the Built Enviornment
  • Interpretation Practice
  • Heritage Research Project
  • Research Dissertation


I am interested in the interaction between regions and between Anglo-Saxon, British and Irish identities in Early Medieval Britain. I am also investigating how heritage contributes to modern identity in Britain.

My recent research has explored the role of metalwork in forging identity in the midlands and how this intersects with the evidence of other sources. The seventh century was a critical time in kingdom formation, the conversion to Christianity and the making of English identity. This research brings together objects from across the region to examine how disparate kingdoms came to embrace common markers of ‘English’ political and religious identity and where and to what extent they came to exclude the traditions of others.

With Diaspora's colleague Marc Scully I have been exploring the impact of archaeological discoveries such as the Staffordshire Hoard on perceptions of the Anglo-Saxon past in the midlands. This study works in collaboration with the Staffordshire Hoard Mercian Trail and in partnership with The New Vic Theatre, Stoke on Trent in support of their 'Hoard' festival of plays.

Published Work

M. Capper and M. Scully, 'Ancient objects with modern meanings: museums, volunteers and the Staffordshire Hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold as markers of 21st century regional identity', Ethnic and Racial Studies 39.02 (2016), 181-203.

Morn D. T. Capper, ‘Contested Loyalties: Regional and National Identities in the Midland Kingdoms of Anglo-Saxon England, c.700 – c.900’. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Sheffield, 2008 (In preparation).

‘Titles and Troubles: Conceptions of Mercian Royal Authority in Eighth- and Ninth-Century Charters’, in Problems and Possibilities of Early Medieval Diplomatic, J. Jarrett and Alan Scott McKinley, eds (Turnhout, 2013).

'Prelates and Politics: Wilfrid's Influence in the Kingdoms of the East Midlands and East Anglia', in St Wilfrid: Bishop of York, Abbot of Ripon and Hexham, N.J. Higham and R.A. Hall, eds (Donnington, 2012).

‘The Practical Implications of Interdisciplinary Research in Anglo-Saxon East Anglia’ in Approaching Interdisciplinarity, Caroline Smith & Zoë Devlin, eds, British Archaeological Reports, Brit. Ser. 486 (Oxford, 2009).


BA (Sheffield), MA (Sheffield), PhD (Sheffield), Curatorial Diploma (The British Museum, London).