Gary Bankhead

Amateur underwater archaeologist, small finds researcher and illustrator.
Gary Bankhead Gary Bankhead is an amateur underwater archaeologist, small finds researcher and illustrator. He is married to his wife Angela and together, they share a family home in Pity Me, County Durham. He has been a sub-aqua diver for over 30 years and is a qualified BSAC Dive Leader having dived extensively around UK inshore waters and the Egyptian Red Sea and a qualified level 3 water rescue technician. Gary is also an accomplished public speaker, having given over 150 talks, papers and lectures. His other interests include long distance walking, mountain climbing (in 2007, he successfully summitted Cerro Aconcagua (6,960m), in Argentina), running (completing over 20 full and half marathons), snow boarding, snorkelling and spending time with his four children and six grand children. In 2004, he helped establish the Fire and Ice Expeditions team which has gone on to raise over £100,000 for local charities.

As an Honorary Research Associate in the Department of Archaeology, Durham University, Gary's current role is to coordinate the wider research of the Durham River Wear Assemblage. As well as his own ongoing small finds research, he continues to work with Durham University students undertaking both the MA in Museum and Artefact Studies and the MA in Conservation of Archaeological and Museum Objects courses to analyse and research the River Wear artefacts (see: student case studies), along with specialists with traditional archaeological skills from finds drawing to comparative analysis and developing typologies.

Gary is also an external specialist for the Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA) having recently undertaken research on two significant assemblages of sixteenth/seventeenth century lead cloth seals found during MOLA excavations at the Crossrail Project (Liverpool Street) and at Tanner Street, Bermondsey.

Curriculum Vitae

  • Contact Details:
    Gary Bankhead, Honorary Research Associate in the Department of Archaeology, Durham University, South Rd., Durham, DH1 3LE.

  • Educational History:
    Master of Philosophy (MPhil) — University of Durham (2013-2016) 'A cultural, scientific and technical study of the Durham lead cloth seal assemblage'.
    Certificate of Education (2009-2011), New College, Durham.
    Chartered Management Institute (CMI) Level 5 Executive Diploma in Management (2005-2006), Teesside University.
    National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH) (2003).
    Higher National Certificate (HNC) Sports Science (Distinction) (2001), New College Durham.

  • Organizations:
    Finds Research Group (Committee Member) 2020 - present.
    AASDN (Committee Member) 2013 - present.
    Durham University Archaeological Society (Committee Member) 2011 - 2018.

  • Social media:

  • TV Appearances:
    River Hunters, S.3: Ep.4. Roman Scotland; Sky History - May 2022.
    River Hunters, S.3: Ep.3. Welsh Rebellion; Sky History - May 2022.
    River Hunters, S.3: Ep.2. Battle of Culloden; Sky History - May 2022.
    Matt Baker Travels with Mum and Dad: More4 - Apr 2022.
    Antiques Road Trip: BBC One - Jan 2022.
    River Hunters, S.3: Ep.1. Battle of Towton; Sky History - Nov 2021.
    River Hunters, S.2: Ep.6. Knaresborough Castle; Sky History - May 2021.
    River Hunters, S.2: Ep.5. The Colchester Seige; Sky History - May 2021.
    River Hunters, S.2: Ep.4. Canterbury Murder; Sky History - Apr 2021.
    River Hunters, S.2: Ep.3. Scotland and the Civil War; Sky History - Apr 2021.
    River Hunters, S.2: Ep.2. Viking Invasion; Sky History - Apr 2021.
    River Hunters, S.2: Ep.1. The Battle of Killiecrankie; Sky History - Apr 2021.
    Inside Out North East and Cumbria: BBC One - Oct 2019.
    River Hunters, S.1: Ep.7. Durham - Henry VIII; History Channel - Apr 2019.
    River Hunters, S.1: Ep.6. Barnard Castle - River Tees; Histroy Channel - Apr 2019.
    River Hunters, S.1: Ep.4. River Trent - Vikings; History Channel - Apr 2019.
    River Hunters, S.1: Ep.3. Newark - English Civil War; History Channel - Apr 2019.
    River Hunters, S.1: Ep.2. Warwick - War of the Roses; History Channel - Mar 2019.
    Britain's Greatest Cathedrals: Channel 5 - Apr 2018.
    Britain's Secret Treasures: ITV - Jul 2012.
    The Great British Story - From the Dales to the Sea: BBC One - Jun 2012.

  • Selected Articles in Refereed Journals or Conference Proceedings:
  • Bankhead, G. 2021, 'A Late-Medieval Pectoral Cross Pilgrim Sign from the River Wear, Durham' In C. Caple and V. Garlick (eds) 'Studies in Archaeological Conservation'. Routledge.
  • Bankhead, G. 2019, in 'An important 16th-century finds assemblage from ‘Moorfields’, Liverpool Street, London' By R. S. Cubitt, R. Hartle, M. Marshall, B. Richardson, E. Allison With contributions from, Gary Bankhead, Julian Bowsher, Vicki Ewens, Nigel Jeffries, Alan Pipe, Frances Pritchard & Karen Stewart: Post-Medieval Archaeology.
  • Bankhead, G. 2018, 'Artefact research report: a late-medieval pectoral cross recovered from the River Wear near Elvet Bridge, County Durham', in D. Mason (ed.). Durham Archaeological Journal 21. Transactions of the Architectural and Archaeological Society of Durham and Northumberland. Alphagraphics UK.
  • Bankhead, G. & Pearce, J. in prep. 'The Tanner Street, Bermondsey Lead Cloth Seal Assemblage - An Overview'. Post-Medieval Archaeology.
  • Bankhead, G. 2018, 'Appendix - Cloth Analysis'. In P. Maunder and J. Evans Tiverton Cloth: The Story of the Town's Woollen Trade 1475 - 1815. Short Run Press Ltd. Exeter. 413.
  • Bankhead, G. 2016, 'The Broadgate lead cloth seals (Crossrail - Liverpool Street Excavation) - Evidence of the Finishing and Sealing of Textiles in Sixteenth Century Broadgate.' MOLA research report. Unpublished.
  • Bankhead, G. 2016, 'A cultural, scientific and technical study of the Durham lead cloth seal assemblage' Unpublished thesis. University of Durham.
  • Bankhead, G. 2015, 'The Tanner Street, Bermondsey, lead cloth seal assemblage - an overview.' MOLA research report. Unpublished.

  • Books:
    Bankhead, G. 2022. 'Textile Manufacture, Taxation and Trade in Late- and Post-Medieval Durham City', The Architectural and Archaeological Society of Durham and Northumberland Research Report 8. 4Word Ltd, Bristol.

  • Papers:
    November 2020: Nautical Archaeological Society Annual Conference 2020 'Deliberate Disposition, Waste Disposal or Dropped'.

    June 2019: Kings College, The Strand, London 'Hoarding and deposition in Europe from later prehistory to the medieval period - finds in context' The Roman Finds Group, Later Prehistoric Finds Group and Finds Research Group in collaboration with King's College London and Instrumentum International Meetings: 'Deliberate disposition or accidental loss? - A new understanding and interpretation of an urban past'.

    April 2018: Durham University 'Archaeology and the small finds of North-East England' a Finds Research Group, AASDN and Department of Archaeology, Durham University joint conference: 'Elvet Bridge, Durham: investigating a multi-period underwater archaeological site'.

    October 2017: Museum of Archaeology Durham University (part of the Dig Deeper talks): 'Investigating the small finds from Durham's River Wear - a scientific approach'.

    July 2016: Ashmolean Museum (Part of Festival or Archaeology Week): 'The Durham River Wear Assemblage'.

    November 2014: Museum of London 'Discovery is just the beginning...' The Nautical Archaeological Society and Thames Discovery Programme Annual Conference: 'The Place of Bishops and Saints: pilgrimage, power and trade in medieval Durham'.

    June 2014: Museum of Archaeology, Durham University Diving into Durham Study Day (part of Universities Week): 'Reading Objects: Case studies from the River Wear Assemblage'.

    October 2013: British Museum 'The Forgotten Past: post-medieval small finds and their contributions to our understanding the past.' A Portable Antiquities Scheme and Finds Research Group. Conference: 'The Durham Cloth Seal Assemblage: New revelations on the importance of merchants, trade and social hierarchy in the North-East of England'

    March 2011: Durham County Hall Durham County Archaeology Day: 'Some Medieval Finds from the River Wear, Durham'.

  • Prizes/Awards: 2012: Joint winner of the Finds Research Group's Geoff Egan prize for finds research: 'Artefact Report: a late-fourteenth century pectoral cross/pilgrim souvenir'.
Gary Bankhead, Underwater Archaeologist
Gary Bankhead, Elvet Bridge, Durham
Gary Bankhead, Elvet Bridge, Pilgrim souvenir