After realizing at the age of 8 that I wanted to be an archaeologist, I was lucky enough to study archaeology at Verulamium Museum, learning about the subject and how to dig before taking a couple of degrees at the Institute. I started as a Romanist, moving rapidly across to science, whilst taking every opportunity for fieldwork, being lucky enough to work with Institute staff in Sparta and Leptis Magna for many seasons. Heading out to work at the Museum of London gave me a love of London’s archaeology, which is surprisingly well-preserved and rich in time depth and complexity. London is compact enough to allow me to study it as a coherent landscape which formed the basis of my PhD at Durham University, focusing on sea-level rise and the impact of the changing Thames on the human population.
However, London also has been home to a huge diversity of cultures, inhabitation patterns and events. So here I have stayed, as environmental archaeologist for the Museum of London, then science advisor and research fellow at the Institute where I was lucky enough to teach an MA in the Archaeology of London. Currently, I am Inspector of Ancient Monuments for Historic England, where it is my joy to help protect those archaeological sites considered the finest examples of our shared past.
Research Interests and Current Work
- The Archaeology of London
- Urban Archaeology
- Landscape evolution
- Preservation in situ
- Burial Archaeology
Currently I’m working with several members of Institute staff – I have long-term links with Tim Williams and his students, using some key sites in London as part of their investigations into the Management of Archaeological sites. The Rose Theatre, Billingsgate Bathhouse and Spitalfields Charnel House are regular sites we look at. I also work in collaboration with Kris Lockyear on his Noviodunum project and am currently working with Louise Martin, as second supervisor for Nichola Arthur who is undertaking her doctoral research on human skulls from the river Thames.
- Sidell, J, 2017, The Eggshell in Nixon, S (ed), Essouk – Tadmekka, An Early Islamic Trans-Saharan Market Town. Brill, Leiden/Boston
- Sidell, J, 2017 various contributions in Dennison, E (ed) Thirty Second London The 50 key visions, events and architects that shaped the city, each explained in half a minute, Ivy Press
- Sidell, J, and Panter, I, 2016, How to carefully build a hospital over a Roman Boat, London, England Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites 18(1-3): 266-275
- Leutzinger, U, Sidell, J, and Williams, T, 2016, The 5th International Conference on Preserving Archaeological Remains In Situ (PARIS5): 12-17 April 2015, Kreuzlingen (Switzerland), Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites 18(1-3):1-7
- McGovern, TH, Perdikaris, S, Einarsson, A, & Sidell, J,2013 Coastal connections, local fishing, and sustainable egg harvesting: patterns of Viking Age inland wild resource use in Mývatn district, Northern Iceland, Environmental Archaeology, 11:2, 187-205
- Sidell, J, 2012, PARIS London: One Hundred and Fifty Years of Site Preservation, Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites 14(1/4):372-383
Video Presentation: Highlights of Roman London
In the above video, London’s Inspector of Ancient Monuments, Dr. Jane Sidell, will continue her virtual tour of Roman London but taking you to the main Roman sites you can see today in the City of London, some of them when they are reopened and some viewable from the street.